Features

Longform Tacos at Don Guicho's Kitchen.

Taco truck, art supply store, and event planner all take businesses to next level in Ypsi

Here's how three businesses are expanding their operations in downtown Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township.

Longform Tiana Haygood (left) at Feed The Need Sensory Zone at Unique Care Connect Community Center.

Ypsi-Ann Arbor nonprofit offers activities tailored to young people with special needs

Feed the Need Sensory Zone offers sensory-friendly activities for young people, and may offer "sensory buses" and employment opportunities in the future.

Longform Jefferson Lettieri Office's "Drip" for A2AC Alleys.

From sparking dialogue to providing visual beacons, Washtenaw County's public art fills many roles

Public art can serve various deeply meaningful functions, whether as a visual landmark, a more utilitarian object, or a way to ignite political and social conversations.

Innovation News Argus Farm Stop

Ann Arbor farm stop hosts inaugural national farm stop conference

Farm stops help to bridge the gap between local produce farmers and potential customers by providing a year-round grocery store that sells local produce on consignment.

Innovation News Casseia Fifelski as Scales and Olivia Allen as Ronnie in "Ronnie and Scales' Magnificent Tale." Set and puppet by Mia Irwin, costumes by Shea Dennie.

EMU theatre tour offers interactive performance tailored to neurodivergent students

From March to April, Eastern Michigan University’s touring Theatre for the Young show will provide small groups of neurodivergent students an immersive, multi-sensory theatrical experience.

Innovation News The intersection of State Street and Eisenhower Parkway, where the Arbor South development will be located.

Proposed development would bring 20 acres of housing and retail to Ann Arbor's south side

A plan to transform 20 acres on Ann Arbor's south side into "a new major gateway to the city," conveniently adjacent to I-94, has just been unveiled.

Longform Melvin Henley

Growing Michigan Together Council addresses housing and other concerns across the state

Established by Governor Whitmer, the Growing Michigan Together Council works to develop a long-term plan of action to address many issues of concern across the state. Different goals include jobs, talent, and people; infrastructure and places; PreK-12 and higher education, and revenue. Block by Block spoke with the Executive Director of the Growing Michigan Together Council and Michigan’s first Chief Growth Officer Hilary Doe, and Melvin Henley at Community Economic Development Association of Michigan to hear about the council’s report.   

Partner Content The conference will include four break-out sessions offering a choice among 15 different topics.
Longform Girl getting vaccinated

Boosting childhood immunization rates vital to community health

Recent data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows that 91% of kindergarteners in 2022 were up to date on their vaccinations, while rates of younger ages are seeing a decline. 

Longform Dr. Kelsey Sala-Hamrick is the Michigan Public Health Institute's MI ACE project director.

200-partner collaborative raises awareness about impact of adverse childhood experiences in Michigan

Partners in the Michigan ACE Initiative are working to raise awareness of the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), prevent ACEs, and foster resilience among children who have experienced them. 

Longform Kate Holcomb and Tajalli Hodge with the WashUp Ministries mobile shower facility at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse.

Food-truck ministry adds free showers at Ypsilanti Warming Center

Ann Arbor-based FedUp Ministries' WashUp program is offering a mobile shower facility with four full baths at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse Mondays through Thursdays.

Longform HART volunteers responding to a fire on North Maple Road in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor nonprofit offers support on the scene for Washtenaw County's emergency repsonders

HART Huron Valley provides food, shelter, water, and many other support services to Washtenaw County's emergency responders.

Feature Story A sculpture made in prison by Danny Valentine.

Book by co-founder of U-M exhibit of prisoners' art goes deep on solidarity, respect, and expression

For nearly three decades, Janie Paul has made annual visits to almost all of Michigan's prisons to solicit and select artwork created by prisoners for an annual show at U-M. Now, she's chronicled that extensive experience in a book.

Innovation News A 2023 Pitch@WCC competition contestant with WCC Entrepreneurship Center Director Michelle Julet. This year's Pitch@WCC competitors will be enrolled in WCC's Start-Up Incubator.

WCC Start-Up Incubator offers two years of mentorship and support for new businesses

Washtenaw Community College has opened applications for its 2024 Start-Up Incubator Program, with cohorts planned for March, June, and October. 

Longform MDHHS staff early 20th century.

State of Michigan public health celebrates 150 years of service to Michiganders

The State of Michigan’s public health system recently celebrated its sesquicentennial: 150 years in service to Michiganders. To mark the occasion, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has shared a nice collection of sesquicentennial information on its website.   

Innovation News Ypsilanti Police Chief Kirk Moore speaks to Ypsilanti Community Middle School students about policing as the students prepare to interview the candidates for Washtenaw County sheriff.

Ypsi middle schoolers to interview Washtenaw County sheriff candidates in public forum

"These kids might be the only experts on this job in Washtenaw County outside of the sheriff himself," says organizer Anna Gersh.

Longform Joe Lange by solar panels at Northside Community Center in Ann Arbor.

"A Tupperware party for solar panels": Ann Arbor bulk-buy program makes solar more affordable

The city of Ann Arbor's Solarize program has successfully enabled groups to buy solar power equipment in bulk, saving money for everyone involved. 

Longform Moira Payne, AQuil Dennison, Mara Evenstar, and Russ Jones at Evenstar's Chalice.

Major conference celebrating alternative spirituality comes to Ypsi Township for the first time

ConVocation, which offers "a vibrant and knitted community for individuals who honor and align with mystical and esoteric paths," is coming to Ypsi Township Feb. 22-25.

Feature Story A promotional image for Olivia Van Goor's Anti-Valentine's Jazz Cabaret Showcase.

"Anti-Valentine's Day Cabaret" in Ann Arbor will honor stages of heartbreak through jazz

In honor of anyone who's been scorned, rejected, or just gotten sick of the candy, chocolates, and Hallmark-style sentiments, Royal Oak-based jazz vocalist Olivia Van Goor will host an anti-Valentine's Day showcase on Feb. 17 at Ann Arbor's North Star Lounge.

Innovation News WCC students on campus.

Advance Ypsi program launches at WCC, offering Ypsi-area residents training for high-demand careers

The Advance Ypsi program will place 300 Ypsi-area high schoolers and adults in short-term certificate programs that prepare them for high-demand careers paying at least $40,000 a year.

Hasini and Harshini Anand are members of Corner Health Center's Youth Leadership Council and mental health advocates.

 


   Voices of Youth
Concentrate's Voices of Youth series features content created by Washtenaw County youth in partnership with Concentrate mentors, as well as feature stories by adult writers that examine issues of importance to local youth. Click here for a full list of the latest content from this series.