Washtenaw’s sterling grounds crew gets an early start on summer
As the Sun’s summer rays begin to warm Washtenaw’s campus, the natural beauty of the college comes alive. Students can thank the changing of seasons for this beautification, but WCC’s grounds crew is also hard at work to make the school look its best.
“When I see the beautiful tulips starting to come up, I know somebody cares,” said Dorothy Ford, a 62-year-old Ypsilanti resident studying business management. “You can see their heart behind it.”
Maintenance and beautifying WCC’s campus falls on the shoulders of the grounds crew year-round. The department is overseen by Facilities Management and its Associate Vice President Damon Flowers.
The grounds crew, consisting of 12 full-time and two part-time employees, operates under an annual budget of $1.3 million – covering workers’ pay, tools and mechanical work for the motorized carts driven around campus by workers.
Dorothy Ford, 62, of Ypsilanti, admires the tulips outside the Student Center. (Adrian Hedden/The Washtenaw Voice)
Flowers is certain that the money is worth the effect that an eloquent campus has on visitors and potential students. He ventured that WCC is unique in the amount of undeveloped space on campus. Flowers expects more than 10,000 plants will be given root at WCC this summer.
“The appearance of the campus is an extremely high priority. It’s the first impression,” Flowers said. “The grounds are the first thing you see coming onto campus. Compared to Schoolcraft or Wayne County Community College, we have way more natural space than them.”
That space is tailored to the college’s wishes in rain or sunshine. Many on the crew take pride in their jobs and especially in perfecting the schools image for visitors.
“You do something different every day,” said Harry Doone Jr., a groundskeeper who worked at Washtenaw from 1998 to 2003 and rejoined the team this spring. “We’re trying to button everything up and get it ready. The better it looks, the better we look.”
While Doone is busy weeding the afternoon grass around the community park, another groundskeeper has been at work since 4 a.m., picking up trash and removing debris before the day has even started.
“It’s rewarding,” said Kelly Johnson, who has worked on the crew for two years this spring. “You get to make the college look pretty. It’s great.”
Johnson explained how the crew starts picking up trash at 4 a.m. and continues until about 6 or 7 a.m. when cars start arriving. They then proceed with the various tasks for the day. This season, the work generally consists of weeding and removing dead material, renewing the campus from winter stress.
Due to unseasonably warm weather this spring, the grounds crew started its summer efforts earlier than normal, according to Flowers. He is excited that the work will be completed by early May, before Memorial Day.
“The warm weather did cause a push,” Flowers said. “We put a lot of efforts into the spring this year.”
Flowers applauded the tireless efforts put forth by his groundskeepers. Aware of the intensity of the labor, he maintains that the work is not for everyone.
“It takes a certain type of person to work grounds,” Flowers said. “They work in harsh situations. I think we have the right people in those jobs.”
Carl Weathers knows it’s the job for him. An outdoorsman his whole life, Weathers wouldn’t have any job, especially one that puts four walls around him.
“I enjoy groundskeeping because it’s nice to be outside,” Weathers said. “Even in the winter, it’s better than being indoors.”
Student-led urban farming initiative to bring sustainability to Detroit’s north end
A mother with six small children visited the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry at a Detroit’s Women and Infant Children office, and all of them were drinking Faygo orange pop, some out of baby bottles. The mother thought it had the same nutritional value as orange juice.
That’s when Tyson Gersh, then a researcher at the clinic, began his mission.
“In Detroit, there is a complete disconnect between people and their food,” Gersh said. “It’s like a food desert. Advertisements exploit people who don’t know any better.”
A gardener all his life and former student at Washtenaw Community College, Gersh feared that residents in the city purchase the bulk of their food from gas stations and convenience stores. With a board of seven members, he founded the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (mufi) in 2011 to foster the acquisition of naturally produced food for a city that he sees starving.
“It was humbling to see how much is already in place, but a lot still needs to be done,” Gersh said. “Many community gardens get set up and then sit unused. They are unable to grow into legal non-profits.”
mufi plans on not only growing food on the wealth of vacant land surrounding the building, but to strengthen the urban farming movement in Detroit by offering workshops and other resources to inform those interested in what needs to be done and how they can help.
Purchasing an apartment building on Brush Street at a Wayne County tax auction in 2011 for $5,000 out of pocket, mufi has until the spring of 2012 been in planning stages. To complete renovations on the Brush Street co-op, Gersh is looking raise $300,000 through donations and fundraising events in the community.
“We’re looking at a long-term revitalization of Detroit through urban renewal and we have the resources necessary,” Gersh said.
Gersh also enlists the help of volunteers on mufi’s planned work days. On the first workday, he was impressed to see 200 volunteers show up to remove debris and raise garden beds. Gersh maintains about 15 regular volunteers who work on the project around 20-30 hours a week.
“It’s a big building and there is a lot that needs to be done,” Gersh said. “It is hard work, but you are contributing to what is going to be a very permanent asset to the community and something that is aesthetically pleasing as a nationally recognized hot spot for sustainable agriculture. We need volunteers.”
