Events

By Sara Teller

Habitat for Humanity for Oakland County (HFHOC), headquartered in Pontiac, is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) and is dedicated to carrying out the mission to help create “a world in which everyone has a decent place to live.”

HFHI is a global housing nonprofit that operates in nearly 1,400 communities across the United States and approximately 70 countries around the world. Since 1995, HFHOC has helped more than 900 low to moderate-income residents gain access to safe and affordable housing, focusing primarily on providing services in Southfield and Pontiac.

“Through our programs, we practice the philosophy of ‘a hand up, not a handout,’ by partnering with home-buyers and homeowners to purchase a safe home with an affordable mortgage or complete necessary projects at a modest price,” explained Katie Brumfield, HFHOC’s Marketing & Communications Associate. Programs include offering affordable home ownership opportunities for families making 50 to 80 percent of the area’s median income, financial coaching, critical repairs, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives.

HFHOC has several local events in the works for 2021. The nonprofit plans to hold three Rock the Block events June 3 and 5, August 5 and 7, September 30 and October 2, which will bring together homeowners, volunteers, community sponsors, and Habitat Oakland staff to offer minor exterior home repairs to homeowners.

“Volunteers work with Habitat’s construction staff to repair porches, install fences, replace cracked concrete, clean gutters, and complete lawn clean-up.” Brumfield said, adding, “This program ensures that homeowners reside in safe housing, enables seniors to age-in-place, maintains and increases home values, and fosters neighborhood stability.”

Later this fall, on November 12, HFHOC will also hold its Annual Fall Gala. Planning is still in the works, and the Events Page at www.habitatoakland.org/events will have more information in the near future along with any other upcoming HFHOC happenings.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY FOR OAKLAND COUNTY HAS MADE a significant impact in local communities over the past year, in general, despite the pandemic. In March 2020, HFHOC was forced to suspend volunteer activities, closing their ReStores except for virtual sales with office staff transitioning to working from home. Since that time, however, it has developed a strategy aligned with new COVID-19 guidelines, reopening closures, and hosting two Rock the Block events in 2020, completing over 100 external projects at 25 homes.

“2020 marked our 25th anniversary,” Brumfield said. “Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County is proud to have adapted, reacted thoughtfully, and ended 2020 ready to continue our mission in 2021. The need for affordable housing for low to moderate income individuals and families has never been more urgent. We are excited to continue building homes, communities and hope for our friends and neighbors.” She added, “Despite the challenges, we stayed focused on and continue to work toward our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Oakland County needs the stability and hope that decent housing and equitable access can help foster.”

The organization also received grant funds in 2020 to launch a much-needed home repair program. Brumfield explained, “Through a sizable grant from Oakland County and United Way for Southeastern Michigan, we were able to launch a critical home repair program in September 2020 that provides needed exterior repairs for homeowners in Oakland County so that they may maintain a safe, decent and affordable place to live. Our new Roofs, Ramps & Repairs Program enables us to serve a broader audience.”

Businesses interested in learning more about how to partner with HFHOC can call 248-318-5491 or email annd@habitatoakland.org. Rock the Block 2021 sponsorship opportunities are currently available. Individual volunteer opportunities are also available at habitatoakland.org/volunteer.

“In addition to volunteering, individuals can shop at or donate to our ReStores,” Brumfield said. “We also encourage you to stay up-to-date by liking and following us on Facebook and Instagram.”

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HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS: BLUE CHRISTMAS St. Patrick’s in Madison Heights will offer a candlelight Service of Hope on December 11th, 7-8pm, for all who are struggling at this time of year because of concerns such as health issues, financial challenges, unpleasant memories of past Christmas experiences, or the loss of a loved one. Special music, prayers, and an inspiring message of encouragement.

FERNDALE GARDEN CLUB: Presentation on Using Dead Wood in the Garden. Thursday, January 9, 2020, 7 p.m. at Kulick Community Center, 1201 Livernois. Guests are welcome. For more information, call 248-541-6427.

