Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
8:20 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Meet me at the DIA: A journey into art, and memory

DIA docent Andrea Simons with "The Merrymakers."
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

If you’ve ever watched a love one suffer through memory loss, you know they lose more than just their ability to remember even the most basic things.

They can lose their ability to relate—and become strangers to themselves, and the people who care for them.

But a new program at the Detroit Institute of Arts tries to ease that experience with what might seem like an unorthodox treatment: talking about art.

One Saturday morning: “Meet me at the DIA”

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Arts & Culture
2:02 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

A recap of the 2012 Movement: Detroit Electronic Music Festival

A hot Memorial Day weekend in Detroit.
Movement: Detroit Electronic Music Festival Facebook

Some people went north, or headed to the pools for the Memorial Weekend, others danced the weekend away at the Movement: Detroit Electronic Music Festival at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit.

NPR's All Songs Considered put up a recap of the Festival:

Now in its thirteenth year, Movement: Detroit's Electronic Music Festival has featured an enormously diverse group of electronic producers and DJs from around the world. Detroit is the birthplace of Techno and after all these years of being more popular nearly everywhere but Detroit, there was a feeling at this year's festival that it's all coming back home.

Here's host Bob Boilen talking with NPR's Sami Yenigun and U Street Music Hall promotions director Morgan Tepper about their experiences at the festival:

And here's a sampling of music heard at the festival (included is a song title using a phrase I often heard in grade school - *chuckle*).

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Arts & Culture
5:22 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Keeping memory alive: Grand Rapids residents use art to spark interest in decades-old disappearance

Artist John O'Hearn created the Deanie Peters exhibit.
Lindsey Smith/Michigan Radio

A group of former classmates is using art to try to solve one of Michigan’s most high profile missing person cases.

February 5th 1981 14-year-old Deanie Peters and her mom were watching a wrestling match. It was at a middle school in a suburb outside of Grand Rapids.

Peters told her mom she had to use the restroom before they headed home. 'I’ll be right back,' she said.

But Peters never returned.

Thirty-one years later police still haven’t made an arrest or found her body. Deanie’s little brother Will Peters was six-years-old when she disappeared.

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Arts & Culture
11:12 am
Tue May 29, 2012

On Memorial Day, veterans help shape our understanding of their experiences

Arlington National Cemetery
user Ed Yourdon Flikr

This Memorial Day, Michigan Radio spoke with veterans who have served overseas about how today’s veterans might be remembered.

Brandon Van Wagoner of Flint served in the Navy from 2004 to 2008, including two deployments to Iraq.

He thinks it's still too soon to know how his generation of service members will be remembered on Memorial Day.

“I really think the way we're actually going to see the Middle Eastern combatants isn't going to be completely formed or shaped until later on,” he says.

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Arts & Culture
11:00 am
Tue May 29, 2012

This Memorial Day, remembering a new generation of war victims

Flags at half mast in front of Michigan's state capitol building.
user larrysphatpage Flikr

This Memorial Day, Michigan Radio spoke with veterans who have served overseas about what the day means to a new generation of service members.

Kelli McKinstry of Flint joined the air force in August of 2001. She served in Iraq, and got out in 2007. Now she’s a student at the University of Michigan, Flint.

“I think people are just adapting to the fact that our generation is now war victims, versus Vietnam,” she says.

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Arts & Culture
10:46 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Thoughts from a new generation of veterans on Memorial Day

A wreath laid at Arlington National Cemetery
user Ed Yourdon Flikr

This Memorial Day, Michigan Radio spoke with veterans who have recently served overseas about how they observed the holiday.

Jeremy Suckow of Flint served in the Navy for six years. His memorial day looked a lot like everyone else's. For him, the beer and barbecuing is all part of it.

“We did our time and it's no big deal, and then other guys have gone there and paid the ultimate sacrifice, and why not toast to that, celebrate that,” says Suckow.

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Mon May 28, 2012

Ann Arbor goes mainstream, debuts "Cinetopia International Film Festival"

The Michigan Theater
user andypiper Flickr

Ann Arbor will be hosting its first-ever Cinetopia International Film Festival this week.

Russ Collins, executive director of the Michigan Theater, says festival organizers expect about 5,000 attendees this weekend.

Over the four-day festival, 35 mainstream films will be screened primarily in the Michigan and State Theaters.

Collins notes that this festival is different from the longstanding Ann Arbor Film Festival because that event's focus is on experimental films.

"The Cinetopia International Film Festival is a festival that celebrates the feature length, story-based films that you're going to see at festivals like Toronto and Sundance," Collins says.

The festival opens Thursday night with a party and screening of Tod Louiso's "Hello I Must Be Going" and continues with Sundance-acclaimed films like "I Am Not a Hipster."

"It seems like our ambient interest in cinema and the ability of our town to host festivals and special events would make Ann Arbor an exceptionally good place to do a film festival of a large scale," says Collins,

There are high hopes for this pilot event. Festival organizers plan to expand the event into an 11-day festival for Ann Arbor and Detroit.

