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Professional Development

UMMA offers teacher workshops several times a year. Workshops include interactive gallery tours, hands-on art making, and take-home packets for personal and classroom use. The atmosphere is friendly and allows teachers from different districts to meet and socialize with each other. UMMA's workshops have been recognized by ArtServe Michigan and have recieved high marks from participants.

Comments from the evaluations of teachers attending workshops in 2012/13 include:

"I had a fabulous time and gained a lot of resources and inspiration for my classroom. I look forward to attending future workshops."
"Excellent! I learned new engagement strategies."

"I liked the different perspectives (historical/curatorial and classroom)."

Teacher Workshop
Doris Duke and the Art of Islam
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 21-23, 2014

Many Voices

Mosaic tile panel in the form of a gateway, Iran, probably nineteenth century, © Tim Street-Porter 2011. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Adventurous, intelligent and independent, Doris Duke traveled the world and acquired countless treasures including a remarkable collection of Islamic art.  Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art, is the first exhibition to present her five-acre Honolulu estate and its collections to audiences throughout the continental United States. Ceramics, textiles, paintings, tile panels, and full-scale architectural elements are juxtaposed with historic photographs and drawings. Also, new works by six contemporary artists—including Walid Raad, Shahzia Sikander, and Afruz Amighi—demonstrate the diverse and dynamic nature of current art production and reflect the mix of cultures at Shangri La. This wealth of Islamic art provides a great opportunity for educators to become familiar with this rich cultural tradition.

In this multi-part workshop educators will have the opportunity to select from three topics of inspiration: music, visual art, and history. See the schedule for each day below. All participants will receive a packet of contextual material and lesson plans. SCECHs will be available.
As always, we will offer delectable light refreshments and will send participants home with a head full of ideas and a folder full of resources for teaching.

Reservations: please email Jann Wesolek at
Registration: advance payment required. See fee schedule for each day below.
SCECHs available: please bring a checkbook to cover official transcript fee
Directions and parking:
Questions: please email Pam Reister at


Inspired by Shangri La: Music
Friday, March 21, 1:30–5:30 pm, concert at 8 pm
Registration: advance payment of $20 required; 3 SCECHs available

Friday will focus on music and Sufism, in particular Qawwali music of Pakistan. This event includes an artist talk and an optional UMS concert by Asif Ali Khan (ticket purchased separately). Asif is a superstar in his native Pakistan and a powerful figure on the international stage, remaining faithful to the sublime traditions of devotional Sufi music. His music can be meditative and trance-inducing, before, at a turn, becoming thrilling and ecstatic. Asif’s artist talk will be followed by a presentation by Alexander Knysh, Professor of Islamic Studies, UM, who will further expand the presentation on Sufism, one sect of Islam.  Educators will also visit the exhibition.

Inspired by Shangri La: Visual Arts
Saturday, March 22, 8:30 am–1 pm
Registration: advance payment of $30 required; 3 SCECHs available

On Saturday we will examine the visual arts of Islam, especially the rich variety of media, from tile mosaics and textiles, to calligraphy and manuscript illustration. Primarily for art teachers, the centerpiece of this segment will be a hands-on, tile-making component led by teachers from Pewabic Tile Co. Teachers will also tour the exhibition with a spotlight on the contemporary responses to Shangri La. Educators will create and share their own interpretive responses. 

Inspired by Shangri La: History and Art
Sunday, March 23, 12:30–4:30 pm
Registration: advance payment of $30 required; 3 SCECHs available

The rich tradition of Islamic art is linked to the Islamic religion and the very diverse cultures which practice it. Lindsay Robillard, educator at the Arab American National Museum will introduce the development and diversity of Islam and educators will participate in a gallery conversation addressing the question ‘what is Islamic about Islamic art?’ with Ashley Dimmig, graduate student in History of Art, UM.