FERNDALE GARDEN CLUB: Presentation on Earth Friendly Permaculture Design to Grow Food for Health and Financial Independence by Rachel and Brian Engel. Thursday, February 13, 2020, 7 p.m. at Kulick Community Center, 1201 Livernois. Guests are welcome. For more information, call 248-541-6427.

SUPER SNOW CONE STORYTIME and Crafts with Cowboy Alex, Listen to Cowboy Alex read snowy stories, joke around with his puppet pals and do silly magic tricks. Plus, kids & their grown-up will make an awesome winter craft project using recycled material. Good for kids 3-8 years. Thurs, December 12th @ 10:00 am – 10:45 am, 5.00 per child, Royal Oak Salter Community Center. 1545 East Lincoln, Royal Oak.

FERNDALE GARDEN CLUB: Join our fun, garden-oriented group. We meet the second Thursday of each month, September through May, at 7 pm at the Kulick Community Center. We have entertaining and informative presentations on gardening, the environment, animals and photography. Meet new people with similar interests. Membership is $20.00 per year. To learn more about other membership benefits, call 248-541-6427.

“CLIMATE CHANGE & YOU”: An environmental awareness presentation. Sponsored by The Southeast Michigan Group of the Sierra Club. “Climate Change & You” is a Free powerful Power-Point presentation that adapts to all ages and groups, and defines current environmental issues. Mr. Gerald Hasspacher, jhasspac@gmail.com

HAVE YOU HEARD THE RALPH NADER RADIO HOUR? Great weekly podcast, with over 200 shows, wide range of subjects. Recent episodes include Midterm Postmortem, Solar Power, Fighting Nurses, Ebola, Smart Meters, Be informed, ralphnaderradiohour.com

By Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

Mostly Fine Free: Let’s get to the big news first: We are no longer assessing overdue fines for a majority of our circulating items! There will still be fines on new materials (in adult fiction/non-fiction, DVDs & CDs, as well as our wi-fi hotspots). Still, if it’s a regular three-week loan book, a one-week loan DVD, or, even better, an item from the children’s or teens’ collections, there will no longer be a penalty for late returns. We really just want the materials back! And while there are still fees for lost or damaged items, we’re really friendly about those. We’d love to see your smiling face in the library again.

Youth & Teen Programs: We’re now four stops into our ongoing monthly off-site storytime series, Storytime Stopover. Our Youth Services Librarians head out into the community and host events and activities for young readers inside local businesses. We’ve been at Drifter Coffee and EnSoul Yoga, and next, on December 9, we’ll be at the Detroit Cookie Company. Call 248-546-2504 and ask for the Kids Corner to register.

Other events for kids include a “Cozy Storytime” on December 13, for ages 3-5. That same day, in the evening, we’ll be hosting a special event for teens, inspired by the original ‘90s Nickelodeon program (as well as its recent reboot) “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”. The Midnight Society program for teens will feature games and crafts between 6:30 P.M. and 8:30 P.M. For more information on the Midnight Society for teens, you can once again contact the Kids Corner (248-546-2504, x. 694).

Winter Break Events for Kids: With school-age children set to be home for a while following the holidays, your library will be ready to serve as an excellent boredom-buster station. Get out of the house and come to a weeklong series of events! Programs include Gingerbread House decoration workshop on December 26 (ages 4+), a make-your-own Shoebox Foosball craft on December 27 (ages 8-12), an introduction to freerunning and parkour with Phoenix Free Running on December 28 (this is for ages 7+ and registration is required). We’ll wind down before the New Year on December 29 with a fun “Popcorn, Pajamas, & a Movie” for ages 2-10.

