Stories indexed with the term ‘fundraising’

Commission Works on Public Art Planning

Ann Arbor public art commission meeting (Jan. 29, 2014): In a three-hour session, the public art commission worked on prioritizing capital improvement projects that might be suitable for public art.

Kristin "KT" Tomey, Ann Arbor public art commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

On Jan. 29, Kristin “KT” Tomey attended her first regular meeting of the Ann Arbor public art commission since being appointed by the city council on Jan. 6. (Photos by the writer.)

Some commissioners expressed frustration that they had insufficient information on which to base their evaluation. And after about two hours of discussion – using a scoring rubric with seven criteria – commissioners had evaluated only a few projects: artist-designed street access (manhole) covers, art for the Springwater subdivision, and art for the corridors of Main Street and Plymouth Road. Because there were still several other items on the agenda, they voted to postpone further evaluation of possible capital projects until their next meeting.

In other action, commissioners discussed and approved a draft annual public art plan that’s officially due to the city council on Feb. 1, for projects to be undertaken in the fiscal year that begins July 1. It includes projects that are underway – like artwork for East Stadium bridges and Argo Cascades – as well as a proposal to add some enhanced capital projects, like street access covers on resurfaced roads.

The draft annual plan had been prepared by Aaron Seagraves, the city’s public art administrator. Commissioners asked for some revisions and designated commissioner John Kotarski to work with Seagraves on a final version that will likely be presented to the council on Feb. 18. Kotarski praised the draft, saying “It has as much meat as anyone wants. It shows a lot of work. It shows an art commission that gets the message from an impatient city council.”

Commissioners also discussed a proposal from the Clean Energy Coalition to select and fund an artist who would help incorporate art into a new bike share program. They tabled action on this item, wanting additional information about the CEC’s expectations for funding.

This was AAPAC’s first regular meeting since Oct. 23, 2013, although they held a retreat in December and a planning session earlier in January. Throughout the evening, concerns were raised about the future of the public art program, in light of recent city council discussions. The council had postponed a requested six-month extension of Seagraves’ contract, and will be taking up that item on Feb. 3.

Also on the council’s Feb. 3 agenda is an amendment to the city’s public art ordinance. The amendment would allow the council to return about $800,000 accumulated under the city’s former Percent for Art program to the funds from which that money was drawn, such as the street millage or sanitary sewer fund. It’s the latest in an ongoing transition for the city’s public art program – a transition that’s been unsettling for public art commissioners.

The Jan. 29 meeting marked another transition for AAPAC, which has seen considerable turnover during the past year. It was the first regular monthly meeting for the newest commissioner, Kristin “KT” Tomey, who was appointed by the city council on Jan. 6. And it was the last meeting for Malverne Winborne, whose term ended on Dec. 31. He did not seek reappointment, and was serving until the position was filled. His replacement, Jim Simpson, is expected to be confirmed in a vote at the city council’s Feb. 3 meeting.

Winborne has served as vice chair of AAPAC – but the group held new officer elections on Jan. 29. Bob Miller was re-elected to another one-year term as chair, and John Kotarski was elected vice chair. There were no competing nominations, and both votes were unanimous.

Noting that the Jan. 29 meeting had been especially challenging, Miller thanked commissioners for their work. “This is probably the most belabored meeting I think we’ve ever gone through, aside from maybe one of the retreats,” he said. “I’m tapped out.” He jokingly cajoled commissioners: “Please do come back.”

