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.
DSO to Offer Musical Experience at St. Hedwig Church
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is collaborating with the City Office of Arts, Culture, and Entrepreneurship as well as organizations and community members across southwest Detroit to present a musical experience at St. Hedwig Catholic Church at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9.
The event is a part of the symphony’s efforts to increase its connections to and opportunities for Detroiters, especially in the city’s neighborhoods.
The initiative is a community-driven process that the DSO hopes will be done again and again to encourage citywide collaborations and a bigger embrace of the symphony by all Detroit residents.
“The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is one of the best in the world,” says Rochelle Riley, director of Arts and Culture for the city of Detroit. “This is an opportunity for residents who haven’t always seen the symphony as having something for them to see that it absolutely does.”
Led by conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez, the Feb. 9 concert will include works by Latin American composers, sacred and popular favorites, and a performance by Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel. The church is at 3245 Junction Ave, in Detroit. No tickets are required.
The concert is part of the Detroit Strategy, the result of 13 listening sessions conducted with Detroit residents, and work sponsored by grants from General Motors Co. totaling $350,000 over two years. The DSO met with 77 community-serving organizations and planned four Neighborhood Musical Experiences in Chandler Park and southwest Detroit, engaging with more than 1,600 community members since March of 2021.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation joined the effort in mid-2021 with a grant of $200,000 that will allow the musical experiences to expand into the NW Goldberg and Dexter-Linwood neighborhoods. Detroit ACE is a partner in promoting the neighborhood experiences and the Detroit Harmony program to provide instruments to children and to co-create programming for children.
Detroit Harmony seeks to improve child development through music education and arts-based learning, and it plans to put an instrument in the hands of every K-12 student in the city of Detroit who wants to learn to play.
On Feb. 9, the DSO will announce the community groups it will partner with to fund the instruments for children.
All attendees must provide proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test result (48-hour PCR or 6-hour antigen) and must wear a mask at all times regardless of vaccination status.
City of Detroit Announces $15M Program in 11 Flood-prone Neighborhoods
Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) Director Gary Brown Monday announced the Basement Backup Protection Program, an up to $15 million initiative to assist residential homeowners in protecting their property during rainstorms by installing a backwater valve and/or sump pump.
Homeowner occupants and landlords in 11 identified neighborhoods are eligible to apply for the program, which is being paid for with a portion of the city’s share of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
“Last year’s massive rainstorm overwhelmed the sewer system, and in turn identified two areas we need to work on together,” Duggan says. “First, how can we make the sewer system more climate resilient and secondly, in the near term how can we help homeowners in flood prone areas protect their property. The Detroit Future Fund has created that opportunity for Detroiters right now.”
In response to increasingly frequent and severe weather events experienced last summer, DWSD designed a program that provides protection to residential homeowners in Detroit neighborhoods that have historically experienced basement backups during large rain events.
“The Basement Backup Protection Program builds on the successes we’ve seen with programs in Windsor, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. and refines it for what we believe will work in Detroit,” Brown says. “Rather than a reimbursement-based subsidy program where homeowners get their own plumber, our program provides the complete services from plumber selection to inspection to installation.”
Owners of occupied single-family houses, two-family flats, and duplexes are eligible to apply if they are in the identified neighborhoods.
The pilot, or Phase 1, will launch this spring. This phase will be in the Aviation Sub and Victoria Park neighborhoods, which were the hardest hit with basement backups and flooding during the June 25-26, 2021 rain event, as well as other rainstorms.
Phase 2, which will begin this summer, will be in Barton-McFarland, Chadsey Condon, Cornerstone Village, East English Village, Garden View, Jefferson Chalmers, Morningside, Moross-Morang, and Warrendale. These neighborhoods were identified based on DWSD service requests for basement backups and claims.
The city is prepared to pay up to $6,000 per household to help protect them from backups and Duggan says the program will use primarily Detroit-based contractors.
Residents can apply for the program by submitting an online application form here. Renters in the 11 neighborhoods should speak with their landlord since only the homeowner can apply.
