On the Ground Ypsi

  • Hosted by Patrick Campion, Sarah Rigg

89.1 WEMU has forged a partnership with Concentrate Ann Arbor to highlight some of the positive things taking place in Ypsilanti. The sponsored-project from SecondWave Media is called, "On the Ground Ypsi." WEMU Program Director Patrick Campion will visit with project reporter Sarah Rigg discuss her observations and interactions while, "On the Ground" in Ypsilanti. 

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Though many of Ypsilanti's hair businesses suffered financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the loyalty of their long-term customers has helped many of them bounce back. Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk to Claire Broderick, one of several local stylists interviewed for this week's story about Ypsilanti's vibrant "hair artist" scene.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On The Ground Ypsi", WEMU's Lisa Barry and On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg talk to an area mother of one who started her own business. She shares how she stays motivated and involves her young daughter in her work while setting a positive example of having a good work/life balance.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On the Ground Ypsi,"  Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with a 14-year old member of the Ypsilanti District Library Teen Advisory Group about a recent grant that allowed them to expand information being handed out to local teenagers.


Ypsilanti Frog Island Jazz Series / frogislandjazz.com

Ypsilanti-area residents will be treated to a series of free weekly jazz concerts throughout the summer, thanks to Ypsilanti-based musician John E. Lawrence. Lisa Barry and "On the Ground Ypsi" project manager Sarah Rigg talk to Lawrence about the upcoming free jazz concert series.

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Many businesses struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has been a time of opportunity for some entrepreneurs in the greater Ypsilanti area. Lisa Barry and On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg talk to one Ypsilanti store owner, Jen Eastridge, who kept an established business running and even opened a second, new store during the global health crisis.

#OTGYpsi: New Police Reform Pilot Program

Jun 9, 2021
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On the Ground Ypsi," Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with JoAnn McCollum, president of the New West Willow Neighborhood Association in Ypsilanti Township, about a new police reform pilot program she helped create. It's a way to address quality-of-life issues and responding to nonviolent issues happening in the community.

Rachel Cortez / Rolling Hills County Park

From a virtual program centered around writing to outdoor programs with an academic enrichment focus, Ypsilanti-area summer camps are finding new ways to engage with local youth.

WEMU's Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg from Concentrate Media talk with Liz Garaba, Washtenaw Community College manager of college and career readiness, about their summer camp offering.

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Affordable housing and gentrification are just some of the issues addressed by an Ypsilanti arts advocacy program called "Staying Power." Lisa Barry and "On the Ground Ypsi" project manager Sarah Rigg talk with one of the participants, Malik Henry, who shares his experience and one of the poems he wrote as part of the project.

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.

Riverside Arts Center / riversidearts.org

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.

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.

Untold Stories of Liberation and Love / liberationstories.com

This week on "On The Ground Ypsi," Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk about a zine, which is a project of an Ypsilanti-based poetry collective organized by women of color called "Untold Stories of Liberation and Love."  They are joined by local poet Connstynce Chege, who reads part of one of her poems she submitted to the collective and is being included.


Sarah Rigg / Concentrate Media

In this week's "On The Ground Ypsi," Lisa Barry and project manager Sarah Rigg talk to Scott Heister, Southeast Regional Director for Mi STEM and a co-founder of the American Center for Innovation.  He talks about the proposed program to work with kids and encourage them to pursue real jobs in STEM fields and providing "cradle-to-career opportunities."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Established by Ann Arbor's Leon Speakers and Ypsilanti-based Grove Studios, there is a new Amplify Fellowship meant to support musicians of color living in Washtenaw County.  Lisa Barry talks with On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg and Maia Evans, co-founder of the fellowship, about who and what is involved.

 

Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels

This week, our "On The Ground Ypsi" conversation is about a nearly $2 million gift made to six different Ypsilanti groups and what that means to them.  Lisa Barry and On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg talk with Alison Foreman, executive director of Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, which was one of the local groups to receive the money.  She shares what they plan to do with the gift and the impact it will have on the community.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week, "On The Ground Ypsi" is about several local gardening operations that encourage Ypsilanti residents to build resiliency in themselves and their community with the creation of gardens which help provide alternative food systems.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg and Bee Ayer, director of programs for Ypsilanti's Growing Hope, about their class for this coming spring and summer.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Sometimes, getting teenagers to share what is on their minds is not that easy.  But in this week's "On The Ground Ypsi," Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with Gail Wolkoff, executive director of "Educate Youth" in Ypsilanti, about a book of poetry written by local students.  The students were encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings about the pandemic and other world events in poetry, which was put together as a booklet called "Spiritual Warriors."


