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creative:impact - Hello again, David Fair!

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Mat Hopson
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89.1 WEMU

After several months hosting "creative:impact" solo, Deb Polich welcomes her co-host David Fair back to the show. And for the first time in two years, they are in the studio at their microphones. David and Deb catch up and look at upcoming changes for the show. Find out what next on this installment of "creative:impact."

Deb Polich
Credit David Fair / 89.1 WEMU
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89.1 WEMU
Deb Polich, President and CEO of Creative Washtenaw, at the WEMU studio.

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 Creative Washtenaw, explore the myriad of contributors that make up the creative sector in Washtenaw County.

RESOURCES:

Creative Washtenaw

Creative Washtenaw Contact Info

WEMU Contact Info

David Fair Contact Info

TRANSCRIPTION:

David Fair: This is 89 one WEMU, I'm David Fair, and welcome to this week's edition of creative:impact. Now, throughout the years, my partner and my co-host has been the president and CEO of Creative Washtenaw, Deb Polich, and I haven't seen you since 2020. 

Deb Polich: I know. I'm so excited. I was so excited to hear your voice. Thank you and welcome back, by the way. 

David Fair: Thank you very much. It's been a long three months away.

Deb Polich: Right. I was excited to hear your voice on Monday morning, and now we're literally in the same studio. It's kind of amazing.

David Fair: Yeah. 

Deb Polich: It's been a long time. You're looking great. 

David Fair: I'm looking different is what I'm looking.

Deb Polich: Your hair's grown a little.

David Fair: A little bit.

Deb Polich: A little bit, So, uh three months, David. Well, I mean, that's a long time to be away. 

David Fair: So, essentially what happened was I needed to have some spinal fusion surgery.

Deb Polich: Oh, minor. 

David Fair: And so they did that. And then there is a recovery period, and I am still in that. And it's they say, you know, it'll take about a year to get fully better. But I am starting to feel better, and I'm looking forward to the year ahead. And I have to tell you. I have felt so disconnected. I have felt so far removed from everything that has been happening at the station and in this community. It is truly a gratifying experience to return. 

Deb Polich: You know, I bet because you were such a trooper through the whole COVID beginning to, you know, until you had to take off. You were here every day. You had your routine when many of the rest of us were secluded at home. So, to some extent, those three months you were off, you kind of experienced what many of us did for the whole pandemic. 

David Fair: Yeah, and it is isolating, and it's different. So, I like the structure of being able to come back into the studio on a daily basis. But mostly, I love that I will once again have the opportunity to meet with and talk with all sorts of different people throughout the community and get back to connecting. And it's that connection that I've been missing. 

Deb Polich: Oh, for sure. 

David Fair: So good to be here and so glad to connect with you again. 

Deb Polich: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So, I have to ask. 

David Fair: Yeah. 

Deb Polich: You know, it was a blast during the show. I always enjoyed during the show with you, of course. I was a little nervous, but I enjoyed doing the show on my own. But now here's the question. Did you listen in and what pointers do you have? 

David Fair: So I did. In fact, specifically, I heard the last interview you did with Debbie Dingell. 

Deb Polich: Oh yeah, yeah. 

David Fair: Which was great. And, of course, last week's with the seamstress. 

Deb Polich: Jan Lee. Yup 

David Fair: Jan Lee. And you know what? These conversations flow so well, and you were so professional. I spent a lot of time thinking about because you were doing it so well while I was gone that maybe everyone is best served if you take this on as a solo project. So, I did get the opportunity to talk to you about it, talked to our general manager, Molly Motherwell, and I think we're all on the same page. We're going to go that route. This is now creative:impact with Deb Polich. She will be the solo host moving forward. 

Deb Polich: Well, I have to tell you, it's really quite an honor to have the trust from the station to do that in yours. I mean, you're Mr. Professional Radio Broadcast Guy, and, you know, for all intents and purposes, I'm kind of the amateur. I love it, but I thank you very much for entrusting it with me. And I know that we will still be in great communication about the show throughout time. 

David Fair: Oh yes.

Deb Polich: And so I appreciate that you'll be there with me. So, you know, it's going to be a little bittersweet to not have you and I in the studio together. But let's look back a little. 

David Fair: And I don't mean this in a creepy way, but I will always be with you. 

Deb Polich: I appreciate that being with you, too. I'm feeling like I'm in church. So let's look back a little bit. We started the show in August 2017. 

David Fair: Has it been that long?

Deb Polich: It has. Yeah. You'll recall the idea at first was to talk about fundraising and the arts, and we both decided that was going to be two weeks worth of a conversation. And then we moved on to the idea about bringing creatives and artists and people that work in this business and tell it from their story--you know, from their picture--and demonstrating the impact of the creative industries in Washtenaw County. So, you know, as you look back, what did you like most doing about the show? 

