Deb Polich

Patti Smith
89.1 WEMU

Special education teacher and author Patti Smith is one of the most passionate Ann Arbor residents you'll ever meet.  She sees her hometown as an ongoing project, especially when it comes to preserving its history.  Smith talks about her latest book, "Vanishing Ann Arbor," with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."

Dave Coverly
Dave Coverly /

Ann Arbor resident Dave Coverly loves to draw.  In fact, he has taken that love of drawing to the rest of the country with his one-panel print cartoon, "Speed Bump."  Coverly talks about his journey with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."

John Gutoskey
ArtPrize /

It has been three years since a gunman entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida and opened fire.  Recently, a new arts exhibition was unveiled in Orlando to honor those lost in the tragedy, and Ann Arbor artist John Gutoskey's work is prominently featured.  In this week's 'creative:impact,' Gutoskey discusses that work, life as an artist, and the role of social conscience in the creative process.  

Edith Donnel
Chelsea District Library /

Reading comics has been a popular youth activity for decades.  In some cases, it inspires youngsters to seek out a career in the comics industry.  The youth organization "Kids Read Comics" was founded to encourage kids to get their creative juices flowing.  The organization's founder, Chelsea librarian Edith Donnel, discusses the project and latest engagement opportunities with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."

William Pemberton
Will Lawson

Jazz historian Dr. Karl Koenig has built one of the world's most extensive collections of jazz and ragtime music.  Recently, he selected the River Raisin Ragtime Revue, or R4, in Tecumseh to maintain and preserve his collection.  R4 founder and executive director William Pemberton joins WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich to talk about this amazing undertaking in this week's "creative:impact."

University of Michigan
University of Michigan /

We often talk about how art makes a difference in the quality of our lives.  Imagine if that life was playing out in a prison.  The Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan began exploring that reality nearly three decades ago, and, as WEMU’s David Fair and Deb Polich from the Arts Alliance found out, it is changing lives.  They speak to two of the project's instructors, Vanessa Mayesky and Cozine Welch, Jr., in this week's "creative:impact." 

Michigan Folk School
Jason Gold

If you’ve ever wanted to learn blacksmithing or timber-framing, you don’t have to go far.  The Michigan Folk School is serving Washtenaw County residents right now.  In fact, it has been expanding since its inception in 2012.  In this week’s "creative:impact," with WEMU’s David Fair and Deb Polich of The Arts Alliance, you’ll hear the personal and professional story of the school’s director, Jason Gold.

Juan D. Freitez / Facebook

Meet the Eastern Michigan University graduate, Ann Arbor resident, and Venezuelan immigrant who has produced a documentary making waves around the world.  Juan D. Freitez's “Salud Sin Papeles: Health Undocumented” will be playing at the upcoming Cinetopia Film Festival.  On "creative:impact," Juan will take you on his journey in a conversation with WEMU’s David Fair and the president and CEO of The Arts Alliance, Deb Polich.

Traven Pelletier
Lotus Gardenscapes /

Every homeowner wants his/her house to really stand out, and well thought-out landscaping can make that possible.  Traven Pelletier is lead designer of Lotus Gardenscapes in Dexter, and he and his team have turned the craft into extraordinary works of art.  Pelletier talks about his work with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."

Breaking into a career in radio, whether it's commercial or public, takes a lot of work, talent, drive, and a little luck as well.  In this week's "creative:impact," Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich learns about the personal journey to a career in radio with David Fair, who is celebrating 25 years at WEMU in 2019. 

University of Michigan /

Photography is an art form that can capture people, places, and things in the most imaginative of ways.  It takes a creative and learned mind to succesfully negotiate the world of biomedical and forensic photography.  That accurately describes Lisa Belanger Neal.  Lisa is a biomedical photographer in Autopsy & Forensic Services in the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan Hospital.  Hear about her work in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."

Solana Howard

The Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra will celebrate its 20th anniversary later this month.  In "creative:impact," WEMU's David Fair and Deb Polich of The Arts Alliance introduce you to Solana Howard.  She'll discuss the benefits from participation in the YYO and why she now serves as a program mentor. 

R.J. Fox
R.J. Fox /

Ann Arbor resident R.J. Fox has always had a passion for writing.  He is a published author and two of his books are now being made into films!  Additionally, Fox teaches film and English classes in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.  Fox walks you through his written-word journey with WEMU's David Fair and the President and CEO of The Arts Alliance, Deb Polich, in this week's "creative:impact."  

Alison Watson
Courtesy Photo / Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

At the end of 2018, John Bracey announced his retirement as executive director of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA).  Luckily, the council didn't have to search too far for his successor.  MCACA programs manager Alison Watson will take over as executive director, and she talks about her plans with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."

Paul Hickman
Paul Hickman

Creative entrepeneurs, triple bottom lines, and the life cycle of businesses are among the topics explored in this conversation with Paul Hickman.  Paul founded Urban Ashes in Saline in 2008.  The business closed earlier this year.  Hickman joins WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich to talk about what Urban Ashes accomplished in this week's "creative:impact."

