Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Registration is open for community groups, block clubs, churches and businesses to be part of the seventh annual ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day, which will be held Saturday, Aug. 3, in neighborhoods throughout Detroit.
The day is a spectacular demonstration of community pride with more than 100 community service and improvement projects and celebratory events in more than 100 neighborhoods.
Last year, some 200 events were held on ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day, stretching from the riverfront to Eight Mile Road. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of volunteers participated.
The idea behind the event is to create an opportunity to showcase the pride and spirit of neighborhoods and forge relationships that can help improve the quality of life for city residents going forward. Groups can register at www.arisedetroit.org or phone 313-921-1955.
In exchange for a $50 registration fee, groups will receive a custom made banner promoting their event, t-shirts, a resource toolkit of information on community services and inclusion in the marketing and promotion of Neighborhoods Day. The registration deadline is July 1.
As in the past, community groups, block clubs and churches will host neighborhood clean-ups, help build new housing, host health fairs and free health screenings, parades anti-crime events, community service projects, youth concerts, school events and sign up volunteers for community programs.
Once again, ARISE Detroit! will also be partnering with Detroit Public Schools to get businesses and organizations to adopt schools for community service projects on Neighborhoods Day.
Community groups and organizations planning similar events in the month of August — not just on Aug. 3 — can have their events also promoted and marketed as part of the Neighborhoods Day observance if they pay the registration fee. All events will be posted online at www.arisedetroit.org.
Funded by the Kresge foundation and other supporters, ARISE Detroit! is a coalition of more than 400 non-profits, churches, community groups and organizations. ARISE Detroit! recruits volunteers and markets events and programs on behalf of local community groups trying to improve the quality of life in Detroit.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 14:38
Category: Community - Original Written by Roz Edward
The Motor City can boast another industry innovation ... techno music and the world's largest festival to feature and celebrate the music genre. Over the Memorial day weekend, thousands of "techno-music" fans gathered from around the world and descended on Hart Plaza in downtown for the Detroit Movement Electronic Music Festival.
Sidney Johnson a veteran of the Detroit music scene has seen and done it all on Detroit’s musical landscape — and he’s pretty much done it all on his terms. The artist/producer songwriter with 12 independent underground albums spoke with the Michigan Chronicle about themusic and it's roots.
"Detroit basically created techno. We were the innovators of that sound … It’s pretty much a faster version of house music with a rock n’ roll sound. The Techno Music Festival in Detroit is the largest of it’s kind in the world. The suburbs actually got into the culture and they really embraced it. Now they’re mixing it with dub step. We did a techno project called Galaxy 22. it got good response. Hart Plaza in downtown to Detroit to ... well eat drink and be merry.
This year is the 14th year for the festival, which became a ticketed event in 2005.
More than 100 artists appeared on five stages at Movement Electronic Music Festival at Hart Plaza over the 2013 Memorial day weekend.
Techno festival-goer, Mason Roberts is from Portland says he wants to see it all. “It’s so overwhelming because there is so much good talent here – that you really are pulled in so many different directions even if you don’t want to leave an area – when you get to the next one you are so satisfied … the people that put this together have a lot of history … they know what talent they need to bring here to draw from all over the world,” said Roberts.
The uber-popular Ribs and Jazz Soul Festival will take plave over another 3-day weekend from Aug. 9 - Aug.11.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:23
Category: Community - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins
The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy announced today that General Motors is returning as title sponsor of the signature River Days festival happening along the Detroit Riverfront June 21 – 23, 2013. The lead sponsorship from GM comes as the Conservancy celebrates its 10-year anniversary. The event’s new name, GM River Days presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, reflects GM’s tremendous support for the annual riverfront festival in Detroit.
"We are incredibly fortunate to have General Motors as a champion of River Days and a committed corporate partner that has supported the Conservancy's efforts since the beginning," said Matt Cullen, Chairman, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. "Our many great public and private partners have made it possible for us make significant progress on the riverfront as we continue to develop public access and serve as an anchor for economic development."
“General Motors is proud to continue its longtime support of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and return as the title sponsor of River Days,” said Tim Mahoney, Chief Marking Officer, General Motors. “We applaud the Conservancy for its remarkable work over the last decade that has led to miles of beautiful riverfront for our community and employees to enjoy and celebrate during this spectacular festival.”
