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.
Room to Grow Selfie Museum Opens at Somerset Collection
Room to Grow, an interactive pop-up selfie experience marrying art and wellness, has opened at the Somerset Collection in Troy for the holiday season.
Through designed sets, floral arrangements, and larger-than-life exhibits, Room to Grow aims to create an evolving safe space for the community to engage in mindful activities and dialog while creating memorable experiences. It also features an array of interactive holiday-themed installations for guests to visit and capture sharable photo and video content.
Room to Grow’s first pop-up installment located at Somerset Collection South on Level 2.
“I believe art should be experienced,” says Joy Bradley of Joy X Design. “I really enjoy creating immersive art installations that envelop the viewer, where everyone’s experience is different based on their own perception and interactions with the space. What we’re doing here is pivotal; providing a place that offers not only appealing aesthetics, but also an atmosphere encouraging growth and reflection through multi-sensory environments.”
The Room to Grow team is donating a percentage of all proceeds to the Keep Growing Detroit agricultural program. Ticket can be purchased atroomtogrowexp.com.
Cloud Cannabis to Host Grand Opening at Detroit Store on Dec. 14
Cloud Cannabis Co., a Troy-based cannabis company, will host a grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration at 10 a.m. on Dec.14 for its new Detroit location at 16001 Mack Ave.
“At Cloud Cannabis, we’re on a mission to educate everyone, from the canna-curious to the canna-connoisseurs, on the many benefits of cannabis,” says Tyson Macdonald, CFO of Cloud Cannabis. “Detroit is a hub for growth, and through our new provisioning center, we hope to expand cannabis knowledge and access throughout the community.”
For the opening, Cloud Cannabis has partnered with Volunteers of America Michigan’s (VOAMI) Detroit Veterans Housing Program (DVHP), as part of the company’s Cloud Cares holiday campaign. Cloud Cannabis will donate $1 toward the campaign (up to $25,000) for every sale made from Dec. 1-23. The funds collected will be equally distributed amongst Volunteers of America Michigan’s DVHP and three additional veteran-focused nonprofits throughout Michigan.
The Detroit provisioning center has more than 5,000-square-feet of space. The location features a color-coded spectrum of effects wall to help customers identify products based on their individual needs. Expert budtenders are also available onsite to assist customers, whether they’re totally new to cannabis or experienced users.
For more information, visit here.
Detroit ACE and Procurement Office to Host Vendor Fair Dec. 15
The Detroit Office of Arts, Culture, and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) and the Office of Contracting and Procurement are hosting an Artist Vendor Fair from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Dec. 15 to increase opportunities for creatives to get City contracts.
The city is calling Detroit creatives — designers, painters, musicians, photographers, storytellers et al. — to register to become an official vendor with the City of Detroit. Official vendors are notified when any departments are seeking services.
“One of the most important tasks that Mayor Mike Duggan has given me is to ensure that our entire creative community gets opportunities to shine,” says Rochelle Riley, director of arts and culture for the city. “This is one way to do that. You can’t bid on projects you do not know about, so we want more and more creatives to know what the city is doing and where their talents can be used.”
The fair will take on the 13th floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Ave. in downtown Detroit. Artists must bring ID, EIN number, any certifications they already have, and banking information.
The fair is first-come, first-seated, so registration is required. Artists should register by Dec. 13 at Artist Fair 12/15/2021 via a link here.
Michigan State Transforms Dining Area into Student Innovation Center
Michigan State University in East Lansing has transformed a dining area in Wonders Hall into a hub of active learning and engagement supporting student success in science, technology, engineering, and math.
The newly renovated area includes the Engineering Student Innovation Center — a space dedicated to supporting the College of Engineering Cornerstone Engineering and Residential Experience, known as CoRe.
“This new space, like the STEM building we unveiled in September, is an investment in our future — not just as a university, but as a society,” says Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr., president of MSU. “Tomorrow’s engineers will design our nation’s infrastructure and help solve our most pressing problems. This space is an investment in our students that will equip them to be world-class STEM professionals in the nation’s fastest-growing employment sector over the next decade.”
CoRe brings real-world expertise and challenges into the classroom and residential environment, reinforcing the relevance of studies in engineering to solving global challenges. The Engineering Student Innovation Center provides early engineering students with a transformative opportunity to get hands-on experience across many different engineering disciplines while they integrate ideas and work on lab-based projects and presentations. The space includes a 42-seat classroom, electrical lab, wet lab, machine tool lab, and assembly and testing area.
“For the second time this year, we can see a tangible manifestation of our values in a new learning space,” says Teresa K. Woodruff, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Our land-grant mission is about connecting people to vital knowledge that will better their lives and improve our society. Seeing this mission realized in a beautiful new physical space is quite exciting. This space reflects the collaboration of a wide spectrum of experts to design a harmonious vision of curriculum design, scientific learning and student agency.”
