Detroit Afrikan Funkestra for the 2016 Detroit Design Festival
On Fox2 News Detroit: Detroit Design Festival with the Detroit Afrikan Funkestra
Celebrating Detroit’s recent designation as a UNESCO City of Design, the North End neighborhood’s heritage as the birthplace of Funk Music, and an approach to designing community building initiatives from co-creative approaches. I helped represent the Detroit Afrikan Funkestra led by Bryce Detroit and the rest of his Synergistic Mythologies ensemble on Detroit’s morning news.
The Detroit Afrikan Funkestra in Azure Magazine
Event photos by photographer Alexandre de Veiga
Footage by filmmaker Kate Levy
In April, Tim Davis, the College of Business’s Director of Innovation Labs at UM-Dearborn and professor of entrepreneurship invited me as a judge for their Design Solutions student business pitch competition.
Teams studied were challenged to create a business that benefits Detroit in addressing current social and health related challenges. There’s a lot more depth to what the teams came up with than what’s covered in the article which I hope to share in the future when feasible.
I’m quoted twice in “The Legacy”, UM-Dearborn’s internal alumni magazine. I’m honored that the Chancellor quoted me in his opening column “A Little Conversation” on page 3, and I’m also quoted for what I did with the Native Plant Seeds for the Student Environmental Association’s Native Plant Seeds sustainability project on page 22!
Several of my colleagues and friends, (shout out to Robert Schubert and Dana Wloch) were key to making the project work. Rob was interviewed as well but a lot of our interview got cut in final press due to space limitations.
Nov. 24, 2010 Conscientious recreation on International Climate Action Day
City of Dearborn Television
Footage from the event and wisdomful remarks from many of the groups involved in putting it together! There’s some understandable confusion about the organizations represented in the video–there’s the “Cool Cities” program run by the Sierra Club, of which we created the “Cool Cities Dearborn” chapter, and then there’s the (now defunct) “Michigan Cool Cities” program that was initiated by Governor Granholm. I was part of the Dearborn Cool Cities Sierra Club, but acted on behalf of the Student Environmental Association in the interview.
Oct. 21, 2010 Dearborn Sustainability Roundtable III: Higher Education and Community Outreach “Now You SEA Me, Now You Don’t”, The Henry Ford Community College Mirror
Henry Ford Community College covered this event (I’m happy to have finally found it one year later in 2012).
A bit about what I did during Campus Sustainability Fest 2010 with special guest speaker Dr. Micheal Shriberg of the Graham Sustainability Institute. Shriberg spoke about sustainability and the disjoint between concerned students and conservative institutional administration. Making institutional sustainability happen at colleges was in some ways “possibly more challenging than lobbying politicians”. However, Dr. Janet Dunn pointed out that one advantage that commuter campuses have over other colleges is their potential for informal outreach to families–many students can educate their own families and neighborhoods about the things they learn and discover.
Oct.9 2010 Conscientious recreation for International Climate Action Day Dearborn Press and Guide
Bottom line for the event: we can make fun a meaningful experience too; being conscientious about our choices for recreation positively contributes to making sustainability happen as people of all ages and backgrounds.
Sep.18 2010 Recommendation to Dearborn City Council to adopt Recreation Master Plan The Examiner
I wasn’t physically present, but I submitted a letter which was read by a colleague and brought together insight from several citizen groups, students, Tom Woiwode (of the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan greenways initiatives), students, and residents to find out what basic information and insights could be sharpened prior to submitting comment to the council.
Aug. 23 2010 Topic for First Dearborn Sustainability Roundtable: What makes Dearborn Sustainable? Dearborn Press and Guide
Our goal was to gather interpretations and initiatives from the community at large to authentically frame and illustrate its characterization of sustainability through existing efforts. Many of the participants in the first Roundtable [by the way, we made Round Table into a compound word] represented local residences, grassroots citizen advocacy groups, educational or advocating non-profits, and academia.
Jan. 24 2013 Science meets Art; Life and the Life Sciences Orchestra
My raw e-mail on what it’s like to be part of the UM LSO (remarks did not make it to print): http://bit.ly/LifeNLifeSciOrch
Jul. 2 2012 Street Performer’s/Street Vendor’s Festival
The Mity Nice Street Fair brought together a handful of wonderful performers. While I was there primarily to perform my own music, I certainly learned a lot about engaging spontaneous audiences by seeing the wonderful things my fellow street performers did, even with their non-musical acts.
Also, see the MityNice Blog.
Oct. 25 2012 United Nations Celebration Day at UM-Dearborn
University of Michigan-Dearborn News
The article fails to note my role in presenting the prelude music and remarks on their tie-in with diversity: I performed the prelude for the event and illustrated parallels in cultural diversity and pointed to Higher Education’s opportunity to initiate and advance change with the diversity of communities it is privileged to host, and remain host to. I also played a set of Northern Irish tunes in tribute to Senator George Mitchell (whom the Sam Zehra scholarship fund was created in honor of), who had a significant role in negotiating peace talks in Northern Ireland during the Clinton administration.
Dec. 12 2009 Ann Arbor Community Sing
Every year, Ann Arbor holds a “Messiah Community Sing”–it’s the equivalent of pick-up soccer for an orchestra and choir, or as Richard Ingam, the 2009 conductor of the ensemble put it: “it’s a great example of democracy in the arts”. Anyone can join in (though it’s limited to instruments covered in the score of Handel’s Messiah), there’s no prior rehearsal, everyone’s there to articulate their take on what beautiful music might sound like as a collective. For those who participated in the piece, it’s a remarkable feeling–an endeavor almost on par with the mythical Hero’s journey–to realize that a potpourri of people came together and successfully re-created a masterwork that captivated audiences for centuries.
Feb. 13 2013 PHOTOS: Alex Belhaj, Ian D. Tran, and Zach & Co @ Silvio’s, Ann Arbor MI
Listen to the Mitten
For musings on love and sustainability inspired by partaking in Swing Ann Arbor’s Valentines Day Dance:
Dec. 12 2012 Bell Isle Conservancy Holiday Stroll
What’s Up Detroit
Includes a video of me playing an improvised medley of holiday and personal tunes.