“General Motors has been an incredible partner to the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy over the last decade,” said Faye Alexander Nelson, President & CEO, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. “GM was instrumental in the launch of River Days in 2007 and we are thrilled to welcome them once again as our title sponsor in this milestone year for the Conservancy.”
Headlining National Musical Acts
Organizers also announced one of the most legendary musical line-ups in the festival’s history on the Michigan Lottery Stage, featuring The Guess Who, The O’Jays and George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars. The Guess Who will get the crowd rocking to some of the most memorable songs of the classic rock era on Friday Night, while the mighty O’Jays, who recorded nearly a dozen No. 1 hits and recently celebrated five decades in the music business, will sing their timeless hits on Saturday night. On Sunday evening, George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, the group that revolutionized R&B during the 70s, twisting soul music into funk, will close out the festival in absolute grand style.
Three local Detroit bands were selected as opening acts on the Michigan Lottery Stage throughout the weekend including SuperLast, Soul Preacha's featuring Marcus Cole & Mark A'lleven and The Infatuations. In additional, the Third New Hope Baptist Church in Detroit is programming a fantastic Gospel Showcase on Sunday afternoon featuring J Moss and Anita Wilson. A full music line-up of more than 40 musical acts and kids’ stage entertainment will be released early next month.
This year’s River Days features exciting programming and the return of festival favorites, including:
Detroit River ArtScape, an open art competition, is returning after a colorful debut in 2012 with more featured artists and increased cash awards totaling $17,000 thanks to the generosity of the Knight Foundation. This year, the artwork from the 15 finalists will be on display along the RiverWalk, beginning Monday, June 17 through Sunday, June 23. In addition to a professional juror panel, the general public and River Days attendees will have the opportunity to also vote for their favorite artist through a special text messaging program, courtesy of ePrize.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will expand their involvement in the festival with more than 40 activities and programs that will take place inside the William G. Milliken State Park & Harbor, including campfire and s’more making exhibits. The DNR’s experts will be on hand to offer instruction on recreational activities such as fishing, birding, and disc golf, and provide demonstrations about camping, hiking, biking, paddling, and archery.
Located on Rivard Plaza, The Flagstar Kids Zone will keep kids laughing and playing all weekend long. Parents just need to pick up a free wristband from the Flagstar Bank Booth at the festival. The Kids Zone produced by The Parade Company will feature magic and puppet shows, face painting, hand painting with the Detroit Institute of Arts, recyclable crafts with Arts & Scraps and AM 910 Radio Disney entertainment on the Meijer Kids Stage. Rivard Plaza will also be the site of a 50-ton sand sculpture presented by Quicken Loans and designed by Team Sandtastic.
Kicking off the festival activities on Saturday, June 22, the DMC River Days 5K Walk and Run will showcase the Detroit RiverWalk, including the Milliken State Park and provide a healthy, fun experience for participants.
Proceeds from the event will help support the non-profit Conservancy. Interested runners may register at RiverDaysRun.com.
Strolling busker entertainment, a popular addition to last year’s event, will return for the second straight year. Concentrated in three areas along the RiverWalk, magicians, acrobats, living sculptures, musicians and more will delight and entertain all ages.
As always, festival-goers can take advantage of great fun on the water with the Diamond Jack River Tours, as well as tours of the Appledore IV tall ship presented by Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center docked at the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Dock. And festival favorite, Typhoon Tommy and his world-class jet ski team will use the Detroit River as their stage to perform big air jumps, flips and underwater dives for the crowds along the Riverfront.
The Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine will be the star of the Pepsi Taste of Detroit Food Court. In addition, more than 20 eateries will present fabulous food throughout the weekend, including Detroit’s own Cliff Bell's, Palm Palace, Wingstop and River Walk Café.
"The Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is excited to step up our partnership with River Days and the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy," said Raul Venegas, marketing director for the Mt. Pleasant Resort. "We see River Days as a unique regional festival with a beautiful backdrop and large crowds, making it perfect to showcase our resort, entertainment and great cuisine."
The 2013 GM River Days Presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort kicks off Friday, June 21 at 11 a.m. and spans from the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor to the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Terminal & Dock, just past the Renaissance Center. Festival hours are 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sunday. The Conservancy will charge a $3 admission fee (and $5 after 5 p.m.) to help underwrite programming and operational costs for the festival. For a full schedule of events and activities, please visit RiverDays.com.
GM River Days Presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is supported by Barefoot Winery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network, Brown Forman, Chandler Group, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Detroit Medical Center, ePrize, Flagstar Bank, Great Expressions Dental Centers, Great Lakes Beverage, HAP, Help Eliminate Auto Thefts, Knight Foundation, Made in Detroit, Majic Window, Meijer, MetroPCS, Michigan Lottery, Pepsi, Premier Ticket Service, Quicken Loans, Securitas, Sleep Innovations, The Truth Campaign, Virtual Emergency Services, LLC and Wingstop.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 May 2013 20:18
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
Fifteen Detroiters – educators and engineers, clothing designers and community organizers – were recently awarded $200,000. The one thing they have in common is that they are all black men who are doing positive things to help their communities. They received awards for their community projects in Detroit as winners of Black Male Engagement (BMe) Leadership Award.
BMe is a growing network of black men committed to one task, making their communities stronger. The award recognizes and provides resources to black men doing their part to better Detroit.
"There is no cavalry coming to save the day in communities across America. The visionary leaders that many are waiting for are already here and a bunch of them look like the BMe winners who are contributing to the vitality and resiliency of their communities every day,” said Shawn Dove, who leads the Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
The funding will help a variety of people and neighborhoods across the city – and will go towards various projects, from teaching youth a basic knowledge of economics, to promoting prostate cancer awareness. To forward BMe’s community-building mission, priority was given to projects that involved people and organizations working together to deepen their impact.
One of the most interesting projects which will receive funding was set up by graphic designer and former police officer Keith Young. Young was tired of arresting young people he saw as underdeveloped so he founded ‘The Creation Station’, which teaches urban youth to program and design a basic video game. Young students learn how to plan a game, write a story, create basic game code, and design game graphics to create a finished product that they can play for fun or sell to others.
Ray Winans is another one of the 2013 awards winners. He founded the youth empowerment group ‘Keeping Them Alive’ which works to reduce youth violence and increase youth education. The group meets every Saturday morning to engage in community service and activism. Winans also helps to educate his group; he takes them to the laundry mart, teaches them about the importance of personal hygiene, and has also taken youth to the grocery store and taught them how to cook.
The other men to receive the 2013 BMe Leadership Award were: Kwasi Akwamu; Phil Black; Shawn Blanchard; Clement Brown; Lewis Colson; Quanna Fish; Truman Hudson, Jr.; Norman Hurns; William Malcolm; Gaston Nash; Isaac Nzoma and Dongelo Moore; and Jason Wilson.
“BMe is based on a simple truth, that there are thousands of black men who are assets to their communities— and if the rest of us got behind people like these, the city would have more to celebrate,” said Trabian Shorters, who founded BMe. “They are men from all walks of life. They help others just because they can, and because they care.”
Launched in Detroit in 2011 and now in Philadelphia and Baltimore, the BMe community helps black men connect with each other, exchange ideas and receive resources to advance the positive work they do in the city. Numerous events—from barbershop talks to “acts of community” service —have taken place in the three cities. In addition, more than 3,000 men have shared their stories of personal commitment to improving their community —many of which can be found at BMecommunity.org.
BMe is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Open Society Foundations. The Heinz Foundation is funding a variation of BMe in Pittsburgh focused on story-gathering and positive images of black males.
For more information about BMe, visit www.bmecommunity.org or follow @bmecommunity on Twitter.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013 19:55
New Business Expansions, Community Improvement Projects and Brownfield Development Gain State Approval
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
LANSING – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of state incentives to five business expansions and four community improvement projects across the state that are expected to generate $173 million in new investments and add 1,119 new jobs in Michigan.
“These business expansions and community improvements demonstrate the growing optimism across Michigan among our business leaders and citizens,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “We’ve worked to better our state’s business climate and our efforts are bringing strong results. These new investments will strengthen our communities and fuel more and better jobs for our talented workforce.”
The MSF-approved projects include three in the metro Detroit region, another three in the corridor near Flint and Saginaw, two in West Michigan and one in Traverse City. The projects span industry sectors including auto suppliers in Marysville, Saginaw and Lake Orion, cereal production in Battle Creek, automation products near Holland and include a historic renovation in Detroit and community improvements in Fenton, Owosso and Traverse City.
MICHIGAN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM:
SMR Automotive Systems, USA, Inc. is a Tier 1 automotive supplier of rear vision systems. The company plans to expand its facility in the City of Marysville by adding a paint line and new equipment and reconfiguring the existing space. The company also plans to purchase a 100,000 square foot warehouse in the City of Port Huron. SMR plans to invest $40 million and add 350 new jobs related to the projects, resulting in a $4 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The City of Marysville is providing property tax abatements in support of the project.
J.R. Automation Technologies, LLC designs, manufactures and maintains specialized automated machinery around the world. Established in 1980, the company provided automated machinery to customers within the automotive industry. In 2008, the company expanded into new markets which now include consumer products, food processing, pharmaceutical, medical device and aeronautic industries. The company plans to expand existing operations in Olive Township and Holland Charter Township, creating 90 new jobs and investing up to $4.2 million. As a result of the expansion, J.R. Automation has been awarded a $300,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The townships have offered support in the form of 12-year property tax abatements.
Kay Screen Printing (d/b/a Kay Automotive Graphics) produces exterior graphics and trim parts for the North American automotive market. The company plans to construct a new facility in Orion Township, investing $12.9 million and creating 50 new jobs. As a result of the expansion, Kay Screen Printing has been awarded a $350,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Lake Orion Township is offering a 12-year property tax abatement valued at $731,000.
Post Foods dates back to 1895 as one of the early pioneers in the ready-to-eat breakfast cereal business when C.W. Post came to Michigan and formed the Postum Company. The company currently has manufacturing facilities in four locations: Battle Creek, MI; Jonesboro, AR; Modesto, CA; and Niagara, ON. This project would consolidate the manufacturing headquarters into the Battle Creek facility, relocating key leadership roles to Battle Creek and closing the Modesto facility. The company plans to invest $30 million and create 92 jobs, resulting in a $700,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The City of Battle Creek is offering support in the form of a property tax abatement.
COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION PROGRAM:
1212 Griswold Street LLC plans to renovate the historic 13-story Chamber of Commerce building, also formerly known as the Detroit Savings Bank Building, originally constructed in 1895 at 1212 Griswold Street in the City of Detroit. The building will be renovated into 56 residential apartments and commercial office space on floors one through five. The project will generate a total capital investment of approximately $37.6 million and create 120 new jobs. As a result, the project has been awarded a $6 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program loan. The City of Detroit is offering support to the project in the form of a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation tax abatement.
Corlin Builders, Inc. has been awarded an $880,000 Michigan Community Revitalization Program incentive to demolish an obsolete building located at 134 North Leroy in the City of Fenton and build a new, four-story mixed use development. The project will include first floor dining and retail space with 23 residential units on the top three floors. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of approximately $5.2 million and create 75 full-time positions. The City of Fenton has provided direct funding to the project from the Fenton Downtown Development Authority in the amount of $1.2 million.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM:
The City of Owosso has been awarded $270,375 in CDBG funds for façade improvements for seven buildings located within the traditional downtown core of Owosso. The project is receiving private matching funds from the business owners totaling $83,728 and $6,397 from the City of Owosso.
BROWNFIELD WORK PLAN:
TBA Credit Union Redevelopment Project – The County of Grand Traverse Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use school and local tax capture valued at $1,017,309 to demolish two buildings located on Front Street in the City of Traverse City. The project will include infrastructure improvements and preparation of the property for the construction of a new three-story headquarters for TBA Credit Union. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $7.3 million and create 17 permanent new jobs.
JOB RETENTION MBT TAX CREDIT AMENDMENT:
Nexteer Automotive Corporation MBT Retention Tax Credit amendment – Nexteer Automotive Corporation received an MBT Retention Tax Credit for 2,400 retained jobs at its Buena Vista Township facility in 2009. In October 2012 the credit was amended to allow for an additional 325 jobs related to new business for the years 2012 and 2013. The number of allowed jobs under the credit was set to revert back to 2,400 after 2013. Currently the company has the opportunity to locate new electric power steering and steering column manufacturing programs to the Buena Vista Township facility, requiring an estimated $36 million in new investment and 325 new jobs by December 2015. As a result of this growth, MSF approved an increase in the maximum allowance for retained jobs on Nexteer’s Job Retention MBT Tax Credit from 2,400 to 2,725 for the years 2014 through 2017.
“Today’s wide range of projects will all lead to greater economic opportunities for people across Michigan,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “These projects will help strengthen and revitalize Michigan’s communities and help growing companies generate new job opportunities.”
Pure Michigan is a brand on the rise, representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead agency for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.
For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: MichiganAdvantage.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 May 2013 13:03
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