- Julia Alix Smith-Eppsteiner, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Arts & Culture
11:30 am
Fri May 25, 2012

It's "Techno Week" in Detroit, events start tonight

Mixing at the Movement Electronic Music Festival.
Movement:DEMF YouTube

The Detroit electronic music festival comes to Detroit for the 13th year. Today, the festival is known as the "Movement Electronic Music Festival" and the festivities kick off tonight with a free, co-sponsored event at 8 p.m. outside of the Detroit Historical Museum (5401 Woodward Avenue). Festival organizers say Keith Kemp will open for "Detroit Techno legend" Carl Craig.

Tomorrow, events shift to Hart Plaza for three days of music with, as the Detroit News reports, more than 100 acts on six stages - including a headlining appearance by Public Enemy... "yeeeeeah booooy!":

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Commentary
10:55 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Commentary: Film Tax Credits

Well, we are heading into the holiday weekend, and if the weather holds up, many of us will be barbecuing or going out on the water. But some of us will be going to the movies.

And your odds of seeing a major motion picture made in Michigan are a lot smaller than they were a few years ago.

That’s because the film incentive established by the Granholm Administration ended when Rick Snyder became governor and Republicans took over both houses of the legislature.

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Arts & Culture
3:04 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Helping Detroit's homeless with a multipurpose coat

Empowerment Plan CEO Veronika Scott shows off the coat she designed.
Emily Fox

Even though summer has just begun, I recently visited three women who were sewing coats in a big, old industrial building in Detroit. Their goal is to make 800 coats for the homeless this year.

This isn’t just any winter coat. While it looks like a super warm jacket with an oversized hood, there’s a little flap at the bottom for your feet. This coat can double as a sleeping bag. And when it’s hot, it can be folded up into an over the shoulder satchel.

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Welcoming Michigan
11:54 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Making Michigan more welcoming

A new group plans to encourage four Michigan communities to welcome their new immigrants.

Christine Sauve is with "Welcoming Michigan."  She says many times, when new groups of people begin to move into a neighborhood, there is little effort by the existing residents to get to know them.  But she says it doesn't have to be that way, and it's certainly less than ideal.

One community involved in the project is Hamtramck, which began as a Polish immigrant town.

Now, people from Bangladesh and Yemen are moving in.

"The different groups kind of stick to themselves a little bit," says Sauve.  "So we're trying to get people to know each other and learn about the other groups that are in the community and a lot of them share - they have a lot in common."

Other communities include Hartford, in West Michigan, which has a large group of Latino migrant workers, Sterling Heights, which has new Iraqi immigrants, and the Chadsey-Condon neighborhood in Detroit.

Chadsey-Condon has historically been African American, but it now also has Yemeni and Latino immigrants.

Sauve  says Welcoming Michigan will sponsor dinners, community dialogues and other events.

Arts & Culture
12:00 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

East Lansing Art Festival takes to the streets despite construction

user: CedarBendDrive flickr

The East Lansing Art Festival is kicking off Michigan's outdoor festival season this weekend. Corinn VanWyck is the festival organizer. She says there have been a few changes to this year's festival because of construction going on in the downtown area.

"We've had to move the festival, slightly shifting it to the west and the north, so that has changed the footprint a little bit," she says.

Road closures can be found on the Michigan Department of Transportation's website.

Arts & Culture
11:22 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Oakland commission to vote on Detroit Institute of Arts tax

aMichiganmom flickr

The Oakland County Commission is expected to vote this week on a plan to put a tax question on the August ballot. The millage would raise money for the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The measure before the commission would create a five-member authority that would write the ballot question. The DIA is seeking a point-two mill tax increase in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

The millage would cost the owner of a $200,000 home $20 a year.

If all three counties approve it, the tax would raise $23 million for the museum. The money would pay for operations. The DIA is promising free admission to residents is counties that approve the millage.

Commissioners in Wayne and Macomb counties have already voted to create the authority.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that commissioners in Wayne and Oakland counties had voted to put the millage question on the ballot. Wayne and Macomb have done that; Oakland commissioners vote this week. Also, the money raised by the millage would pay for operations, not an operations endowment. The copy above has been corrected.

Arts & Culture
4:17 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

A Mother's Day story

During the past year, Michigan-based writer Wade Rouse has been sharing personal stories about the holidays.

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 13, and today Wade shares a story about an especially memorable Mother’s Day for him.

Wade Rouse is a Michigan-based writer and the author of It’s All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir).

Arts & Culture
3:19 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

DSO hosts Kid Rock Saturday

Maia C Flickr

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will accompany Kid Rock in a benefit concert. The orchestra is carrying a 54-million dollar debt. The goal of the event is to raise 1-million dollars for the orchestra. That money will be used for community outreach and education efforts. The concert will be at the Fox Theater Saturday night. Paul Hogle is the Executive Vice President of the DSO. He says while the DSO has faced struggles, he's optimistic of the orchestra's future.