The building sits near the site of the proposed light rail train linking Ann Arbor to Detroit. Not far out of Detroit’s downtown in the city’s north-end, mufi’s board is optimistic for its potential visibility.
“It’s a location that would have a lot of exposure to businesses and employees,” said Darin McLeskey, director of operations. “The north end has not seen the same amount of investment as other neighborhoods near downtown.”
When studying for a master’s degree in environmental engineering in 2011, McLeskey realized that he wouldn’t have to go far from his hometown of Pinckney to elicit change. The 21-year-old made a drastic change of plans: he would now stay in Michigan to help solve the food crisis in its biggest city: Detroit.
“Going to college, I just wanted to move away,” McLeskey said. “The more I learned about sustainability, I realized that the grass is not always greener on the other side. There are problems in all major cities. I realized I need to stay here and make a difference, utilized my skills here in my own backyard.”
According to McLeskey, Gersh’s main concern is for the social implications of the problem and solving it one person at a time. McLeskey believes his duty is to focus on the economics of the organization, planning out the gardens and figuring out the costs associated with mufi’s various installations.
“It’s about being more sustainable, economically,” McLeskey said. “We’re just looking to save residents money. It doesn’t make sense to keep going out into the wilderness and constructing things. We’ll end up leaving a path of blight and destruction.”
No one on the board is more aware of this blight than
mufi’s Director of Development Darnell Adams. The 26-year-old lived in the Motor City all his life and studied urban planning at Michigan State University. He graduated in 2009 and now works as a research analyst for the Detroit City Council.
Familiar with the city he grew up in, Adams was excited to hear about mufi from a co-worker at Detroit’s Enrichment Center, where he works part-time.
“In Detroit we have a lot of poor nutrition, a lack of fresh fruit and veggies,” Adams said. “We need to allow our community to feed themselves. Now that we have the drive and initiative to pull all the other organizations together, we have a huge vision.”
Aside from the Brush Street Co-op, mufi has two other projects in the works. The organization is looking to restore a two-unit greenhouse at Concordia University, pending the school’s merger with Concordia Wisconsin and to partner with Citizens Enriching Rehabilitation through Agriculture (certa) to give patients who’ve suffered severe brain injuries a chance to work on their community as they heal.
Parties interested in volunteering at mufi can visit its website at miufi.org and fill out an application to be sent straight to Gersh.
Gersh is looking forward to several work days over the summer and is presently taking all comers looking to help.
Summertime, and the music is…everywhere.
It’s that time again, when concert promoters target seasonal audiences and put out the best tours and festivals of the year. This summer is no exception with a wide variety of musicians visiting the state of Michigan.
Here are some of the highlights throughout the region in the lazy days ahead.
May 22: Avicii—Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
Swedish Electro-House producer Avicii was ranked number six of the Top 100 DJs of 2011 by DJ Magazine. Among his set will be the hit single “Levels.”
May 26-28: Movement: Detroit Electronic Music Festival—Hart Plaza, Detroit
DEMF will feature nearly 100 artists on four stages for three days in Detroit’s Hart Plaza. A three-day pass for the festival costs $70.
May 27: Afrojack—The Fillmore, Detroit
Up-and-coming Dutch Electro-House producer Afrojack has collaborated with the likes of David Guetta, Steve Aoki, Pitbull and Ne-yo.
May 30: Drake, J. Cole & Waka Flocka Flame—DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston
Hip Hop powerhouse Drake has spent more time at the top of the Billboard Rap Songs chart than any other artist this year.
June 6: The Shins—The Fillmore, Detroit
The Portland-based Indie band has been around since 2001. Their 2012 single “Simple Song” topped out at number 10 on the US Alternative Charts.
June 8: Earth, Wind & Fire—Meadowbrook Music Festival, Rochester
One of the most successful and critically acclaimed bands of the twentieth century. Lead vocalist Maurice White has led the group since 1969.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers (left to right), bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith and lead singer Anthony Kiedis, perform at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, Saturday, March 31, 2012. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/MCT)
June 10: Red Hot Chili Peppers—Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
Fresh off their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Californian rock group brings their eclectic catalog to the Joe. Michigan native Anthony Kiedis fronts the band that has been entertaining crowds for more than 30 years. Expect a little something extra from the group as they tend to go the extra mile to entertain the Michigan fans.
June 11: Radiohead—The Palace of Auburn Hills
Three-time Grammy winner Radiohead comes to the Palace a year after releasing their latest album The King of Limbs.
June 22: Detroit Symphony Orchestra—Chene Park Ampitheater, Detroit
Every Michigan resident should get a chance to experience the DSO at one time or another. Come see them play outdoors on the Detroit River waterfront.
June 28: REO Speedwagon, Styx, and Ted Nugent—DTE Energy Music Theater, Clarkston
Classic rock bands REO Speedwagon and Styx join Detroit-native Ted Nugent come to DTE in June.
June 29: Toby Keith—DTE Energy Music Theater, Clarkston
Country music sensation Toby Keith was named “Country Artist of the Decade” by the American Country Awards in 2011.
