Community & Nonprofit Organizations

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    Tour the Lake Winds Energy Park at the 2012 Michigan Energy Fair

Tour the Lake Winds Energy Park at the 2012 Michigan Energy Fair

Every year the  Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA) holds their annual Michigan Energy Fair (MEF). The Energy Fair takes place June 22-24, 2012 and it’s at a new location, the Mason County Fairgrounds in Ludington.

The location will allow the MEF to feature tours of Consumers Energy’s Lake Winds Energy Park that is currently under construction. This 100-megawatt installation will hold over 50 wind turbines, and the tour will give you a unique opportunity to see wind turbines as they are being constructed.

This is exactly the kind of opportunity to get up close and personal with the technology and people who are creating Michigan’s new energy economy that MEF offers. With a focus on Michigan’s energy future options and how Michigan’s businesses and families can save energy and money, the Energy Fair will feature over 50 workshops and 40 exhibitors of energy technologies and sustainable products for homes and businesses, including how to finance renewable energy projects.

For more information, please contact Samantha Keeney at Samantha.keeney@glrea.org or 517-646-6269 and get details at www.glrea.org. Also don’t miss this interview with John Sarver, Executive Director of the GLREA about the Michigan Energy Fair.

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    The Daily Michigan: 2 tickets to the Great Wakes Festival in Traverse City

The Daily Michigan: 2 tickets to the Great Wakes Festival in Traverse City

Friday Flash! We’ve got 5 pairs of tickets for tomorrow night’s 5-10 pm entertainment at the Great Wakes Festival. If you’re interested, just send an email to dig@absolutemichigan.com. We’ll randomly select 5 winners at noon!

Today on The Daily Michigan we have 2 tickets to this weekend’s inaugural Great Wakes Festival from Porterhouse Productions.

The 2012 Great Wakes Festival is a brand new event that comes to the Traverse City bayfront June 1 & 2, 2012. In addition to music from local and regional musicians including That 1 Guy, Heatbox, Funktion & Garrett Borns, the event features all kinds of water-themed education and competitions including water education & expo, stand-up paddleboard race, a zany Great Wakes Beach Race, Wakeboard Aerials & Pro Competition, demos and much more.

One of the highlights is a 21-up local beer & wine tent that features wines from Traverse City’s amazing wineries and beer from Kalamazoo Brewing, North Peak & Arbor Brewing. Click the poster to the right for more.

Many of the daytime events are free, but to make sure you can enjoy it all, we have 2 Friday & Saturday evening tickets (available only in advance – winner MUST be 21 years of age or older). Head over to Porterhouse Productions for all the information and to purchase tickets and check below for Grand Rapids’ own Garrett Borns doing Mitten.

Click here to sign up (and to learn how you can win)

DLECTRICITY, a new illuminated art festival for Detroit

DLECTRICITY is a new nighttime, outdoor contemporary art festival that will invite emerging and established artists, performers, lighting designers, and architects to make site-specific installations of light, sound, performance and projection along the Woodward corridor. The inaugural DLECTRICITY will take place Friday, October 5, 2012 (7-midnight) and Saturday, October 6 (5 – 2 AM).

Artists will be utilizing various mediums that fuse sci-fi technology & Victorian spectacle on a grand scale. In addition to commissioning 6-8 major art installations, organizers have issued an open call for entry from which they will select up to 25 projects to transform Midtown Detroit into an illuminated urban spectacle. The Freep reports:

“We want to offer multiple experiences,” said Marc Schwartz, cofounder of Art Detroit Now, an advocacy group that dreamed up the idea and has partnered with economic development nonprofit Midtown Detroit Inc., which is acting as producer. “You’ll be able to drive, but we also hope for people to walk and be able to just come upon work in some intimate spaces.”

…A half-dozen artists with national and international reputations already have been signed up, including Jacco Olivier from the Netherlands, Evan Roth of Paris and the Detroit-based team of Annica Cuppetelli and Christobal Mendoza.

The name for the event was inspired by Detroit’s very own Electric Park which was located on the site of what is now Gabriel Richard Park. From 1906 until 1928, Detroit Electric Park served as a major attraction, beginning as a trolley park and later expanding into an amusement park with the development of electrification.

2012 Chef’s Challenge at Boyne Mountain via Instagram

Team one gets down to business by farlane
Team one gets down to business by farlane

Absolute Michigan was fortunate enough to be able to attend the 2012 Chef’s Challenge at Boyne Mountain last weekend. This annual event benefits Challenge Mountain, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching and improving lives for the mentally and physically challenged through outdoor recreation.

The team from The Art Institute of Michigan in Novi (who placed second last year) was named the 2012 winner, edging out the team from Odawa Casino & Resorts. Judges included Chef Angus Campbell of the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, Chef Matthew Millar, Reserve Wine & Food in Grand Rapids; Chef Nathan Mileski of Northern Michigan University, Pastry Chef Rob Haney, retired pastry chef; Chef Robb White, Culinary Institute of Michigan and author Ruth Mossok Johnston. Chef Chris Kibit, professor at Northern Michigan University in Marquette once again served as liaison to the judges. Chef Michelle Bommarito served as emcee for the evening’s activities. The team from Marquette High School was named winner of the student competition on Friday night.

Check out our photos below and click the Facebook icon to the left to see more photos and video on the Challenge Mountain Facebook!