In the New Year: Our Youth Librarians will be at Ferndale Upper Elementary on Rosewood St on January 7, launching 2020’s Battle of the Books for fifth graders. Students can form groups of 2-4, creating their own team names for the competition and are even encouraged to design their own uniforms/costumes. There will be six books for students to choose from, and the “battle” is a tournament-style quiz about the plot, themes, and characters of their selected title. For more info on the Battle of the Books, follow us online at facebook.com/ferndalelibrarykids.

For adults, we’ll be continuing our four-part series on “How to Hygge Winter Away,” on January 9. If you register ahead of time, you can attend this life brightening workshop on suncatchers, which are basically the indoor, light-refracting version of wind chimes. Hygge is a Nordic/Danish lifestyle trend of cultivating coziness and contentment in our lives. Register by phone at 248-546-2504.

Coming up in the New Year, our monthly series of free yoga classes by Motor Om kicks back off for 2020 on January 12. We also have drum circle leader Lori Fithian bringing “Drummunity” here at the end of February. After that, on February 6, we’ll be hosting a special Oscars-themed film discussion.

By Sara E. Teller

THERE ARE MANY OPTIONS FOR RESIDENTS OF Huntington Woods, Berkley and the surrounding areas to get out and meet their neighbors by joining local clubs. The Huntington Woods Mens Club, Huntington Woods Womens League, Berkley Dads Club and Berkley Junior Womens Club are all long-standing nonprofits that offer fun activities, events, and fundraising opportunities throughout the year.

Huntington Woods Mens Club

THE HUNTINGTON WOODS MENS CLUB (HWMC) BEGAN IN 1977 with two dozen residents who were looking to establish a civic- minded group. Today, there are over 150 members who engage in multiple fundraising efforts and events such as the annual 4th of July parade.

“Our biggest event each year is the HWMC Service Auction,” president Michael Egnotovich explained. “This is held every March and 800 guests come to the Huntington Woods Recreation Center for food, drink and the chance to bid on over 400 auction items ranging
from $25 gift cards to an African safari.” He added, “We also coordinate an
annual cider sale with the Huntington Woods Women’s League every October and hold a raffle fundraiser for the city’s 4th of July fireworks display.”

The Club regularly raises over $150,000 at its auctions, with over $2,000,000 raised in total to date, and uses this money to fund local groups or city projects such as parks and equipment. Egnotovich said, “The Club has been making these contributions for over 35 years. We have also helped fund Berkley school district programs, such as offering concert wear for the BHS orchestra, raincoats for the marching band, and fabrication equipment for the Berkley Robotics team.”

The annual cost of membership is $75. Monthly meetings are held in members’ backyards during the summer and at indoor locations during the winter. For more information, please visit hwmc.org.

Huntington Woods Womens League

THE HUNTINGTON WOODS WOMENS LEAGUE (HWWL) STARTED IN 1970 with a mission to bring together women so that they can exercise their energies and abilities to benefit themselves and their community by promoting civic, cultural, educational and social welfare. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at residents’ homes.

The HWWL hosts a number of events throughout the year, including a Ladies Night Out, cookie exchange, and Euchre parties, as well as fundraising efforts including an annual home tour and gala. Funds are donated to three major categories of recipients: community, education, and women and children’s interests.

Lynne Sullivan, who has been the club’s president for the past two years, said, “The home tour is our biggest fundraising event. We inherited it from the Library. Every year, there are five homes involved with a sixth reserved for the gala the night before the tour
begins.” Historically, this event, which takes place the first Sunday in June, has brought in 400-500 people with an increase in interest every year.

The HWWL currently has 45 members, and the annual dues are $35. For more information, visit hwwl.org.

Berkley Dads Club

THE BERKLEY DADS CLUB IS IN ITS 71ST YEAR, having started in 1948 with civic activities primarily focused on baseball, hockey, boxing and wrestling. Today, the focus of the club is on baseball with the organization attracting over 800 players every year and offering spring baseball, a travel club, and other related programs and clinics. Those affiliated with the Berkley School District can play in the summer league, including those enrolled in schools-of-choice.

