2020: New Year’s Resolutions that UMMA can help you achieve!

Ah, January–the time of year when everyone starts making plans for self-improvement. Need some inspiration? We’ve got you covered. To help welcome in 2020, here are 20 popular resolutions that UMMA might be able to help you achieve in the New Year!

Whether you’ve never been to UMMA or you come every weekend, whether you’re a student or a community member, whether you’re 18 or 88, there’s something for everyone. After all, new decade, new you, right?

1: Exercise more often

Fire up your smartwatch, because if you walk around UMMA for an hour, that’s about 3000 steps. And with three levels, we have plenty of picturesque staircases to get your legs moving. Check our our floor plans here.

2: Keep my budget in check

UMMA is the perfect activity to fill your new year with budget-friendly fun because admission is always FREE! We’re grateful for every donation we receive, but there is no obligation. We want UMMA to be accessible to everyone who wants to visit, regardless of financial circumstances.

3: Get the most out of Ann Arbor

Whether you’ve lived in Washtenaw County your whole life or you’re just passing through the Midwest on a road trip, we want to welcome you to UMMA! Check out our guide to restaurants and attractions in the area here.

4: Learn about cultures I’m unfamiliar with

Not only do we currently have exhibitions on Inuit art and Pan-Africanism, but we have an extensive permanent collection of art from India, Thailand, China, Korea, and Japan. Find out which pieces are currently on display here.

5: Foster a love of art in my kids

Our popular Family Art Studio workshops are a fun (and free) way to spend a Saturday. Check out which sessions are coming up here.

6: Support local artists

The UMMA Shop regularly sells work by Ann Arbor-area artists, including jewelry, ceramics, postcards, and more. Open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday 12–5 p.m.

7: Spend quality time with friends

Instead of having another “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” conversation, take the initiative and invite your friends to hang out at UMMA. If you hurry, you can still cast your ballot in Take Your Pick: Collecting Found Photographs until January 12th. When you’re finishing cracking up at strangers’ awkward prom photos, invite your friend for macarons and lattes in the UMMA Cafe.

8: Discover new music

Our UMMA Pop Up series features local musicians who play low-key sets in the galleries. (Also, UMMA has been proven to be quite the launchpad: the lead singer of Vulfpeck performed here back in 2009.)

9: Eat healthy lunches

The UMMA Cafe has lots to choose from! Tofu banh mi wraps, boxed salads, parfaits with fresh fruit, and more. Open every day, 8 a.m. through 6 p.m.

10: Make time to relax by myself

UMMA’s galleries are the perfect places to relax, and with lots of benches and chairs throughout, there’s always a place you can sit and take a moment to de-stress. Read a book, play a game on your phone, call your mom, have a good cry–we won’t judge!

11: Finally fill up my sketchbook

Whatever your skill level, we love to see visitors sit down and sketch in the UMMA galleries! Some popular subjects include Randolph Rogers’ sculpture Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii and our 19th-century samurai armor. Tag us (@ummamuseum) in your work on Instagram, and we’ll be glad to help you show it off!

12: Win over that special someone

If you’re tired of meeting up for coffee or cocktails, ask your date to join you for a jaunt around UMMA! Read up on our current exhibitions so that you can confidently say things like “Ah, yes, that piece is Sunset Corner, painted by Helen Frankenthaler in 1969.” Maybe you can even convince your date to take a selfie with you in front of Tracey Emin’s piece Love is What You Want.

13: Plan my dream wedding

Good news–that first date at UMMA went way better than you expected, and suddenly you need to find a wedding venue. We host about twenty weddings a year, and can host dinners for 10 to 275 people, and receptions for up to 500. Learn more here, and check out photos from some past events here.

14: Explore my curiosity about how museums work

Did you know that UM-LSA has a Museum Studies Minor, and Rackham has a Museum Studies graduate program? If you’re not ready to commit to something like that, though, you can check out UMMA’s list of upcoming events here. We often have lectures and panel discussions that are open to the public.

15: Read more books by POC authors

Last year, we hosted book clubs about environmental issues, comic books, and political activism. Our current UMMA Book Club series is focusing on books by Inuit and indigenous authors, and is presented in conjunction with our current exhibition The Power Family Program for Inuit Art: Reflections: An Ordinary Day.

16: Volunteer more

Throughout the year, UMMA has plenty of opportunities for volunteers to get involved. You can welcome in UM freshmen with Artscapade!, express your interest in becoming a docent, or get involved with the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in our Meet Me at UMMA program.

17: Impress my boss

Did you know that UMMA rents out its meeting rooms and auditorium for corporate events? You might even be able to schedule a private gallery viewing experience–learn more here.

18: Foster a love of art in my students

Are you a K-12 teacher? Each year, over 5,000 children visit the museum as part of classtours. Also, UMMA has a few opportunities each year for teachers to engage with art and each other. Learn more here.

19: Be a better Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion ally

Each year, UMMA has a variety of lectures, panels, and book readings about social justice issues. Stay on top of all of our upcoming events here.

20: Celebrate my own achievements

Okay, this resolution is ours! In 2019, we finally opened the UMMA Cafewe officially named the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Apse, and we welcomed Orion back after a year of construction. We said farewell to some beloved UMMA colleagues and welcomed in several new faces. We put on two awesome UMMA After Hours events, and our first-ever 4-day-long Study Days event. And of course, we welcomed in thousands and thousands of visitors for a variety of fun, gorgeous, and thought-provoking exhibitions. Thanks to everyone who was part of UMMA in 2019, and see you next decade!