July 4: Death Cab for Cutie and City and Colour—Meadowbrook Music Festival, Rochester
Juno Awarding winning singer-songwriter Dallas Green (City and Colour) joins alternative rock band Death Cab for Cutie at Meadowbrook on Independence Day.
July 6: Vans Warped Tour—The Palace of Auburn Hills
The legendary Vans Warped Tour returns to Detroit with more than 90 alternative rock bands including Rise Against, Lostprophets, Taking Back Sunday and Streetlight Manifesto.
July 8: El-P and Killer Mike—The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor
Brooklyn native Hip Hop artist El-P will be at the Blind Pig with Grammy-winner Killer Mike to promote his new album Cancer for Cure.
July 15: Santana—DTE Energy Music Theater, Clarkston
Ten-time Grammy winner and world-renowned guitarist Carlos Santana leads his band into its fifth decade of rock and roll.
July 19: Van Halen—DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston
Lead singer David Lee Roth rejoined the classic rock band and has toured with them since 2007, around the time Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
July 21: Jim Gaffigan—DTE Energy Music Theater, Clarkston
Comedian Jim Gaffigan successfully creates hilarity without vulgarity. He has made guest appearances on Law & Order, The Daily Show and That 70s Show.
July 22: Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival—DTE Energy Music Theater, Clarkston
Metal legends Motorhead, Slipknot, Slayer and Anthrax join forces with eight other bands at DTE for the return of the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival.
August 1: Coldplay, The Palace of Auburn Hills
The British band has sold over 55 million records worldwide and was voted fourth best artist of the 2000s by Rolling Stone. “Viva la Vida” won Song of the Year at the 2009 Grammy’s.
August 5: Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller—DTE Energy Music Theater, Clarkston
Wiz Khalifa, known for his Grammy-nominated single “Black and Yellow” and young gun Mac Miller take the stage at DTE on August 5.
August 12: IDentity Festival—Elektricity Festival Ground, Pontiac
IDentity returns to southeast Michigan with electronic music acts including Wolfgang Gartner, Porter Robinson, Doctor P, Paul Van Dyk and Excision.
August 14: System of a Down and Deftones, DTE Energy Music Theater, Clarkston
After a four year hiatus, hard rock band System of a Down has returned to the limelight. They will be joined at DTE by alternative metal group Deftones.
August 18: Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw—Ford Field, Detroit
Two of country music’s top-selling artists visit downtown Detroit for an end of summer extravaganza. Both Chesney and McGraw are known to have plenty of special guests joint hem on stage including McGraw’s wife and country music diva Faith Hill. Chesney has played Ford Field packing the venue with plenty of screaming female fans. Expect more of the same this time around.
A salute to the man behind The Voice
Walk into the newsroom of The Washtenaw Voice, and one of the first people likely to greet you might be Keith Gave, adviser to the newspaper.
When he tells one of the stories from his glory days as a roving reporter, the image that might come to mind is that of a loud, smoke-filled newsroom full of reporters tap-tapping away at typewriters and working the phones trying to meet copy deadlines.
“He’s really an old-time news man,” said Dave Waskin, faculty adviser to Washtenaw Community College’s Journalism program.
Keith Gave. (Bob Conradi/The Washtenaw Voice)
“I saw him at the airport once when I was coming home to Michigan for a break from college. He had the look of a tired sports writer coming back from assignment, notebooks spilling out of his pockets,” Waskin recalled. “I had no idea our paths would cross again years later.”
When Gave originally applied to work for WCC, the hiring committee was merely looking for someone to guide the ship, but Gave surpassed that ideology, working tirelessly to generate ad sales and getting students involved in writing and design.
“He took the paper to a level no one expected, including me, and that has been most impressive,” Waskin said.
Impressive as he was to those at the college, it was no surprise to the likes of Bill Roose, managing editor for DetroitRedWings.com, who began working with Gave at the Detroit Free Press as a copy aid and cub reporter.
Gave is a guy who gets things done.
“He is very thorough. He was like all veteran reporters back then, can’t shake him, and can’t rattle him,” Roose said. “There would be all this noise going on and he would just bang out stories, and you’d read them and think, wow I didn’t even see that happen.”
“Keith was a great reporter and had incredible energy. Whenever there was a whiff of a story, I’d look up and he’d be on it already,” said Mitch Albom, columnist for the Detroit Free Press.
Most notably known for covering the Detroit Red Wings for the Detroit Free Press, Gave’s career has taken him on a scenic ride from hardened newsman to teacher and mentor for aspiring journalists.
“He started a newspaper at Kirtland Community College, where I work now,” said Jo Ann Gave, his wife of 24 years.
Gave originally started working at Kirtland, located in Roscommon, as a public relations director while concurrently working for the Bay City Times as a columnist and editor of True North Magazine. He started teaching journalism, and built an award-winning newspaper with just a handful of students.
“There were just about five or six of us on the staff. We were all middle aged,” said Jerry Nunn, 52, and editor and publisher of The Guide, covering northeast Michigan from I-75 to Lake Huron and north of Bay County.
