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Michigan Artist Citizen (MAC)

The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) has partnered with the School of Social Work (SSW) since 2013 to create an El Sistema-inspired project at Ann Arbor's Mitchell Elementary School. The Michigan Artist Citizen (MAC) Program at Mitchell is open to all fifth graders at Mitchell and consists of both a strings and band program. There are currently about 45 Mitchell students enrolled in the program, meeting 90 minutes a day, four days per week, after school. The students are provided a healthy snack as well as transportation for those who need it. All special events are catered to create an inviting atmosphere for the parents and the community.

Mitchell Elementary is a school of approximately 320 students in southeast Ann Arbor, approximately 70 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced lunch. The school population is diverse, with a student body of approximately 30 percent Hispanic, 25 percent White, 20 percent African American, and 15 percent multi-racial. Approximately 30 percent of the students speak a language other than English at home. Mitchell School, therefore, provides a local venue for SMTD students to be involved in social engagement with a diverse population.

SMTD student volunteers in the MAC program benefit from mentoring by SMTD student teachers as well as AAPS music teachers. In addition, research and support services are offered by the U-M School of Social Work. Partnering with Mitchell's principal and district music teachers, SMTD has created an immersive, rigorous instruction program that builds musical skills through ensemble and small group instruction, while also promoting community, citizenship, and personal agency.


String Program Staff

Caleb Georges

Pedro Sanchez Mijares

Gwendolyn Matias-Ryan, SMTD strings and co-site coordinator


Band Program Staff

Maria Castillo

Doug Hertz

Colleen Bernstein

Sunny McGovern, co-site coordinator


AAPS MItchell Elementary School
U-M School of Social Work
U-M School of Education

How to get involved

MAC Application Form

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower