Category: Community - Original Written by Chuck JacksonChief Clinical Officer at Starr Commonwealth
Autism is something we all need to respect – children, families, government, schools and employers will increasingly find autism to be a day-to-day reality. However, while autism is for life, it does not have to get in the way of life.
Approximately 15,000 children in Michigan are living with autism spectrum disorder. Nationally, the rate is at least 1 in 88 children, although some research suggests as many as 1 in 50 are on the spectrum.
With such a dramatic rise in known cases, America needs to get better at understanding, diagnosing and treating autism. Significant improvements are being made. The recently published Michigan Autism Spectrum Disorders State Plan is a major leap forward in making sure children and families can access the support they need.
At Starr Commonwealth, we’ve been supporting children with autism and other neurological differences for over 13 years. We operate Montcalm, Michigan’s only therapeutic boarding school, which treats children from across the U.S., many of whom are on the spectrum.
Our approach is to provide a positive, strength-based environment for children, where they can find their own path, developing academically and socially, with all the professional help they might need being made available.
We also provide in-home care for children and adults living with developmental disabilities, including autism. Our PsychSystems program is one of Michigan’s leading in-home care providers for people with developmental disabilities and can offer services tailored to an individual or family’s needs.
The approach at Starr is about being person-centered, recognizing that everyone has different needs. With autism, each case is unique, and that’s our starting point. We always see the person before the condition.
As our understanding of autism improves, society will find new and better ways to ensure that anyone living with autism can be happy, healthy and awesome. Michigan is making significant progress in this important area and we look forward to working with partners to maintain the momentum.
Find out more at starr.org/autism
Editor’s Note: Chuck Jackson, MA, is executive vice president and chief clinical officer at Starr Commonwealth. He is also executive director of StarrVista, a care management organization in Wayne County.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:48
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
These are, in many ways, tough times in the city of Detroit. There can be no doubt about that.
But as I see it, some very important blocks are being put into place to rebuild this great city, where I was born and raised, and where today I run a business employing more than 6,400 people working downtown.
Unlike other unsuccessful revitalization pushes of the past, this one has support from a broad array of interests and has the look of being sustainable.
Scarcely a week goes by nowadays when a major national or international news outlet doesn’t devote a story to Detroit’s emerging entrepreneurial scene, or discuss how demand for housing in some neighborhoods is outpacing supply. A travel writer recently asserted that Detroit is a better place to visit than Chicago, with friendlier residents and stunning architecture. NBC recently featured the Downtown Boxing Gym, an east-side nonprofit offering local kids an alternative to the streets.
The central business district is a vastly different place than it was just a few years ago, filled with vitality and new energy. Walking around Campus Martius at lunch these days, you could easily mistake yourself for being in Manhattan. In fact, Forbes recently included Detroit in a list of “10 Up and Coming Downtowns” (the list also included Grand Rapids). Great things are in store, with companies like Campbell Ewald set to move downtown and Red Piston, a mobile app developer based across the border in Windsor, having opened a sales office here.
Buildings like the Broderick Tower and the David Whitney Building that were long empty are being redeveloped. In Midtown, new mixed-use developments like the Auburn and the Woodward Garden Block Development are adding density and new vitality. Construction is set to begin this year on the M-1 Rail project, backed by my company and a number of Detroit-based businesses and employers.
Business leaders are showing their faith in Detroit, and Blue Cross is proud to join them in pitching in to make the city a better place. As U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood put it when announcing the federal government’s backing of M-1 Rail, “No other city in America has had their business community come together and raise $100 million dollars.”
Community discussions about how the downtown and Midtown cores are prospering while city neighborhoods continue to struggle are understandable. But there are very real indicators that businesses, nonprofits and community groups are rallying to do what they can, given limited financial resources, to make things better.
In March, BCBSM joined Chrysler, Ford, GM, Quicken Loans, The Kresge Foundation, Penske Corp., Platinum Equity and FirstMerit Bank to contribute $8 million to Mayor Dave Bing’s Active and Safe Campaign. The money will be used to replace the city’s fleet of 23 ambulances and purchase 100 new police cruisers, addressing a key concern about public safety.
