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EXCELcast: International Contemporary Ensemble

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an ensemble that is “transforming the way music is created and experienced.” In this EXCELcast, follow Jonathan Kuuskoski as he asks ICE members Ross Karre and Claire Chase about their experiences forming the group and running it at an international level.

Some highlights of this EXCELcast include: defining cultural advocacy vs cultural entrepreneurship, international collaboration, the term “sustainability,” and some fantastic tips on running your own unique, collaborative arts ensemble or collective.

To find out more about the ensemble and to get helpful tips for your own ensemble or artistic journey, check out the EXCELcast video!

Funding Deadlines & Events

The EXCEL Enterprise Fund is a fund set aside for students to receive micro grants of $1,000. Students must have a well-driven plan for either individual support or team projects that have significant professional development and community impact. In some exceptional cases, funding can be increased to $1,500.

When is the deadline?  The first deadline is tomorrow, October 5! But, never fear! There are three other rounds of applications! (November 16, January 18, March 8).

What are the key requirements? You must be an undergraduate or graduate student in the SMTD at the time of application, but other team members can be from other units of the university. Only one micro grant per year will be awarded to applicants, and the selection committee may elect to have funding pushed to another term if issues are found with the proposed project.

How do I apply? A 500 word document is required, which should address the application questions posted on the Fund’s website.

Click here to get more information on the EXCEL Enterprise Fund!


Some other important events and deadlines:

EXCEL Open Lab: Grant-Opoly. “In this session of Open Lab, Grant-Opoly, we’ll facilitate a game where teams will work within a grant budget, plan an event, and be coached by three of the SMTDAlumni-Award winners. This event will be interactive and fun!” Come by on October 5th, 9:30 am in the EXCEL Lab (1279 Moore).

EXCEL Talk: Jonathan Baruch. “UM Graduate Jonathan Baruch is the founding partner at Rain Management Group / StoryBy, a media company that manages careers of artists and produces/packages content in all areas of entertainment. Under Jonathan’s leadership, the company has begun creating and packaging original content for the digital space, brands, live performances and Broadway.” Come to 2443 Walgreen Drama Center on October 5th at 12:00 pm!

Modern Lab: Dee Tomasetta. “Dee Tomasetta received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at the University of Michigan. She most recently was seen in the First National Tour of Finding Neverlandplaying the role of Peter Pan and Ensemble. Dee was featured on So You Think You Can Dance as a Top 15 female finalist in Season 10 where she met choreographer Mia Michaels. She has since worked as an assistant choreographer with Ms. Michaels.” Swing by the Betty Pease Studio Theater, Dance Building on October 5th at 12:00 pm!



EXCELcast: Jade Simmons

In this EXCELcast, Jonathan Kuuskoski talks with Jade Simmons—talented pianist, power speaker, and “self”-preneur—about her career as an artist and how other artists can successfully build their own careers. “Today I speak to major companies and corporations about creativity and innovation, and I bring my piano with me!” exclaims Simmons. In the interview, she explains how she uses her artistry to bring creativity and innovation into the workplace, and what that workplace may look like to other aspiring artists.

Simmons also describes what it is like to go from being a full time artist to developing a portfolio career, “I’ve really learned to live in seasons and to be a little bit better with how I plan my time far out. If you’re not careful, you’ll miss the present; you’ll just miss it, because you’re always preparing for something that’s months away,” she explains.

Watch the full EXCELcast here to learn more about balancing artistry with a personal life, the importance of marketing yourself and your abilities, and figuring out what is best for both the audience and for yourself as an artist.

Pandora Challenge: Music and Social Impact

Pandora Challenge: Music and Social Impact

The Pandora Challenge will kickoff on September 25 at 6:00–9:00 at the Duderstadt Center. The challenge centers around launching a national marketing and playlist campain via Pandora and Bryce Vine to support a local foundation, Barn Sanctuary, in their mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and care for farm animal refugees. At the event, students will have the opportunity to work with top industry mentors to learn how music, marketing, and social impact intersect.

After the event, students will also have the opportunity to work and teams and optimize their campaigns across media and music streaming services!

To RSVP for the event, please visit Real Industry and fill out the form at the bottom of the page. We hope to see you there!