HAILstorm! projection on Rackham Building celebrates bicentennial


The iconic Rackham Building will come to life as the canvas for HAILstorm!, a nighttime display of 3-D projection mapping that celebrates the university’s bicentennial.

Planned for Friday, HAILstorm! will be the pinnacle of the UMich200 Fall Festival.

“We’re excited to tell the bicentennial story and at the same time look to our third century, all in a uniquely Michigan way,” said Gary Krenz, executive director of the Bicentennial Office. “HAILstorm! will be indeed be a storm — of light, sound and emotion, and an electrifying exclamation point to our bicentennial celebration.”

The show will meld cutting-edge animation with vivid graphics, also drawing on archival photographs and video, all enveloping the facade of a historic campus building to the sounds of an original music score. It is free and open to the public.

The event will showcase humanities and the arts, medicine and science, intercollegiate athletics, museums and libraries, student life and activism, and more. “I think HAILstorm! will animate the Wolverine in all of us who see it,” Krenz said.

HAILstorm! is the work of the Bicentennial Office; BlueWater Technologies, a video and media production firm based in Southfield, Michigan; and Maxin10sity of Budapest, Hungary, which has produced numerous architectural mapping events throughout the world.

HAILstorm! will show at 8 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. It will be complemented by IlluMinate, a processional of handmade luminaries from Wonderfool Productions, as well as food and beverage booths on Ingalls Mall.

There will be entertainment between shows, and Burton Memorial Tower will radiate a bicentennial display throughout the night.

East Washington Street between Fletcher and Thayer streets will be closed to accommodate the show.

HAILstorm! will be streamed live on the U-M Facebook page and at bicentennial.umich.edu.

Note: To ensure the best possible experience of HAILstorm!, it might become necessary to alter times of performances to adjust to weather conditions. Any changes will be announced via social media as well as live on Ingalls Mall.


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