You also see innovative work being done by community groups like Southwest Solutions, the Brightmoor Alliance, People for Palmer Park and the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp. to overcome the forces of decline and improve their home neighborhoods. On Oakman Boulevard, for example, the Neighborhood Service Organization is spending $50 million to redevelop the former Michigan Bell Building as housing for homeless people, complete with a health clinic, financial literacy classes and other services.
Businesses that invest downtown are creating jobs and adding tax revenue that benefit the entire city. Nonprofit groups and volunteers are doing what they can to stabilize neighborhoods. When housing becomes scarce in Corktown or Midtown, people start looking further out, and a new cycle begins.
In Detroit, we’re all part of the city’s future, and every little bit of progress makes it a little easier for the city to tackle serious longstanding issues and move forward.
Daniel J. Loepp is president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and chairman of the Executive Committee of the Downtown Detroit Partnership.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:43
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Detroit, MI, May 20, 2013 --ArtPlace America announces today the award of a $200,000 grant to Detroit Economic Growth Association for REVOLVE Detroit to activate empty storefronts along Livernois Avenue with art and related activities. The project was chosen from over 1,200 applications as an exceptional example of creative placemaking.
REVOLVE Livernois will match world-class designers and artists with local university students, residents, and entrepreneurs. Artists will create temporary and permanent installations for vacant storefronts and public spaces. Along with other art-related events, the installations will continue to re-vitalize Detroit's historic "Avenue of Fashion." This summer, a local panel will select five artists with national reputations, five local artists, and several University students to create original works inspired by the district and its rich legacy. The installations will be displayed early next fall.
ArtPlace America is a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies committed to accelerating creative placemaking - putting art at the heart of a portfolio of strategies designed to revitalize communities. This is ArtPlace America's third cycle of grant awards, and Detroit was one of 54 organizations that earned an award.
"The Avenue of Fashion has and always will be one of Detroit's premiere cultural and entertainment districts," said Olga Stella, vice president, business development at Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). "Our goal is to show how the arts can serve as a catalyst for community and economic revitalization."
Kim Swift an artist with the studio We Came In Peace, and creative director for the project said, "Detroit is rapidly evolving as a cultural hotbed for artists and young entrepreneurs from all over the world. The Avenue of Fashion is a perfect place for a diverse group of local and international artists, architects and designers to come together with the community and rediscover the greatness that?s already there. By connecting the emerging with the established to create spaces and art that engages, inspires and builds commercial interest, we aim to foster a climate of possibility and strengthen the fabric of the community."
Kim Tandy, program manager at University Commons said, "Livernois Avenue has a great tradition of art, fashion and music, and we are very pleased to be able to showcase the work of artists from other parts of the country and the world with some of the great work of Detroit artists. Detroit ArtPlace projects will help us continue the momentum we have built for re-invigorating this important district of Detroit. Watch for more to come."
Rip Rapson, chair of ArtPlace America's Presidents' Council and president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation said, "ArtPlace America recognizes the central role arts and cultural activities can have in the revitalization of American cities. With this grant award ArtPlace America is directing individual project support to scores of creative, high-impact projects throughout the country."
REVOLVE activities along Livernois Avenue are part of a collaborative effort among government and non-profit agencies, businesses, anchor institutions such as University of Detroit-Mercy and Marygrove College, and University Commons community organization. The initiative is supporting ongoing projects that are revitalizing this important district of Detroit.
One of the consulting project managers on the Livernois project is Mosaic Urban Partners, an advisory services firm that specializes in the regeneration of urban neighborhoods throughout the country. Mosaic has worked on a number of projects in Detroit and will also provide national best practices expertise on creative placemaking and arts-based revitalization projects.
REVOLVE Detroit is a collaborative program of the DEGC that partners with community leaders, building owners, entrepreneurs, and artists to activate vacant storefronts with transformational businesses and art installations. The goal of the program is to foster the evolution and vibrancy of Detroit?s neighborhood business districts.
About Detroit Economic Growth Association
Detroit Economic Growth Association (DEGA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the economic development of the city of Detroit. DEGA is administered by Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), a non-profit organization that serves as the lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development initiatives in the city of Detroit.
DEGC is led by a 60-member board comprised of business, civic, labor and community leaders. Its 40 professionals provide staff services for key public authorities that offer tax credits and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs or economic activity to the city. Among them: the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA), Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA), and Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA). DEGC also provides planning, project management and other services under contract to the City of Detroit.www.degc.org
About ArtPlace America
ArtPlace America provides grants and loans, supports research, and conducts outreach and advocacy. To date, ArtPlace America has awarded 130 grants totaling $42.1 million to 130 organizations in 90 U.S. communities (and a statewide project in the state of Connecticut).
