Ann Arbor Public Schools

Ann Arbor Public Schools will fully resume in-person classes for the 2021-22 school year.

It's the last day of WEMU's short four-day spring fundraiser.  Big thanks to the hundreds of listeners who have made donations since we began the fundraiser last Friday.

The Hosting /

A special art exhibit is taking place in Ann Arbor this month, which could be considered a "partially post-pandemic art exhibition." Lisa Barry and Omari Rush talk with the organizer, Anya Klapischak, about what they're calling, "What Feels Real: Art in the Time of Impossible Disconnect."

Tom Crawford
City of Ann Arbor /

Ann Arbor city administrator Tom Crawford says as they wrap up the next proposed city budget, they have a lot to consider. The cancellation of the Ann Arbor Art Fair means a loss of at least $15 million to the city, but they also got double the amount of federal stimulus funds than expected.

He talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about that and shares his thoughts about when Ann Arbor's city hall may reopen to employees and residents.

David Zinn / Instagram

Ann Arbor Summer Festival executive director Mike Michelon shared more information about opportunities for live performances for the upcoming Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Michelon about the opportunities created this year, which are different from a typical Summer Festival due to the ongoing pandemic.

Michigan Theater
Wikipedia Media Commons /

Reunited at the movies, and it feels so good. WEMU's David Fair returns for this week's "Cinema Chat." He talks with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director, Russ Collins, about the latest movie news and all of the films hitting the big screen this weekend. 

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University is about to get a boost in federal funding.

Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Just a few weeks ago, Ann Arbor Art Fair organizers were "cautiously optimistic" they may be able to hold the art fair this coming July. But they have now decided it will not be taking place for the second year in a row, due to the pandemic.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the the executive director of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original, Maureen Riley, about the decision and community impact.


Mike Schade
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families /

A new report released today by the Mind the Store campaign (a partner organization of the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor) finds significant chemical policy improvement. Nearly 70% of companies surveyed have better chemical safety programs now compared to their first evaluation dating as far back as 2016. Mike Schade is director of the campaign and joined by WEMU's David Fair to discuss the ongoing efforts to remove chemical hazards from consumer products. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Whether it was performing on the virtual stage or via Zoom, Ypsilanti area theatre groups have had to be even more creative than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with Kristin Danko from Ypsilanti's Neighborhood Theatre Group about how they responded to the global health crisis and still kept the shows going.


There is progress in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus. Vaccinations are being expanded to include more younger people, and employers will soon be allowed to return to in-person work. Soon, more social restrictions will be lifted. For a local perspective, WEMU's David Fair discussed the latest developments with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia.



Jessica Griffin / UMS

After a year of no in-person performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Michigan Musical Society, known as UMS, is announcing its next season, which will include some live events.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with UMS president Matthew VanBesien about what is being offered for the 2021-22 UMS season.

Ebony Parker-Featherstone
Michigan Medicine /

Throughout history, women have been the primary caregivers. All too often, it comes at the cost of their own physical and mental health. Dr. Ebony Parker-Featherstone is an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan. She joined WEMU's David Fair to discusses ways for women to improve self-care. 

Wikimedia Commons

The future of mobility will be the focus of a panel discussion taking place Tuesday at Washtenaw Community College.

Christopher Taylor
City of Ann Arbor /

The Gelman 1,4 dioxane plume continues to spread in groundwater in the Ann Arbor area and could threaten the health of the Huron River and the city's municipal water supply. Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor joined WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters director Lisa Wozniak to discuss the latest on efforts to remediate the toxic pollution and where we go from here.

Hannah Palmer / The Sunflower Project

Hannah Palmer just started her senior year at Eastern Michigan University, but before she even graduates, she is finding purpose in her own personal pain by creating "The Sunflower Project."

She talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about the goal of the mental health nonprofit and how she hopes to help those dealing with mental health challenges, beginning by sharing her own struggles and finding ways to support others who do as well.