Courtesy Photo / Purple Rose Theatre

Perhaps one of the most difficult issues to discuss is domestic violence.  Michigan playwright Carey Crim authored the play "Never Not Once" and takes a deep dive into the emotional and personal issues dealt with the aftermath of such horrific crimes.  Artistic explorations, like this, can have a positive impact on how the public deals with such difficult issues.  That's the focus on this week's "creative:impact. " 

Danielle Milner /

A key to the success of any business, organization, or institution is knowing your audience.  Marketing and advertising will help seal your product, but it is branding that will create emotional connection and loyalty.  As such, branding has become an art form unto itself.  In this week's "creative:impact," WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich connect with Danielle Milner, a partner at the Ypsilanti branding studio DO:BETTER. 

creative:impact - Inside The Mind Of An Ann Arbor Architect

Feb 12, 2019
Kristen Nyht / Quinn Evans Architects

The most ancient form of artistic expression is architecture.  Whether in it's in our own backyard or across the world, architects have created buildings of all shapes and sizes.  In this week's "creative:impact," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich talk to Kristen Nyht, who talks about her work with the Quinn Evans archtectural firm in Ann Arbor and as president of the Michigan Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Bill and Mary Kinley
The Arts Alliance /

The Arts Alliance's annual "pARTy" is just under a week away, and among those being honored are Bill and Mary Kinley.  Their philanthropic work has supported and expanded the local arts community in many ways.  They discuss their journey with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."

Afa Dworkin
The Sphinx Organization /

Last week, Aaron P. Dworkin was shown how much of a force he is in the creative industry.  His spouse, Afa S. Dworkin, has done her share to expand creative minds as well.  She is head of the Sphinx Organization and co-recepient of the Outstanding Service Medal at the upcoming pARTy 2019.  Afa talks about her journey with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."

Aaron Dworkin
Aaron P. Dworkin / Facebook

Aaron P. Dworkin is a force!  Hear his story of how he turned his personal experience as a young Black violinist, acutely aware of the lack of diversity both on stage and in the audience in concert halls into a movement -- but not before engaging his life partner Afa S. Dworkin.  Aaron tells his story this week with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich.  We'll hear Afa's on "creative:impact" next week.

Joan Morris and William Bolcom

"The pARTy 2019," in which the Arts Alliance honors those who have made significant contributions to the arts, is coming up on February 11th.  This year's recepients of the Lifetime Achievement Medal are the musical, husband-and-wife duo, William Bolcom and Joan Morris.  WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance President and CEO Deb Polich sat down with Bolcom and Morris to discuss their decades-long career in this week's "creative:impact."

The Arts Alliance /

Every year, the Arts Alliance hosts a reception to honor those who invest in and contribute to the arts scene in Washtenaw County and around the world.  In this week's "creative:impact," WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich talk about this event, which is best known as "The pARTy!"

Melvin the Elf / Santa's North Pole Workshop

There's only one more week until a certain, jolly old elf and his reindeer come to your town.  But, he still found time in his busy schedule for a very special interview.  Santa Claus himself talks with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich for this week's "creative:impact."

Terry Farmer
Courtesy Photo /

Music can always brighten up your holiday season.  That is part of the Terry Farmer's mission.  Farmer is the director of contemporary services at First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor.  He discusses his musical journey with WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich in this week's "creative:impact."

Regina Lambert-Hayut
Temple Beth Emeth /

The holidays are busy time for everyone, especially for musicians who work in religious settings.  Still, the work of these musicians make the season so much brighter.  In this week's "creative:impact," WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich talk about the importance of faith-based music and year-round congregational service work.  Regina Lambert-Hayut is the cantor at Temple Beth Emeth synagogue in Ann Arbor and shares her experience as the Jewish community celebrates Hannukah. 

Deb Polich
Lauren James /

Artists need people to help get the word out on their work, which can be a lot of work by itself.  Fortunately, there are conferences that help making such public relations work more effective.  WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich talks to Arts Alliance communications director Lauren James about such events, including the first-ever "Creative Washtenaw Communications Conversation," in this week's "creative:impact."

Duster / Artrain 1986

Back in 1986, artists submitted graffiti art to decorate the outside of the "Artrain" railcars.  Later this month, renderings of those pieces will go up for auction in Paris, France, where the proceeds will benefit art programs, here at home.  A treasure trove of art of the past will help fund the art of the future.  WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance president and CEO Deb Polich take you back and look forward in this week's "creative:impact."

Maker Works
Maker Works /

When you think of band saws, sanders, and lathes, it's easy to think about a woodshop where lumber and sheet metal are cut.  Art and commerce are created but, at Maker Works in Ann Arbor, so is a sense of community.  In this week's "creative:impact," WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich talk with Tom Root, co-founder of the Maker Works Shop in Ann Arbor.

Dana Heller
Eastern Michigan University /

Eastern Michigan University continues to bundle the arts and sciences in its program offerings.  Many colleges across the country have separated the disciplines.  The committment to maintain the marriage of arts and sciences is what led Dr. Dana Heller to EMU.  Heller is the recently-appointed Dean of Arts and Sciences.  In this week's "creative:impact,"  Dr. Heller discusses her passion for, and the importance of, this kind of education.