“We won a lot of awards through his guidance,” said Nunn. “He was instrumental to my career.”
When the position surfaced at Washtenaw, Gave leapt at the opportunity.
“He told me that this was his dream job; what he was really meant to do, so I told him to go for it,” Jo Ann said.
However, the gig came at a small price: Gave had to acclimate himself to living in Dearborn, away from his family, during the week and traveling back home to Roscommon on the weekends.
“He misses his dogs: Chaucer, Tolstoy and Roxie. When he comes home on the weekends he just buries his face in their fur and hugs them,” Jo Ann said.
The sacrifice is huge, but it does seem to bring out the romantic side of him.
“I must get flowers more than any woman on Earth,” she said. “I know it’s because he is away all the time.”
When Gave is at home and not processing incoming copy for TheVoice, he likes to fish on the banks of the Au Sable River, just beyond an electric fence put in place so his canine friends won’t jump in.
“They just sit there and watch him and whine a little,” his wife said. “They miss him as much as he misses them. Most of the time when he is home though, he is up working into the night. I get mad at him sometimes because he works so hard.”
Reaping the benefits of his dedication, his students at Washtenaw respect and admire him for his experience and expertise, and also for his patience.
Having had some personal struggles when her father got sick and a dear friend was found dead from a heroin overdose, former Voice staffer Anna Fuqua-Smith said he was very delicate with the situation. The 26-year-old Journalism major from Ann Arbor said she is grateful to have an adviser who didn’t give up on her when she was struggling and needed it most.
“I know if I needed a friend, I could call Keith and he’d talk me through it,” she said.
Others have shared her sentiment.
“Keith Gave is a great teacher. He has kind of a smash-mouth approach to teaching that really makes everyone feel responsible for their own work,” said Adrian Hedden, features editor for The Voice.“Everything I’ve learned about journalism I’ve learned from him.”
Hedden holds Gave in high regard for all he has given to the field, but says that sometimes it can be frustrating when they don’t see eye to eye about something after it has been printed.
Aside from that, Hedden says he even derives some of his fashion sense from Gave and says he doesn’t feel so pressured to wear socks all the time.
“He’s really a no nonsense kind of guy and a lot of fun,” said Lawrence Donnelly, a conference services technician with the college, and a recent graduate of the Journalism program. “He is a great resource to have right here on campus.”
In a video shot by Donnelly, Gave talks about the pros and cons of citizen journalism and whether or not it has a place in the field, and in his opinion, it isn’t journalism.
Again, not surprising coming from a self-professed news junkie taking The Washtenaw Voice to new heights and raising the bar every academic year for community college newspapers everywhere.
Waskin calls to mind his first impression, “apart from knowing about him, the thing that stands out about Keith is his love and enthusiasm for journalism and for newspapers.”
*Editor’s note: Our adviser Keith Gave had no idea about this personality profile. Had he known, we might have not been able to get away with it. We make it a point to not write about our own, but because of the inspiration and determination he has instilled in all of his students and newspaper staff, we thought we could make an exception. Thanks for another great year, Keith.
The ‘bat-tags’ out in full effect on the streets of Ann Arbor, outside the Cupcake Station at 116 E. Liberty St. (Jared Angle/The Washtenaw Voice)
After a grueling wait for fans “The Dark Knight Rises” campaign kicked off into full gear on April 30 with a series of Bat graffiti placed stealthily in hundreds of locations around the globe—including Ann Arbor.
Each piece of graffiti resembled a chalk marking made by one of the movie’s main characters, beat cop John Blake (Joseph-Gordon Levitt), in order to signal the Batman’s return.
The marketing campaign focused on a viral game on thedarknightrises.com that allowed fans to go to various addresses, provided by the Gotham City Police Department, to snap pictures of the markings. Once captured, fans were told to tweet the images via Twitter with the hashtag #Tdkr07202012, symbolizing the picture’s release date.
The locations included 310 S. State St., 166 E. Liberty St., and 551 S. Division St.
The Gotham police would then “use the evidence” to hunt down the Bat in a fictitious investigation into his crimes at the end of the last movie, “The Dark Knight.” Each picture unlocked a new frame of the long-coveted third and final trailer for the film. The trailer was set to be released on May 4 in front of DC Comics competitor Marvel’s “The Avengers” team-up movie.
Eager fans unlocked the trailer some four days before its slated release.
Some wondered whether Warner Bros. Studios and director Christopher Nolan would ever begin a marketing campaign outside of casually allowed screenshots, teaser photos and on-set video segments.
Finally, Bat-fiends can rest assured that the campaign, like darkness before the dawn, is coming.
Bringing back the magic to the movies—with disheartened fans
The advent of 3D filmmaking has become a plague upon my local movie theater.
Maybe it’s because I wear glasses, or splitting my wide-eyed gaze between blurry, dim images causes a migraine, but 3D films are nothing more than cheap thrills, and most real movie buffs have never been into that sort of thing.
