Over the last few year Ypsilanti has been attracting a vibrant community of young creatives, helping to re-brand the former auto industry town as the Brooklyn to Ann Arbor's Manhattan.
Yes, the comparison has become a bit tired (and cliche) but there is no denying that the city has become a small hotbed for do-it-yourself arts and culture, the kind of community that used to settle in Ann Arbor. From its downtown puppet theater to Awesome Fest to Spur Studios, Ypsi has developed a reputation for being affordable and artist-friendly.
Much credit can be given to Michigan Design Militia
, creators of Ypsilanti's Shadow Art Fair
, a now annual event that features live music and a cornucopia of locally produced artsy stuff. Last summer the Shadow Art Fair expanded from its home base at the Corner Brewery into other Ypsi venues, demonstrating the vitality of this growing festival.
has invited the founders of the Shadow Art Fair to come talk about how they got started, why they think Ypsi is the best place for their efforts, how Ann Arbor might learn from their experiences, and what's next.
Our speakers include:
Mark pens the popular local blog MarkMaynard.com
and is the puppet host of the local live talk show Dreamland Tonight
. He also publishes the magazine Crimewave USA
with Linette Lao (to whom he is married), paints, puts out records, and draws comics. He has a day job that would make most parents happy but is not relevant to this event. Mark is one of the founders of Ypsilanti's popular Shadow Art Fair, co-chair of YpsiVotes, sits on the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti SmartZone Local Development Finance Authority board, and is a member of Ypsilanti's 2020 Task Force on the future of the city.
Jennifer describes herself as a geographer, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the Shadow Art Fair. She was the owner of women's fashion and gift store Henrietta Fahrenheit (now closed) and now writes a blog on vegan cooking called Scrumpdilly
From her website
: "I sew, I draw, I take photographs. I have worked as a web designer, stitch maker, and dog walker. I ran my own business making clothing for four years. Twice a year I help organize the Shadow Art Fair, an art event in Ypsi. I am featured in the book, Handmade Nation
. Sometimes I make stuffed severed unicorn heads."
Chris is an Ypsilanti-based artist and a tenant manager at SPUR Studios
. He is also a partner in Dirty Bros. Quality Productions, a creative group that collaborates on multimedia art projects, stages performance art events, and has created various music videos, web promos, and commercials.
Speaker Series event "Shadow Art Community
WHEN: Wednesday, November 10th from 5-7PM
WHERE: Conor O'Neill's
(318 South Main Street)
The event is free and open to Concentrate's
readers, but seating is limited so you must pre-register.The presentation will begin around 5:15 p.m. and run for roughly 75 minutes.
Refreshments (beer, wine, and soft drinks) will be provided. Discussion and networking before and afterward is greatly encouraged.
Speaker Series is sponsored by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.