KickstART Your Weekend with Some Good Reads: Pop-Up Museums, Better Blocks, and Good Main Streets

Our Friday update here at kickstART farmington highlights some communitygreat articles we’ve read this week dealing with art, creative placemaking, and building great communities. You’re sure to find some inspiration to make your life and our community even better!

1. Art as Economic CatalystOur job is to infuse creative thinking into how the community can rediscover its sense of self and spur new vitality. In other words, we bridge the past with an invigorated future.

2. Celebrating 4 Years of Re-imagining Streets and Building Better BlocksThe “Better Block” project is a demonstration tool that rebuilds an area using grassroots efforts to show the potential to create a great walkable, vibrant neighborhood center.

3. More on Business Support for the ArtsThe arts are like the special effects. They make the impossible happen, make a moment memorable and make people happy. The arts connect us and give us cause to explore our own creativity. They provide context. That is why the arts is an essential part of our local community.

4. Let’s Make a Pop-Up MuseumPop Up Museums focus on bringing people together in conversation through stories, art, and objects. They can happen anytime, anywhere, and with any community. (See More in the Video Below.)

5. What Makes a Good Main Street Work?Main Streets are for walking, browsing, lingering … design features, including ample sidewalks; convenient, well-highlighted crosswalks; vehicle traffic at calm speeds; entertaining, transparent storefronts abutting or very close to the sidewalk; relatively short block lengths.

Creating a Vibrant Arts Scene in Farmington/Farmington Hills: On the Need for Creative Writers, Muckrakers, and Gadflies

As we’ve considered what missing from the arts scene in CommunityFarmington/Farmington Hills to make it more vibrant we wrote about the need for a performing arts center to be built in downtown Farmington, along with the need for some alternative cinema options, a cool, hip, café that supports the arts, a dynamic art gallery space (or two), and a public arts project to add fun & poetry to our neighborhoods.

Two qualities of a vibrant arts scene (as suggested by Renny Pritikin) relate to the literary and journalistic culture of a community and it would benefit the Farmington and Farmington Hills area to cultivate writers representing a variety of viewpoints, along with publications for these writers to share their work.

The community has two print newspapers, the Farmington Observer (printed on Sundays and Thursdays) and the weekly Farmington Press. Both papers do a fine job covering the events, activities, and major news in the community but, though they include editorials and letters to the editor, could do more to present diverse and dissenting views and opinions on important issues in the community.

The Farmington Patch was once a good source for community news, conversation, and debate when it was actually focused on the community.

To build a stronger Farmington and Farmington Hills we need some creative writers, muckrakers, and gadflies who are not afraid to challenge the status quo, can offer some dissenting opinions, take on some of the absurdities of local government and business, and help us look to a better future.

Perhaps there is a way to do something interesting (and sustainable) in print but, of course, much of the conversation has moved online to facebook, twitter, and blogs.

Who are the writers doing this work in our community? Is there a need for an alternative publication? Who do you read and follow on twitter or facebook? Who is blogging about issues of importance to the Farmington/Farmington Hills area?

What to do in Farmington/Farmington Hills This Week (5/26/14)

Check out some of the great arts & cultural Riley Park in Farmingtonevents to look forward to in the Farmington/Farmington Hills community this week:

Monday, May 26th, at 10:00 am: The Farmington Memorial Day Parade has been a Farmington area tradition since 1970 and takes place along Grand River and ends near Oakland Avenue in downtown Farmington.

Thursday, May 29th, at 8:00 pm: Swing Farmington takes over the Pavilion in downtown Farmington.

Saturday, May 31st, at 11:00 am: Cash Mob Farmington invites you to support our local businesses. This week at Steinkopf Nursery (20815 Farmington Rd), then join fellow cash mobbers for food & conversation over at Sushi House (22030 Farmington Rd).

Saturday, May 31st, at 7:30 pm: South Farmington Baseball Movie NightSouth Farmington Baseball Movie Night at Shiawassee Park, featuring the film Home Run Showdown.

Sunday, June 1st, at 3:00 pm: Opening of the new exhibit The Holocaust Portfolio, with a presentation by artist Martin Mendelsberg. At the Holocaust Memorial Center, 28123 Orchard Lake Road.

Clinton Snider painting
Old Watch Dog (c) Clinton Snider

Now through June 2nd: Artist Clinton Snider’s works in oil are on exhibit in the Farmington Hills City Gallery at the Costick Center, 28600 11 Mile Road. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

 

kickstART Your Weekend with Some Good Reads: Designing Spaces for People, Art and Walking, and Little Free Libraries

Our Friday update here at kickstART farmington highlights some communitygreat articles we’ve read this week dealing with art, creative placemaking, and building great communities. You’re sure to find some inspiration to make your life and our community even better!

1. On Partnerships Between Business and the ArtsEmployee art shows, concerts, or other artistic challenges … are a great way to involve employees and show businesses that the arts are a breeding ground for innovation and problem solving in both individual and team settings.

2. Designing Urban Spaces for People: (U)rban areas … need to be redesigned around a new set of values, one that … accommodates automobiles in an environment dominated by people. It is people that create value.

Hopscotch crosswalk designed by Graham Coreil-Allen
Hopscotch crosswalk designed by Graham Coreil-Allen

3. Getting Back on Our Feet and MovingPublic art on the theme of walking serves as a reminder to take a stroll. Artists design crosswalks, trail signs and gateways to walking paths that capture people’s imaginations

4. On Older Buildings and Neighborhoods: Established neighborhoods with a mix of older, smaller buildings perform better on a range of economic, social, and environmental metrics than do districts with larger, newer structures.

5. Cheer on Reading in Dallas is a cool initiative to install 50 Little Free Libraries in that city. We love books and libraries and would love more of this in our community.

kickstART farmington, GFFF, and the Civic Theater Host Free Screening of HUGO

The Greater Farmington Film Festival and kickstART farmingtonHugo, in partnership with the Farmington Civic Theater are presenting a FREE, outdoor screening of the film Hugo (directed by Martin Scorsese), on Saturday night, June 7th, around 9:15 pm.


The film will be shown at the west end of Shiawassee Park in Farmington.

Hope to see you there!

View the trailer for Hugo below:

Creating a Vibrant Arts Scene in Farmington/Farmington Hills: On Public Art and Sidewalk Poetry

As we’ve considered what missing from the arts scene in Farmington/Farmington Hills to make it more vibrant we wrote about the need for a performing arts center to be built in downtown Farmington, along with the need for some alternative cinema options, a cool, hip, café that supports the arts, and a dynamic art gallery space (or two). 

Today we’ll consider a public arts project to add some fun and poetry to our community.

Farmington and Farmington Hills should consider a program similar to that of the Department of Public Works and Public Art Saint Paul (Minnesota). A poetry contest is held each year and the selected poems are stamped into new sidewalk repairs done in the city of Saint Paul. If we did a contest for our students imagine how thrilled the winners would be to see their poems become a lasting part of our cityscape.Saint Paul Sidewalk Poetry

The Saint Paul project was developed by Marcus Young, and he writes: On our modest sidewalks, we hope to create delightful moments of open-air reading, and make public and common the beauty in our hearts as expressed by our poets. Beautiful poetry can be as present and plain as sidewalk, as grass and sky.

We’d like to experience the simple joy of walking through our Farmington/ Farmington Hills neighborhoods and coming upon our sidewalks like a book telling the story of our community through poetry. 

Check out the video below about the project and let us know if you’d like to see something similar in our community.