89.1 WEMU

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival

Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

This week, "Art and Soul" focuses on the performing arts in our area.  89.1 WEMU’s Lisa Barry is joined by local writer and reviewer Jenn Mckee and local actor Dominic Seipenko, talking about his part in the musical now being put on by the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre…and even sings a bit!

The Michigan Shakespeare Festival

This week, Art and Soul is about the performing arts in our area.  89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry is joined by local journalist and arts blogger Jenn McKee to talk about many of the events taking place right now in our area.  They are joined by a special guest, Janice Blixt, the producing artistic director of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, who speaks about their current and upcoming performances.


The troubled Ypsilanti Heritage Festival is going to take place later this summer, thanks to the help of two volunteers.  

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival

The Ypsilanti Heritage Festival is happening this coming Friday through Sunday in Riverside Park and includes a wide range of activities from historic building tours to the annual duck drop.

Former Ypsilanti Mayor and festival committee member Cheryl Farmer explains the festival began in the late 70's...

It may feel like winter outside, but organizers of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival have summer - and the 2015 edition of the festival - on their minds.

Festival board president David Nickerson says they need lots of help from the community in order to put on a successful event.

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Director Resigns

Oct 16, 2014
Bob Eccles

When time for the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival rolls around again next summer Andrew Clock will not be at the helm as director.  Clock says festival's board president Wednesday night asked him to resign, and he agreed to step down.


Board president David Nickerson says it's been difficult for Clock to put the time and effort into the festival on an ongoing basis.

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Underway

Aug 15, 2014
Bob Eccles

After some last-minute setting up of tents and displays, the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival is underway. 

The path to this year's festival was a bit bumpy, with some long-time participants striking out on their own and the city failing to consider a financial contribution in the form of a sponsorship to help offset the higher fees that all events held on city property are dealing with this year. 

Still, festival director Andrew Clock says they're ready to go.


Organizers of this year's Ypsilanti Heritage Festival want the festival parade to spotlight the fun, creative side of the community.

"We really want to foster a little bit of that New Orleans spirit," festival director Andrew Clock says, "where neighborhoods come out and put together floats and acts just to say 'look how cool our neighborhood is'.  We've got a lot of that spirit in Ypsilanti, so we want to make the Heritage Festival parade the opportunity to do that."

Bob Eccles

This year's Ypsilanti Heritage Festival will look as bit different than in past years, as new attractions are added and others decide to strike out on their own.

Among the elements that won't be part of the festival this year is Chautauqua at the Riverside, which is moving to October this year. 

David Nickerson is chair of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival board.

"With that being primarily presented at Riverside Arts, especially this last year we noticed that people weren't necessarily flowing up out of the park and to that event and to the venue," Nickerson says.

Ypsi Heritage Festival asks City to Cap Fees

Dec 4, 2013
Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Heritage Festival made a plea to City Council Tuesday night to put a cap on the special event fees the city charges it. 

David Nickerson is Chair of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Board of Trustees.  He told council those fees represent 18 percent of festival expenses.

Nickerson requested that the city cap fees charged the festival at between $18,000 and $20,000.  Nickerson estimates next year's fees at between $25,000 and $28,000 otherwise. 

Mayor Paul Schreiber said he'd like to see the city make a contribution to the festival as a sponsor rather than just cap fees.

Council member Daniel Vogt said the city can't afford to subisidise the Heritage Festival unless the city can break even, perhaps by helping the festival find other areas in which to make cuts.

City staff will study the issue and come back to council with a recommendation at a later date.

Library of Congress

The annual Ypsilanti Heritage Festival kicks-off on Friday and the celebration will run through the weekend.  It's a perfect time to take a look back at some of the elements that have helped create the identity of this Washtenaw County community.

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival

Aug 17, 2012
Bob Eccles

The 34th Annual Ypsilanti Heritage Festival kicks off today. WEMU's Bob Eccles has a preview.