Foundations participating in ArtPlace America include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors.
ArtPlace America also seeks advice and counsel from close working relationships with various federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.
ArtPlace America is also supported by a $12 million loan fund capitalized by six major financial institutions and managed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Participating institutions are Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife, and Morgan Stanley. www.artplaceamerica.org
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 18:43
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
GM Foundation and Chevrolet Donate to ‘Help 4 Oklahoma’
Forgotten Harvest leads aid gathering for Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and tornado victims
DETROIT – The General Motors Foundation is pledging $50,000, and Chevrolet is donating a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup to Forgotten Harvest to assist with the organization’s “Help 4 Oklahoma” campaign to get supplies to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and help those impacted by this week’s devastating tornadoes.
“The GM Foundation’s $50,000 donation to Forgotten Harvest for ‘Help 4 Oklahoma’ is just the first step in our support for those impacted by the tornadoes,” said Selim Bingol, GM’s global vice president of Communications and Public Policy and the chairman of the GM Foundation. “Our employees want to help and will volunteer locally at Forgotten Harvest, and we will engage our plants and other facilities across the U.S. to collect food to help this effort.”
To implement "Help 4 Oklahoma," Forgotten Harvest is partnering with the GM Foundation, Chevrolet, Art Van, WDIV-TV 4, WJR AM 760 and The Detroit Media Partnership.
“We will be collecting shelf-stable foods, and medical and hygiene products for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma,” said Susan Goodell,” CEO of Forgotten Harvest. “Vehicles will be instrumental in the implementation of this effort and we thank Chevrolet for this generous donation.”
Said GM North America President Mark Reuss, vice chair of the GM Foundation: “Chevrolet continues its support of local organizations and disaster relief efforts with the donation of a Chevrolet Silverado to Forgotten Harvest. GM and the GM Foundation will support ‘Help 4 Oklahoma’ with the full breadth of our operations.”
Since 2004, the GM Foundation has provided more than $7 million to global disaster relief efforts. The Foundation is also a member of the American Red Cross Disaster Responder Program to ensure that the Red Cross has funds on hand to provide immediate relief when disaster strikes.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:42
SALSA, MUSIC & MANSIONS: Palmer Woods Afro Cuban Jazz, May 25 Jazz, Classical, World Music & a Splash of R & B, June 21-22
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
The paradisal spring gardens behind a stately Palmer Woods Mansion will be swaying with the hot rhythms of Orquesta La Inspiracion's horns, percussion and vocals for the upcoming Palmer Woods Music in Homes concert on Saturday, May 25 at 8 pm. A delicious Mexican feast will be served during intermission, and the main floor of the home will be open for a tour prior to the concert.
Orquesta La Inspiracion is led by award-winning jazz pianist and music director Bill Meyer. Bringing together veterans of Detroit’s Latin and jazz scenes, his ear respects and his hand reveals these distinct traditions to produce authentic music derived from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Meyer’s new musical structures also include elements of Yoruban, Congolese, and Dahomean traditions.
This is a concert where the audience is encouraged to not keep still. Propelled by the rhythms and tones of Afro-Cuban pop and salsa, those within earshot instantly become part of the unique Latin pulse and are often up on their feet dancing.
The Palmer Woods Music in Homes series presents outstanding live music set in the magnificent homes of one of the City of Detroit’s most beautiful and historic neighborhoods. The 2012-2013 season launched in December, followed by a jazz, classical or world music concert each month in a different magnificent home. The spring-summer concerts are held in beautiful gardens, shelter by a spacious tent.
Tickets, $40 or $35 each for groups of 10 or more, are sold in advance only and can be purchased online at palmerwoods.org or by calling 313-891-2514. The location of the home is provided to ticket holders. The concerts are special opportunities to hear world-class musicians who have Detroit-area roots. Included is a reception with delicious food, beverages and desserts (often related to the musical style).
The June concert will be held under the sunshine and stars beneath a large tent in the magnificent garden behind a meticulously restored 4,700 sq. ft. Italian Renaissance mansion. The main floor of the home will be open for a guided view during part of the evening.
