89.1 WEMU

Sarah Rigg

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.

#OTGYpsi: Out Of Pain Comes Purpose

Oct 28, 2020
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Ypsilanti residents Yoland and Keith Ragland were in shock after losing their 19-year-old son to gun violence in 2017, but they channeled their energy into a vision for an arts education nonprofit called Elevation Youth Corp., one they hope can benefit Ypsilanti-area children much like their son.

WEMU's Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg from "On the Ground-Ypsi" talk to Yolanda about their efforts and how they hope it benefits the Ypsilanti area community.

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

It doesn't take much to create a space for roller skating, an activity one Ypsilanti area man hopes to see more of in the community.  In this week's "On The Ground-Ypsi," Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk to Daniel Wall about bringing together a "roller culture," or network of skating enthusiasts, in the Ypsilanti area and future plans to have an outdoor skating rink in Ypsilanti Township.

Hero Nation / heronation.org

In this week's "On The Ground-Ypsi" online story preview, WEMU's LIsa Barry and OTGY project manager Sarah Rigg talk with the founder of Hero Nation, Jermaine Dickerson, about this year's event, which will be online due to COVID-19.

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Each week, WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Sarah Rigg, project manager for "On The Ground-Ypsi," an online source of positive things happening in the Ypsilanti community.

This week, Lisa and Sarah talk with Dave Strenski, the founder of SolarYpsi, about what's new in bringing solar-powered energy to the Ypsilanti area 15 years after he began his efforts.

Bryan Mitchell Photography

Many different community components came together to get a new skatepark built in Ypsilanti Township.  That is the focus of this week's "On The Ground-Ypsi" with WEMU's Lisa Barry, project manager for On the Ground Ypsi Sarah Rigg, and Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission deputy director Meghan Bonfiglio.

Rick Coughlin / Grove Studios

Most every week, Concentrate Media puts out a story--a positive story--about the Ypsilanti area online known as “On The Ground-Ypsi.”  And most every week, we connect with the project manager of On the Ground-Ypsi, Sarah Rigg, to share that story with you, our WEMU listeners.

This week, Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with Ypsi-based Grove Studios co-founder Rick Coughlin about the upcoming, socially-distant Equinox Party, featuring local bands on September 19.

Caroline Sanders
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

"On the Ground-Ypsi" gives voice to Concentrate Media's online news stories about positive things happening in Ypsilanti.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with On the Ground-Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg each week giving voice to her online article.

This week focuses on a pilot program to provide financial support and special training for quality child care certification in Ypsilanti that would benefit all of Washtenaw County.  Lisa and Sarah speak to Caroline Sanders from Engage @ EMU, who spearheaded this new program.

Eastern Michigan University

Video game competitions, or "eSports," has grown from a social activity among friends to a nearly $1 billion business.  eSports teams are now forming in school districts and universities across the country, including Eastern Michigan University.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk about EMU associate vice president of student affairs Calvin Phillips, who explains how EMU's new eSports team will impact the university and its students.

Corner Health Center

Restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 health crisis have to started to ease up recently.  Many nonprofit organizations, including the Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti, are introducing new safety procedures in their work.  The center's community outreach and youth development manager, Kamilah Davis-Wilson, joins WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg to discuss their new ways of serving the public in this week's installment of "On the Ground-Ypsi."

Kim Clarke

It's safe to say that the COVID-19 crisis will be more than a footnote in world history.  In fact, a new initiative is underway to see that this moment in time will be never be forgotten and that "we're all in this together."  For this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk to local historian Kim Clarke about the "Ypsilanti Coronavirus Digital Archive," a new photo project designed to preserve memories of everyday life during the pandemic.

New West Willow
Sarah Rigg / Concentrate Media

The coronavirus pandemic has kept people, including those living in Ypsilanti Township, confined to their homes.  It has also made it difficult for local neighborhood associations to keep their residents informed of any events or developments in their respective communities.  For this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg hear about the new ways associations communicate with residents from Jo Ann McCollum, president of the New West Willow Neighborhood Association.

Alize Asberry Payne
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Earlier this month, the Washtenaw County Health Department released data regarding confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county.  The most disturbing information came out of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, in which there more infections among African-Americans than any other ethnicity.  WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg examine why this situation exists with Washtenaw County racial equity officer Alize Asberry Payne for this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."

Alex Clark / Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Ypsilanti

The coronavirus crisis has kept people from meeting in large groups, which includes going to church or any other weekly religious service.  Because of this, many of Ypsilanti's religious institutions are performing their sermons online, while still providing food and supplies to their neediest members.  Alex Clark, pastor of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Ypsilanti, provides further details on this new, digital venture in a conversation with WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg for this week's edition of "On the Ground-Ypsi."

Evenstar's Chalice / evenstarschalice.com

The coronavirus pandemic has hurt businesses across the country, and small business owners may have felt the effects most of all.  So, some small business owners in Ypsilanti, including Mara Evenstar of Evenstar's Chalice, have had to find new ways to keep their establishments alive during this health crisis.  Evenstar joins WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg to discuss her new business actions for this week's installment of "On the Ground-Ypsi."

Ypsilanti Community Schools
Ypsilanti Community Schools / ycschools.us

School districts across the state of Michigan have closed their doors indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yet, a number of students are now at a disadvantage, especially those who rely on their schools for food and internet access.  So, Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) stepped up to help these kids out.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk to YCS assistant superintendent Dr. Carlos Lopez about how the district is serving the community during this crisis.

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Concentrate Media's "On The Ground-Ypsi" this week focuses on "Contacto Michigan" and its internet radio station, "Contacto Michigan Ypsilanti," or CMY.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with On The Ground-Ypsilanti project manager Sarah Rigg about the organization in downtown Ypsilanti.

SOS Community Services / soscs.org

Since its inception at Eastern Michigan University, SOS Community Services has always been there for Ypsilanti residents.  The organization has provided services such as child care, supportive housing, and a food pantry.  Later this spring, SOS will celebrate its 50th anniversary, and its executive director, Rhonda Weathers, talks all about this amazing endeavor with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg for this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

There are students out there who face constant struggles in their schoolwork, including here in the Ypsilanti area.  Fortunately, the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan (SAC) is there to provide guidance and mentorship to those who need it.  SAC executive director Peri Stone-Palmquist and former SAC board member Brittany Barros join WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg to talk about the center ongoing work in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On The Ground Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Sarah Rigg from Concentrate Media about her latest online story about The Collaborative: Ypsilanti YMCA Child Development Center.  Their guest is Donetta Mazyck, director of the Collaborative, and one of its success stories.

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

There are plans to revive the ​Ypsilanti Art Incubator​, a project started by a small group of Ypsilanti-based artists in 2012.  The incubator went dormant for several years, but Ypsilanti resident Alexa Dietz is looking to relaunch it in 2020.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Alexa and Concentrate Media’s Sarah Rigg about what this might mean to area artists for this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi." 

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Seeing a need for more partnerships and support for younger school students in Ypsilanti, Tim Wilson helped create "Washtenaw Promise."  It's an Ypsilanti-based nonprofit that seeks to remove barriers to success and increase opportunities for children to thrive, starting in early childhood.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Tim and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg about the focus of her story in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."