Sarah Mark

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Communication, Media and Theatre Arts

Committee Member

Michael Tew, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Sam Shen, PhD

Committee Member

Susan Badger-Booth, PhD


This research examines the culture of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Participants consisted of four leaders and five residents, all long-term citizens of Ypsilanti. Participants were interviewed and first asked to describe the general culture of Ypsilanti, then asked to comment on the potential presence of a music and arts scene as part of the culture of Ypsilanti. These questions are research questions one and two, respectively. Participants were recruited through word-of-mouth as people heard about the research through people I know. A content analysis of the interviews was conducted to find conceptual patterns in participants’ descriptions of the general culture as well as the arts and music culture. Diversity, history, uniqueness, a comparison to Ann Arbor, and the presence of music and the arts were repeatedly mentioned in participants’ answers regarding the general culture. Five of the nine participants say music and the arts are part of Ypsilanti’s culture.