June Newsletter

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June Newsletter

Big time music festivals on horizon, Ann Arbor hosts Tech Trek and Summer Festival, plus Allied Media Conference hits Detroit

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Music festivals abound in the next month...and all summer long really

Summers in Michigan call to mind trips to the beach, backyard barbecues, or perhaps floating down a river on an inner tube. If seeing live music is your thing, summer in Michigan is sure to please, as there is no shortage of festivals and concerts at many of Michigan's outdoor venues. Whether you like bluegrass, EDM, folk, country, pop, rock or jazz, seemingly every genre has its own festival in Michigan this summer. Here is a small sampling of what's on deck in the coming weeks and month.


Buttermilk Jamboree, June 15-17, Delton


The annual Buttermilk Jamboree is a three day festival of music and arts that takes place at the beautiful Circle Pines Center in Delton, MI. A truly family-friendly festival, the Buttermilk Jamboree features rustic overnight camping, dozens of local and regional performers, workshops, swimming, dancing, local food and goods vendors, craft beer and wine tent, dedicated kids area complete with performers and crafts, and SO much more!!  Join us this June for a fun-filled experience the whole family to enjoy!!​

For ticketing and general info, visit HERE.

Charlotte Bluegrass Festival, June 21-23, Charlotte

If torch and twang are more your thing, head to the Eaton County Fairgrounds in Charlotte, Michigan on June 21-23 for the Charlotte Bluegrass Festival. This year they are celebrating a 46 year old family tradition of great bluegrass music--home of the parking lot pickin'. There will be camping, food vendors, an amazing lineup of bluegrass musicians and bands, and plenty of parking. Make sure your summer plans include a visit to the Charlotte Bluegrass Festival.  



For ticketing and general info, visit HERE.



Electric Forest (Weekend's 1 & 2), June 21-24 & June 28-July 1, Rothbury


Since 2008, travelers along Michigan's US-31 have come to recognize the Electric Forest Festival near Rothbury, where tent cities are erected on the side of the highway and stretch as far as the eye can see.  What started as a modest weekend Electronic Dance Music festival on the vast property of the Double JJ Resort, has grown into an 8-day two weekend festival drawing many of the world's most notable EDM artists. There will be camping, outdoor activities, multiple stages, great food and art/crafts vendors and plenty to explore. Upgraded camping, cabin, and VIP experiences are also off available.



For ticketing and general info, visit HERE

Additional outdoor summer concert & festival information


DTE Energy Music Theater Concerts - Clarkston

Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens - Grand Rapids

Meadow Brook Amphitheater Concerts - Rochester

Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill Concerts - Sterling Heights

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Outdoor Concerts & Events - Mt. Pleasant

Bell's Eccentric Cafe Events - Kalamazoo

State Theatre's Wednesday's in the Park Series - Wenonah Park, Bay City

Chene Park Summer Concerts - Detroit

Kresge Auditorium at Interlochen Center for the Arts - Interlochen  

Threadbare Mitten Film Festival begins year 2 run on June 22nd in Charlotte, MI



Think of the Threadbare Mitten Film Festival as the anti-genre, but all-genre film festival, if that makes any sense. Truly a grassroots festival if ever there was one, Threadbare came together just last year out of filmmakers, shared passion for independent cinema. Now in its second year, the Threadbare Mitten Film Festival is adding a touch of culture to the growing arts scene in downtown Charlotte. The opening night party and screenings dubbed "Film.Craft.Beer," should set the tone for the festival with several short films of the genre-bending variety. And the new "Michigan Matinee," will feature only Michigan-made films. What's certain is that the Threadbare Mitten Film Festival is unique and definitely worth checking out. Read more in a Q&A with Film Festival Director, Dan Kofoed and get familiar with the lineup. As always, support #MiFilmFestivals!


Q&A with Threadbare Mitten Film Festival Director, Dan Kofoed


Q: Thanks for giving up your time to chat with us.  Can you let us know a bit about your professional background, and include your role/responsibilities with the Threadbare Mitten Film Festival? 


