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creative:impact - Painting In The Streets!

Natsume Ono

The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority thinks our streetscapes can be much more fun and have asked artists to help us reimagine our downtown spaces.  Deb and David talk with Natsume Ono, a member of the Studio Kaleidoscape team, who recently pained a streetscape at South State Street and North University as part of the ReVIVE All Zones project.  Hear their conversation on "creative:impact" 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.



Credit Natsume Ono
Natsume Ono

Natsume Ono grew up in Ann Arbor, MI and attended the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.  She graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a minor in Food & the Environment.  She was the Design Team Lead for the TEDxUofM team in 2019 and 2020 and was a recipient of the Mondro Prize in 2019, a residency with Penny Stamps School of Art and Design Professor Anne Mondro.


Natsume is interested in studying ma, a Japanese concept of the transitory in-between as it appears in our daily lives.  The gaps that are becoming narrower between the physical and digital realms, and how people are connecting these spaces is also of interest.  In these times of physical distancing, where loneliness and a mundane day-to-day routine is prevalent, Natsume is interested in the act of play, of finding wonder and interacting for the sole purpose of having fun.

Credit Natsume Ono
Studio Kaleidoscape


  • TEDxUofM 2020 ENTROPY: Stage Design.  Design Team Lead, encompassing the design as well as coordination of construction, assembly, and installation. 

  • TEDxUofM 2019 ABSOLUTE ZERO: Stage Design.  Design Team Lead, encompassing the design as well as coordination of construction, assembly, and installation.

  • Fontainebleau 2018 L’après-midi d’un faune: Team member and choreographer of a public performance piece set in the courtyard of the Fontainebleau Chateau 

  • Festifools 2017 Trump’s Crumbling Wall: A paper mache larger-than-life-size puppet of the American and Mexican presidents depicted on either side of a crumbling, towering wall.  In collaboration with Gretel Falkenstein. 

  • Dear Architecture: A pop-up installation to serve as a platform for student voices within the Taubman College community to present concerns for student wellbeing
Credit Natsume Ono
Studio Kaleidoscape


This is a collaboration between the Arts Alliance and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.  Washtenaw County-based creative teams and/or artists are encourage to submit proposals to alter downtown streetscapes and elements including the pavement, sidewalks, planters, furniture, barricades, posts, cylinders, curbs, bump outs, lane markers, transit stops.


Natsume Ono

ReVIVE All Zones: A Tactical Urbanism Infused Project

Credit Natsume Ono
Studio Kaleidoscape

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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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