There are still the neophytes who claim 3D conversion is saving the industry. More prevalent are the stoners who just thought it was just the headiest to have seen Avatar’s lush world invite their skewed perceptions inward.
I get it, sometimes going to an average or sub-par flick gets boring, morose even. Flying axes, shimmering alien flowers and superheroes throwing their mighty and mythical weapons out at your face won’t very much help the situation either.
So what can? What can bring magic back to the movies?
In a word: imax.
The imax Corporation may be our last gasp at quality films in stunning clarity without the dim imaging and parallax headaches. It also may save the summer box office.
IMAX is an acronym meaning, simply, “maximum image,” according to an article published by The Wall Street Journal. It can be used to define three very important cinematic nouns: the cameras, the film, and the theaters. imax movies are made using high-definition cameras with 70-millimeter film, the largest used for motion pictures.
The cameras are heavy, wonky and extremely loud.
Most imax films are shot in the style of scientific documentaries, with narration over top for this very reason: open-air dialogue is almost impossible to capture using imax.
To date, very few major motion picture releases have filmed using imax cameras and 70-millimeter film. The only movies filmed with the technology this year have been the latest “Mission Impossible” romp, the brand new “Avengers” flick, and the upcoming Batman epic, “The Dark Knight Rises.”
However, it’s the imax theater experience that makes the seeing movies at one so magical. Stadium seating, a state-of-the-art sound system that rivals any normal theater and, of course, the large screen make movies that much bolder and interesting.
These screens are usually in the range of 70 feet by 50 feet, however, the image is usually taller than it is wide; The Henry Ford Museum imax theater is 80 feet by 62 feet.
The large aspect ratio of the screens pull you in and immerse you in the world of the film so much more than 3D post-conversion ever could. You become less focused on what’s shooting at you, and much more on how you are moving with the film. It’s twists and turns become one.
Sounds nice, but how can this save the summer box office?
Simple. Most of the big action flicks hitting theaters within the next month and throughout the summer are paying big bucks to be featured in imax 2D and 3D theaters—it seems with all of its glory, the company couldn’t shy away from the parallax-D either.
Finally, lovers of big grandiose films can actually savor the flavor of the movie they are actually seeing.
It may cost more—a whopping $14 per ticket—but imax practically guarantees a surrealist experience.
And there are no glasses or external devices required. Unless, of course, if you’re into that sort of thing.
With a sloped economy making a summer job notoriously difficult to find, it is safe to assume many of us will find this summer to be filled with free-time. Instead of wasting that time on the couch watching mind-numbing reality TV shows, take the time to explore the culture-filled cities right outside your doorstep.
Educational and cultural opportunities in Southeast Michigan are pronounced by the abundance of museums and art galleries in the Ann Arbor/Detroit areas.
Here are some culture hotspots close to home and well worth your time:
Ann Arbor Art Center
117 W. Liberty St.
April 27-June 10: The annual exhibition, “The Print,” invites artists to showcase experimental print techniques. The exhibition is open to any artists who are residents of Michigan. The gallery also showcases themed competitions and contemporary Michigan artists. Inside the art center, a shop with art items and works from local artists are for sale.
For more information, visit http://annarborartcenter.org.
Admission is free.
University of Michigan Detroit Observatory
1398 E. Ann St.
The Detroit Observatory stands as it was in 1854. The original astronomical instruments remain functional. Completely restored in 1998, the observatory is a cultural treasure. The U-M physics department hosts a Saturday morning lecture series. Viewing nights are dependent on good weather. Upcoming viewing night dates are May 29, June 12 and July 17 from 9:30-11 p.m.
For more information, visit http://bentley.umich.edu/observatory
Admission is free.
University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
1109 Geddes Ave.
Located next to the Central Campus Transit Center, this museum is home to many permanent exhibits. The Hall of Evolution is located on the museums second floor. A display of Earth’s history is drawn through models, dioramas and fossils.
The Michigan Wildlife gallery is on the third floor, and features a large collection of native Great Lakes birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, plants and fungi.
The Anthropology displays on the fourth floor host rare artifacts and highlights the research of U-M archaeologists. The Geology Displays are also located on the fourth floor and contain large selections of rocks and minerals.
For more information, visit http://lsa.umich.edu/ummnh
Admission is free, $6 donations suggested.
Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
434 S. State St.
This museum’s permanent exhibition of artifacts has been carefully chosen by Kelsey curators. It features a vibrantly painted Egyptian mummy coffin, amulets from ancient Near East, and an array of glass vessels.
Greek pottery, Roman sculptures and a large-scale watercolor representation of the famous Villa of the Mysteries murals from ancient Pompeii are also exhibited.
Special exhibitions include “Karanis Revealed: Discovering the Past and Present of a Michigan Excavation in Egypt.” The exhibit shows the historical records of a single village community in the Egyptian countryside during the Graeco-Roman period.
For more information, visit http://lsa.umich.edu/kelsey
Admission is free, donations are welcome
University of Michigan Museum of Art
525 S. State St.
Situated at the heart of the university, this gallery contains more than 18,000 artworks.
