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Ann Arbor : Featured Stories

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Concentrate Speaker Event: Art In Public Places

Since its launch, Ann Arbor's Percent For Art Program has been a political football. Now, there's a move to create an Art In Public Places millage. Concentrate has invited Deb Polich, director of the Arts Alliance and ArtTrain, and A2 city councilmember Christopher Taylor to talk about the value of public art and what the millage might mean for our community. Join us Thursday, Sept. 27!

Treecycling with Urbanwood

After the fall of many of Southeast Michigan's urban trees to the emerald ash borer and other misfortunes, a group of sustainability-minded individuals were left standing. Concentrate talks with Urbanwood, a partnership that's now a national model of recycling trees into green products.

Modern Yet Historic, Vintage Yet Sustainable

When Ann Arbor's most prolific Modern architect, Robert C. Metcalf, completed his first commission, it was on the forefront of energy efficient design. Now, sixty years later, our standards have evolved and the house is being lovingly revived in a way that improves the efficiency without compromising the design.

German Park Is Heimplatz for Summer Festivities

Grab your lederhosen and get your spaetzle on! This weekend is the last of the German summer shindigs at Ann Arbor's German Park. Since 1938 this Teutonic social club has been hosting dances and parties. Today it attracts summer crowds in the thousands. No surprise really. The Mitten is home to nearly 350 German-owned companies.

Building A Plug-In Electric Vehicle Community

Michigan's electric vehicle industry is poised to churn out more and more of the long-awaited, zero-emission vehicles. As the market grows, the AnnArbor-based Clean Energy Coalition and its partners are leading a statewide effort to make sure Michigan communities are ready for the rush.

Student Powered Investments

What happens when you give 24 college students a few million dollars to invest in start-ups? They double their investment value within a few years. The Wolverine Fund is one of three venture capital programs created by the University of Michigan to give students an insider's view of investment and entrepreneurship.

Let the Bells Ring

Art Fairs as a business incubator? There was a time when that was possible ...and Bradley Cross is proof. Founder and owner of Harmony Hollow Bell Works, he's built his successful Ann Arbor studio into one of the only three bell making companies in the United States.

Summers-Knoll School: Fresh Spirit In An Old Space

From a dairy to an organ donation headquarters, the building at 2203 Platt Road has morphed and mutated over the years, making it a challenge for anyone new to call it home. Enter the progressive private school Summers-Knoll, which saw a diamond in the rough. Now classroom "front porches," courtyard gardens, and a cavernous music room are key features in this ambitious architectural transformation.

Concentrate Speaker Event: Downtown Development And Our Cultural Institutions

How do you create a downtown that accommodates the current character and changing needs of the community? How do those choices impact our cultural institutions? Concentrate and the Ann Arbor DDA present the last in our "Great Places" speaker series. Melanie Piana of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance will talk about building a redevelopment ready community, and local cultural leaders will weigh in on what they desire from Ann Arbor's downtown. Sign up now for tomorrow's event!

Always Running: Ann Arbor Track Club

It's no surprise when Ann Arbor gets singled out for its academically inclined achievements. Writers, thinkers, researchers, and innovators are an obvious by-product of the University's presence. Add to that list runners. For nearly 45 years the Ann Arbor Track Club has produced not only topnotch runners, but world-class Olympic hopefuls.

Foodies With A Memory: Ann Arbor's Culinary Historians

Add another unique first to Ann Arbor's CV: U-M's professor of gastronomic history, Janice Longone. Making the case for the U.S.'s culinary heritage, Longone is not only a vital contributor to the Clements Library's ever-growing archive, she is the founder of the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor, a nationally-recognized group of food historians.

Adventures in Pizza Making

Ever wanted to spin pizza dough on your fists like a New York pizzeria pro? At Zingerman's Bakehouse aspiring pizzaiolos and deep dish devotees come from as far away as the coasts to learn how to properly knead, shape, and cook their pies. Concentrate's Tanya Muzumdar offers a first hand account of the growing popularity of culinary tourism.

Way Down Downtown

Basements aren't just for stock and storage anymore. Venture below street level in downtown and you may be surprised by what you find. From magic tricks to vintage clothes to digital gaming to entrepreneurial innovation to hip night spots, Ann Arbor's subterranean scene is worth exploring.

Whipping the Music Industry into Shape

The Internet has started to shift the music industry's top-down corporate record label control toward indie artists who can deliver their own music to the masses. But what about t-shirts, posters, and other fan-demanded merchandise? Enter local start-up Whiplash, which provides shipping, fulfillment and logistics for small sellers of every stripe.

PHOTO ESSAY: Take Me To The River

Norman Maclean once wrote, "Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it." Here in Washtenaw County, we see that quote made manifest through The Huron River. As a life source, thread that connects our communities, and recreational destination, we are, in many ways, only just beginning to recognize its importance and potential. Doug Coombe tries to capture all those things in his wonderful photo essay.
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