Flash Point: Detroit 1967 exhibit at the Lorenzo Cultural Center until Sept. 30

Flash Point picIt’s been 50 years since the Detroit riots, and the Lorenzo Cultural Center is joining other area organizations in commemorating the event through its exhibit Flash Point: Detroit 1967.

A display of photographs and poignant quotes from period documents and reports captures the tone of this turbulent time. The exhibit is complemented by a series of presentations that include a discussion of the events that led to the 1967 uprising and the climate of the city, a showing of Summer ’67: Finding the Lost which examines the 43 lives cut short during the uprising, and the Stagecrafters Community Theater’s rehearsal of excerpts from the play Detroit ’67. For a complete listing of the presentations, click here.

The exhibit, which runs through Sept. 30, is the result of a partnership with the Detroit Historical Society’s D67 Project.

The exhibit and accompanying presentations are open to the public at no charge, but registration is required for the presentations by calling (586) 445-7348 or by emailing culturalcenter@macomb.edu. No registration is required to view the exhibit, which is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until Sept. 1 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday from Sept. 5 through Sept. 30. The Lorenzo Cultural Center is located on Macomb Community College’s Center Campus in Clinton Township at Hall and Garfield roads.

Tish Wirth is the public relations coordinator for Macomb Community College.

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Wine and art this weekend at The Loft

The Loft 3

Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not try something nonsensical? The Nonsensical Exhibition at The Loft Fine Art is running Aug. 12 – 26 with an opening reception is tonight. The curated show will feature work from 26 local artists.

Located at 81 Macomb Place in Mount Clemens, The Loft is a gallery that sells original paintings, limited-edition prints, sculptures and more. With rotating artwork and exhibitions, there is always something new to discover here.

When the gallery started to plan their Nonsensical Exhibition, a call went out to area artists to submit artwork that would fit under this curious theme. The results were submissions ranging from silly to deep. Mixed media, oil and acrylic paintings; three-dimensional pieces; and photography will be on display. Gallery staff described all of the selected work as very strong.

The Loft 2

Whether you’re intrigued by the Nonsensical Exhibition, are interested in the local art scene or simply want to enjoy good company with others, stop by the opening reception from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. In addition to great artwork, there will also be free hors d’oeuvres and wine. Deborah Benedic, marketing director at The Loft, will give a special dance performance. And the best part? If you fall in love with a piece or art, you have the opportunity to buy it for your own personal collection.

More artwork is available for purchase online at TheLoftFineArt.com.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas works for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, often providing content for the Make Macomb Your Home website.

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Warren Civic Theatre brings Seuss tales to life

Far away, in a land called the Jungle of Nool, a kindhearted elephant stands guard over a miniature city built upon a fleck of dust.

So begins Seussical, a show that combines all of your favorite Dr. Seuss tales into one musical spectacular. Warren Civic Theatre (WCT) chose Seussical, the latest in a long line of family-friendly productions, to be the opening show of its 29th season.

culture3“The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust that contains the Whos,” Director Joe Colosi explains. “Not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie LaBird.”

Joe Colosi has served as the Associate Artistic Director for WCT since 2009, and has worked in children’s and educational theatre for more than 15 years. WCT’s other capable leaders include Founding Artistic Director Greg Trzaskoma, Company Manager Kristin Fritschi, Artist in Residence Andy Zulkiewski and a score of talented associate and guest artists. Together, the team puts on five full-scale productions every year.

This year, that lineup includes James and the Giant Peach Jr., The Lion King Jr., A Christmas Carol and Guys and Dolls. What makes WCT unique is the wide range of shows they perform: some shows offer open casting (in which everyone who auditions gets a role) while some feature competitive casting. Some shows are intended for young performers, while others are aimed at adult participants.

Tickets run from $5 – $15 depending on proximity to the stage—a price so affordable you’ll want to go twice and see both casts!

