SMTD has always been a vibrant performing arts learning community and the 2020-21 academic year will be no different. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect communities nationwide, many SMTD students are facing unanticipated financial needs that create barriers to pursuing their education. To further support them, we have identified the following areas of impact. Together, we can help them. Every gift makes a difference.

The Dean’s Discretionary Fund provides students with equitable access to take-home production equipment and media such as microphones, keyboards, lighting, and software to equitably meet their unique virtual instructional needs. Ensure student success in remote learning environments by providing access to technology.

The SMTD Emergency Fund provides support for SMTD students to cover costs associated with housing, travel, food expenses, technology access, medical expenses, or other acute needs. Give students the peace of mind needed to focus on their education by providing them financial support for emergency situations.

The SMTD Student Aid Fund provides expendable scholarship support for students in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Remove barriers to enrollment for students who need additional tuition assistance because of the economic fallout of COVID-19.

The SMTD Student Wellness Fund supports the mental and physical health of the School’s musicians, dancers, and actors by providing resources and educational opportunities. This helps students better prepare for the demands of professional careers in the performing arts. Empower students to reach their full potential by providing critical support for wellness initiatives.

Start a scholarship. Change someone’s life the way Art and Marti Hearron changed mine.

Gavin Creel (BFA '98, musical theatre) 2017 Tony Awards, pictured with Benj Pasek (BFA '06, musical theatre) and Justin Paul (BFA '06, musical theatre)

Ways to Give

At SMTD, we are committed to sustaining our celebrated and unique reputation as a top rated conservatory situated within the nation’s number one public research university, and to growing our ability to recruit, support, and graduate the world’s future leaders in the performing arts. Your support is integral to our future. With your help, we will build our scholarship fund, allowing us to recruit the most talented students and to provide support for every student that needs financial assistance. Our donors will also allow us to continue to lead the way in recruiting and retaining the finest faculty across all disciplines and developing groundbreaking programs and facilities. There are many ways to make an impact; please visit “Ways to Give” to learn more.

Victors for Michigan

Our mission -  to educate the next generation of creative visionaries in the performing arts - demands a School of Music, Theatre & Dance that reaches farther and wider than ever before. We must sustain our preeminence in scholarship and performance while also becoming more accessible and equitable for all, regardless of means. To get there, we launched the VICTORS FOR MICHIGAN campaign with an ambitious goal of raising $90 million, including 50 percent focused on scholarship support. The balance will be dedicated to faculty, programs and facilities support across each of our disciplines.

Friends Groups

A popular way to show support for our students is by joining one of our Friends Groups. If you are a fan of dance, musical theatre, theatre & drama, or opera, consider becoming a “Friend” and joining others with a passionate interest in these disciplines. By making an annual donation as a Friend, you will help provide vital scholarships; allow us to invite visiting artists and industry insiders to teach and work with students; and create exciting performance opportunities for students. Annual gifts from Friends members allow us to maintain high caliber educational enrichment opportunities each year. Plus, Friends enjoy wonderful benefits, including priority ticket purchasing to all SMTD productions, behind-the-scenes opportunities to meet with students and faculty, invitations to special events, recognition in production programs, and email updates on exciting happenings in the Friends area of your choice. Visit our Friends Groups page to learn more!


When you graduated from SMTD, you joined an extraordinary network of accomplished artists, scholars, educators, entrepreneurs, administrators, and technologists—a community known for being mutually supportive and forever bound by the Maize and Blue. Please visit our alumni pages to learn more about how to stay connected and to discover (or re-discover) the 12,000+ fellow Wolverines who are making an impact in the performing arts.

Our Team

Ericka Bigelow
Chief Advancement Officer

Kimberly Baumgartner
Senior Associate Director of Development, Michigan Marching Band

Tess Eastment
Director of Development

Ellen Kettler
Senior Associate Director of Development

Jessica Woodman
Stewardship Officer

Maria Paterno
Manager of Annual Giving and Development Events

Rose Martus
Advancement Administrative Assistant