March 17-July 22: Haroon Mirza displays his work consisting of an audio and visual experience. Mirza’s work focuses on the relationship sound that occurs through objects, actions and forces.
March 31-Aug. 4: “Recent Acquisitions: Curator’s Choice Part II” which introduces recently acquired works from UMMA’s collections gifted to the museum during the past five years. Also, selected works of Asian art, contemporary European and American works and a range of woodwork and sculptural pottery are exhibited.
For more information, visit http://umma.umich.edu
Admission is free, $5 donations suggested.
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Running until June 3 is the annual Detroit Public Schools Student Exhibition. “Featuring hundreds of imaginative works created by Detroit Public Schools students in grades K-12, ranging from paintings, prints, drawings, photography, ceramics, videos, jewelry and more,” according to the DIA website.
On select Friday nights, DIA is open late for its live music shows, art-making workshops, drawing in the galleries and guided tours. Friday Night Live! The July 13 event includes “DIA Moment: PuppetSlam Detroit!” This puppetry-for-adults event features several puppet scenes by a variety of puppet artists.
For more information, visit http://dia.org.
Admission for students with valid ID is $5
306 S. Main St.
The WSG gallery features contemporary works created by Michigan artists. The gallery is filled with paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, ceramics and art glass. WSG was voted Best Fine Arts Gallery in 2011 in Current Magazine’s Best of Series. Special exhibits change every six weeks to ensure variety and an ongoing rotation of works and artists.
For more information, visit http://wsg-art.com
Admission is free.
4731 Grand River Ave.
This gallery features an array of Detroit-based artists. Ric Geyer, owner of the gallery, established “art incubators,” places where artists can work on their projects within the gallery space. Types of work exhibited include ceramics and pottery, decorative arts, furniture and functional art to mixed media and sculpture. A diverse selection and a variety of mediums make this gallery worth seeing.
For more information, visit http://4731.com
Admission is free.
215 S. Fourth Ave.
This summer, Gallery Project presents “Spatial Shift.” This multimedia exhibit crafted by 26 local, regional and national artists, celebrates the senses and the 2D digital world.
In a press release for Spatial Shift, the exhibit is described as, “a cultural phenomenon – a reaction to the coldness, abstraction and disconnection of the digital world. It is a call to embrace the physical and dimensional, reuniting the 2D and 3D worlds for the sake of basic human experience through the five senses.”
For more information, visit http://thegalleryproject.com.
Admission is free, donations are welcome.
Detroit Artists Market
4719 Woodward Ave.
This contemporary art gallery was created in 1936 and has since become rooted in the history of Detroit art and culture. For the gallery’s 80th anniversary, DAM presents a special exhibition focusing on its extensive history and support of local arts with The Community Gallery of the Detroit Historic Museum. The Eighty Bucks Benefit will feature art donated from a range of Detroit area artists.
For more information, visit http://detroitartistsmarket.org
Admission is free, memberships are available, donations are welcome.
Throughout the Student Center renovation and the Spring and Summer semesters, Student Activities plans to continue business as usual, with the exception of the weekly events like Make it Take it Mondays, Trivia Tuesdays and Where’s Waldo Wednesdays.
Student Activities is asking students to take a survey on the SDA Hub to determine what, if any, events students would like to see during the summer. If none of the weekly events go on during the summer, Student Activities still has plenty of events going on. The following have been scheduled for the summer.
Capture the Flag
May 17, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Student Activities plans to host a game of capture the flag in Community Park on May 17, but it will be called off if there is a lack of student interest. Students interested in playing are asked to sign up beforehand on a Google document through the SDA Hub. For any additional information on how to sign up or the game, contact Rachel Barsch in SC 112.
Michigan Heart Walk
May 19, 8:30–11:30 a.m.
Come support the American Heart Association in Community Park. All donations go to fighting heart disease and stroke.
Traverse the city in Traverse City
Student Activities is offering a weekend trip to Traverse City, located in northern Michigan, for $85. The ticket includes transportation to and from Traverse City, meals, lodging in Northwestern Michigan College dorms, a rafting trip down the Platte River and a dune walk at Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Departure is at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, June 8, returning to campus at about 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. Tickets will be on sale soon. For more information, contact Rachel Barsch in SC 112.
June 12, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Give the gift of life. There will be a blood drive held in the Fitness center, June 12. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred due to limited equipment and staff. Appointment can be scheduled at http://redcrossblood.org.
June 15, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Come out for a day of food and fun. Student Activities is offering a day at Rolling Hills for $5. The $5 includes parking, lunch and admission to the water park. Tickets are available from the Cashiers Office in the SC building.
Relay for Life
June 23–24, 10 a.m.–10 a.m.
Come raise money for the American Cancer Society at the Relay for Life in Community Park. Participants take turns walking for 24 hours straight to raise money to fight cancer. For more information, contact Rachel Barsch in SC 112.
June 28, 8 a.m.–10 p.m.
