#Ypsilanti

Brandon Wiard / Wiard's Orchard

Director of Night Terrors Brandon Wiard stops by to take "creative:impact" listeners on a behind-the-scenes tour of Wiard Orchards Haunted Thrill Park. Discover what it takes to create a frightfully scary experience along with "creative:impact" host Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Just in time for Halloween, we meet one of several horror fiction writers who live in the Ypsilanti area. In this week’s "On the Ground Ypsi," WEMU’s Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media’s Sarah Rigg talk to Ypsilanti horror fiction writer Ken MacGregor about his scary stories and writing career. 


Tajalli Hodge
Tajalli Hodge

Nestled on the eastern side of Ypsilanti Township is a neighborhood park that is largely grass-covered and is an underutilized resource. That is changing. Tajalli Hodge is an elected member of the Ypsilanti Township Parks Commission and has taken initial steps to make the park a community gathering place that also enhances the area’s environmental health. WEMU’s David Fair spoke with Hodge about the present and future of Sugarbrook Park. 


Alison Foreman
Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels / ymow.org

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. 


YpsiWrites / ypsiwrites.com

The organizers of "Writers of Ypsilanti," a program sponsored by community writing lab YpsiWrites believe everyone's a writer and writing matters.

WEMU's Lisa Barry and On The Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg talk to the co-founder of YpsiWrites, Ann Blakeslee, about their mission and belief that the art of writing...in any form...still matters in 2021.


Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra / ypsilantisymphony.org

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. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

WEMU's Lisa Barry and On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg talk with Keesa Johnson from the Washtenaw County Black Farmers Fund about efforts to encourage and support diversity in farming and why that's important.


Sue Shink
Sue Shink

Washtenaw County had already declared an official climate emergency, and it has set a goal of getting the entire county carbon neutral by the year 2035. The "Climate Action Planning Team" has been formed, and the next steps are being taken. Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners chair Sue Shink joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the work ahead.  


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On the Ground Ypsi," our weekly conversation with Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg and WEMU's Lisa Barry, they talk with Melisa Tasker, the program coordinator for the Washtenaw County "CARES team," about the mental health services they provide to the community funded by a 2018 county public safety and mental health preservation millage.


Trische' Duckworth

Since June 2021, two Black Lives Matter murals adorned downtown Ypsilanti and Riverside Park. The idea was to inspire community unity in the call for an end to racism and  injustice for people of color. Over the weekend, vandals splashed white paint all over the Riverside Park BLM mural. "Survivors Speak" founder and executive director Trische' Duckworth helped bring those murals to life. She joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the process of moving forward. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

A collaboration between two Ypsilanti-based nonprofits, Our House and HouseN2Home, has created a "home" for teenagers about to transition out of foster care. 

 

WEMU's Lisa Barry and On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg talk with Natasha Doan-Motsinger, the executive director of Our House, about how they worked together to create this necessary space.


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.


UPSC Medico / upsc.medcampus.io

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."


Amy Fracker
Riverside Arts Center / riversidearts.org

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.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Thanks to an anonymous donor and facilitation by local grassroots organization SolarYpsi, several churches and nonprofits in Ypsilanti have received or will soon receive new solar installations.

WEMU's Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg from Concentrate Media talk with Dave Strenski from SolarYpsi about the impact that is having on the Ypsilanti area community.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

For this week's "On The Ground Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg from Concentrate Media talk with Peter Sanderson from the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation division about recently completed improvements to Ypsilanti area parks and trails and what else is in the works.


Kalitta Air

Many businesses located in the Ypsilanti area have a global impact even though they are located in Washtenaw County. WEMU's Lisa Barry and On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg talk with Bill Mayer of Ann Arbor SPARK about the many successful local businesses in the Ypsilanti area they've helped support and nurture to reach this level of success.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On The Ground Ypsi," Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk about the many different beekeeping activities in Ypsilanti, also officially certified as a "Bee City" in the United States.


Abdullah Hammound
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Excessive flooding across portions of southeast Michigan continues to create personal and financial hardship. The solutions aren't easy and are quite expensive. State representative Abdullah Hammoud of Dearborn represents the 15th District, which includes his hometown of Dearborn, an area devastated by flooding from the storms of late June. He joined WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak to discuss the complicated policy decisions needed to prevent such future occurances. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

On this edition of "On The Ground Ypsi," Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with Jerard Delaney, aviation program coordinator for Eastern Michigan University, about how students benefit from one of several partnerships the university has that give them more hands-on experience as part of their degree.


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.


Carlos Franklin
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

The Black Stone Bookstore and Cultural Center in Ypsilanti has a mission: To unite all people, regardless of race, religion, or politics, and to highlight the works of authors of color. Bookstore co-owner Carlos Franklin joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss his love of literature and his journey as a Black, small business owner during social unrest and a pandemic. 


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.


Molly Motherwell / 89.1 WEMU

From her artist’s booth, Karin Wagner Coron had perfect view of the 2021 Ann Arbor Art Fair. In the second of this two-part series, Karin paints a picture of her experience, how it went, what was the same, what was different, and how it felt to be back on the streets selling art after a one-year, Art Fair hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear it all as she joins "creative:impact’s" co-hosts, Creative Washtenaw’s Deb Polich and WEMU’s David Fair.


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.


Karin Wagner Coron

Karin Wagner Coron has exhibited at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair for years. She has a routine: how many works to have in inventory and what to pack to be ready. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of last year’s Art Fair. In the first of a two-part series, Karin talks about that disruption and what she anticipates for the 2021 Art Fair. Next week, she’ll be back to tell "creative:impact’s" co-hosts, Creative Washtenaw’s Deb Polich and WEMU’s David Fair, how the Art Fair went.


Della DiPietro
Ann Arbor Township / aatwp.org

Curbside recycling is common practice, yet many residents are still placing unrecyclable materials in their bins. That's why the Washtenaw Regional Resource Management Authority (WRRMA) has started an audit and educational program to help property owners make better recycling decisions. Della DiPietro, who serves as both Ann Arbor Township treasurer and WRRMA representative, discusses the program in detail with WEMU's David Fair.

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.

Peter Sparling

Peter Sparling has had a long career as a dancer and dance professor at the University of Michigan, and now, as he approaches his 70th birthday, he is creating moving dance videos and has taken up painting. He talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about his career and what inspires him to keep moving and creating art in many different forms.


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