David Fair: So, this is a realm. It's your milieu, it's where you live, it's where you work, it's where you play. And for me, I wasn't all that ingrained in the creative sector and the creative community. And getting the opportunity to meet people, to find the impacts from a personal level to a community level to an economic level and putting that all together and kind of making a really unique mosaic puzzle of our community has been extraordinarily gratifying. And as much as we can talk about grander issues in any of these conversations, it is the personal that I take with me. And there is a personal story to be told in all of these conversations. 

Deb Polich: Oh, absolutely. But, you know what, I'm kind of intrigued about, right this minute, is that what we, Creative Washtenaw, had hoped would be the impact of the show actually worked on you. And that's to expand the idea of what arts the arts are, you know, to a broader economic and and quality of life, quality of community issue and an impact. And it worked on you. See? 

David Fair: You made me grow. I had to be forced, but you made me grow.

Deb Polich: That's great. Well, you know, and I think that as we go forward, you know, I'll look forward to you to recommend potential guests. But we also really want to open it up to people, to our listeners, to do the same. So, you know, by all means, if anybody has any suggestions about a neighbor who's doing some really great creative work here in Washtenaw County, let us know here at WEMU. 

David Fair: You can do that at studio at WEMU dot org. You can reach out to me directly at dfair at emich dot edu. Deb Polich, you can find through Creative Washtenaw, and we'll take your phone calls as well at eight eight eight two nine nine eight nine one zero. If you have suggestions and you feel connected to someone in the creative sector or a business or an organization-- 

Deb Polich: Or if it's even you. 

David Fair: Right. Then let us know, and we can explore that and we can figure out how we work that into the conversation. Now, you mentioned that we've done this for four years right here on 89 one WEMU. 

Deb Polich: One hundred and eighty guests. 

David Fair: And what now--you're going to carry the torch on your own? How do you see the vision carrying forward?

Deb Polich: Well, I think we're going to stay with the format pretty much so, you know, and in what we want to show is both the professionals and the experts in this world, but also those amateurs and the people that do it because they love it. And then also the folks who support it and why do they do that. So, who are those allies? Who are those champions for arts and creativity in Washtenaw County? And, you know, I'll tell you. I'm always excited to learn more about people. And, you know, I just kind of geek out about learning more about this business. 

David Fair: I'm curious. Because, as you well know, the creative sector, the artistic community, has largely been left out of a lot of the additional COVID funding that's passed through. And it's had a dramatic impact on individual lives, but the community as a whole as well. As we begin to move forward and hopefully to go from pandemic to endemic and then move forward from there, what are we looking at? What are we going to be the long term pains and gains in this community?

Deb Polich: So, the arts and creative industries remain vulnerable and at risk. That is an absolute fact. And as every search that we have pushes out recovery another six months or so, and that's the start of recovery. It's not absolute recovery. So, we continue to really be hurt. I will say that if there's one good thing about this is it's made, for example, people in Congress pay attention for the first time last Wednesday. There was actually a congressional hearing on the arts and creative industries. And, David, you know those statistics? I'm always barking at you about? 

David Fair: Right.

Deb Polich: They were the members of Congress was talking about them. 

David Fair: And they spoke about it in a learned manner? 

Deb Polich: Absolutely. And about how important this industry, you know, at $919 billion is important to this state or this country. And so, where that's going to go, we're not quite sure yet, but the conversations have started, and that's the first time in our history. 

David Fair: Safe to say that as we look to the near and longer term future that you hold forth with optimism? 

Deb Polich: Yes, hard work. It's hard work always to bring awareness. But, you know, when we've got community members like we do here in Washtenaw and a radio station like WEMU that's putting arts and creativity in the forefront, it can only get better. 

David Fair: 2022 is going to be the year of the Deb.

Deb Polich: I'll tell you, I'm a little nervous, but I think it'll turn out. I've got, you know, I've still got a little cadence to work on. And, you know, I certainly don't have the 30-plus years of experience that you do. But I hope the listeners are enjoying the show and and we'll take recommendations and criticism as we always have. 

David Fair: I am looking forward to working with you off air. I am looking forward to hearing it on air. And I have every faith that it's only going to improve throughout the year and the years to come. 

Deb Polich: Well, David, it's been an absolute pleasure and the risk, frankly, the risk that WEMU took on the show, but also on me from the beginning, but also while you were gone has been great. So, David, our last show together. Take us out.

David Fair: Well, you've been listening to creative:impact, and the new and solo host is Deb Polich, the president and CEO of Creative Washtenaw. She'll be on her own with a very special guest next Tuesday, right here on your community NPR Station, 89 one WEMU FM and WEMU HD one Ypsilanti. 

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