On Friday, June 21, the musical bouquet is infused with a mixture of jazz and classical influences, as well as Argentine tango and Spanish works, performed by the Spencer Barefield Super String Quartet. On Saturday, the Thornetta Davis ensemble will journey through the jazz world with a funk-fusion-R&B edge.
For the past six years, Palmer Woods residents and Creative Arts Collective spearheads Barbara and Spencer Barefield have asked their neighbors to welcome 100-200 guests into their homes to support the arts and help to raise money to benefit their historic neighborhood.
The response has been extraordinary. "We have produced more than 50 concerts with the Palmer Woods Association, and they all sell out, sometimes more than a month in advance," guitarist/composer Spencer Barefield explains. "Musicians — incredible Detroit-based artists with international acclaim — are thrilled to perform. There have even been a number of concert guests who were so impressed with the neighborhood that they decided to buy a home and move here."
Some homeowners have so much fun that they have signed on year after to year as hosts. There is a neighborhood team that assists with concert receptions, preparing culinary feasts to match the music. Guests — who travel from far and wide — are loyal supporters. The Barefields, in collaboration with the neighborhood, have created a unique way to support the arts, improve the image and quality of life in Detroit and their historic neighborhood, and preserve its architectural treasures and history.
Music of the Grand Finale - Summer Solstice weekend:
The grand finale weekend opens on Friday, June 21 at 8pm with the Spencer Barefield Super String Quartet. "Paganini to Piazzolla, Barefield & Beyond" will be presented by this adventurous ensemble—featuring world-renowned guitarist A. Spencer Barefield, violinist Jannina Barefield Norpoth, violist John Madison and bassist John-Paul Norpoth. The quartet straddles the boundaries of traditional, avant garde and modern jazz, classical, world music and other music idioms.
The multi-talented string players will perform exciting works composed by 2010 Kresge Arts Fellow Barefield, as well as selections that will come from their repertoire, such as legendary jazz composers such as Joe Henderson, Dizzy Gillespie, Oliver Nelson, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn. Add some spicy classical works of Spanish composers Enrique Granados and Manuel de Falla, and Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla, and the challenging works of Niccolò Paganini, for out-of-this-world music — performed by four virtuosic, super string players.
Jannina (Spencer's daughter) has soloed with the Detroit Symphony, and has been a featured performer alongside Itzhak Perlman, Emmanuelle Boisvert, Regina Carter, Marcus Belgrave, Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Jannina's husband John-Paul has performed under the batons of Itzhak Perlman, Kurt Mazur, Bright Sheng, Jamie Laredo, Otto Werner Mueller and others in numerous New York-area orchestras. John is the principal violist for the Michigan Opera Theatre and regular Detroit Symphony Orchestra sub. He is among the Detroit area's most esteemed performers and educators.
In addition, there will be a free concert for children from 5-6 with the A. Spencer Barefield Super String Quartet. Reservations can be made at palmerwoodsmusicforchildren.eventbrite.com
On Saturday, June 22 at 8 pm, Thornetta Davis and her ensemble fill the stage. Detroit’s “Queen of the Blues” is equally at home with R&B, soul, and the timeless Motown sound. Her voice is at once commanding and deliciously smooth. Thornetta’s seductive way with melody has made her a natural to perform as an opening act for stars as diverse as Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Etta James, Buddy Guy, Gladys Knight, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, and Johnnie Johnson. Thornetta is an extraordinary artist whose other venues include the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival (with Bonnie Raitt) and the Lilith Fair at Pine Knob (with Sarah McLachlan). Even Kid Rock sings Thornetta’s praises, after sharing the stage with her at the VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards at Madison Square Garden. She has also recorded vocals for CDs by Kid Rock and Bob Seger. For more than two decades, Thornetta has been one of the driving wheels of Detroit’s rich musical heritage. In 2001, she was inducted into the Detroit Music Hall of Fame. In 2002, the Detroit Music Awards honored her live record at the Music Menu as Best R&B/Blues Recording. She has continually won top honors from the Detroit Music Awards as outstanding blues/r&b vocalist.
Thank you to our presenters, Palmer Woods Association and Creative Arts Collective, and our sponsors: Be Well Medical Center & Skin Rejuvenation; Barefield DesignWorks; Blossoms Birmingham; City Living Detroit, DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, WRCJ-90.9FM.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 16:05
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