Southfield City Council Approves New Parks and Rec Master Plan
The Southfield City Council unanimously approved its Parks and Recreation Department’s new five-year master plan at the Jan. 24 City Council meeting following a formal public hearing and 30-day public review and comment period.
The city of Southfield contracted with OHM Advisors to prepare a new five-year comprehensive master plan for the Parks and Recreation Department. The City of Southfield’s Five-Year Parks & Recreation Master Plan will be used as a guide for Southfield officials on all future recreational and parks projects within the city as an advisory document.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources requires communities to prepare and adopt a five-year master plan for capital improvement projects and park land acquisitions in order to qualify for any grant funding for parks and recreation improvements or acquisition of park land. Southfield sought residents’ input on the draft of the Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan through Community Open Houses Oct. 27-28, 2021 as well as an online community survey.
The master plan includes:
- Focus investment throughout the city’s park system, rather than concentrating in just one area;
- Continue to restore parks to a consistent standard of quality;
- Signage and beautification;
- Consistent benches, litter receptacles, and bike racks;
- New playgrounds, basketball courts, indoor pool/recreation center, and dog park;
- Park accessibility and activation of underutilized parks;
- Development of Valley Woods Nature Preserve;
- Invest in major capital projects to continue offering high-quality and unique experiences within Southfield;
- Trails network, Civic Center Lawn, and Beech Woods Park;
- Preserve and protect the environment;
- Continue to generate partnerships with organizations and neighboring communities;
- Continue to bring Parks to the People through good management, wellness education / opportunities and economic development.
For more information, visit here.
Oakland County Exec Coulter to Give State of the County Speech March 15
Oakland County Executive David Coulter will give his State of the County address at 7 p.m. on March 15 at the M1 Concourse Event Center in Pontiac.
COVID-19 safety measures will be in place and the speech will be streamed and broadcast on WDET-FM (101.9).
Earn and Learn with an Oakland County Summer Job
College students seeking experience in their majors can apply now for positions at Oakland County. Positions for teens and those who are interested in and available for summer work also are available.
Oakland County Health Division is filling positions for student epidemiologists, student sanitarians, and summer health education assistants. The courts and Sheriff’s Office are seeking law clerks and summer criminal justice/casework assistants. Oakland County also is looking for business students to be summer business assistants. These positions have college enrollment and credit hour requirements.
Teens 16 years old and older may apply to be a summer business clerk, a lifeguard, or for other positions at Oakland County Parks and Recreation. The county requires applicants under 18 who have not completed high school to obtain working papers at the time of hire. Also, teens under 18 must have written parental consent for the employment physical and a parent or guardian must be present for a TB skin test.
Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center is hiring summer animal census workers. Plus, the county has summer seasonal labor positions available, as well. Applicants for both positions must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license, but do not need to attend college.
Other positions at the Parks and Recreation Department include parks attendant, recreation program leader, archery facilitator, parks worker, recreation assistant, parks leader, and recreation coordinator.
Oakland County summer jobs pay between $11.31 and $18.85 per hour, depending on job classification. Apply on-line here or call 248-858-0530 for more information.
Holocaust Center to Host 75 Years of Holocaust Cinema Virtual Program
Film expert Rich Brownstein, who has lectured at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies in Jerusalem since 2014 and specializes in the history and pedagogy of Holocaust films, will present a virtual lecture at 7 p.m. on Feb. 23 for The Zekelman Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills.
The program, titled 75 Years of Holocaust Cinema, will be available via zoom for a suggested donation of $10. To register, visit here.
The genre of the Holocaust has been explored in film so often that, since 1946, one Holocaust film has been nominated for an Academy Award every other year, including 20 for Best Foreign Language Film. More than 440 narrative Holocaust feature films and made-for-TV movies have been produced in this time, with more than 25 percent of all American-made Holocaust films having been nominated for an Academy Award.
“Rich Brownstein has expertly viewed and critiqued an astonishing amount of cinema on the topic of the Holocaust,” says Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld, CEO of the Holocaust Center. “In a unique combination of detached professionalism and his personal feelings, he manages to present each film’s unique perspective — and provide thought-provoking insights regarding the topics of both life and cinema. We are honored to have him provide his insights on Feb. 23.”