DBusiness Daily Update: 313 Presents Bringing ‘Beyond Van Gogh’ to Detroit June 25, Rocket Cos. Partner Community Solutions Wins $100M Grant, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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graph of Michigan coronavirus cases
Courtesy of Bridge

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

313 Presents Bringing ‘Beyond Van Gogh’ to Detroit June 25
Local live entertainment promotions company 313 Presents, in partnership with Beyond Exhibitions, is bringing “Beyond Van Gogh: An Immersive Experience” to the TCF Center in Detroit June 25-Aug. 15.

The exhibit was created by Mathieu St-Arnaud, a French-Canadian creative director, and his team at Montreal’s Normal Studio.  The immersive experience features more than 300 of Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic artworks and takes the art lover into a three-dimensional world designed to “exhilarate the senses.”

“Beyond Van Gogh” takes on the challenge of breathing new life into Van Gogh’s vast body of work. Using the artist’s own dreams, thoughts, and words to drive the experience as a narrative, guests move along projection-swathed walls wrapped in light and color that swirls, dances, and refocuses into flowers, cafes, and landscapes.

While journeying through the exhibit, guests should recognize classics such as “The Starry Night,” “Sunflowers,” and “Café Terrace at Night, now freed from their frames. Van Gogh’s art comes to life by appearing and disappearing, flowing across multiple surfaces, and heightening the senses with their detail. Through his own words set to a symphonic score, guests come to a new appreciation of the artist and his work.

From now until 11:55 p.m., those buying tickets here will receive 10 percent off regular timed entry tickets using the discount code BEYOND.

Rocket Cos. Partner Community Solutions Wins $100M from MacArthur Foundation
The MacArthur Foundation has awarded a $100 million grant to Community Solutions, a charitable partner of Detroit’s Rocket Cos., to accelerate an end to homelessness in 75 U.S. communities, including Detroit, by 2026.

The foundation’s board selected Community Solutions from six finalists in its 100&Change  global competition to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time.

“Three years ago, we made a commitment to end veteran homelessness in Detroit, alongside our partners at Community Solutions,” says Laura Grannemann, vice president of the Rocket Community Fund. “Since then, we have seen a 43 percent decrease in the number of veterans experiencing homelessness, and the $100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation will allow Community Solutions to scale that progress across the country and here in our hometown of Detroit.”

Community Solutions will use the $100 million grant to implement and scale Built for Zero, a national initiative of communities using a data-driven public health approach to measurably end homelessness.

“One of the guiding principles behind our organization’s success is being obsessed with finding a better way,” says Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Cos. “I am proud to say this principle is shared by our partners and friends at Community Solutions. Their focus on constant improvement and innovation is what attracted us to become a lead partner of the Built for Zero movement, and the key reason why they were recognized as the winner of the MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious 100&Change competition.

“Every day, Built for Zero is helping communities across the country make meaningful, measurable progress on an intractable issue that too many believed to be unsolvable. Powered by this new $100 million grant, we are hopeful that the Built for Zero movement will aid communities across the country in working to end veteran and chronic homelessness for good. Congratulations to Community Solutions on this tremendous achievement.”

Community Solutions’ 100&Change proposal includes helping at least 75 diverse communities reach and sustain functional zero for chronic or veteran homelessness by 2026. By helping this critical mass of communities reach functional zero, Built for Zero aims to demonstrate that homelessness is solvable in a variety of contexts, seeding new expectations for what is possible. The composition of communities in Built for Zero is 25 percent rural, 37 percent suburban, and 38 percent urban, including six of the 20 largest U.S. cities by population.

The initial proposal targets nearly half of the award for supporting partner activities, and direct housing and staffing investments in Built for Zero communities. This includes a fund that will enable communities to leverage innovative social impact investment models to address identified housing gaps.

In order to create more enabling conditions for all communities to reduce and end homelessness, the organization also will target data and technology requirements, funding incentives, and public policy.

Downtown Detroit Partnership Offers Free Wi-Fi in Public Places
The Downtown Detroit Partnership has launched free, high-speed public Wi-Fi internet access in downtown Detroit parks and public spaces.

“Our parks have always played a vital role in bringing people together and the pandemic only reinforced the role of public spaces,” saya Robert F. Gregory, chief planning and public spaces officer for the Downtown Detroit Partnership. “The new internet network brings our work to the next level, helping build digital equity by reducing barriers for community members and downtown Detroit residents without access, as well as affording greater ease and flexibility to visitors and small business partners across the parks.”

Detroit’s digital divide is cited among the most extreme in the country. Approximately 63 percent of the city’s low-income households lack a home internet connection compared to 35 percent of U.S. homes across the country.

The initial rollout includes five downtown parks — Campus Martius Park, Cadillac Square, Capitol Park, Grand Circus Park, and The Woodward Esplanade — which collectively attract more than 3 million visitors annually.

The community can start accessing the network “Detroit Parks” on all devices, without a password, at a total system capacity of 1GB and speeds up to 10GB. Free Wi-Fi not only provides visitors access to information, but the ability to use the park networks to conduct a variety of activities online, including: locating and scheduling COVID-19 testing or vaccinations, accessing education platforms and resources, seeking employment, learning more about park wellness programs, and other offerings and maintaining social connections and support.

With more than 250 programming and event partners, 300 market vendors and more than 75 mobile food businesses that participate each year in DDP’s public spaces, this business eco-system now can take advantage of high-speed internet as a free amenity of the parks. With more online orders, deliveries, and curbside pickups expected in 2021, a dedicated network is important to business owners and patrons alike.

