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Don Knight at classic Ann Arbor steakhouse Knight's new downtown location
Don Knight at classic Ann Arbor steakhouse Knight's new downtown location - Doug Coombe | Show Photo

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50 years, 50 stories: Celebrating 50 years of good.

Since 1963, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation has awarded more than $33 million in grants and scholarships, changing thousands of lives and seeding local organizations and programs that are now valued assets to our community. Robert Kerschbaum, AAACF’s first executive director shares his vivid recollections of the organization's early years. 

Mix Studio Theater: Rethinking Retail Space

The promotion of mixed-use development has become a clarion call for progressive urbanists. But why limit the concept to streets and neighborhoods? How about retail spaces and storefronts? That's just what the Mix in Ypsilanti is doing.

Fourth and Washington: Retail Rejuvenation

What a difference a successful retail business makes. With Literati bookstore serving as an anchor, the retail shops (mostly locally owned) along Fourth and Washington in downtown Ann Arbor have brought vibrancy and energy into an area that once lived in the shadow of Main Street's restaurant row.

OpEd: Vote Yes to Buses and a More Connected Community

The upcoming May 6 vote is designed to get more people on board with boarding the bus. Carolyn Lusch, a regular bus rider and coordinator of the MDetroit Center Connector shuttle, opines on why expanded bus service in the Ann Arbor/Ypsi areas will help to create a more connected, equitable region.

50 years, 50 stories: Ypsilanti's Rutherford Pool

For 30 years Ypsilanti’s Rutherford Pool provided a community gathering spot for people of all ages and backgrounds. Closed in 2011, Friends of the Rutherford Pool set out to raise more than $1 million to build a new state-of-the-art facility. With help from a $50,000 grant from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, the brand new pool will open Mary 23 - just in time for summer!

To Compete or Non-Compete: Contracts That Make Michigan Less Competitive

States known for tech innovation and new economy success have shed their old school non-compete contracts to attract the best and brightest talent while fostering greater cross pollination of ideas and inventions. So with all the noise Michigan is making about creating a 21st-century economy why are we clinging to a 20th-century business practice?

Stories from Across the IMG Network

Issue Media Group publications cover "what's next" for urban centers. Check out the top stories in urban innovation from cities like Toronto, Memphis, Cleveland and Denver. 

50 years, 50 stories: George M. Hull Memorial Fund

Ypsilanti physician Dr. George Hull believed that quality health care should be available to all residents. Back in 1926, a $50,000 memorial foundation was established in his honor. In 2006, the Foundation’s Board transferred those assets to the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund to provide ongoing support to local health and human service agencies.

Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory: Building a Business One Chip at a Time

If you've had chips made by the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory you know that calling them "addictive" would be an understatement. So, how did this hand-made tortilla and chip company spring up in a town as unlikely as Ann Arbor? Read on and the truth will be revealed.

Cool Jobs: Matthew Altruda - Music Impresario

With bands like Tally Hall, Mayer Hawthorne and Michelle Chamuel grabbing the national spotlight, Ann Arbor has been quietly producing first-rate music for a while now. If it was up to Matthew Altruda we'd be a lot louder about it. As the city's unofficial rock impresario and biggest booster, Altruda is the big brains behind Sonic Lunch, The Puck Drops Here, and Tree Town Sounds.

OpEd: How Companies Can Perk Up Their Work Cultures

If your company is a place where people love to come to work every day, chances are it will prosper both culturally and economically. But how to get there? Rich Sheridan, president of Menlo Innovations and author of Joy, Inc. discusses Ann Arbor's cultural terroir and how your company can promote a better workplace.

50 years, 50 stories: Sister Yvonne Gellise Fund for Supportive Services for Housing

Research shows that the most cost-effective strategy for helping the chronically homeless is to provide safe housing coupled with support services. In 2011, St. Joseph Mercy Health System made a $1 million pledge to establish a permanent endowment at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation as a source of funding. AAACF matched that generous gift with an additional $1 million.

Duo Security: More Than Just a Workplace

Can a cutting edge startup be both success-minded and fun? According to Duo Security's Dug Song, the answer is an unequivocal "yes." Achieving astounding growth over four years, this Ann Arbor Internet security firm has not only become the local company to watch, it has developed a family-like workplace that's creative, supportive and innovative.

Wolverine Wellness Innovatives Student Health and Well-being

While debates about how best to deliver healthcare in the United States rage on, conversations about our health and well-being have spread into every corner of society. Inspired by that discussion, U-M has launched an innovative new approach to student health by offering holistic programs that employ coaching, education and therapy as a path toward better living.

50 years, 50 stories: Community Foundation of Plymouth

Established in 2005, the Community Foundation of Plymouth has awarded more than $182,000 in grants and scholarships to enrich the lives of its residents. Supporting the Michigan Philharmonic’s outreach programs, funding playground equipment for children with special needs, and helping low income students attend summer camp are just a few examples.
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