Retired UMS president writes memoir of performing arts impact on Michigan communities

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Community engagement and artistic growth are the subject of a new memoir by University Musical Society president emeritus Ken Fischer.

In the recently released memoir, “Everybody In, Nobody Out: Inspiring Community at Michigan’s University Musical Society,” Fischer reflects on 30 years of leading UMS and his work to diversify and expand programming. The book was written with writer, director and performer Robin Lea Pyle.

At 7 p.m. on Sept. 22, the UMS will host the virtual launch of Fischer’s book where he will be joined by Ann Arbor author and commentator John U. Bacon.

Bacon will interview Fischer about his book and the stories shared within it during his lifetime of being involved in the arts.

Watch the virtual launch here.

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During his tenure as UMS president, Fischer’s efforts saw the building of UMS engagement with the surrounding communities and the University of Michigan, which made the musical society a model for performances, talent and community enrichment.

Fischer led UMS from 1987 to 2017, after which he was awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the University of Michigan in 2019.

Under Fischer’s tenure, the UMS received a 2014 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest public artistic honor. Celebrating its 142nd season, UMS is one of the oldest arts presenters in the United States having started in 1879.

Learn more about UMS here.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.