The renovation in Wonders Hall also created three modern, technology-enhanced active-learning classrooms with capacities ranging from 78-112 seats. There also are informal gathering/study areas, six collaboration/team rooms (two of which are equipped as testing rooms), a personal health room and a single occupant/accessible restroom. During construction, the former first-floor classrooms were repurposed to become computer labs and tutoring/help space for the College of Engineering.
This new space also will function as a “make-space,” a place for freeform creativity and design thinking in action, across a range of engineering disciplines. Students will, for example, be able to explore water quality academically, alone and in groups, use high-tech collaborative tools to design an experiment, go to the river for a sample, process the sample on-site, use computer modeling to analyze it, and present their findings using state of the art presentation tools, all in the same space.
Cannabis Networking Event Connects Industry, Raises Money for Charity
Professionals and leaders from Michigan’s cannabis and business community gathered at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham Nov. 18 for the Power Connections business-to-business cannabis networking event.
More than 400 people participated to network, listen to a panel of experts, and discuss the future of the state’s cannabis industry.
“After a year of virtual events, it was incredible to connect with everyone in person,” says Derek Dickow, organizer of the event. “Not only did we have hundreds of engaged attendees and some of the best speakers in the state, but they were incredibly generous and helped us raise $55,700 for The Children’s Foundation. I’m so grateful that we were able to raise so much for a great cause, and that our first live event in two years was such a success.”
The Children’s Foundation in Detroit is a foundation focused on the health and well-being of the children of Michigan and their families by working in collaboration with other organizations in the community.
“We are grateful to Derek Dickow, his team, and the generous attendees for this impactful donation,” says Lawrence. J. Burns, president and CEO of the foundation. “It will help advance the health and safety of children in our state and beyond.”
Leadership Oakland Class Donates $20K to CARE House of Oakland County
The 2021 graduating class of Leadership Oakland, Oakland County’s professional development and community engagement nonprofit organization, has donated $20,000 to CARE House of Oakland County.
“It was an honor to work with LO Class XXXI, exploring ideas and finding so many impactful ways for the class to support CARE House of Oakland County,” says Chad Ozias, director of philanthropy at CARE House. “Thank you so much for all of your efforts and for knowing ‘it shouldn’t hurt to be a child.’”
Leadership Oakland XXXI also completed four community service projects during its 2020-21 virtual class year.
“In addition to choosing CARE House as a recipient of fundraising efforts, this class redefined their community projects amidst a global pandemic by working closely with Easterseals of Southeastern Michigan to identify the needs of their clients, staff, and buildings,” says Tom Sommer, executive director of Leadership Oakland.
The class refreshed an Easterseals’ waiting room specifically designed for children; packed resiliency boxes that allow children working with counselors via telehealth to have the essential hands-on supplies they need at home; supported staff by volunteering at a Kroger vaccine clinic; and hosted yoga classes, including donating yoga mats and materials.
The $20,000 donation will support a year of CARE Houses’ Nurturing Parents Program. This program is essential for young children and families as part of the evidence-based programming offered by Easterseals and CARE House.
Pontiac Regional Chamber Partners to Host Mental Health Sessions
In the wake of the recent Oxford High School shooting tragedy, the Pontiac Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Mindfulness Institute of Michigan to host “Chaos to Coherence — Greater Ease” mental health sessions via Zoom designed to introduce participants to simple heart focused practices that can help lower their stress levels.
The next session will take place from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Dec. 17. Visit here to participate.
The need for mental health assistance is particularly important in Pontiac as nearly 300 students within its borders attend Oxford Community Schools and have been touched by the tragedy. The Pontiac Chamber is taking the program a step further and making it available to anyone who feels they would benefit at no cost.
“We understand many in the community are dealing with the heaviness of coping with the awful tragedy that took place in Oxford High School,” says Damany A. Head, chair and president of the chamber. “Supporting students, teachers, counselors, parents, first-responders and community members, ensuring open communication has always been important, but with the stress, fear and anxiety brought on by the incident these things have become crucial. Through these sessions we aim to provide uplift and care to people in need of support and tools that can help lower their stress levels.”
Focus: HOPE Needs Volunteers for Food Delivery to Homebound Seniors
Volunteers are need on Dec. 18 to assist Focus: HOPE with its annual Senior Holiday Food Delivery Day, serving seniors living on limited incomes throughout southeast Michigan.
Volunteers will arrive at the organization’s campus to load and deliver 1,400 holiday food boxes filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, a turkey, and holiday treats. The annual program provides seniors with the joy of a much-deserved holiday meal, which they may otherwise be unable to afford. All volunteers will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing, and will make safe, no-contact deliveries.
This holiday effort is supported entirely by individuals, organizations, and corporations. The Senior Holiday Food Delivery Day was initiated by Focus: HOPE co-founders Fr. William Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis many years ago. Focus: HOPE aims to honor their legacies by continuing to make the holidays a little brighter for the seniors they worked tirelessly to support.
Volunteers must pre-registration here.