“We get players from Royal Oak, Madison Heights, and even further out,” said President Mike Kerby, who was a player himself years ago and has been in his position for nine years.

The organization hosts a fundraising raffle every year, as well as Euchre parties, squares parties, and other events. The funds go towards parks and recreation initiatives, including improvements for existing facilities as well as the construction of new spaces.

“We donate to baseball fields and surrounding parks. We also put in a batting cage in Huntington Woods,” Kerby said.

For more information, visit berkleydadsclub.org or email berkleydadsclub1@gmail.com.

Berkley Junior Womens Club

BERKLEY JUNIOR WOMENS CLUB IS A NONPROFIT THAT STARTED with twelve members in 1985. The club’s mission is to develop and foster projects of civic betterment and promote leadership training and cooperative action among its members. It meets the third Wednesday of every month at the Berkley Community Center at 7:00 P.M.

“Our group engages in a variety of volunteering,” explained President Lisa Kempner. “The majority of it is local to Berkley, but we also participate in events outside of Berkley, such as Race for a Cure. We collaborate with a multitude of other non-profit organizations and city departments to help wherever we can.” She added, “Many of our events are a collaborative effort. We work with Berkley Parks & Recreation to put on Boofest, the Daddy-Daughter Dance, Mother-Son Fun Night, and Breakfast with the Bunny. We work with the Holiday Lights Parade Committee for the tree- lighting ceremony, and with the Downtown Development Authority in putting on the Robina Rhapsody concert series. We also work with the Berkley Days Association to sponsor an event during Berkley Days, and we sponsor Candy Cane Lane at the Berkley Community Center.”

The group offers an annual scholarship to a female Berkley High School student that demonstrates a high level of volunteerism, and each year, the club works with Berkley-Huntington Woods Youth Assistance to sponsor a family for Christmas and to send children to camp in the summer.

The club is open to women over the age of 21. There is a $20 membership fee. Those interested can attend a meeting or email berkleyjuniors@yahoo.com.

By Sara E. Teller

THE BERKLEY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HAS 150 MEMBERS IN BERKLEY, HUNTINGTON
WOODS, AND NORTH OAK PARK. Members include restaurants, retail stores, professional business services, real estate agents, financial, insurance, and legal services, education and health and wellness providers, non-profit organizations, auto care companies, home-based businesses, wedding service providers, salons, and more.

The Chamber and its members are dedicated to creating and sustaining a positive business climate by connecting with each other, local governments, and the community. Darlene Rothman, Executive Director, and RoseAnn Nicolai, Events & Operations Manager, have been with the Berkley Area Chamber since 2012.

“I’ve been the Executive Director for over seven years,” explained Rothman. “I was a Huntington Woods resident for over 27 years and was upset when the economy was affecting local businesses in Berkley. These businesses do a lot to support the community, and it was important for the community to support them during challenging times. When the job opportunity arose to work for the Berkley Area Chamber, I was excited to do what I could to help.”

Of her position, Nicolai said, “I have an event planning and association management company, and I have been a resident of Berkley since 1997. So, when an opportunity came up to work on events within the city where I live, I jumped at the opportunity. A year later the Chamber asked my company to take over the administrative tasks so Darlene could focus on recruiting new members and helping our current members.”

Understanding the importance of investing in local businesses, Nicolai added, “I believe having a thriving business community is an important component of making Berkley a great place to live. Local businesses are the ones who are more likely to donate to local causes and groups. They have an investment in the community. So, helping these businesses thrive is important.”

The Berkley Area Chamber is responsible for many fun, annual activities, some of which include:

THE BERKLEY ART BASH, the 2nd Saturday in June. Chaired by April McCrumb, owner of Catching Fireflies and Yellow Door Art, this fair attracts crowds of over RoseAnn Nicolai, Events 10,000 people who come to find hip handmade wares from over 150 artists and makers, listen to live music, eat great food, and participate in children’s activities.