Michigan Works! Southeast / mwse.org

Navigating the workforce is never easy, which is why organizations like Michigan Works! Southeast (MWSE) are there to help.  MSWE executive director Shamar Herron has taken that mission to a new level with a podcast called "Workplace@Work."  Herron joined WEMU's David Fair and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg to discuss the training and employment oppotunities in our area that already exist. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Even though we're swimming in snow right now, plans are underway for the upcoming outdoor pool season and the reopening of Ypsilanti's refurbished Rutherford community pool.  That's the focus of this week's "On the Ground Ypsi" online article, and WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Sarah Rigg and Friends of the Rutherford Pool chair Jessica Faul about recent upgrades and looking forward to reopening. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

In this week's "On The Ground Ypsi," Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk to Ypsilanti business owner Julie Palmer about a Washtenaw Community College program called "Renew Your Business."   It helps entrepreneurs in the Ypsilanti area thrive despite the COVID-19 pandemic.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

After being in the works for years, a plan has been finalized to construct a pedestrian pathway over I-94 in Ypsilanti.  WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk with Bonnie Wessler, project manager for Ypsilanti's Department of Public Services, about the plan and what it means for the community.


Suzanne Van Dam
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Each week, WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Sarah Rigg, project manager for "On the Ground Ypsi," about an online story from Concentrate Media focusing on the Ypsilanti area.  This week, Lisa and Sarah talk with Suzanne Van Dam from the "Circles Program," part of "Friends In Deed" based in Ypsilanti, about how they have been able to stay connected and support local families even during a global health crisis.


Andrew Da Silva / U Magazine

Ypsilanti resident Christian Usera is publishing an international magazine featuring art and artists.  Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk to him about his unique background and his effort to bring attention to art and the work of artists of color and other marginalized groups in "U Magazine." 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

There's a new pilot program called "Returning Citizens Fellows Program" at Eastern Michigan University, providing support and college degree opportunities for formerly incarcerated people.  Lisa Barry talks with "On the Ground Ypsi" project manager Sarah Rigg and Cozine Welch, executive director of A Brighter Way in Washtenaw County, about the new program and the so far enthusiastic response by those hoping to participate.

 

 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Working out of a commercial kitchen in Ypsilanti Township, several new ventures have been able to survive and thrive, even in a pandemic.  Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with Forrest Maddox, co-creator of "The White Pine Kitchen," who is one of them creating a unique dining experience for people in their own homes.

  

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

What impact has the coronavirus pandemic had on Ypsilanti's creative business operators?  That's the focus of this week's "On The Ground-Ypsi."  Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with Ypsilanti crafters Bill Pemberton and Amy Balzer-Pemberton about that, learning they decided they had to get creative if they wanted to keep their craft businesses alive.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

An Ypsilanti-based podcast called "Homebound" is a conversation between older and younger residents sharing their experiences during our current global health crisis.  Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with Jessica "Decky" Alexander about all that goes in to putting it together and all they hope people can get out of it from listening.


Kallista Walker
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Inspired by the thought "A community that reads together grows together," Kallista Walker created "Our Community Reads."  She has recorded a number of community leaders reading stories with the goal of replacing all the negative and traumatic stories that Black and Brown children see growing up.  Lisa Barry talks with Kallista and Sarah Rigg of "On The Ground-Ypsi" about the community initiative. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Many local businesses have felt the harsh effects of the pandemic, especially restaurants.  The owners of these restaurants have been able to adapt, thanks to outdoor dining and delivery services, but the situation may become more difficult when winter comes along.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg speak to Andrea "Cuppy" White, owner of Cuppy's Best Soulful Cafe in Ypsilanti, about how she, like several other local restaurateurs, plans to maintain her business through the rest of this trying year.


734 Brewing Company

WEMU's Lisa Barry and "On the Ground-Ypsi" project manager Sarah Rigg talk with Ypsilanti Rotary Club president Taryn Willis about their efforts to diversify their membership and the many contributions they are making to the community.


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