[slickr-flickr search="sets" set="72157629529824310" type="gallery"]

Earth Day 2012 in Michigan

Untitled by Brooke Pennington
Untitled by Brooke Pennington

Sunday (April 22) is the 42nd Earth Day. Here’s some highlights from this morning’s Earth Day post on Michigan in Pictures - don’t miss the CBS News segment on Albion featuring Walter Kronkite from Earth Day 1970 below!

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    Making A Splash — 2nd Annual Benzie County Water Festival Promises Family Fun

Making A Splash — 2nd Annual Benzie County Water Festival Promises Family Fun

by Aubrey Ann Parker

Springtime at the Betsie River by forestlady
Springtime at the Betsie River by forestlady

Did you know that the average American uses 150 gallons of water per day, with 60 percent being used outside to water our lawns and wash our cars? The entire United States withdraws about 350 billion gallons of fresh water every day — which is about how much water runs over Niagara Falls for 23 days straight — and about 80 percent of that is used for agriculture to grow our food and by industry to cool the electricity-generating power plants that keep our lights on. So, whether you are watering your lawn or buying groceries or leaving your lights on, most of the decisions you make every day ultimately relate back to water.

Last year’s Benzie County Water Festival — a family-oriented celebration and education event — attracted more than 300 attendees, and this year’s festival seeks to follow last year’s example. On Saturday, April 14, 2012 the Water Festival will again feature world-class Michigan musicians, panel discussions, speeches from water luminaries, interactive multimedia projects and presentations, artisan foods and beverages, visual art, children’s activities, as well as connections to local campaigns and projects, all at the Frankfort-Elberta High School. (click for schedule)

The Michigan Transportation Odyssey

The first-ever Michigan Transportation Odyssey is a three-day journey that began in Detroit with stops in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids before it finishes up today in Traverse City. Along the way, a group of Trans4M members have been exploring the challenges and opportunities of Michigan’s passenger transportation system.

Their blog has some more detailed thoughts, but weve found that following along at #MIOdyssey through pictures and posts is the best way to get a sense of the state of Michigan’s transportation network.

Here’s a nice recap from mLive of the Odyssey. Read some of our favorite tweets below!

TEDx … Michigan

TEDxGR by tedxgrandrapids
TEDxGR by tedxgrandrapids

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader and has branched to include TEDx.

TEDx was created to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate relevant dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. These events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

The heart of TED and TEDx are talks by leaders in their field about the subject of their passion. The thousands of talks online feature some of the best thinking about who we are and where we’re going that you will find anywhere. The TEDxTalks are available on YouTube, and every Tuesday (or so) we’ll feature talks from TEDx events in Michigan that deal with some of the specific issues we’re facing. Find them at TEDxMichigan on Absolute Michigan!

For an idea about the scope, here’s a listing of upcoming and past TEDx events in Michigan. Bear in mind that admission to these events is highly coveted, so if you are interested in attending, get engaged as soon as you can!

Below the listing we have the first of our videos. It’s from last year’s TEDxGrandRapids and features Sheryl Connelly, manager of Global Trends and Futuring at Ford Motor Company talking about how to think like a futurist, and also how to get the most out of TEDx.

The Daily Michigan: Digital Downloads from Earthwork Music


Today on The Daily Michigan we have an offering from our good friends at Earthwork Music, another of our featured partners. They are offering 3 digital discs via Digital Download in their online store.

Earthwork Music believes in the power of music to raise both community and self-awareness and works to encourage original music in Michigan and beyond. Earthwork artists have been a driving force behind a lot of grass-roots efforts including The Water Festival and Guitars for Youth. With almost 30 artists in their stable, they are also one of Michigan’s most dynamic labels. At The Jammies music awards in Grand Rapids in February, Earthwork musicians took home several awards including Best Roots Album for The Red Sea Pedestrians (“The Electromagnetic Escape”), Best Americana album for Joshua Davis (Magnolia Belles) and the Listeners Choice Best New Artist for Laurel Premo & Michael Beauchamp who form the duo Red Tail Ring. Check them out in this great video from Michigan Music Monthly!

Click here to sign up (and to learn how you can win)

Grand Rapids Laughfest benefits Gilda’s Club

Ahead of Schedule by TerryJohnston
Ahead of Schedule by TerryJohnston

Laughfest, the annual festival of comedy, performance, film, and a variety of seriously funny stuff in Grand Rapids, takes place March 8-18. It features some of the top names in comedy including Martin Short, Kevin Nealon, Whoopi Goldberg, Bo Burnham, Sinbad, Mike Epps, Rodney Carrington, Jim Gaffigan and Kathleen Madigan along with a whole lot of lesser known but equally funny people.

You can get all the details about performers and events at the link above. Probably the coolest thing about Laughfest is that all proceeds ($300,000+ in 2011!) benefit the cancer, grief and support programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.

Comedienne Gilda Radner created some of TV’s most memorable characters as an original cast of the groundbreaking Saturday Night Live. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986 and became part of a cancer support community that helped to deal with her disease. After she died in 1989, Joanna Bull and husband Gene Wilder started to plan Gilda’s Club, a free cancer support community that helps people of all ages gather to learn more about cancer, share their experiences and hopefully laugh a little.

The first Gilda’s Club opened in New York City in 1995 and shortly thereafter, some folks started gathering support to bring a Gilda’s Club to Grand Rapids. Their efforts culminated in the 2001 opening of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Click above to learn more about Gilda’s Club and we’ll let Gilda herself take you home as one of her signature characters, Baba-wawa. Also check out this interview with Gene Wilder on InnerVIEWS with Ernie Manouse where he talks some about life with Gilda.