THE BERKLEY STREET ART FEST, the second Saturday in July. Commissioned artists create murals on various spaces, and children and adults have the opportunity to create their own chalk art. Street performers and musicians are also there to entertain throughout the day.

THE BERKLEY PUB CRAWL, late August. This event highlights Berkley’s bars and restaurants.

THE STATE OF THE CITIES BREAKFAST, the 4th Friday in October. This event offers an opportunity for local government entities to report out to the community the accomplishments and issues from the past year as well as touch on what is forthcoming.

Rothman said, “As a team, we’ve increased the positive aspects of the community, so more [businesses] can grow and prosper. So many wonderful members go above and beyond to help create events, marketing concepts, and volunteer.”

The Chamber’s Board of Directors is grateful to all those who participate, companies and residents alike. Rothman said, “Most [members] are small business owners who do it all and still do what they can to help the greater good of the community. We have wonderful business owners, managers, and employees who create a warm and inviting atmosphere in Berkley and beyond.” She recognizes that residents also contribute to the Chamber’s mission, saying, “The residents are very loyal in supporting local businesses, which is what makes new businesses gravitate here. Strengthening downtown Berkley helps retain residents and attract new residents. Having the Berkley School District so strong is a major anchor to the entire mix. Public Safety makes sure the community is safe. It’s a win-win for all.”

The Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce offers Explore Berkley gift certificates to thirty local businesses, which can be purchased at berkleychamber.com and through the Berkley Education Foundation, berkleyedfoundation.org. Businesses and organizations can also join the Chamber and have access to all of its benefits by registering online. For more information, call 248.414.9157.

Photos By Ashley Poirer & Rich Young

The Berkley Street Art Fest started in 2017 and focuses on creating art in the streets of Berkley with chalk and murals. Bridget Mahrle, chair of the Berkley Street Art Fest committee, has worked with a committee of community volunteers, businesses and Chamber staff for the past three years to create this festival that takes place on the second Saturday in July.

On the second Saturday in June, the Art Bash shuts down 12 Mile Road between Kipling and Buckingham Avenues and over 150 artists and makers sell their products. April McCrumb, co- owner of Catching Fireflies and Yellow Door Market, founded the festival with photographer and former Chamber member Maureen Monte.

“Maureen did it for a few years and was moving on with her business, so she left me in charge. I was a good fit for the job. I did art fairs for many years and had connections with artists,” McCrumb says. “I took it on and grew it to what it is today. We started the first year with 50-to-70 artists and now are at 150.”

The free event attracts over 10,000 people each year and invites a variety of artists to appeal to visitors’ every interest, everything from jewelers and authors to candlemakers.

“WE TRY TO SEEK OUT DIFFERENT TALENT. WE GO TO A LOT OF ART FAIRS and find things that are appealing in price and style,” McCrumb says. “Everyone can come and bring a few treasures home without breaking the bank.”

The entertainment extends past art lovers to include fun for pets and kids too.

“We always want Art Bash to be family-friendly. We are very intentional about bringing in
inflatables, face painting, kids crafts – anything kids would enjoy,” McCrumb says. “We are pet- friendly too – you can bring your dog and vendors sell dog treats, collars, cat treats and infused catnip.”

McCrumb runs the Berkley Art Bash alongside RoseAnn Nicolai, events and operations manager for Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce, who is also involved in the Berkley Street Art Fest. Artists interested in participating can apply for the 2020 Art Bash starting January 1st at berkleyartbash.com.

“I presented the concept after discovering the West Michigan Chalk Art event. I felt it would be a wonderful event to bring to Berkley’s Coolidge Shopping District to bring more awareness to the new and established businesses,” Mahrle says. “Our first year was held in a newly-developed parking area behind Sugar Kisses, Peggendott Designs and Berkley Eyewear stores.” Darlene Rothman, Executive Director of the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce, visited other chalk festivals in Michigan to discover the best format for the Berkley community.

