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creative:impact - Use Your Talents During Defining Moments Of History

Bev Willis

Bev Willis grew up in Washington, D.C., literally in the epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement because of her parents and grandparents.  Deb Polich and David Fair talk with Bev about how those experiences led to her becoming a graphic designer, active in her community, and encouraging everyone to use their talents to document defining historical moments.  Hear the conversation on this edition of "creative:impact."  Listen here.

Deb Polich
Deb Polich, President and CEO of the Arts Alliance

Creative industries in Washtenaw County add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.  In the weeks and months to come, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and co-host Deb Polich, the President and CEO of The Arts Alliance, explore the myriad of contributors that make up the creative sector in Washtenaw County.


Beverly Willis is a freelance graphic designer, specializing in print media, digital content, creative problem solving and community relations.  Currently, she is the Administrator for the Washtenaw County Historical Society at the Museum on Main Street in Ann Arbor.  Bev has years of evolved experience in graphic and digital design, exhibition writing, design, fabrication and installation.

A strong believer in the power of positive thinking and community service, she volunteers for several nonprofit boards and organizations including the Ann Arbor Historical Foundation, the Washtenaw County Historical Consortium, The African American Endowment Fund of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and The African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County.  Bev donates graphic design and creative service and consultation to local churches, organizations and grass root initiatives.  Ms. Willis grew up in Washington DC, is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Art, and a longtime resident of the city of Ann Arbor.


The mission of the Washtenaw County Historical Society (established in 1857) is to educate and inspire our community to engage in the preservation and presentation of area history.  Thirty years ago, in June, the Museum on Main Street was moved from 1015 Wall Street to 500 N. Main.  The Museum stands close to one of Ann Arbor’s entrances, where three streets meet at the corner of E. Kingsley, Beakes and Main.  When the Museum opens, the exhibit will be The Women's March to the Ballot Box.  It is about the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, and how strong leaders and locally passionate groups worked to gain long-overdue rights and recognition for women in Michigan and around the nation.  For more information, call 734-662-9092 or email wchs-1000@ameritech.net.


The African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County (AACHM) was founded in 1993 as a Museum without walls.  The museum is located at 1528 Pontiac Trail.  This mid-19th century Greek revival brick residence originally built by Albert Polhemus was located on East Washington street in downtown Ann Arbor.  THE MOSAIC FOUNDATION (of R. & P. Heydon) acquired the structure a decade ago and rehabilitated it both for its own use and for the AACHM to tell the stories of the history and culture of African Americans in Washtenaw County.  For more information, call 734-761-1717 and leave a message, text/talk 734-680-2128 or email aachmuseum@gmail.com


Washtenaw County Historical Society

African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County (AACHM)

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
Polich hosts the weekly segment creative:impact, which features creative people, jobs and businesses in the greater Ann Arbor area.
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