DBusiness Daily Update: Detroit Opera’s 2023-24 Season Opens Oct. 7 with Puccini’s ‘Madame Butterfly,’ and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies.
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Puccini opera
Puccini’s Madame Butterfly will open the Detroit Opera season on Oct. 7. // Photo courtesy of Philip Groshong/Cincinnati Opera

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

Detroit Opera’s 2023-24 Season Opens Oct. 7 with Puccini’s ‘Madame Butterfly’

The 2023–24 Detroit Opera season opens Oct. 7 with a new co-production of “Madame Butterfly.”

This version is seen through the lens of an all-Japanese and Japanese American creative team that reframes Puccini’s 1904 tragedy as the fantasy of a modern-day Pinkerton.

Matthew Ozawa directs “Madame Butterfly,” a co-production with Cincinnati Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Utah Opera. The creative team includes Kimie Nishikawa and dots (scenery design), Maiko Matsushima (costume design), and Yuki Nakase Link (lighting design). Kensho Watanabe will conduct the singers, chorus, and musicians of the Detroit Opera Orchestra.

There will be three performances: Oct. 7, 13, and 15.

For more information and tickets, visit here.

Organization Debuts ‘Driving While Black’ Film, Demonstration Car at Auto Show

Courageous Conversation Global Foundation (CCGF) is debuting a film titled “Driving While Black” and a DWB demonstration vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show.

Black drivers are 20 percent more likely to be stopped and searched by police, and three times more likely to be killed by officers during encounters. The film and vehicle are part of a campaign to bring awareness to these issues.

Visit here to view the film.

Created in partnership with Omnicom Collective agencies, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and Critical Mass, the campaign addresses police encounters during routine traffic stops through a vehicle equipped with features designed to save Black lives. Like transparent doors, so there’s no suspicion of what the driver is in possession of. Or a “10&2” steering wheel that keeps hands visible at all times. And they even eliminated the trunk, leaving officers with nothing to search or seize.

To see images of the vehicle, visit here.

“No, the car isn’t real, but its design speaks to our reality as Black people in this country,” says Glenn Singleton, founder and chairman of CCGF. “I wish we could design every car brand, make, and model in this way, because if you’re Black and behind the wheel, you can become a statistic, simply because of your race. It matters less what, where and/or how you drive. At Courageous Conversation Global Foundation, we hope this campaign will spark action and compel people to get involved in transforming the problematic relationship shared between police and Black Americans; whether we are driving or just being…Black.”

AMT, SME Announce New Partnership in Workforce Development

The Association for Manufacturing Technology and SME in Southfield announced a strategic partnership, making bigger strides together toward solving North America’s manufacturing workforce challenges.

The two organizations have been longtime collaborators on advancing manufacturing, and this partnership focuses on using the strengths and resources of each organization for the betterment and advancement of the industry through three key areas: workforce development, educational products, and services and student events.

A key cornerstone of this partnership included welcoming Greg Jones, former AMT vice president, Smartforce Development, to the workforce development team of SME as director, strategic programs and partnerships, where he will report to Jeannine Kunz, chief workforce development officer at SME.

AMT’s education products and services now will be owned and operated by SME, which will use the existing strength and industry leadership of Tooling U-SME, the organization’s workforce development area. The AMT programs migrating to SME include the Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineer (CMTSE) program, the MT Sales Fundamentals program, and additional AMT e-learning products in the area of transformational technologies.

They will remain available to AMT members and to the manufacturing community more broadly through Tooling U-SME. Both organizations recognized the opportunity to incorporate AMT’s education products and services into the expansive learning and development solutions of Tooling U-SME, which include its powerful learning management system. This provides manufacturers with greater value through one access point to a larger and more integrated solution to meet their needs.

For more information, visit here.

Newsweek Ranks Children’s Hospital of Michigan Among World’s Best

 Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit is rated as the best in the Great Lakes State and 23rd in the world for pediatrics in Newsweek’s World Best Specialized Hospitals 2024 rankings.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan was the only children’s hospital in the state on the list. The ranking program features the top 250 hospitals for pediatrics worldwide.

