Ecology Center
The Ecology Center /

Founded in 1970 after the very first Earth Day, Ann Arbor's Ecology Center has focused on making many improvements to the environment.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the Ecology Center's executive director, Michael Garfield, about the many environmental improvements that have been made during that time period and the many others they are still working to address.

Ann Arbor District Library /

A number of Ann Arbor's top jazz musicians are playing Friday night, October 22nd at The Blue LLama Jazz Club to raise funds and awareness for the National Kidney Foundation. Among those performing is club owner Don Hicks, who talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about who and what to expect.

Alan Brown
Alan Brown

A leading expert on cultural audience behavior, Alan Brown returns to "creative:impact" after his first appearance in April 2020 just weeks after COVID-19 shut down cultural venues. He announced then that he was launching the Audience Monitor Outlook, a study of COVID’s impact on audiences and when they would comfortably return to cultural venues. He gives an update on his findings to "creative:impact" host Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw.

The Resourced Therapist /

The need for mental health care in the Ann Arbor area and across the country continues to increase due to the many challenges in our world today. WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Ann Arbor psychologist Dr. Sharon Gold-Steinberg about "The Resourced Therapist," a collaboration with Carryn Lund providing an online platform that helps therapists and other helping professionals feel more effective, supported, and nourished in their work especially during these challenging times. 

Public Domain Pictures /

As cases of the COVID-19 virus decline around the country, Michigan remains one of a handful of states continuing to see a surge in the number of cases.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Michigan Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Payal Patel to get an update on how the pandemic continues to impact the Ann Arbor medical system and whether or not much has changed as to how we move through the world as the global health crisis drags on.

Alison Foreman
Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels /

We are approaching the end of  the year, and soon, we'll be meeting with friends and family for special meals at Thanksgiving and other upcoming holidays. Of course, we can't forget the many elderly folks who don't have access to healthy and good food. That is a situation made more difficult by the ongoing pandemic. Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels continues to meet the challenges, but it isn't easy. WEMU's David Fair talked it over with its president and CEO, Alison Foreman. 

State Theatre
Wikipedia Media Commons /

The leaves are starting to fall, and more movies are falling in to theaters! WEMU's David Fair checked in with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director, Russ Collins, to chat about the week's movie news and the new films hitting the silver screen.

Ann Arbor Wiki /

It’s been over a month now since Ann Arbor public school students have been back in the classroom as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Ann Arbor school superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift about the many challenges they are dealing with to keep kids still learning in the classroom despite the continuing global health crisis.

Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

All across Michigan, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge. More cases and hospitalizations have been reported, while hospital staff members are leaving in protest of vaccine mandates. As the colder months are upon us, state health departments need to adapt. Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia gives a local perspective on these developments with WEMU's David Fair.

Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra /

Music director Adam Riccinto and the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra are returning to the stage after 20 months of being unable to perform together due to COVID-19. The YSO is relaunching its regular performing season with a “Welcome Back” concert at the Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October 10 at 3:30 p.m. The family-oriented concert is focused on reconnecting the local community with Ypsilanti’s hometown orchestra and will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Franz Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture, and special features highlighting the orchestra’s string, woodwind, and brass sections.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Riccinto about the upcoming performance and the pandemic experience on the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra. 

Derrick Miller
Community Action Network /

The Washtenaw County-based Community Action Network (CAN) is taking a neighborhood approach to help those most in need and to build better and more equitable futures. CAN executive director Derrick Miller joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the successes to date and the work that remains to be done. 

Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University /

Although founded in 1849, Homecoming celebrations did not begin at Eastern Michigan University for many years after that. This year, Eastern is celebrating "100 Years of Homecoming."

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with EMU president Dr. James Smith about the many activities taking place and the meaning of this annual event.

Joey DeFrancesco

Organist Joey DeFrancesco returns to our area. He's at the Blue LLama Jazz Club in Ann Arbor this weekend. He spoke to 89.1 Jazz host Michael Jewett about his new recording, the state of the music scene in the age of COVID, and the lasting influence of the late Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Debbie Dingell
Rep. Debbie Dingell / Facebook

The federal government narrowly avoided a shutdown this week after President Joe Biden signed a temporary funding bill to keep afloat through December 3rd. There are several major hurdles to overcome in Congress and a limited time to get it done. 12th District Representative Debbie Dingell joined WEMU's David Fair to share her insights on the process, the goals, and the work that remains. 

Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday tried to stop speculation that local governments and state universities risk losing funding if they have COVID-19 vaccine or mask mandates. Republicans put language to that effect in the state budget the governor signed this week. The governor did not veto the language, but she also said it’s not enforceable. Rick Pluta explains. 

Ann Arbor
Wikipedia Media Commons /

Life is always busy in Ann Arbor, and the city's mayor, Christopher Taylor, talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about some of the many issues city officials are currently addressing.

Michigan Theater
The Michigan Theater / Facebook

WEMU wrapped up its most successful fall fundraiser last week, so let's celebrate with the movies! WEMU's David Fair connected with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins to chat about the latest movie news and new films coming your way this weekend.

Rick Pluta
Michigan Public Radio Network /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the final two bills of the new state budget. We have more from Rick Pluta.

Susan Cerniglia
J. Adrian Wylie

The CDC's latest data indicates that the entire state of Michigan is now considered high risk for COVID transmission and infection. Locally, the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are trending upward. WEMU's David Fair was joined by Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia to provide the latest updates. 

Stratøs /

Ann Arbor’s Stratøs (AKA Eddie Codrington) is reaching for the stars! A three-time winner of the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award in 2019, 2020, and 2021, his flight plan was shaped by local music education programs, jazz artists, and events. He is releasing his first album "Planets" in October. Hear all about it when he joins co-hosts Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw and WEMU’s David Fair on this edition of "creative:impact."

Dr. Brian Ottum

The seasons are changing. The moon is telling us it's time to harvest the crops, and fall officially begins on Wednesday, September 22nd. Also, the annual "Astronomy at the Beach" event is coming up later this week, still virtual due to the pandemic.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with local amateur astronomer Dr. Brian Ottum about what to expect from all of the sky watching events now taking place.

Ann Arbor District Library
Wikipedia Media Commons /

After nearly 22 years with the Ann Arbor District Library, director Josie Parker announced that she is retiring next February.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Parker about her decision as she looks back at several decades working in the Ann Arbor District Library system and what she sees moving forward.

Michigan Theater
The Michigan Theater / Facebook

Summer is almost in the rearview mirror, but the world of movies continues to heat up. WEMU's David Fair connected with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins to make sure you know about some upcoming special screenings, as well as the latest films hitting the big screen this weekend. 

Thompson & Co.

There’s a new restaurant in Ypsilanti located in a refurbished historic building in Depot Town on the site of the old Thompson Block building first built in 1869.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the managing partner of the new restaurant called "Thompson and Co.," Disa Brown.

Deb Polich / Creative Washtenaw

With the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, there is still much reflection on the impact of what happened, and it is still a solemn occasion for many. The arts played a powerful role in engaging in and healing from the tragedy, but what impact might that still be having now...20 years later?

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the president of the University of Michigan University Musical Society, Matthew VanBesien, about the ongoing arts and cultural impact of 9/11, both nationally and on the local community.

Michigan Theater
Wikipedia Media Commons /

It's been over a week since school started. Maybe a good movie is what you need. WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins about what films are on the way this weekend at your local theaters.

UPSC Medico /

The message to get vaccinated in order to deal with the COVID-19 virus has been loud and clear. But not everyone hears it or wants to get one.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with a Washtenaw County Health Department employee, Nivean Farha, who was initially hesitant, but finally did get vaccinated and shares her "vaccination hesitation journey."

Deb Polich / Creative Washtenaw

What we’d once hoped was going to be a short little dance number, COVID-19 has turned into a dance marathon. Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw and WEMU’s David Fair talk about the state of arts + creative industry, now 18 months into this pandemic, on this edition of "creative:impact."

Jeff Desmond
Michigan Medicine /

Medical leaders from 21 hospital systems signed an open letter to Michigan residents pleading for people to get vaccinated. The letter comes after an increase of COVID-19 cases across the state, which leaders warn could turn into a fourth wave. 

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Dr. Jeff Desmond, chief medical officer for Michigan Medicine, who was among those who signed the letter and explains why he thinks it is so important.

Amy Fracker
Riverside Arts Center /

Impacted like a lot of other arts organizations during the pandemic, the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti has had its share of ups and downs. But there is a new executive director: Amy Fracker. She talks with Lisa Barry and Omari Rush about her vision for the Ypsilanti arts facility and how she hopes to serve and connect with the local arts community moving forward.