Monday, November 18, 2013

Best of the Net 11/11-11/17

Detroit's Midtown Continues To Impress

Midtown Detroit, Inc. is a planning and development nonprofit organization working to maintain and revitalize the Midtown district in Detroit. Its efforts have helped Midtown become one of Detroit's success stories in recent years. MLive reports that the Urban Land Institute (ULI) has named Midtown Detroit, Inc. as one of twelve Global Award for Excellence winners.

According to the MLive report, ULI commended Midtown Detroit Inc. for its efforts with the Woodward Garden Block development, the Sugar Hill Art District, the Ellington and Whole Foods Market development, the Auburn and the Green Garage. In addition to these developments, Midtown offers many cultural attractions through the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Public Library and Wayne State University.

Midtown is not done reinventing itself though. Model D reports that a Knight Foundation grant will support the TechTown Living Room, a public space at Cass and Burroughs that will be available to the approximately 400 entrepreneurs who will be moving into the new TechTown co-working space in Midtown.

Filmmakers Feature U.P. Bike Trails

The Upper Peninsula offers an abundance of outdoor activities including the up-and-coming sport of snow biking. Clear and Cold Cinema is a U.P. production company that seeks to highlight the beauty of the U.P. Upper Peninsula's Second Wave reports that the production company is releasing a new film called Cold Rolled. The action-packed documentary features snow biking on the trails of Marquette's Noquemanon Trail Network.

For a brief trailer for the film, click here.

LaughFest Is Coming To Grand Rapids

Gilda's LaughFest, the annual comedy festival held in Grand Rapids since 2011, has announced its 2014 lineup. The Grand Rapids Business Journal reports that comedians Jay Leno, Lily Tomlin, Chris Tucker and Jim Gaffigan, among others, will be performing between March 6 and 16.

The festival raises funds for Gilda's Club Grand Rapids, which provides cancer, grief and emotional health support to the community. Gilda's Club is named in honor of legendary Michigan comedian and original Saturday Night Live cast member Gilda Radner.

To Be Should Not Be A Question

The original king of comedy (and tragedy), William Shakespeare, hopes to come to Detroit this summer. Shakespeare in Detroit (SiD) aims to bring three outdoor Shakespeare plays to the city in 2014. If SiD is able to stage the plays in Detroit, it will also hire Detroiters to prepare and perform in the productions. Last summer, the company produced Othello in Grand Circus Park.

However, the company needs help raising funds according to a report by Hell Yeah Detroit. Sam White, the founder of SiD, is asking for financial help through a Kickstarter campaign. If you would like to help, click here to see a video from White explaining her goals and to make a donation. As White explains in the video, other major cities have outdoor Shakespeare productions, and if it is good enough for them, it's good enough for Detroit.

A Flint Made Man Gives Back

Eric Woodyard is a journalist from Flint who refuses to believe that he succeeded despite growing up on Flint's north side. Instead, he believes his success is a result of the grit and toughness he developed while growing up in Flint. MLive highlights Woodyard's production of his short film "Flint Made Me." The film features interviews with people who inspired him and helped him obtain academic scholarships while also showing the neighborhood he grew up in.

Woodyard will use proceeds from the film to help fund a scholarship. For a preview of the film, click here.

Symphony Broadens Its Reach

The Grand Rapids Symphony is trying to gain interest from younger music lovers through its MySymphony360 program. The membership program is designed for professionals between the ages of 21 and 35. The Grand Rapids Business Journal reports that the symphony will offer discounted tickets to the program's members and that it hopes to partner with restaurants and bars to offer additional discounts to members on concert nights.

Detroit's Unseen Sights

Shinola, manufacturer of bicycles and luxury watches, is one of Detroit's newer businesses that is bringing jobs and positive press to the city. Sight Unseen asked Shinola's creative director Daniel Caudill to give snapshots of his new hometown. The story features several photos of Caudill's favorite places and businesses in Detroit and includes his commentary about why these places are special.

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