“It is an honor to be part of Newsweek’s ranking of best specialized pediatric hospitals,” says Archie Drake, CEO of Children’s Hospital of Michigan. “This recognition is a reflection of the commitment and dedication of our clinical and support teams to providing the most compassionate and highest quality of care to the children and families that depend on us.”

The Newsweek ranking comes on the heels of Children’s Hospital of Michigan being ranked for the 15th year in a row by U.S. News & World Report as one of the premier hospitals in the country for pediatric care. CHM was nationally ranked in four pediatric medical specialties – cancer, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neurology and neurosurgery and urology.

Meijer Celebrates Conductive Learning Center of North America’s 25th Anniversary

As part of its ongoing commitment to support its communities, Grand Rapids-based Meijer is helping the Conductive Learning Center (CLC) of North America expand on existing programming and scholarship opportunities, as well as construct a new on-site playground.

The CLC serves individuals with motor disorders related to complications of premature birth, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, or brain injury. The vision of CLC is that every child living with a motor disability has the tools and education needed to be healthy, confident, self-reliant, and achieve a joy-filled and rewarding life.

“At Meijer, we’re committed to helping families in the communities we serve,” says Rick Keyes, president and CEO of Meijer. “We believe every person should have the opportunity to live a healthy, confident and rewarding life, and organizations like the Conductive Learning Center help make that happen every day.”

This year, the CLC is celebrating 25 Years of Advancing Independence. This year-long celebration will be marked with recognition, reflections, forward progress, and the unity of all those who’ve touched the lives of the nearly 1,000 students who have entered its classrooms.

Gale, NACBS Award Fellowships to Five Scholars to Support British Studies, Research

Gale in Farmington Hills, in partnership with the North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS), has awarded fellowships to five researchers to help them expand the fields of British and decolonization studies for research and teaching as well as help support early career researchers develop the DH skills they need for future academic success and longevity.

Funded by Gale, each fellow receives $2,500 and access to the British Library Newspapers series and Decolonization collection for a period of six months to use with their research projects. They also have access to Gale Digital Scholar Lab along with a series of training sessions on its text and data mining tools so that the scholars can apply DH methodologies to their research projects.

Gale and NACBS congratulate the following candidates who were awarded the fellowships for the 2023 academic year:

  • Alexandrea Keith, Northwestern University.
  • Averill Earls, assistant professor, St. Olaf College.
  • Raymond Hyser, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Tanner Ogle, Texas A&M University.
  • Thomas Sojka, Boston University.

Scholars must complete the fellowships and submit a fellowship report in January 2024. Each fellowship will support the equivalent of one month’s full-time work (160 hours). Awardees may dedicate four consecutive weeks of their total working hours to the fellowship project, or they may spread their work out over a more extended period.

For more information on Gale-NACBS Non-Residential Fellowships, visit here.

YMCA OF Metro Detroit Announces New Y Legacy Membership

The YMCA of Metro Detroit is announcing changes to the Medicare-funded fitness programs it accepts and is offering a new, deeply discounted Y Legacy Membership for current SilverSneakers members.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, the YMCA’s seven metro Detroit branch locations will partner with the programs Silver & Fit, Peerfit Move, and Renew Active and will no longer be accepting SilverSneakers. Medicare Fitness Members currently with SilverSneakers will be eligible for a new, all-access legacy membership for just $25.50 per month, approximately half the cost of a typical membership. Adult +1 will cost $40 monthly. Scholarships also are available for those who meet financial eligibility requirements.

In 2024, members who would like to transition from SilverSneakers to the Y Legacy Membership can speak to a representative at their local YMCA. They also can check with their health care provider to sign up for Silver & Fit, Peerfit Move, or Renew Active, if those Medicare-funded fitness programs are offered. Y is actively working with health insurance companies to help seniors during this transition.