THE STREET ART FEST NOW DRAWS CROWDS OF OVER 6,000 and that success has led to the City shutting down Coolidge Hwy. from Catalpa to Wiltshire for the event. More than 30 chalk artists of varying levels of aptitude compete, and muralists create permanent pieces on walls throughout the Berkley Business District.

“To date, we have installed 18 permanent murals located throughout the City,” Mahrle says. “The Berkley Street Art Fest also has artists and other vendor booths, food trucks and family activities where attendees can create art.”

Vibe Credit Union, a major sponsor, presented the 2019 event. Atomic Dawg hosted the beer tent, a first for 2019, and flame-eating jugglers and other street entertainers performed. The event attracts world- famous artists including David Zinn, Ann Arbor-based 3D chalk artist, who has presented at each event since 2017.

“This year’s event was even more special because Berkley became one of six cities worldwide that has permanent artwork created by Zinn on local buildings; Balanced Health & Wellness and the Berkley Public Library,” Mahrle says.

For information about the 2020 event, visit www.berkleystreetartfest.com. Both the Street Art Fest and the Berkley Art Bash have helped to highlight the creative talents of Berkley residents and increase business for retailers and restaurants along two main intersections in the City.

By Steve Cooper, Director of Public Safety

Photos By Bennie White

THE OAK PARK DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY has always taken pride in providing the city with the best public safety services possible. We believe in our partnership with the community through sharing and exchanging ideas, building relationships, and working together to address challenges.

These efforts have been demonstrated through a number of community initiatives, such as:

  • The Oak Park Public Safety Citizens Academy.
  • The Oak Park Public Safety Ice Cream Truck.
  • Coffee-With-A-Cop.
  • The addition of a second Community Resource Officer.

The Oak Park Public Safety Citizen Academy is entering its fourth year and the demand for enrollment remains high. The Academy is a fiveweek class for the public held on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The academy is held twice a year (spring and summer). The Citizen Academy provides an excellent opportunity for residents to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day operations of a Public Safety Department. It is free for Oak Park residents 18 years of age and older.

The classes cover a number of interesting topics such as patrol and traffic operations, detective bureau and case investigations, police and firefighting equipment, criminal law and procedures, use of force and officer safety, crime scene investigations and forensics, firefighting and firetruck operations, medical first-response, radio dispatch and 911 operations.

There are no physical fitness requirements to enroll and all participation is strictly voluntary. Upon completion of the Academy, students are awarded a diploma during a graduation ceremony.

THE OAK PARK PUBLIC SAFETY ICE CREAM TRUCK is entering its third season and has become one of the favorite Public Safety initiatives among both the youth and the adults in the community. On several days throughout the spring and summer, officers can be seen driving through the neighborhoods in our ice cream truck handing out free ice cream. This has provided an outstanding opportunity for our Officers to have positive interactions with many members in the community. It is amazing how a small gesture, such as sharing ice cream, can put a smile on a person’s face. The experience is truly priceless.

None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support from several of our vendors in Oak Park. I would again like to thank Prairie Farms for donating three hundred units of ice cream per week, Quality Restaurant Equipment Masters for donating a large deep freezer to house the ice cream, Salient Sign Studio for providing the graphics for the Ice Cream Truck, and Autobahn Collision for the restoration work they performed on the truck. Also, our City Manager, Erik Tungate, and the Department of Public Works for donating the truck.

If you are in Oak Park this Spring and Summer, watch for the Oak Park Public Safety Ice Cream Truck in your area. It is often known to make surprise visits at various schools throughout the City as well as some City-sponsored events.

“COFFEE WITH A COP” HAS BECOME A VERY POPULAR community outreach initiative. Although the concept is not new, it is still a very good one. For almost a year now, the Oak Park Public Safety Department has partnered with numerous restaurants throughout the City to host “Coffee with a Cop.” This has provided the community an opportunity to meet at different restaurants and have informal conversations discussing many topics (community issues, upcoming events, sports, etc.) while enjoying a free cup of coffee. The citizens and the officers have an opportunity to become personally acquainted while conversing in a relaxed atmosphere. This event takes place bi-monthly on either Saturday or Sunday morning usually between the hours of 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM.

