Ypsilanti Citizen Community Sidetrack

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Songwriters unite

From left, Colin Gilmore, Jason Ringenberg and Paul Burch will all be performing at the YDL's 2009 Songwriting Festival. Photo by Ypsilanti District Library

From left, Colin Gilmore, Jason Ringenberg and Paul Burch will all be performing at the YDL's 2009 Songwriting Festival.
Bombadill's

Ypsilanti Songwriting Festival brings day of activities

By Christine Laughren
Sep. 24, 2009    ·    3:31 p.m.


Last year the Ypsilanti District Library won $5,000 for drawing a young crowd to its Ypsilanti Songwriting Festival. This year it is putting the money to good use.

On October 10, the Ypsilanti District Library’s Whittaker Road branch will play host to the event again with activities lined up throughout the day and into the evening.

Events run the gamut - from an early morning sing-a-long with Farmer Jason (Jason Ringenberg,) to a local songwriters showcase and live acoustic sets at Ypsilanti’s Corner Brewery to wrap up the night.

Donna DeButts, the library’s community relations coordinator, said with all the events planed, she expects this year’s festival to be a success. The Songwriters’ Stopwatch Challenge is one event DeButts said she was looking forward to.

Explaining the game, she said participants will select three random words from a box and challenged to write a song using the words in two hours or less. The songs will then be performed live.

“I will love to see how that works out,” she said with a chuckle.

At noon, Community Records Foundation, a local non-profit, will give teens the opportunity to take a critical look at the songwriting process as an exploration of music, message and the effect it has on community.

Several spaces are still available for mentoring sessions with local songwriters as well. DeButts said those interested can sign up, or call the library. Offering advice on songwriting are Sean Rogers, Almus Magnus, Holly Mae Haddock and Jay Lapp.

Afternoon activities give way to live performances by Matt Jones, Tracy Kash Thomas, Magnus, Rogers, Haddock and Lapp. And at 6:30 p.m. Local radio host Martin Bandyke of Ann Arbor’s 107one will lead Ringenberg in a discussion on the craft of songwriting.

After a myriad of activity at the library, the night wraps up at the Corner Brewery as 89.1 WEMU’s Jeremy Baldwin of the Roots Music Project hosts an evening celebrating songs. Colin Gilmore, Paul Burch and Ringenberg will all perform acoustic sets.

A day’s worth of activity doesn’t come free, though, and DeButts said the costs of event shirts, other promotions and booking the artists adds up.

But $5,000, awarded to the YDL last year for its work promoting the 2008 Songwriting Festival, means organizers didn’t have to worry as much about cost this time around.

The library was one of six in the nation to accept the John Cotton Dana Award last year. Judges cited the festival as “a unique public library program, which used music and performing arts to appeal to non-library users, teens and men ages 18-45. Creative, nontraditional marketing strategies and community partners helped the Library reach the targeted demographic: 75% of attendees at events were men.”

At a time when Ypsilanti Township is looking to cut costs wherever it can DeButts said the money couldn’t have come at a better time. However, she said she was unsure what the following years would hold in store.

In the end, the event is about getting people of all ages to visit the library. DeButts said with everybody suffering from the economic flu, a trip to the library is just what the doctor ordered. She pointed to the library’s CD collection as a good example of a library resource that tends to be overlooked.

“It’s all about how we can serve the community and how our resources - that we do have - can be utilized by our patrons, and when times are tight (residents) just need to think about us a little more as an entertainment resource,” she said. “It’s about the best use of people’s tax dollars.”

On the Web:
For more information on the 2009 Ypsi Songwriting Festival visit the Web site
To view a complete schedule of the event click here



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