The seven YMCA branches launching the new Y Legacy Membership program are:

  • Birmingham Family YMCA, 400 E. Lincoln St., Birmingham
  • Boll Family YMCA, 1401 Broadway, Detroit
  • Carls Family YMCA, 300 Family Drive, Milford
  • Downriver Family YMCA, 16777 Northline Road, Southgate
  • Farmington Family YMCA, 28100 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills
  • Macomb Family YMCA, 10 N. River Road, Mount Clemens
  • South Oakland Family YMCA, 1016 W. 11 Mile Road, Royal Oak

ACG Detroit Hosting Panel Discussion on Competitive Lending Oct. 3

ACG Detroit is hosting a panel discussion on competitive lending from 8-10 a.m. on Oct. 3 at the Birmingham Community House.

Over the past year, banks have tightened their credit metrics with a more targeted approach on deposits. Economically, interest rates continue to rise, increasing costs of labor and supplies put pressure on profitability for business owners, and valuations still relatively high, this creates a set of circumstances that have forced banks adjust their business models to address competition and relationships with their prospective and existing customers.

The panel of experts will discuss the current lending environment, what they experience in the marketplace, the headwinds/tailwinds they anticipate, as well as the many issues facing commercial bankers, asset based lending, and real estate, with a middle-market emphasis.

To register, visit here.

The Yunion to Celebrate 20 Year Anniversary at Oct. 5 Gala

 To commemorate The Yunion’s milestone 20th year, the nonprofit organization will host an Anniversary Celebration gala Oct. 5, at One Campus Martius in downtown Detroit.

The occasion presented by The Tom Gores Family Foundation will be hosted by Oscar winner Van Lathan with special guest speaker, renowned actor, and writer Hill Harper, and will include a live performance by Emmy Award-winning violinist Damien Escobar.

The celebration will begin at 6 p.m. with a VIP meet and greet, followed by a 6:30 p.m. reception, and 7:15 p.m. stage discussion with Jason Wilson, dinner, and entertainment. There also will be a silent auction that includes items ranging from a whiskey factory tour and a personalized cigar experience to a stay at the Cochrane House located in Detroit’s historic Brush Park district, and a Jaguar.

Tickets to the 20th Anniversary Celebration gala are $250 for general admission and $1,000 for VIP. For more information and to become a sponsor, visit here.

Rochester-area OPC Social & Activity Center Announces Brand Refresh

OPC Social & Activity Center in Rochester has announced its new name and brand refresh.

With a nod to its past, the former Older Persons’ Commission name change to OPC Social & Activity Center retains a part of its familiar name, while reinvigorating the look and feel to better reflect the active, engaged, and sophisticated adult 50+ population of today.

Celebrating its 40th year in 2023, OPC Social & Activity Center continues to flourish, providing adults with nutrition and transportation resources, as well as activity, educational, and fitness offerings for residents in Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township. The organization, which has no membership fee, welcomed 178,305 people through its doors in 2022.

In addition to the 40th anniversary of its founding, the organization is celebrating 20 years since the opening of its sprawling 90,000-square-foot building. The award-winning facility at 650 Letica Drive in Rochester boasts two indoor pools, a walking track, recently renovated cardiovascular and weight training room, pickleball courts, and a calming atrium, among other amenities. A sampling of classes and group activities include yoga, spinning, basketball, pottery, musical theatre, travel, art, and bingo.  The focus is on health, wellness, socializing, community, and staying engaged.

OPC Social & Activity Center will continue to provide supportive services, which are the hallmark of the organization. These services address the complete spectrum of needs of more vulnerable individuals, such as an adult day care and a ‘memory café’ for those with memory loss, transportation, and programming for caregivers.

The organization’s OPC transportation service provides low-cost, door-to-door rides for those older than 60 and disabled adults younger than 60 who reside in Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township, offering safe and reliable transit to medical, dental and personal appointments, shopping or onsite activities.