Enjoy a canoe trip down the Au Sable River in Roscommon. The trip includes a brief stop at the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, a free lunch at Subway, roughly five hours on the water and transportation to the river.
Student Activities urges students who are interested in going to purchase tickets soon as the trip may be canceled if not enough tickets are sold. Tickets can be purchased at the Cashiers Office in the SC building.
For more information on
Student Activities, visit
http://sdahub.com or follow them on twitter: @wccsda
As the weather gets warmer, the sun blazing down upon the Earth now until the late hours of the evening, Hollywood and movie theaters are heating up as well.
Moviegoers are now in preparation for a slew of high-budget, effect-heavy summer blockbusters to help them celebrate the changing seasons – and cash in during the dog days of summer.
The Voice has selected nine of these upcoming films, not just to enthrall, but to warn potential customers who may otherwise spend away on brainless, cinematic garble.
5/11 DARK SHADOWS
Genre: Dark Comedy
Release date: May 11
The newest gothic-inspired outing from revered (and often reviled) director Tim Burton takes an odd, albeit refreshing approach to the big-screen version of the television series of the same name.
Star Johnny Depp—Burton’s greatest muse—portrays the centuries-old vampire Barnabas Collins, as he awakes to the wild world of the 1970s. He must adapt to life-in-the-fast-lane while reconnecting with his well-removed relatives.
The plot may be lighthearted and a real treat for fans of Burton, Depp and the director’s revolving door of reoccurring actors. Yet for fans of the old show, a gritty horror cult classic that seeped sex as much as it did terror, the comedy and family-friendly leanings may be too far of a stretch.
Release date: May 18
The classic military board game has been given a modernized treatment for a new generation of action fans. Director Peter Berg hopes to take viewers beyond their table tops and into the vast seas with veteran actor Liam Neeson at the helm.
The trailers reveal two things: heavy use of computer graphics and a twist that fans of the game have been shaking their heads at since last winter: aliens. Unrelated to the original game, this science fiction twist aims to create greater interest for a game that may not otherwise warrant a film adaptation.
When Neeson and his naval fleet encounter the alien armada while on a training run, cinematic adrenaline will certainly take over. Fans of the mindless computer-generated action of “Transformers” will rejoice as the aliens threaten to sink our battleship.
5/25 MEN IN BLACK III
Genre: Science Fiction
Release date: May 25
In this third installment of the “Men in Black” franchise, both Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reprise their roles as Agent J and Agent K. Both the planet and K’s life are at stake, which somehow requires Agent J to travel back in time to the year 1969 to save them both.
In his trip to the past, J discovers that there are hidden secrets to the universe, which all become revealed as he teams up with a young Agent K, played by Josh Brolin.
The duo venture through 1969 fighting off an alien criminal while facing the 24-hour time limit before the gate returning to J’s time is closed forever. Time travel is largely a controversial choice for sci-fi sequels. It remains to be seen how well the “Men in Black” can do the time warp.
Genre: Horror and Science Fiction
Release date: June 8
Landmark director, Ridley Scott, makes his return to sci-fi this summer. The creator of the “Alien” saga is looking to return to the barren emptiness of space and the loneliness of man with this latest effort. Speculations have been made in online forums as to a plot connection between this and “Alien,” and the themes do seem similar.
The trailer shows cutting-
edge set designs that can be expected from Scott after “Blade Runner.” An element of horror is present as in many of Scott’s sci-fi flicks of the past. With a strong cast featuring Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender, this film looks to pack a wallop this summer and stand out from the pack of sci-fi flicks in the coming months.
As the crew journeys deep into alien caves in search of answers, viewers will be left to face the horrible fact that in space, no one can hear you scream.
7/3 THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN
Release date: July 3
A reboot of the series brings a new cast and new director to the screen. Taking the lead as Spider-Man in this version is Andrew Garfield (The Social Network). The premise remains the same with Peter Parker as a social outcast trying to get the attention of his high school crush, this time Gwen Stacey.
Parker discovers a mysterious briefcase that had belonged to his father, leading him to investigate his parents’ disappearance. Along his journey, he comes across Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, a former partner of his father. Connors is the villain known as The Lizard in this depiction of Spider-Man.
Pegged as a more accurate retelling of the comic classic, the all-new cast will hopefully establish the purpose of starting the saga from scratch just five years after “Spiderman 3.”
8/3 TOTAL RECALL
Genre: Science Fiction
Release date: August 3
One of Arnold Schwarz-enegger’s most recognizable flicks of the 1980s is being updated this summer. Fans of the sci-fi epic at first rejoiced at hearing of the remake, but were shocked by a very controversial choice as lead actor: Colin Farrell.
The Hollywood pretty boy and self-professed rebel is looking to strengthen his street cred as he kicks and punches his way through the futuristic dystopia. The plot seems similar with Farrell’s character struggling to discern his role in a nuclear war as he is made an unwitting spy for one side of the conflict.
The trailer displays some very modern and beautiful special effects and set designs, painting an elaborate picture of the future. Farrell’s apparent penchant for martial arts this time around is in stark contrast to the heavy hitting of Schwarzenegger.