I come to the Festival world as a filmmaker, but I came to filmmaking backwards from academia. I had studied the narrative structure and theory of comic books and film in college, and almost by accident became a cinematographer and then director afterwards, trying to reverse engineer that theory into practice without any formal technical training. I ended up forming a small production company, Exposure Film Foundry, through which I bumped into the creative community in Charlotte while setting up a Halloween screening for one of my films. Hubris took over from there.


For the Threadbare festival, my main focus is on the back of house logistics: submissions & reviews, venues & contracts, then communication with the filmmakers, social media & promotion, right down to event set-up and day-of ticket sales. I'll be there shaking your hand and possibly running projection right after. We're a small enough festival that we can measure our submissions by the hundreds, rather than thousands, and as Festival Director I personally review every single film that come to us, and still get excited to talk shop with every filmmaker in attendance.


Q: The Threadbare Mitten Film Festival is now in its second year.  What were some of your growing pains from last year? 


Our reckless ambition is the only reason this even happened in the first place. We had reached that point in our planning where we had to decide between delaying for the next year, or pulling the trigger and going ahead with not enough time and preparation. Obviously, we decided to do it while we had wind behind us. The biggest unknown was simply if we would be able to attract enough high quality films to justify our existence ...I mean another film festival in Michigan!... and by the criteria our first year was undoubtedly a success.


Q: How best would you describe what the Threadbare Mitten Film Festival is all about? 


We call ourselves a Genre Film Festival, by which we mean to include all genre fare, whatever the filmmaker considers that to be. Whatever strange itch caused them to pick up that camera, we want to see the result. We're not just talking your usual horror/sci-fi, but a wider conception of genre, including magical realism, neonoir, contemporary westerns, grindhouse, documentary, non-narrative and experimental, absurdist comedy, whathaveyou. The idea is that if you want to see a sweet independent coming of age drama, that's awesome! There's a thousand other festivals for that! But If you're interest in a single-take feature film about a recluse who turned his family home into a museum of his own life so that he could understand himself, well, you've come to the right place, because we gave that movie Best Feature Film last year: https://youtu.be/coowSu9OWVA 


We aim to be a home for the films that fall through the cracks of the other, most established festivals, a place where some of the odder ducklings can thrive. We won't discount a film that is a little 'threadbare' in its craft so long as the artistry is rich underneath. As importantly, we provide exhibition space for Michigan filmmakers! 


Our programming is curated by genre and by theme, so there are none of the whiplash tonal surprises you can get at other festivals. If you want to see Comedies, you're not going to get a dose of gritty drama dumped on you in the middle: that's just rude!


Q: Can you speak a bit about your host city, Charlotte, and how receptive and hungry residents from around there are for genre film? 


Charlotte has an amazing creative community, a vibrant music scene and active theater groups. At the center of this you'll find the Windwalker Underground Gallery.


The Threadbare Festival is an offshoot from a classic horror film series the Windwalker and the Eaton Theatre were screening roughly monthly for about a year. Our first year had modest attendance, as does the first year of anything. In the time since, the word has begun to spread. Now it is time for the Obligatory Sequel...


Q: Do you wish to leave our readers with any parting shots on how they might best enjoy this year’s Threadbare Mitten Film Fest? 


Don't try and marathon everything! Come to the opening night Film.Craft.Beer party and screening, especially if you're a craft beer person, since we'll have a cash bar from the Charlotte Brewing Company on hand, and some of our best films: the one's that don't play nicely within any particular genre, but slip 'n' slide between them.


We organize our programming by theme and genre, so take a look at the film blocks, and check out what interests you. Take a break on what is less your speed, and explore Downtown Charlotte, grab a bite to eat, and come back for more.


Get a Festival Pass for just $15 and don't worry about the price.


Check out the Michigan films throughout, and especially the Michigan Matinee program at the Eaton on Saturday.


And if you've screwed up any of these plans, just show up at the very and end check out our final feature at the end of our final program after the Awards, Sunday at 4:10 in the Windwalker Underground Gallery: The God Inside My Ear. 

A closer look at the 2018 Threadbare Mitten Film Festival lineup

Friday, June 22

-Film.Craft.Beer VIP Party - Opening Night Films - 7:00 p.m.