Detroit-based internet provider Cronus Communications sponsored and partnered with the DDP to install the combination fiber and fixed wireless network. The infrastructure uses fiber feeds from the Cronus network connected to transmitters across the parks, eliminating the obstacle of construction and complex underground infrastructure. The network can accommodate thousands of users online at one time.

“Cronus is proud and excited to partner with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to bring free public Wi-Fi to the downtown parks and public spaces,” says Tom Paparaptis, president of Cronus. “Our network’s reliability and speed helps users better communicate and capture life’s moments when it matters most. In today’s increasingly connected world, accessing the internet is an essential human right and this is one way we’re giving back.”

Athletico Physical Therapy Opens in Canton Township
Athletico Physical Therapy has opened a new location at 43715 Ford Road in Canton Township.

Athletico says it is committed to keeping employees and patients safe during COVID-19 and has taken several measures including additional screening procedures, enhanced cleaning practices, and appropriate distancing of patients during treatment sessions. In addition to in-clinic treatment at the Canton Township clinic, Athletico also is offering telehealth virtual treatment options where patients can connect with a physical or occupational therapist through a secure online video chat.

“The inspiration to have a career in physical therapy sparked from being able to observe patients and see their progress of returning to their functional mobility level,” says Sam Subramanian, manager of Athletico Canton. “I love knowing my skills and knowledge can truly help others feel better as they go about their everyday life. I am very excited to grow a new Athletico clinic in the Canton community.”

Services available at Athletico Canton include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Work injury prevention
  • Dry needling
  • Home therapy

To learn more, or to schedule a free 30-minute assessment with one of Athletico’s experts, visit here.

Ann Arbor’s SafeSend Gets Investment from Lead Edge Capital Partners
SafeSend, an Ann Arbor-based provider of e-sign and workflow automation technology for certified public accountants and tax preparers, has received an investment for an undisclosed amount from Lead Edge Capital, a growth-stage investment firm based in New York and Santa Barbara, Calif.

The investment will accelerate the growth of the SafeSend Suite. SafeSend Returns, SafeSend’s flagship offering, enables complete digitization of the “last mile” of professional tax preparation, displacing archaic, labor-intensive methods with digital assembly, secure delivery, and integrated e-sign of completed tax returns. CPA firms and tax preparers benefit from automated, centralized, and standardized workflows, and the firm’s clients benefit from an intuitive, secure, and engaging online experience.

“We are excited to partner with Lead Edge Capital,” says Steve Dusablon, founder and chief innovation officer at SafeSend. “Their proven track record supporting high-growth technology businesses and their vast network of resources and domain experts will help guide us through our next stage of growth.

“The partnership with Lead Edge paves the way for accelerated investment in the SafeSend Suite and progress towards our vision of streamlining and automating every client touchpoint across the tax preparation engagement lifecycle.”

Nimay Mehta, general partner at Lead Edge Capital who will join SafeSend’s board of directors, says, “The SafeSend Suite is redefining how tax and accounting professionals work, and how they interact with and serve their clients. As we evaluated the overall shift of the profession to cloud based solutions, the increase in work-from-anywhere trends, and the rapid digitization of professional tax return preparation collaboration tools and processes, we saw a great opportunity to invest in a high growth organization with a unique solution loved by its customers.”

Heritage Cannabis Set to Initiate Michigan Product Launch
Toronto-based Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp. announced Wednesday that it will expand its operations into Michigan and three other starts as part of its relationship with New York’s Merida Capital Holdings.

The company’s focus initially is on Michigan, Missouri, West Virginia, and California although a timeline was not disclosed.

“Entering the U.S. cannabis market with a clear path and strong partner is a pivotal and transformational moment for Heritage,” says David Schwede, president of Heritage. “We are excited to reveal more of our vision to create shareholder value through this accretive expansion. Further, our growing relationship with Merida underscores the strength of the business and will accelerate our state-by-state expansion and access to nine purposefully selected U.S. markets, including the initial four we’re targeting immediately. This is the start of a number of strategic pursuits planned to drive higher profitability and leverage our growing brand portfolio.”

JVS Human Services Offers Free ‘Women to Work’ Course Starting April 20
JVS Human Services in Southfield is offering a free four-week virtual course titled “Women to Work” starting April 20.

The course is designed for women who have been out of the workforce and need to secure immediate employment. In January 2021, a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 275,000 women had left the workforce compared with 71,000 men, in many cases due to childcare and family issues relating to COVID-19. In addition, a report by business.org showed that even when women are working, women in Michigan make 22 percent less money than their male counterparts. Register for the new course here.

“The pandemic has hit women in the workforce especially hard,” says Judy Richmond, employment specialist and Women to Work coordinator at JVS. “Some have had to stay home with children when schools were closed, others were in jobs which simply dried up as businesses had to shut their doors. As more people are vaccinated, and hopefully more businesses open up, we want women to have all the tools and skills they need to find the right job.”

Topics to be covered in the course, which runs through May 13 and includes eight sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon include:

  • In-depth vocational assessment
  • Employment-related group counseling and emotional support
  • Information and referrals to support services
  • Help with networking, resume writing, and interviewing
  • Financial management advice
  • Stress management tips

For more information, contact Richmond at 248-233-4232 or jrichmond@jvshumanservices.org.

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