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Arts & Culture
4:16 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Tower without power now has power again

Battle Creek's Heritage Tower
(Courtesy of Skyscraperpage.com)

Update 4:15pm

The power is back on at Battle Creek's Heritage Tower. 

Consumer Energy shut off electricity to the building due to a dispute with the 80 year old building's owner. 

The power outage affected wireless and 911 service in part of Battle Creek.   

The utility issued a statement after restoring power to the tower:

"Consumers Energy understands how important it is to the city of Battle Creek to have a fully functioning 911 system and cellular telephone service. Finding a solution to this issue was a priority for us, and we worked closely with the local officials and many others to find this temporary solution."

 

Original Post   4:48pm

A power outage this week could force the last tenants out of Battle Creek’s Heritage Tower. The owner apparently failed to pay the building’s utility bill.  

The 80 -year-old Heritage Tower is acknowledged as an Art Deco gem. But in recent years, various problems have left the 19-story building largely vacant.

Cheryl Beard is with Battle Creek Unlimited. She says the economic development group is willing to work with the owner to help bring the city’s iconic downtown tower back to life.

“If the owner is interested in selling…maybe we look for parties that are interested in acquiring it. If that’s what they desire,” says Beard, “Or with coming up with a plan for redevelopment and searching for tenants.”

Efforts to contact the Florida business that owns the Heritage Tower have been unsuccessful.

Arts & Culture
6:02 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Water Hill 2012: Creating a new spring music tradition in Ann Arbor (Video)

The Appleseed Collective performs during the Water Hill Music Festical in Ann Arbor
Meg Cramer Michigan Radio

This past Sunday marked the second successful Water Hill Music Festival.

Named after the west-side Ann Arbor neighborhood that hosts it, the festival features local musicians playing on porches while visitors wander and listen.

While some acts were invited by friends who lent their stoops for the afternoon, many live in the neighborhood and simply took the opportunity to show off their musical talents to the community.

Take a look at the video below to hear from a few of the bands and see the crowds of kids, parents and dogs enjoying music and sunshine.

Arts & Culture
1:47 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

A pitch for graduating students - following your passion is key

Ernie Caviani lives in Ann Arbor. He's a piano tuner and technician. He has been tuning pianos for 45 years.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

It's graduation season across the country, and students are deciding what they want to do with their lives.

Seventy-one-year-old Ernie Caviani is a piano tuner and technician. He says following your passion is key.

Michigan Radio producer Mercedes Mejia has this audio postcard.

Ernie Caviani: This A is vibrating at 220 beats per second. This A is supposed to vibrate, if it matches it at 440, it’s just twice as much.

In my lifetime I’ve tuned a little over 30,000 pianos.

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Arts & Culture
2:20 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

DIA millage request a step closer in Oakland County

Part of the Diego Rivera mural "Detroit Industry" at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
DIA

The Detroit Institute of Arts is looking for new revenue streams.

The DIA is owned by the struggling city of Detroit and hopes to get a millage proposal in front of voters in Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties this August.

Wayne and Macomb county commissioners voted to create county arts authorities. The county arts authorities would be responsible for drafting the millage request that would go before voters.

Now, Oakland County has taken a step toward creating a county arts authority.

More from the Detroit News:

A committee of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners agreed Monday to send a millage request from the Detroit Institute of Arts to a vote by the full commission.

The general government committee's 6-4 approval means the measure will go before the full 25-member commission at its next meeting May 17. At that point, it will be voting on whether to create a five-member county arts authority responsible for crafting language that would appear on the August ballot.

Macomb and Wayne counties have each approved an arts authority.

If the renowned arts museum cannot raise the revenue, the museum could go into what the executive vice president of the DIA called a "controlled shutdown."

Annmarie Erickson, executive vice president of the DIA, says the  museum is operating at "bare-bone levels." She says if they can’t secure more money, the museum will go into what she calls a “controlled shutdown”:

"We will lose hours, we will probably lose most of our programming, we will certainly lose visitor amenities. Special exhibits like the very popular "Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus" - we would no longer be able to afford those."

Erickson said the revenue raised by the millage would be temporary. It would give the museum more time to raise private funds to build its endowment.

Arts/Culture
10:59 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island celebrates 125 years

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, before and after.
Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, where Mark Twain once lectured, five U.S. presidents have stayed, and a place that has been named a National Historic Landmark, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

The hotel opened for the first time in 1887, and it starts this year's season today with a series of special events marking the milestone.

In July, the AP reports there will be a party with a 125-foot birthday cake for guests to enjoy (I'm guessing that's not 125 feet tall).

Here's a grand ole' 1944 Metro Goldwyn Mayer video on Mackinac Island in which narrator James Fitzpatrick calls the Grand Hotel "that romantic institution justifiably called the grandest of grand hotels."

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