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The Ark's Renovations

The current phase of The Ark’s renovations has been focused on The Ark’s public face, including the entryway, façade, lower lobby and box office.  When entryway renovations are complete, an extended canopy, new signage and displays, improved lighting and glass doors featuring a vibrant mural of Ark artists will enhance our Main Street presence and communicate more clearly to the general public what The Ark is all about.

While the new entryway will publicly identify The Ark as the legendary world-class music venue it is, The Ark has been presented with an exciting opportunity to take on a new initiative to enhance the world-class music experience at the heart and soul of its mission. This  Concert Production Project focuses on lighting, sound and stage upgrades that will ensure The Ark’s ability to deliver the highest quality, intimate, listening room experiences for today’s audiences and the wide variety of artists The Ark presents year-round.

The Ark has received a generous challenge grant to help us complete funding on these two important projects.  Ark members Jack & Irene Ball have encouraged us to dream big and seek out production elements that would best suit The Ark music experience.  To allow The Ark to do that at the same time as completing the new entryway, they’ve pledged to match up to $100,000 in new gifts to The Ark’s renovations and upgrades.


There are many ways to join in this important effort. Any gift of any size is helpful and appreciated and gifts can be pledged over 1-3 years.

SEAT SPONSORSHIP – For the first time ever The Ark is offering the opportunity to sponsor a seat at The Ark and add your own special inscription to the legendary listening room.  Seat sponsorships are available for new gifts to The Ark's renovation projects of $1,000 and $2,500. Seat sponsorships will receive recognition on the drink rails at The Ark. Availability is limited.

Gifts can also be made in honor of the RFD Boys as part of The Ark’s special tribute. The RFD Boys have played The Ark more than any other band, and hold a very special place in our hearts. We’ll pay tribute to their dedication with special recognition displayed at  The Ark. Gifts of any amount can be made to The Ark's renovation projects in their honor and donors will be recognized as Friends of the RFD Boys. FRIENDS OF THE RFD BOYS receive special recognition and an invitation to a celebration with the Boys at the tribute unveiling.

Please consider a gift to The Ark's renovation projects today. Whether you’re a first-time Ark donor or a previous supporter, we need your help. Donations of any amount can be made online or contact Charlotte at The Ark for more information at or (734) 761-1800.


Thank you for helping The Ark enrich lives for 50 years more!

In 2012, The Ark negotiated to purchase its current space as a condominium.  The purchase capitalized on The Ark’s previous build-out of the space as well as its identity as a downtown Ann Arbor mainstay. The Campaign for The Ark was planned to pay off the loan for the purchase and fund renovations of the concessions area. Updating old equipment and furniture and accommodating capacity more comfortably were critical to The Ark’s future. 

Fundraising was led by key gifts from the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation, Ford Motor Company and the Ford Motor Company Fund, and the Weiser Family.  Artists joined the effort, with benefit concerts by Jeff Daniels and Raul Malo.  Many more from the community stepped up with their own generous gifts to the Campaign.

The Ark hired Ann Arbor-based Mitchell and Mouat Architects to design renovations, and planning was completed in fall of 2015.  In August of 2016 the Campaign for The Ark passed its original goal of $2.5 million.  With a 2017 grant from the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs to start improvements in the Ford Listening Room, and community gifts to match, the campaign ultimately raised over $2.8 million. The successful completion of the campaign was announced at the 40th Ann Arbor Folk Festival in January 2017.  Phase I renovations, which had begun in December, were completed in February.

The Ark thanks the hundreds of donors who made these major achievements possible!

Campaign for The Ark Committee

Judy Dow Rumelhart
Honorary Chair

Bob Guenzel

Bill Ammerman
Irene Ball
Gerri Barr
Charlotte Csicsila
Del Dunbar
Peter Grace
Richard Greene
Steve Hamp
Kathy Huss
Marianne James
Renee Jin
Diana Kern
Bill Kinley
Dave Lutton
Maureen Martin
Susan McClanahan
Jill McDonough
Jamie Mistry
Don Postema
Don Rumelhart
Anya Siglin
Tom Stoll
Mark Stranahan
Curt Wolf