This Tuesday is Fat Tuesday, the last day before the 40 days of sacrifice that come with the Christian season of Lent. But in Metro Detroit and other communities with large Polish populations, the day is better known as “Paczki Day.” Sandy Bakic has spent her whole life making the fried, doughy pastries at the Martha Washington Bakery in Hamtramck. That small enclave is the historic center of Detroit’s Polish community. Bakic says the day has become a festival for everyone in Hamtramck, regardless of race or religion. “It’s going to be festive. It’s gonna be a happy time. There’s paczki parties all over town. There’s paczki eating contests still going on. The Paczki Cup is in our window on display right now.” Bakic says she and other employees have been making the sweet treats since midnight Monday. The bakery will stay open all night to serve paczki-seekers from all over southeast Michigan. Hamtramck also celebrates with a Paczki Day parade, lots of free entertainment, and a generally party-like atmosphere.
For this week’s installment of “What’s Working,” Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley speaks with Judy Krasnow, resident and tour guide of the Armory Arts Village in Jackson. Located in what once served as Michigan’s first penitentiary, the Armory Arts Village is a residential community originally set up to provide living, working, and presentation space for artists.
Patricia Clark is an award-winning poet, and the former Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids. When I asked her to participate in our web-exclusive “Michigan on the Page” series, Ms. Clark chose a certain author’s first story collection, a writer who—like many recent college graduates—has made her way out of the state to advance her career.
Ms. Clark first encountered Suzanne Rivecca at Grand Valley State University, where she was, Ms. Clark insists, the most talented student she has seen there.
“We hear it coming back from the artists themselves, because obviously they sell their art. So we hear a lot of positive feedback from artists. And we also hear it from the business community that this is a night they count on for sales.”
McCann says so far, several nearby towns have picked up on the art hop idea including Paw-Paw and Plainwell. Normally there are 20 places to visit during art hop. But the March event is a super-sized version and 51 sites will have art on display.
"It was a very difficult, gut-wrenching decision. Something we would have thought was un-thinkable a week ago today. They are trying to extend the hand of friendship in an effort to end the strike under the conditions management had previously imposed."
On today's Artpod, we'll look at what kind of role social media played during the five month labor dispute between the two sides.
Deadline New York reports that MGM is talking to director Jose Padilha about rebooting the Robocop movie series:
MGM is negotiating with Brazilian director Jose Padilha to direct Robocop, the remake of the futuristic 1987 film originally helmed by Paul Verhoeven. The original was about a cop who was near death and was drafted to become a powerful cyborg cop, until suppressed memories of his past life come back to haunt him. Peter Weller played the character in the original him in the original and the 1990 sequel.
Economists at Grand Valley State University estimate last year’s ArtPrize added up to $7.5 million dollars; that’s just a little more than the first ArtPrize in 2009. But the study’s authors say they kept their estimates conservative.
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission wants public input about bullying. The commission works to prevent and investigate discrimination complaints under state civil rights laws. It’s holding a series of forums across the state to collect the information in hopes of tackling what they say is a growing problem.
Striking musicians with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra say that after five months on the picket line, they’re willing to come back to work without a contract.The musicians say they’ll go back on stage “immediately and unconditionally” if Orchestra management agrees to binding arbitration. The musicians propose that its union and Orchestra management each pick one arbitrator. The two people selected would then pick a third arbitrator to hear the case.
The musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra voted today to return to work without a contract.
Greg Bowens is the musicians spokesman:
"It was a very difficult, gut-wrenching decision; something we would have thought was unthinkable a week ago today, and that is they are trying to extend the hand of friendship in an effort to end the strike under the conditions management had previously imposed."
Bowens says the exact conditions under which the musicians would return will be revealed at a press conference this afternoon.
Management still has to agree to the idea.
The musicians have been on strike since October fourth.
Bowens wouldn't give details on why the musicians voted to go back to work without a contract, except to say this:
"Look, the Max M. Fisher Theater is spiraling out of control financially. Artists are turning down left and right the opportunity to perform there because they don't want to be a part of this strike.
The musicians understand that it's an important part of the economic engine for Midtown, and so they want to do everything they can in order to let the music play."
As the fight between Detroit Symphony Orchestra management and musicians drags on for the fourth month, another fight of sorts is playing out on facebook.
Before the strike vs. now
The DSO facebook fan page used to function like a typical fan page - stories about visiting conductors, upcoming concerts, and news about the orchestra’s Tiny Tots series.
But as the strike progressed, management has turned the DSO facebook fan page into a strike-update page, posting about negotiations and contract proposals.(The Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians have their own facebook page and post their viewpoints there.)
Some, like DSO Executive director Anne Parsons, describe the DSO facebook fan page as "a pretty active place to be." DSO conductor Leonard Slatkin commented on the page's level of "vitriol" at one point in a Detroit News Article.
Old shoes may be brought to the Heidelberg Project office at 42 Watson in Detroit, MI 48201. The office is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. The shoe collection will continue through mid-to-late March.
The Heidelberg Project is two blocks of art installations along Heidelberg Street on Detroit's east side.
Starting in 1986, artist Tyree Guyton converted abandoned houses along his street into pieces of art by painting them and installing various pieces of junk on the houses and up and down the street.
When you think about improvisation you might think of comedy or jazz. The idea of cartooning or drawing comics is probably not what comes to mind. But a little comic book shop in Dearborn is giving artists a space to try out new ideas, together, on paper.
Green Brain Comics hosts a monthly comic jam. It’s similar to the writing exercise known as an exquisite corpse. In this case, an artist draws one panel, then passes it to someone who draws another panel, and so forth. The end result is an entire comic strip, created by eight artists.
We put together our stories about arts and the economy in the state to create an hour-long documentary called The Cost of Creativity. On today's podcast, we'll hear the final installment of the doc.
And because Artpod is about all things Michigan, all the music you'll hear on The Cost of Creativity is by Michigan artists. The musicians featured on today's podcast and Luke Winslow-King and Ben Benjamin.
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike might be reaching a crescendo. The DSO issue what it labelled its 'final offer' to striking musicians this week. And now, the Associated Press reports, the musicians union has scheduled a vote:
According to the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Independent Film Festival has announced their lineup for this year's 5-day festival.
Highlights include the premiere of Mike Allore's short film "World of Art," which will open on the first night of the festival at the Ren Cen 4 Theatre at the Renaissance Center.
The festival will feature more than 80 films, two opening night receptions, and the Michigan Film Awards on March 12. The Michigan Film Awards are presented in cooperation with the Uptown Film Festival in Birmingham.
The 2010 Michigan Film Award for Best Michigan Feature was Tracy, produced by Brian Fee and Dan Scanlon.
Grand Rapids City Commission gave their support to a big motorcycle event scheduled to take place this summer. Organizers of a new big motorcycle rally were able to coax commissioners into supporting a shortened version of the original event.
Detroit rap star Eminem, who was nominated for a record 10 Grammy Awards, took home two top honors: Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Album. Brother and sister duo BeBe & CeCe Winans won Best Gospel Performance for their song "Grace." Best Classical Contemporary Composition and Best Orchestral Performance went to University of Michigan composition professor Michael Daugherty for his piece, "Deus Ex Machina."
You can find the complete list of Grammy Award winners here.