What began in 1990 as a children’s summer theater workshop with only a handful of participants has grown into a full-fledged theatrical organization. Over the years, members have toured at various universities, and have performed everything from Shakespeare to Disney. After you see Seussical, keep your eye out for WCT’s future performances. Whether you want to take workshops, act, direct, stage manage, put together costumes, work lights and sound, garner publicity or simply watch a show, there is a place for you at WCT!

To learn more about Macomb County’s music, theater and dance scene, check out our brand-new Connect to Culture page. There you’ll find tons of venues and groups that suit your interests, whether you want to take center stage yourself or simply take in a performance. Hope to see you at the theater!

Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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Armada Fair gets ready to amaze for 145th consecutive year

fair3As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a festival connoisseur.

My years of extensive research have led me to conclude that every fair offers something unique. Some are home to nostalgic carnival rides. Others exhibit animals, everything from the biggest cow to the tiniest duckling. Still others feature pageants that crown inspirational young women from the community. And some merely boast the best deep-fried Oreos around.

Luckily, there’s one fair that manages to capture all of those things and more: the Armada Fair.

To many Michiganders, the Armada Fair is something of a legend. And to fair enthusiasts like me, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

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This year the fair runs from Aug. 14-20. During that time, thousands will gather nightly to experience the thrill of a bump-and-run, a figure-eight race or demolition derby, for which the fair is famed. Other main events include truck and tractor pulls, a rodeo and a concert by Brothers Osborne.

During the day, fairgoers can experience everything from robotics demonstrations, to dog obedience shows, to silent art auctions. And you won’t want to miss the free eating contests held daily, featuring watermelon, corn, pizza and pie.

The Armada Fair is packed with activities for people of all ages, so much so that it would be impossible to mention them all. You can browse the full schedule here. Get your tickets soon, and revel in the magic of this fantastic Macomb County tradition.

Jenna Russell is a summer intern for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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34th Annual Shelby Township Art Fair

logo.tifAugust 2, 2017 – Mark your calendar for August 12 & 13 to stop by the Shelby Township Municipal Grounds for the 34th Annual Shelby Township Art Fair.  In addition to seeing some fabulous art from national, regional and local artists and artisans, this event features a variety of crafts as well as products from Michigan based businesses and family-friendly entertainment.

Bring the family for a day filled with activities and entertainment, and bring home a special piece of art, a hand-made item, product, or a souvenir from your visit.

Parking and entry is FREE and so is the shuttle bus (sponsored by Christian Financial Credit Union) that travels between the grounds and the Community Center, so you won’t have a long walk back to your car with all of the treasures you found at the fair.

shelby art

This event is presented by the Shelby Township Art Fair Committee, hosted by the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department and is supported by our generous sponsors including DTE Energy Foundation, Christian Financial Credit Union, Genisys Credit Union, C & G Newspapers, Macomb Charity Connect, Prime-Site Media, Shelby Community Foundation, Shelby Township FOP #142, Hayes Self Storage, and Eyeglass World – Shelby Township.

Entertainment Around the Grounds                

  • DTE Energy Foundation Kid’s Tent – Youth Art Display, Louie the Lightning Bug, Activities and Giveaways
  • Live Music at the Bandshell – Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union
  • Monster Mural Interactive Art for All Ages – Sponsored by Christian Financial Credit Union
  • Detroit Flyhouse Circus – show at 2:30 pm each day
  • Free Crafts and Bouncers at the Kid’s Craft & Activity Corner
  • See Live Critters from the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center
  • Fire Department Safety Bounce House & Truck
  • Police Department Child ID Kits
  • Trashy Treasures Recycled Art Competition – Hosted by the Shelby Township Solid Waste & Recycling Committee
  • Andrews Schoolhouse Tours – provided by the Shelby Township Historical Committee
  • Shelby-Macomb Kiwanis Aktion Club Craft Fundraiser

The Shelby Township Municipal Grounds are located at 52700 Van Dyke Avenue, just south of 24 Mile Road and the fair hours are Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

More details about the fair are available at http://shelbyartfair.wix.com/shelbyartfair, on the Shelby Township Art Fair’s Facebook page, or by calling the Shelby Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department at 586-731-0300.