THE PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT has recently added a second Community Resource Officer, Robert Koch, who will work in conjunction with Officer Devin Benson. With the additional Community Resource Officer, we have been able to significantly impact our relationships with the many schools and students in Oak Park, senior citizens, and Block Clubs while continuing to address important needs within the community. The positive effect of an additional Community Resource Officer has been obvious and mentioned by numerous members within the community.

The entire Public Safety Department would like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to the community for your unwavering love and support throughout the years. We continue our pledge to serve at the highest level the great citizens and businesses of Oak Park with honor and integrity.

By Adam J. O’Connor

HAZEL PARK ART FAIR RETURNS THIS AUGUST, bringing the family-friendly art fair with a variety of artwork to Green Acres Park for its eighth year. To be eligible for the Hazel Park Art Fair, works must be original and crafted by the artist. Vendors of mass-produced work will not be accepted.

The 2019 Hazel Park Art Fair includes a variety of local and regional fine art and craft art vendors. The work represented showcases oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, pencil, ink, and marker illustration, wearable art, sculpture, photography, multi-media art, crafts, jewelry, ceramics, metalworking, textiles, house decor, poster art and more.

“The Hazel Park Arts Council tries its hardest to provide a welcoming environment to artists in our community and support our first-time vendors (some 20 percent of the registered artists have not presented at HPAF before) to make their first art fair a positive experience,” says Amy Aubry, Treasurer of the Hazel Parks Arts Council. “We are always looking for ways to include more art forms and art-based experiences every year. Last year we had a mural painted during the event by local artist Carl B. Oxley and a wood sculpture carved on-site by local artist Gabriel Totzke (Bear Claw Woodcraft).”

By showcasing local talent, art fairs such as the Hazel Park Art Fair benefit the community individually as well as through its many local nonprofit efforts. As the Arts Council is a licensed 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all donations are tax-deductible. The Hazel Park Arts Council is committed to furthering artistic and cultural initiatives within the community. This is achieved through a number of avenues, including advocating local artistic initiatives as well as collaborating with the annual Hazel Park Art Fair. Sponsorship information is available on the event’s website. Also, it’s worth noting that if you’re a 501(c)(3) organization you qualify for a free 10’x10’ booth space.

THERE WILL ALSO BE A VARIETY OF ENTERTAINMENT – including live demonstrations – throughout the weekend. “Entertainment will be a selection of local music and bands,” says Charlie Rysenga, Co-Chair of the Planning Committee. “Last year we had 15 performers including a very chill Tai Chi lesson on Sunday morning. On Sunday the 25th this year, we will also have the DIA on-site for a ‘Drop-in Workshop’ from 11:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M., where attendees will have the opportunity to make tambourines!”

“We also have a great selection of food trucks,” Rysenga adds, “including Nosh Pit – who serve amazing grilled cheese – out of Hamtramck. The Arts Council will also be selling a selection of local craft beer, cider and mead as a fundraiser to support our work in the community.”

The overall goal of the Hazel Park Arts Council is to bring art – in all its various forms – to the community, and to make art accessible to everyone. While Hazel Park may be only three square miles in size and boast a population of less than 20,000, its citizens are very involved and community-oriented. Many small businesses line the streets and much support has been shown to both the Arts Council and the Art Fair itself over the years. Its proximity to Ferndale and location bordering two counties make it a perfect destination for art enthusiasts and those who appreciate small businesses and handmade items.

The Hazel Park Art Fair takes place at Green Acres Park off of Woodward Heights between Hilton and I-75 on Saturday, August 24 from 11:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. and on Sunday, August 25 from 11:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. www.hpartfair.org.