Saturday, June 23

-Michigan Matinee - 11:30 a.m.

-Films' cool, kids! - 2:30 p.m.

-What Can You Do But Laugh? - 4:10 p.m.

-Foreign Horrors are Funny, or is it the other way around? - 6:15 p.m.

-Life is Fantastic, Terrifying, and SHORT - 8:20 p.m.

-Family Night Films - 10:00 p.m.

-Invasion Plan B-movies - 10:20 p.m.


Sunday, June 24

-Documentaries of Death, and Life: Work, Play, Memory - 12:00 p.m.

-Manufactured Communities - Documentaries on 2 wheels - 1:40 p.m.

-Award Ceremony & Surreal Cinema Screenings - 3:45 p.m.



Ann Arbor to hosts Tech Trek June 15th and Summer Festival through July 4 


Tech Trek opens doors to A2's leading tech companies


Tech Trek returns to Ann Arbor to give visitors an up close and personal look at some of the more innovative tech companies calling Ann Arbor their home. This event is free and ideally suited to job seekers, students, professionals or anyone curious about what is going on with the tech community in Ann Arbor. Tech Trek is just a small part of a week of events hosted by Ann Arbor Spark called, A2Tech360. In addition to Tech Trek, A2Tech360 includes a panel discussion titled 2028: What the Future Holds, a mobility summit focused on Michigan's autonomous vehicle industry, and Tech Talk, a TED talk inspired event with 13 leading tech innovators.


For more information on Tech Trek and A2Tech360, visit HERE.


Is Ann Arbor's Summer Festival isn't winding down, it's just heating up


Now celebrating their 35th season, which began June 8th, 2018 the Ann Arbor Summer Festival has brought the best local, regional, national and international performers to enthusiastic audiences for nearly three decades.

For 21+ amazing summer nights, Ann Arbor is transformed into a lively arts destination, a place where friends, family, neighbors and visitors can connect and share in a celebration of artistic inspiration, creativity and community spirit.

Visit Ann Arbor as they once again gather together to enjoy the best in music, dance, comedy, film, street arts and family entertainment from around the world and from our own backyard.

This years festival offers over 175 FREE concerts and events to discover.

This is your festival, and we greatly appreciate your support and patronage.

For more information about the 2018 Ann Arbor Summer Festival, visit HERE.

Get to know Marquette's Creative Chamber program lead, Nick Steffey


Q:  Nick, thank you for giving us a few minutes of your time.  Can you please give our readers some information on your professional background and how you came to lead the charge at the Marquette Chamber?

Sure! My wife and I moved to Marquette a little over two years ago from Madison, WI as a way of finding the perfect mix of opportunity, community, and the outdoors. Marquette has shown that it has plenty of all three. We both were in “location-independent” careers at the time and the task was then what to do while up here.


I have a background in Civil Engineering, but I found this to not be my true calling. Because of this, I made a list of the core items that were to be in my next venture: creative design, problem-solving, and organizational management. I was in luck here, as these also happen to be the core ideas behind business and entrepreneurship. Now that I had my direction, it was time to make our move to Marquette and begin pursuing an MBA up at Michigan Tech; with that beautiful commute. Over this time, Marquette and the UP became more of a home even up to graduation when the previous Marquette Chamber was looking for an Assitant Director. This position caught my eye and I started just after my commuting up the Keweenaw ended. Shortly after (about a month into my job) the Director had resigned and left me the keys to it all… Sink or swim I suppose.


The Marquette Chamber has been a great asset to this community and I am excited to play such a pivotal role in something with such an impact on the area and culture of the community.


Q:  What is your assessment of the Marquette Creative Chamber/Evolve Marquette after one year of the program?

I have seen great work done by not only the Marquette Chamber but all of the Chambers involved with the program. The Marquette Creative Chamber has gathered representatives of many of the creative industries around the area and assembled an advisory council, named Evolve MQT, tasked with being the voice of these industries in Marquette, and it’s exciting to hear what is going on.


