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May 10, 2012
allied media projects ALLIED MEDIA PROJECTS VIDEO BY ELI BROWN THURSDAY MAY 10th, 2012 Allied Media Projects (AMP) uses all forms of media to foster "a more just and creative world." Operating with the philosophy that every problem can be solved with creativity, AMP's work is empowering the people of Detroit to take charge of their own future through media training, arts and activism.
AMP is a proud member of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition (DDJC) and co-implementor of the Detroit Future initiative, with East Michigan Environmental Action Council. Members of the AMC, DDJC and Detroit Future networks contributed footage to this video.
30 ACRE LEGACY KATIE DONOVAN THURSDAY, MAY 10th, 2012 While ’legacy’ refers to anything that can be handed down, in Michigan Legacy Art Park , ‘legacy’ refers to all that has gone before in the rich history, nature and art of the State of Michigan. It was this legacy that inspired David Barr, sculptor, artist and writer to establish the Michigan Legacy Art Park in 1995. Located in Benzie County, the park is situated on 30 acres of land owned by Crystal Mountain and leased to the Legacy Art Park for $1 per year. What a gift! To raise operating funds for the park, and more important, acknowledge individuals that have made a significant contribution to the arts and culture of the State of Michigan, there is an annual Legacy Gala. Last August in his remarks to honor Governor and Mrs. William Milliken and their legacy to Michigan’s culture, park founder David Barr said “I feel enormous gratitude to the Milliken’s for their accomplishments especially in encouraging the flowering of cultural life in Michigan. Their lives have enriched the lives of many.” Seizing this opportunity to speak to a significant audience attending the gala, Barr inspired the audience with a rich history of the arts and its importance to society. Illustrating a point he shared the following quotes: The Nazi Herman Goering said, “Whenever I hear the word ‘culture,’ I reach for my gun.” The writer, Malcolm Muggeridge said, “Whenever I hear the word ‘gun,’ I reach for my culture.” Throughout his comments Barr talked candidly about the “state of the arts in Michigan” – present in the audience was Governor Rick Snyder. Barr’s comments in his speech were so powerful that the folks at Michigan Legacy Art Park posted the entire speech on their website and encourage people to read it and support the arts in their own community. Read the speech here. Now, less than a year later, a dramatic proposed budget increase in arts funding has been announced for Michigan. “Our mission is to inspire awareness, appreciation and passion for Michigan’s history, culture, and environment, through the arts,” said the park’s Executive Director, Renee Hintz. “We encourage our visitors to explore the people, places and events that have shaped Michigan by hiking the trails in our park. Each sculpture tells a story about a part of Michigan or Michigan’s history. Michigan Legacy Art Park is a park for all seasons. Spring brings outdoor art experiences and environmental projects for dozens of groups of school kids from across Northern Michigan. Summer includes a musical concert series to celebrate Michigan’s musical diversity. Autumn is a beautiful time to experience the sculptures against a colorful backdrop of Michigan’s turning leaves. And, in winter, hard core outdoor lovers experience the displays by snowshoe or cross country ski. Michael McGillis, one of the first sculptors to install a piece in the park, paid homage to the history of the White Pine in Michigan. His piece has become an iconic representation of the park. To read more about his pieces in the park and all of the other works of art, visit the website. “Our kick-off for Summer 2012 is slated for May 20 and it is a family-oriented event. We are also installing our newest sculpture simply titled Michigan. It is a topographical map of Lake Michigan by Brian Ferriby,” shared Hintz. The gift of a financial legacy, thanks to Crystal Mountain and many funding organizations and sponsors; an artistic legacy thanks to the many contributing artists; a cultural legacy, thanks in part to William and Helen Milliken; and a continuing celebration of Michigan’s legacy, thanks to you.
