Main Street is blocked off between Liberty [photo] and William [photo] for The Event on Main, a fundraiser for the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.
The owners of Krazy Jim’s Blimpyburger have started a fundraising campaign to raise $60,000 for moving and construction costs at a new location. From the post on Indiegogo.com: ”We’ve turned to crowdfunding to help raise a portion of the capital needed to secure our bank loan. In return we are offering some great rewards to our backers. Many people have reached out to us asking how they could help and this seemed like a perfect way for the many fans to show us some love and help us get back to grilling. You would be giving us more than money – our success in this campaign is a vote of support. For the price of a burger, you can get us …
Speaking to a packed room at Washtenaw Community College on Tuesday, Letitia Byrd recalled how even her husband eventually saw women as equals, though he grew up in an era when women were expected to stay at home. “Remember that, ladies?” she quipped.
Murmurs in the room showed that many of them did. About 300 people – mostly women – attended Tuesday’s luncheon of the WCC Foundation Women’s Council, where Byrd, Bettye McDonald and Marianna Staples were honored for their contributions as community leaders. The annual lunch raised about $25,000 for student scholarships and WCC’s Student Resource and Women’s Center.
Defying expectations and breaking stereotypes was a theme throughout the event, highlighted in a speech by Jean Jennings that took the audience through a romp of her unconventional path to becoming the president and editor-in-chief of Automobile Magazine, based in Ann Arbor. The saga included tales of unshaved legs, drill bits, cab driving, crash testing cars and starting a publication “with Rupert Murdoch’s money.” Jennings began by noting that the lunch would be a great place to pick up chicks.
Visualize the Ann Arbor Art Center’s WineFest as the Châteauneuf-du-Pape of fundraisers.
The annual wine-and-food extravaganza, on tap May 6 through 8, bears a surprising resemblance to the multi-grape assemblage of the flagship wine from France’s southern Rhone, blending supporters of the century-old arts institution with a panoply of local glitterati out for some innocent merriment, plus a dollop of area wine cognoscenti keen to sample and acquire some hard-to-find bottles.
So it’s a good fit that Honorary Chair Laurence Féraud, the first French winemaker to chair WineFest, comes from first-tier Châteauneuf winery, Domaine du Pegau.
And just as some Châteauneuf producers (but not Pegau) have adapted their wines to changing customer preferences for early-drinking, more fruit-driven styles, so the 28th annual WineFest sports a different look from years past.
“We’ve thrown everything up in the air and had it come down in a new format,” says Art Center president Marsha Chamberlin. “It’s going to be this bright, colorful upbeat format in a very stylish location. We’re trying to make this an event that people can enjoy on lots of different levels.”
“You’re not with props, are you?” a woman whispers to The Chronicle, soon after we enter the darkened auditorium at Tappan Middle School.
As we’re telling her no, a disembodied male voice calls out over the speaker system: “Spots! You’re going to do a Venn diagram on all three of them.” Spotlights flick on, directed toward three actors clustered on stage.
They vamp. “Spots, you’re not picking up each of them equally,” intones the voice, which turns out to be coming from the director, Mike Mosallam. Someone else yells: “They’re farther apart than we were told!”
It’s Sunday afternoon – Tech Day for the Burns Park Players, the time when technical glitches like these are worked out before “Guys & Dolls” opens on Feb. 5. The crew arrived around 9 a.m., followed by the 40 or so actors at noon.
They were set to log several hours doing “cue-to-cue” – an abbreviated run-through focusing on transitions of lighting and set – with a full show rehearsal starting at 4 p.m.
The Chronicle dropped by for part of this controlled chaos, joining local photographer Myra Klarman, whose behind-the-scenes shots captured some of the day’s activity. Enjoy.
Laurie Blakeney inhales, and so do the group of people sitting on the floor in front of her. She exhales, humming, “Ommm….”
After her voice trails off, the group in front of her does the same in a synchronized echo: “Ommm…”
The sound fills the high-ceilinged space, imbuing the atmosphere with something relaxing, spiritual. Filmable, even.
Blakeney, an instructor and owner of the Ann Arbor School of Yoga, is leading a sample class as part of a fundraiser for the 48th annual Ann Arbor Film Festival. The Chronicle dropped by for the Aug. 14 Cinema & Yoga event, which included a screening of films from last year’s festival after the yoga. It’s an example of something that the festival’s director, Donald Harrison, says they’re working hard to do: Finding creative, diverse ways to bring in money.
The Chronicle has no idea how often howling echoes through Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tearoom, but customers there definitely heard wolf-like sounds on Sunday afternoon. The occasion was a reading of “Moon Wolf,” a children’s book illustrated by students at Summers-Knoll School and written by the head of school, Joanna Hastings.
