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Deb Polich

Host of creative:impact

Polich co-hosts the weekly segment creative:impact, which features creative people, jobs and businesses in the greater Ann Arbor area.

Deb Polich champions the arts and creative industries in her professional, volunteer and personal life. She has 30+ years of professional arts administration experience, including serving as the president/CEO of Artrain, Inc., and since 2013, holding the same position at The Arts Alliance. Polich earned a B.S. in arts administration with a business minor from Eastern Michigan University. She began her professional arts management career at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor beginning as the box office manager and leaving seven years later as the managing director. She serves/has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit arts and community organizations. She currently serves on the boards of Creative Many Michigan as treasurer, Michigan Works! Southeast and three boards at EMU: the College of Arts & Science Advancement Board, the Advisory Boards for the Masters of Public Administration and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. She serves on the City of Ann Arbor’s Economic Development Advisory Committee and Destination Ann Arbor’s marketing and community grants committee. She is a University of Michigan and EMU Arts Management guest lecturer. 

  • Our spaces—the places we live and spend most of our time—can be our happy place. Designing happy spaces is what Kami Michels does. As the director of interiors at Center Design Build, she helps people create a place where they can renew and restore. Kami joins Deb Polich on this edition of WEMU’s "creative:impact" to talk about the art of interior design.
  • As a recording artist and music producer, Dr. Rod Wallace amplifies hip hop. He is an educator who applies the study of music technology to ignite and inspire youth. Rod is busy planning the March 2nd Detroit Electronic Music Conference at Washtenaw Community College. Meet him when he joins Deb Polich on this edition of WEMU’s "creative:impact."
  • Capturing 200 years of history is a daunting task, but the Ann Arbor District Library’s archive manager, Andrew MacLaren, is up to the challenge. He is leading the Ann Arbor 200 project—200 digital releases throughout the bicentennial year that explore Ann Arbor's history from a 2024 point of view. Listen in to hear all about it when Andrew joins Deb Polich on this edition of WEMU’s "creative:impact."
  • Kelly Parkinson quickly fell in love with the creativity, craft and skill in the printing business. What was supposed to be a part-time college job turned into a 30-year career at Allegra- Marketing - Print - Mail in Saline. Meet Kelly and hear about the ever-changing print business when she joins host Deb Polich on this edition of WEMU’s "creative:impact."
  • Merrill Guerra is a serial entrepreneur. With a background in music, an MBA and real estate broker’s license, she has led and launched a number of ventures. Her latest, Dragonfly and Birch, features Michigan artists & craftspeople in Manchester’s historic Black Sheep Tavern. Meet Merrill and find out what she’s up to when she joins Deb Polich on this edition of WEMU’s "creative:impact."
  • Local and renowned artist, ceramist and professor Susanne Stephens’ career spans seven decades. In this second of a two-part series, we meet Patti Smith, who is on the team helping Susanne archive and catalog her works. What’s Patti’s interest and what is the job of a collection’s manager? We find out when Patti joins Deb Polich on this edition of "creative:impact."
  • Local and renowned artist, ceramist and professor Susanne Stephenson's career spans seven decades. Now working with a team to archive and catalog her works, Susanne is sifting through a lifetime of memories. It’s a lot! So much that we are doing a two-part series on Susanne’s career and the documenting of this prolific artist’s lifetime of work. Susanne joins host Deb Polich on this edition of "creative:impact."
  • Underground and not listed on concert calendars, Johnny’s Speakeasy has hosted bands in a little venue down the road since the late 1990’s. That is, until last year, when a fire destroyed both the venue and Johnny Williams’ home. Hear how and why local musicians have launched a campaign to "Save Johnny’s Speakeasy" when Johnny joins host Deb Polich on this edition of 89.1 WEMU’s "creative:impact."
  • What do Reba McEntire, Niall Horan, John Legend and Gwen Stefani have in common with Ann Arborite Angelina Nazarian? They appeared together on the 24th season of The Voice. Hear about Angelina’s experience as a contestant and being on Team Reba when she joins host Deb Polich on the next edition of WEMU’s "creative:impact."
  • For thousands of years, people have used the arts for self-expression, healing and communication. It wasn’t until the 1940s, though, that the medical profession began to embrace art therapy. Dr. Mary Spence is a clinical psychologist who uses art and creativity for people of all ages in her practice. We find out why when Mary joins host Deb Polich on the next edition of 89.1 WEMU’s "creative:impact".