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45 new citizens welcomed into the land of the free, home of the brave

“Take one moment and look around at the people next to you. Notice the incredible diversity in this room. In spite of all our differences, though, we all share one thing in common: Not a single person looked around the room when I asked.”

naturalization ceremony2The tension in the room broke as Michael Tolhurst’s joke warmed up the crowd. On July 28, the Sterling Heights Public Library hosted its annual naturalization ceremony for the eight consecutive year, and 45 immigrants from 21 different countries took the oath of allegiance in order to become legal citizens of the United States.

It was a momentous occasion, to say the least.

“Today is the culmination of all your efforts. You may not always succeed at everything you try, but you have succeeded today. Because of you, your children and your grandchildren will know what hard work and success look like.” Tolhurst concluded his opening remarks, and the ceremony began.

First, Veterans of Foreign War Post 6250 carried out the presentation of the colors. Then the Memorial Signing Choir beautifully performed the national anthem in American Sign Language.

Next, Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor took the podium, declaring, “We are not just diverse in skin color, ideology or religion. We have people who are blind, who are deaf, who deal with various struggles and who have a variety of talents. You are who you are, and your uniqueness is part of what makes this the greatest country in the world.”

Taylor and others recounted inspirational stories, including the story of Hamdi Ulukaya, the Turkish-born immigrant who went on to found Chobani Yogurt and become a billionaire.

“You and your children may go on to become doctors or lawyers, to create new medicines, new businesses, or new technologies. You came here today with your own identity, and you will never lose that—but we hope you’ll melt into our great melting pot and enjoy all of the benefits and responsibilities that come with being a United States citizen,” said Taylor.

Magistrate Judge David R. Grand then distributed Certificates of Naturalization to all 45 new citizens. The Memorial Signing Choir performed a rendition of “America the Beautiful” that left everyone misty-eyed. And goosebumps erupted on every arm when the whole crowd—new citizens, their families, judges, veterans, dignitaries and members of the public—finally stood together to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

naturalization ceremony

One theme was repeated throughout the ceremony: Diversity is what makes America strong. No matter what language we speak, what faith we practice, or where our ancestors hail from, together we can work toward making the American dream a reality for everyone.

OneMacomb is an organization that celebrates multicultural diversity in Macomb County. To learn more about OneMacomb and the resources they offer, click here.

Jenna Russell is a summer intern for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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Music in the Park strikes a chord

Windows rolled down, my friend and I cruise into Dodge Park on a summery Thursday evening, eager to take in a free concert.

Right away we hear the music of Journey, played expertly by tribute band Captured Detroit. The sun is setting slowly, casting a golden glow over the parking lot as “Any Way You Want It” booms over the speakers. My friend is in a hurry to go claim our spot on the lawn, but first, something surprising catches our eyes.

They have food here.

We find ourselves enclosed in a circle of food trucks boasting pizza, hot dogs, tacos, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, and even pierogis. And clustered between the trucks are 25 or so vendors selling everything from children’s books to sweet potato pie. The scent is mouthwatering.

We weave through the farmers market and make our way to the concert lawn, which is peppered with hundreds of concertgoers. Children, perched on their parents’ shoulders, bob and sway in time to the music. Near the front of the stage, couples of all ages are dancing. I can’t help but smile when I spot an older couple teaching a few swing dancing moves to a pair of teenagers.

The audience’s energy is palpable throughout the night, especially when Captured Detroit finally rocks out to the song we’ve all been waiting for: “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

It’s a beautiful moment to end the night on—hundreds of strangers singing every word in perfect unison, as if we’d all been rehearsing our whole lives for this moment.

The concert ends, and the last scrap of sunset melts away. The instruments are packed away, replaced by an inflatable movie screen—the park is showing “Lego Batman” tonight. As we drive away, the only thing I can think is, This is what summer is meant to be. I wish every night could be like this.

Luckily for me, Dodge Park hosts these Music in the Park nights every Thursday, all summer long. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

To stay in the loop about events like these, check out our comprehensive list of Macomb County events here!park

Jenna Russell is an intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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