The book is a classroom project turned fundraising venture – it’s now sold at several local stores. “Moon Wolf” tells the story of a wolf who lives in the moon and leaps to Earth when the moon is full, enjoying many adventures and raucous howling along the way.
“Everybody’s proud in the Scarlett Nation!” Ben Edmondson, principal of Scarlett Middle School, proclaimed to the 200 or so people gathered in the school’s cafeteria Saturday night. He could have been talking about the eighth-grade boys who were dressed in suits and leading tours of the building. Or the orchestra that played a solid performance of William Hofeldt’s “Toccatina.” Or the kids who contributed to the school’s first literary magazine, a draft of which was on display in the media center. Or the $11 million that’s been spent on building renovations over the past few years.
Highlighting Scarlett’s achievements was just one goal of the evening for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation, which hosted the event. It was the nonprofit’s second annual Celebration of Innovation and Excellence, a way to draw attention to the district’s accomplishments as well as challenges, and to raise money for supporting the schools.
When former University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr arrived Thursday evening at the Zingerman’s Raucus Caucus fundraiser to benefit the Peace Neighborhood Center, he had no linemen blocking for him.
So Michael Hedin – whose Townie’s Two Step team was competing in the fundraiser’s sandwich design contest – wheeled around from his conversation with us to pitch to Carr the virtues of his team’s two-meat sandwich. The coach was there to help judge the sandwich design contest at the heart of the fundraiser – and he was wise to Hedin’s angle: “Yeah, I always used to talk to the officials before the game, too!”
A few minutes later, Gov. Jennifer Granholm delivered remarks that kicked off the event, which raised around $18,000 for the neighborhood center, according to Rick Strutz, a managing partner of Zingerman’s Deli. Located on Maple Road near Miller Avenue, Peace Neighborhood offers after-school programming and tutoring for elementary and middle school students.
The newly renovated and expanded University of Michigan Museum of Art is a social place: Tuesday night, several hundred people attended a kick-off fête for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, while Wednesday brought members of the Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan together for their annual meeting. The focus of Wednesday’s day-long event was also social, as in social networking – specifically, how nonprofits can use social media like blogs, Twitter and Facebook to fundraise, market and strengthen their organization.
Being social animals ourselves, The Chronicle dropped by both events, but was able to spend a bit more time at the Cultural Alliance forum, which was well represented by Ann Arbor groups, including the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, University Musical Society and Arts Alliance, among others.
“Car number 4 wins, Pete, that’s car number 4!” declared Ben Kaufman into his walkie talkie. “Pete” was Kaufman’s Phi Delta Theta fraternity brother, Peter DiLeo, who needed that information to keep track of the brackets for 16 cars in a double-elimination soap box derby held Saturday morning.
To organize the ALS fundraising event on the South University Avenue hill just east of the Phi Delta Theta house, the University of Michigan fraternity had joined with Ann Arbor Active Against ALS [A2A3] a local nonprofit that launched last November.
The mechanics of the fundraising effort were laid out for The Chronicle by the captain of a pirate-boat car, Cameron Kortes. It cost $25 to race a car of your own construction, $75 if you wanted Phi Delta Theta or A2A3 to build a car for you to race, or $100 to have a car both built and raced for you. Kortes said that for this inaugural year of the race, the emphasis was not on raising as much money as possible, but rather to establish it as an event that would attract the interest of the community as well as members of the fraternity internally.
Wednesday night brought an odd convergence of the phrase “Power of the Purse” to Ann Arbor. The author of a book by that name, Fara Warner, gave a speech that evening at the University of Michigan, where she’s a visiting professor of journalism. Her topic? The future of journalism.
Despite our deep interest in that issue, we chose to drop by a different “Power of the Purse” – an event hosted by the United Way of Washtenaw County Women’s Initiative, part of a broader campaign to deal with domestic violence, gender discrimination, access to affordable child care and other barriers to women’s economic self-sufficiency.
If you’re an artist who’s passionate about politics, and you’re looking to contribute in a concrete way to the presidential campaign, what do you do?
That was the question six local artists kicked around this summer. They’d been meeting as a critique group, but “being a bunch of liberal Democrats, we’d been talking politics, too,” says Leslie Sobel. As for that question, she says, “Well, the obvious answer is to sell art.”
So sell art they did. Saturday night’s Obama Art-O-Rama fundraiser featured a silent auction of donated work from more than 80 local artists. The event was held at the Ann Arbor home of Carl Rinne and Tamara Real, executive director of the Arts Alliance. Before a single piece of art had been sold, they were already halfway to their goal of $10,000. (An update from Sobel came a bit after midnight – their total reached $10,500 for the evening.)