Miller also encouraged students to return, as about two dozen students from Skyline High School – and some parents – attended the Jan. 29 meeting. “It’s the most amount of people we’ve ever had at any of our meetings,” Miller noted. One student pointed out that they were all from the same government class, facing a Jan. 31 deadline to attend a public meeting. [Full Story]

UM: Fundraising

The University of Michigan has set a $4 billion goal for its current fundraising campaign, called Victors for Michigan. The Nov. 7 kickoff event in Ann Arbor included news that $1 billion of that total would be raised for student financial aid and scholarships. If successful, it would be the most ever raised by a public university, and would exceed UM’s previous campaign of $3.2 billion. [Source] [Source]

A2: Wedding Gowns

An article in the Detroit Free Press features the Brides Project, a wedding gown resale shop operated by the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor. The article quotes Patrycja Much, who donated a Vera Wang gown to the shop: “Instead of sitting in closet, it’s passing it forward. It has more meaning behind it, it makes it more special.” The shop is open by appointment only at the Courtyard Shops, 1689 Plymouth Road. [Source]

UM: Donation

Helen Zell, a University of Michigan graduate and wife of real estate magnate Sam Zell, is donating $50 million to UM’s graduate creative writing program. The gift comes via the Zell Family Foundation, which Helen Zell leads as executive director. The two-year program is being renamed the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. [Associated Press report] [UM press release]

General Election 2011: City Council Money

For nine candidates in Ann Arbor city council races this year, Oct. 28 was the pre-election campaign filing deadline.

Overridge Drive

Magenta dots indicate addresses of donors to the campaign of Ward 2 independent Jane Lumm. Overridge Drive is Lumm's home street, located near Huron Hills golf course, visible to the north in this image.

In an uncontested Ward 1 race, documents filed with the Washtenaw county clerk’s office show Democratic incumbent Sabra Briere raised $3,640 from 48 donors since the primary election (which for her was also uncontested).

In the contested Ward 3 race, Democratic incumbent Stephen Kunselman raised an additional $20 from one donor, bringing his total to $4,045 for this year’s election cycle. Kunselman prevailed in a three-way primary in August. Kunselman’s Republican challenger David Parker filed a waiver request – which is allowed if a candidate expects to spend less than $1,000.

In Ward 4, Democratic incumbent Marcia Higgins raised $1,075 from seven donors, compared with no contributions raised by her Republican opponent Eric Scheie. Scheie filed a negative balance (–$1,173.73), which earned him a notice of error from the county clerk’s office – the source of funds used to pay for expenditures must be given, even if it is a loan by the candidate to the campaign.

In Ward 5, Democratic incumbent Mike Anglin, who also had a contested primary, raised an additional $185 from three donors to bring his total this year to $7,405. Anglin’s Republican challenger Stuart Berry filed a waiver request.

In Ward 2, filing documents for Stephen Rapundalo show he raised an additional $4,420 since the primary, which was a contested race for him, bringing the total indicated on his paperwork for this year’s campaign to $8,505. [The Chronicle's arithmetic calculates $4,380, not $4,420, for this filing period.]

Independent challenger Jane Lumm, who of course did not participate in a partisan primary, outpaced all other candidates’ combined totals since the primaries by raising $18,950 from 193 donors.

After the jump we break down the Ward 2 contributions with charts and maps. [Full Story]

UM Regents Get Donor, Sustainability Updates

University of Michigan board of regents meeting (Sept. 15, 2011): At a meeting where regents awarded UM president Mary Sue Coleman a 2.75% raise – adding $15,678 to her salary of $570,105 – the board also heard from members of the nurses union who are angry over proposed cuts to their benefits.

Michigan Nurses Association banner

Members of the Michigan Nurses Association union held banners during the Sept. 15 regents meeting, showing signatures from their supporters. (Photos by the writer.)

The Michigan Nurses Association, which represents about 4,000 UM nurses, is negotiating a new contract. Members brought large banners with signatures from their supporters, and three people spoke about the issue during public commentary – including Brit Satchwell, head of the Ann Arbor teachers union. The nurses are concerned that weaker benefits will affect patient care by hurting the UM health system’s ability to retain and recruit high-quality nurses.

Ora Pescovitz – UM’s executive vice president for medical affairs – read a statement to the board, asserting her respect for the nurses but saying the health system needs an agreement that’s market- and cost-competitive.

Also during the meeting, regents got an overview of UM’s annual development report for fiscal 2011, which ended June 30. The university received $273.14 million in contributions during the year, up from $254.08 million the previous year – an increase of 7.5%. The previous two years had shown declines from the $342.05 million raised in FY 2008, which marked the end of the multi-year $3.2 billion Michigan Difference fundraising campaign.