Basil Babe /

Known as "Basil Babe," the mother-and-daughter duo work together making Asian dumplings selling and serving them at pop-up events around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Lisa Barry speaks with the daughter, Thai Inhmathong, about how the business got started and what she envisions happening in the future.

State Theatre
Brandon C. /

There's so much to talk about in the movie world, and we have two of the biggest movie fans around to do it.  For this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's Michael Jewett fills in for David Fair to talk about this week's cinematic releases with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins.

Riverside Arts Center /

Ypsilanti's Riverside Arts Center has launched a new residency to give local artists time and space to create and connect with the community. Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk to Kristen Schrader, chair of the program committee at Riverside Arts Center, about the new program, which is already proving to be popular.

Calling all unsigned Southeastern Michigan artists: NPR Music wants to hear your music! Starting May 11th, Submit your song to the Tiny Desk Contest by June 7. If you win, you’ll play your very own Tiny Desk concert. 

Thomas O'Dell / Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Tom O'Dell, a collections and natural areas specialist at the University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, is excited for the 17-year return of the" "Noisy Brood X Periodical Cicadas." He talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about what he considers to be "a natural wonder that occurs only in the United States, on Planet Earth every 17 years, which means it happens only four to five times in a person's lifetime!"

Michigan Department of Natural Resources /

The natural parks found all over Washtenaw County are like a time capsule. They tell tales of local and state history, which is why their preservation is such a high priority. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks about the work being done to protect and preserve these areas with Kira Macyda, a park planner and preservationist for Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation.

Voter turnout was just over 18% in several local elections that took place in Washtenaw County on Tuesday. WEMU's Lisa Barry has the full story:

Ellie Snyder
Ellie Snyder /

Self-described as a "failed music student," Ellie Snyder says she decided to seek out attention in a new way: making strangers laugh in bars. Imagine the irony of being an aspiring comic during the least funny time: a pandemic. With her style of observational humor, Ellie tells Creative Washtenaw's Deb Polich and WEMU's David Fair her story on this edition of "creative: impact."

Liza Baker
Liza Baker

The year-plus of the coronavirus pandemic has been difficult on everyone.  Yet, women, overall, have carried greater burden with both physical and mental ramifications.  Life and health coach Liza Baker has developed techniques to maintain and improve women's health and shared her methods with WEMU's David Fair. 

Debbie Dingell
Michigan House Democrats /

President Joe Biden, this week, marked 100 days in office with an address to a joint session of Congress.  There, he laid out his arguments for passage of the American Jobs Plan and George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.  12th District Representative Debbie Dingell attended and offered her thoughts to WEMU's David Fair from a Michigan-centered perspective.  

Wikipedia Media Commons /

The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony is now in the books.  On "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins reviewed this year's winners and surprises and discussed the new movies and special events coming your way here in town! 

Geoff Larcom
Eastern Michigan University /

Geoff Larcom is retiring from Eastern Michigan University after serving over 11 years as the University's Executive Director of Media Relations.  Before that, he spent more than 25 years as a journalist working primarily for the Ann Arbor News.

He talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about his career on both sides of the journalism spectrum and shares some family history about his ties to the Ann Arbor area.

Summer Roberts
Washtenaw County /

After a 17-year, underground incubation period, the Cicadas are coming.  The somewhat large, noisy insects will return this summer and swarm in huge numbers in portions of Washtenaw County.  WEMU's David Fair checked in with Washtenaw County Conservation District community forester Summer Roberts about the 2021 irruption.  There is some good they do for the environment, and there are ways to help mitigate the potential harm they bring to small trees and shrubs. 

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Due to the pandemic, last year's First Fridays program in Ypsilanti took place mostly online.  This year, they're adding some new components and plan to be outside more.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with "On the Ground Ypsi" project manager Sarah Rigg and the program coordinator for First Fridays, Mary Dettling, to find out how the community arts program will operate this year.