COMEDY TROUPE 'NOBODY GETS US' HOPES EVERYBODY DOES LISA SMITH THURSDAY, MAY 10th, 2012 Joe Officeworker is in serious trouble. He is a ticking bomb. He is angry… about everything. He’s angry about having to get up early to go to work. He’s angry about someone taking his parking place. He’s angry at the co-worker who won’t stop clicking her pen. Joe Officeworker is headed for the breakdown of his life. What can save him? A good dose of the giggles - of course. After all, laughter is the best medicine, as they say. That’s where the good people of Nobody Gets Us come in. The comedy troupe, based in Western Michigan came together just to save Joe Officeworker, and thousands like him, from themselves. In November 2011, Saugatuck-based actor Melissa Anschutz met with her agent, Malinda Petersen of MP Talent in Grand Rapids. They were discussing the upcoming LaughFest comedy festival, which is held annually in Grand Rapids. Every year, all the proceeds of LaughFest benefit the cancer, grief and support programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. When they talked of the need for a sketch comedy troupe, Melissa said, “Hey, I’m funny! I know funny people! Let’s do this!” And then she ran from the restaurant, leaving Malinda to pay for lunch. Melissa then started contacting the funny people she knew, and the troupe was born. Melissa contacted Rockford resident and comedic blogger Leslie Bosscher, as the two had worked together on a comedy show in the past. Also in the group is Sarah Cavanaugh, a part-time stand-up comic and TV personality from Grand Rapids station WZZM-TV’s Take Five & Company, as well as actors Ralph Lister and David Gries, and actor/comedian Mark Boyd. Tying the group together is sound and light technician Steve Nardin. “Without Steve, we’d just be a half dozen idiots doing skits for our friends. The sound and lights turn it into a show,” said Boyd. “Just don’t tell him he gets paid less than the rest of us.” Within a very short time, their first show, in March 2012, was SOLD OUT. The people of greater Grand Rapids were in obvious need of some healing laughter. And when the group performed at LaughFest, Nobody Gets Us didn’t let them down. It’s said many lives were saved that day. “Without us providing laughter and good times, the ER’s would be packed,” said troupe member Mark Boyd, sympathetically. “I remember seeing this guy who was choking on something.” said Leslie, “But we said something really funny, and it was even more effective than the Heimlich.” Melissa added, “When I think of all the good we’ve done for people…” and her voice trailed off as emotion choked back the words. It’s clear what making people laugh means to these blessed souls. David and Ralph would have also provided quotes for this article, but they were just too busy to be bothered. No, really, they are quite the busy actors. Among other things, when David isn’t working on sketch comedy, he is a serious movie actor. Ralph holds an acting class on Mondays in Grand Rapids, and is a narrator and director for Brilliance Audio Books in Grand Haven. He is even up for an Audie Award (think “Oscars” for audio books). So maybe laughter isn’t really the best medicine. But what if it is? Should you risk it? If you’d like the chance to be miraculously healed from what ails you, make sure to catch their next live performance provided there are any tickets left. If not, please see your physician about your anger issues.
IWBC: WE CAN DO IT VIKI LORRAINE THURSDAY, MAY 10th, 2012 Rosie the Riveter inspired a social movement that increased the number of working American women by 57%, proving to women (and the country) that they could do a "man's job" and do it well. Today, women brass musicians have their own version of Rosie the Riveter. In 1973 Susan Slaughter became the worlds first principal trumpet player with a major symphony orchestra. In 1990 she created the International Women’s Brass Conference (IWBC), designed to celebrate, inspire, support, develop and educate women brass players pursuing professional careers in music. “It was the energy I got from that first conference I attended,” said Lin Foulk, an Assistant Professor of Music at WMU and the co-host of the conference. “I wanted to create that energy here in Michigan.” As a grad student, Foulk, a French horn player, realized that in five years of training she hadn’t played a single piece by a female composer. She asked a fellow musician why and he replied ‘because they are not good, they can’t do it.’ “It hit me like a brick,” said Foulk. “I knew that couldn’t be the answer.” Foulk attended her first IWBC in 1993. “It was so powerful to see an entire ensemble of female performers, to see them really nail it.” It was also transformational for Kelly Watkins, IWBC’s current President. Watkins was a freshman in college when she attended her first IWBC in 1996. “I was blown away by it,” said Watkins. “Being able to see women I had heard of, but never seen perform live.” The conference solidified her future path. Watkins has been a professional trumpeter for the Unites States Coast Guard Band since 2003. Now a doctoral student at Michigan State University (MSU), former IWBC President and euphonium player Gail Robertson also credits the IWBC with making the connections that led to her fellowship at MSU. “The friendships and associations I’ve made at IWBC have been invaluable.” Foulk, Watkins and Robertson all spoke about their indebtedness to Slaughter. “It was her vision that started all of this,” said Robertson. “That first conference was like a revival experience,” said Slaughter, now retired from the St. Louis Symphony. “Before the conference there was no one to talk to. You couldn’t talk to the guys. Finally there was a place where we could talk to each other. Women left feeling like they had been reborn.” Yet some may ask – “Does the organization still have a place in a world where women have made great strides?” According to the IWBC 2012 website, women trumpet, trombone, and tuba players make up fewer than 3% of the top 25 orchestras by budget size. The IWBC will continue to be an important organization for women brass musicians. “Our collective energy, our personal stories, that is our distinction,” said Foulk. IWBC 2012 also brings a level of distinction to WMU. With the IWBC under its belt, WMU will have hosted most of the country’s other brass conferences. “That makes us pretty unique,” said Foulk. Trail blazing since its inception, this year’s IWBC will offer another first. It will be the first time the Monarch Brass, a nationally recognized all-women brass ensemble, whose members are outstanding players from North America’s top symphony orchestras and universities, will feature all Michigan women players. “It’s amazing. You have so much talent in one state,” said Slaughter. What Rosie the Riveter represented to women in the 30’s and 40’s - the IWBC represents to today’s women of brass. How ironic that the real life model and inspiration for the World War II We Can Do It poster, later dubbed Rosie the Riveter, was an orchestra musician from Inkster, MI! You can celebrate this unique moment in Michigan’s musical heritage at a free Monarch Brass concert on Sunday, June 10th from 4 – 5pm in downtown Kalamazoo.