Farrell has big shoes to fill this summer, hoping to assert himself as an action hero, but Arnie threatens to make him look like just another wimp.
Genre: Science Fiction
Release date: 2012
For hotshot business tycoon Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), life has always come a little too easy. He’s only 28 years old and a multi-billionaire; beautiful women want him, and the revolting underclass despises him. He has a stretch limousine and all the electronic toys that money, and fame, can buy.
Packer, it seems, has it all – except, he needs a fresh haircut.
This sprawling science fiction story penned by novelist Dan DeLillo and adapted/directed by the masterful David Cronenberg is being hailed as the true movie for our time and place, as technology grows and matures faster than we can keep up. Where the divide between rich and poor no longer widens, it sinks below the ground beneath us.
Fans of hard and subversive dystopian science fiction will most likely adore this flick, vampire-boy Pattinson included. “Cosmopolis” has yet to have a U.S. release, but will surely be picked up by a major studio in time for a late summer release after a big finish at the Cannes Film Festival.
7/20 THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Release date: July 20
Coined as “the epic conclusion to the Dark Knight trilogy,” Christopher Nolan’s final Bat-film aims to rise above all other superhero extravaganzas slated for a similar mid-summer release.
The story once again follows actor Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, eight years after The Joker’s sinister reign of chaos and destruction. Weak, broken and emotionally vacant, Gotham City has seen peace while Batman has taken the fall for Harvey Dent’s murderous crimes.
Enter the powerful warlord Bane, played by “Inception” star Tom Hardy, and the confounding vigilante Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). With his loved ones and hometown under siege, Wayne must once more realize what makes a hero “more than just a man.”
An instant hit for comic book movie fans, if you can get over Bale’s signature Bat-growl and Hardy’s mask-muffled dialogue.
8/3 THE BOURNE LEGACY
Release date: August 3
A new hero is introduced in this film adaptation of the fourth book of the Bourne series. Tony Gilroy returns as screenwriter and takes the helm as director for the series.
Taking the lead role is Jeremy Renner, who plays an estranged assassin who has been affected by the events of the first three films.
Joining Renner are Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton and Oscar Isaac. Reprising their roles are Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn.
However, fans of the film series may sorely miss their beloved hunk, Matt Damon, in the lead role.
This feature was reported and written by Kelly Bracha, staff writer; Adrian Hedden, features editor; and Ben Solis, managing editor.
From art to theater to yoga, there’s plenty to do
Over the summer there is plenty to do and see at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti. Between the Theater, Gallery, Russian Ballet Studio and Yes Yoga there should be plenty of drama, moving, stretching and dancing through the summer.
The Explorers Youth Drama Club will be performing the classic, “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Three other plays also will be performed over the summer.
Through May 26, the Art Gallery will be exhibiting “Through Women’s Eyes.” The collected art works of the University of Michigan’s Faculty Women’s Club, covering a large variety of styles and media.
If dance is something that moves you, then Kathy Scharp’s Russian Ballet class will keep you on your toes. Scharp has been teaching ballet for more than 30 years. She teaches children as young as 4 years old to adults in their 60s, beginner to advanced. No knowledge of ballet is required. Students will learn group participation, ballet terms, musical counts, body positions, stretching and simple steps to music.
“Ballet incorporates all the elements, requires your focus, memorization, paying attention, and physical,” Scharp said. “The more you open up to it the more it engages you with all the elements, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.”
For more details on upcoming classes, visit http://riversidearts.org.
• Through Women’s Eyes, May 3-26
• Works of Karen Gallup, May 31 – June 30, June 9, 5-7 p.m.
• Ann Arbor Women’s Artists Summer Juried Exhibit, July 5 – 28, July 7, 5-7 p.m.
• Chelsea Painters, September 6 – 29
• Arsenic and Old Lace, May 24-26, $8 in advance, $10 at door
• Proof, May 31- June 3, $18 for adults, $15 for students
• Red, White and Tuna, June 14-17 & 21-23, Call: (734) 663-7167
• Yankee Tavern, June 28 – July 1, Call: (734) 663-7167
Saying Yes to Yoga
Yes Yoga can help you relax, learn to breathe better and become more mindful of your body, mind and spirit connection. The first few minutes of Yes Yoga is about practicing to breathe better.
“We don’t breathe enough, after the first 5 to 10 minutes, students are feeling high,” said Tatiana Knight, 44, yoga instructor.
Everybody is different, and if they have injuries, the students will be asked to assess how they feel in the middle of the class and adapt.
“I was happy when the New York Times ran the story, ‘How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body,’” Knight said. “I don’t believe in pretzel yoga, and it is not a religion. No deities in my class,” Knight said.
Her students seemed to enjoy the experience.
“It is a nice break from the outside world. Good for the mind, you have to focus,” said Alex, 36, of Ypsilanti.
“Yoga made me happier,” said Michelle, 37, of Belleville. “It helped me overcome anxiety and depression.”
For more information on Yes Yoga, phone (734) 985-0543, or visit: y2yesyoga.com.