As part of that report, a couple who’ve given considerable financial support to UM – Bill and Dee Brehm – spoke to the regents about the motivation for their donations. They provide support for UM’s Brehm Center for Diabetes Research and Brehm Scholars program, among other initiatives.

Regents also heard from students and staff about work toward environmental sustainability on campus and in coursework. More is in the works: On Sept. 27, Coleman is scheduled to make an address to campus, expanding UM’s sustainability goals for both academics and operations. Her remarks will be shown via a webcast, starting at 11 a.m.

A range of action items during the meeting received little discussion and were all passed unanimously. They included several construction-related projects, the creation of two medical school departments, and authorization to buy a parcel at 716 Oakland Ave. in Ann Arbor, between Monroe and Hill streets near the law school campus. This is the fourth Ann Arbor property that UM has purchased within the past year with an apartment building on the lot. [Full Story]

Sunday Swim Raises ALS Research Funds

On Sunday morning, the traffic roundabouts leading to Skyline High School off North Maple Road were littered with piles of slush, as the snow and freezing rain that began the previous day continued to fall. Undeterred were around 40 masters swimmers, who navigated to Skyline’s natatorium to participate in a new event on the swimming schedule: Ann Arbor Active Against ALS Holiday Relays.

Skyline Pool Ann Arbor Active Against ALS

Swimmers just after the starting beep for one of the A2A3 Holiday Relays. (Photos by the writer.)

Meet director Amanda Mercer told The Chronicle that the A2A3 Holiday Relays, which were sanctioned by Michigan Masters for U.S. Masters Swimming, will be an annual fixture on the swimming calendar. The inaugural edition featured standard swimming relays, which took full advantage of the electronic timing pads at Skyline’s pool: A new pool record of 53.23 was established for the 100-yard backstroke.

But the  relays also included some non-standard races, including one where the relay “baton” was a T-shirt that had to be peeled off one swimmer, then donned by the next one in sequence.

Participants included a former Ann Arbor planning commissioner, and a former Olympic swimmer.

The Holiday Relays are one of several activity-based fundraising efforts by A2A3, which is a nonprofit that was formed in 2008 by friends and neighbors of Bob Schoeni, who has been diagnosed with ALS, a fatal neuro-degenerative disorder. A2A3 raises funds specifically for research to find a cure for what’s commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Schoeni was on hand Sunday morning to cheer on the swimmers.

The relays were sponsored by several local businesses, including: Probility, Health and Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College, Jolly Pumpkin, Grizzly Peak, Blue Tractor, Barry’s Bagels, and Pizza House. [Full Story]

Freedom of the (Leg) Press

Emma Silverman just before completing a leg press.  Well, okay, ... she was the 50 pounds that completed the 1000-pound total.

Emma Silverman executed a 1,000-pound leg press. Well, okay ... she was the 50 pounds that completed the 1,000-pound total.

“Can we do it again?” asked Emma Silverman after her dad, Ken, had just completed a 1,000-pound leg press at the One on One Athletic Club on Thursday evening. The “it” was a ride on the leg press sled.

And her dad didn’t say no. He gave her a few more repetitions on the sled – but not before removing some of the 20 45-pound plates hanging off the 50-pound bar. The plates and the bar totaled 950 pounds.

Emma weighs exactly 50 pounds based on the pre-event weigh-in at the club, and it was her “live weight” that brought the total to 1,000 pounds.

It’s not a common father-daughter activity, not least because 1,000 pounds – as Silverman’s trainer, Roger Bowman, put it – “That’s a lot of weight.” Bowman, who’s worked at One on One for four years, confirmed that it’s not common to see that kind of poundage go up and down the leg press sled at the club.

So what motivated Silverman to begin training five months ago in December 2008 for his half-ton effort? It was to raise money for Ann Arbor Active Against ALS. [Full Story]