JUNE 8
Berkley Art Bash
Presented by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce

JULY 13
Berkley Street Art Fest
Presented by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce

JULY 18
Couples Night Out & Robina Rhapsody
Presented by the Berkley DDA and the Berkley Junior Women’s Club

AUGUST 2
Art & About 1st Friday
Presented by the Berkley DDA

AUGUST 16
Berkley CruiseFest
Presented by the Berkley CruiseFest Committee

AUGUST 22
Robina Rhapsody & Downtown Sidewalk Sales
Presented by the Berkley Junior Women’s Club and the Berkley DDA

AUGUST 24
Berkley Pub Crawl
Presented by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce

SEPTEMBER 6-7
County Oakland IrishFest
Presented by County Oakland IrishFest Committee

OCTOBER 17
Friends Night Out
Presented by the Berkley DDA

By: Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

Reading Collective

The Ferndale Library is once again joining the libraries in Berkley, Huntington Woods, and Oak Park to collaboratively host a quad-city book club known as The Reading Collective. If you’ve participated in Community Reads events in the past, like “Ferndale Reads,” then it’s essentially the same format: Patrons from these four libraries will each pick up a copy of (Ann Arborbased author) Lillian Li’s The Number One Chinese Restaurant. As each patron reads along at home, they can meet up with other readers in other communities throughout March and April at several events and programs to be hosted at each library. On Thursday, April 11 (7 P.M.), at the Berkley First (Church), all Reading Collective participants can meet the author, get their books signed, and hear about her process of writing this novel. Follow us on Facebook for updates.

Synthesizers in the Library

Musician Henry Birdseye is coming back for a second presentation that takes you deep into the world of analog synthesizers. Birdseye is eager to share his love of the history and development of this music-making technology. On Sunday, March 24, he’ll share his interest in oldschool analog modular synthesizers, bringing in his magnificent instrument, showing you how it works, and talking about the science and evolution of electronic musical creation. He’ll be joined by local musician/ songwriter Steve Greene (of Voyag3r).

First Stop Friday

Poetic lyricist and “think piece” composer Chris DuPont comes to the Ferndale Library on April 1, part of the ongoing monthly First Stop Friday series. Dupont hails from Ypsilanti, Michigan, and is a seasoned veteran of the Midwest music scene, with several tours logged and a handful of albums that you can sample online. His hybrid finger-style approach to guitar-playing is a nod to classical minimalism, but creates delicate melodies that are sure to get you nodding your head. Chris is influenced by a wide range of artists and composers from Philip Glass to Tycho, from James Taylor to Ryan Adams to Oh Wonder. These free concerts are made possible by the Friends of the Ferndale Library. Doors open at 7:30 P.M. on April 1, with music starting at 8 P.M.

Native Plants

A member from the Ferndale Beautification Commission and the Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge Gardeners online group will be here on April 14 to give a presentation on Native Plants. The Ferndale/PR social media group that he represents is an outlet for gardeners in the area to find educational programming. This is the first of a three-part series; the next presentation will be May 19. Native plants not only provide habitats for birds and other wildlife, but they require far less water, which conserves resources (and lowers your water bill). You’ll find more updates on our Facebook page.

Crafternoon

Stop in on Saturday, April 20, at 2:00 P.M., to hang out with fellow crafters. Come with your current project and the stuff you need to work on it, or start something new. Enjoy hanging out and making with other crafters. We have plenty of tables and electrical outlets.

Art in the Library

On your way in or out of the library, make sure to peek inside of our Community Room. We regularly host six-to-eight week exhibitions of local artists, with up to eight unique shows throughout the year. Our next one will be on display starting March 24.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

The Ferndale Library’s “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program is a fun DIY way for parents to cultivate kindergarten readiness. Participants are eligible right up until the day they start kindergarten, so that includes toddlers, but also babies. For every 100 books, kids receive a prize from librarians in the Kids Corner. 

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