These efforts have gone toward further supporting the local businesses by developing not only what they want and need, but also extrapolating out what might be an unknown need. In the one year that has elapsed, the program has seen the development of a community-wide calendar, a creative residency, and even a coworking space called Ampersand in the heart of Marquette. All of this, to foster community and collaboration in a way that benefits everyone.


Q:  We’ve been hearing great things that the Creative Chamber has been doing in Marquette, namely the Ampersand Co-Working Offices and the Marquette Creative Residency.  How have these projects been welcomed by the Marquette community and how do you see them evolving in the future?

Well, as with any program or project, the main hurdle was around awareness. There were significant amounts of push-back early on in the program as the ideas brought to Marquette were new and sparking unrest. Let’s face it, it’s an old blue-collar community with a bunch of “kids coming in with their computers” and this has people scared (and yes, we heard this a lot). As we worked through the fear of the unknown, people that were once adverse to the idea, began to accept it and even started to promote it. This goes for both Ampersand as well as the Creative Residency. We are quickly becoming a hub for the many creative people in the community that are coming out of the woodwork to show support and get involved with everything that we are doing.


Q:  How do you feel the Creative Chamber program can make a difference in Marquette in year 2 of the program and beyond?

Everything that has been done up until now has already shaped the culture and the “feeling” of the community. I’m excited to see everything in a year from now after things have really taken root and Marquette sees the creative industries as a part of the community rather than a separate entity altogether.


Q:  What is something our readers may not know about the creative community in Marquette?

While much of everything here has been influenced by our rugged mining past and the raw, untamed being that is Lake Superior, Marquette has so much more to offer. From the boundless outdoor opportunities, the array of fantastic food and drink, to the various organizations bringing community around every sort of endeavor that you may call yours, Marquette has the range of flavors that bring out the creativity in all of us.


Detroit hosting Allied Media Conference June 14-17 and Downtown Detroit Partnership releases Summer in the Parks schedule

allied media

Allied Media Conference has something for ALL media-makers

Head to Wayne State University for the 20th annual Allied Media Conference: June 14-17, 2018. Held every summer in Detroit, the conference brings together a vibrant and diverse community of people using media to incite change: filmmakers, radio producers, technologists, youth organizers, writers, entrepreneurs, musicians, dancers, and artists. They define "media" as anything you use to communicate with the world. You are a media-maker!


They define media-based organizing as any collaborative process that uses media, art, or technology to address the roots of problems and advances holistic solutions towards a more just and creative world.


The Allied Media Conference is a collaboratively designed event. Conference content is curated with care every year by 100+ volunteer coordinators of tracks, practice spaces, and network gatherings. The conference features over 300 hands-on workshops, panels, film screenings, Detroit tours, art and music events, strategy sessions, karaoke, bowling, collaborative art and more!


For more information and to RSVP, visit HERE.

Meet Susan Stack, Oakland Counties Regional Film liaison, movie-lover, independent film-supporter and all-around great human being


Susan Stack serves as film liaison for Oakland County, Michigan. She has over thirty years of experience in film, video, digital media, marketing and public relations. Among the films she has assisted are Batman v Superman, Real Steel, Red Dawn (2012), It Follows, The Ides of March and Oz the Great and Powerful. Susan is the co-founder and editor of CreativeMich, a weekly news digest about the creative industries in Michigan, with distribution to more than 70,000 readers. She is also the creator of the Detroit History Tours Movie Magic tour of filming locations in the Motor City. She formerly served as Communications Director for the City of Berkley, founding and operating WBRK, Municipal Access Cable TV, now in its 34th year of operation. Susan is a graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in telecommunications, and recently earned her Master’s degree in Humanities with a concentration in film studies. 

Upcoming Events

Now-July 1 - Ann Arbor Summer Festival - Ann Arbor

June 12 - Filmmakers Community Mixer - Emagine Theaters, Royal Oak

June 12 - Culture Track Detroit Launch Event - Detroit

June 14 - Drinks x Design - Detroit

June 14-17 - Detroit Music Weeekend - Detroit

June 13-15 - A2Tech360 - Ann Arbor

June 14-17 - Allied Media Festival - Detroit

June 15 - Tech Trek - Ann Arbor

June 15-17 - Buttermilk Jamboree - Delton

June 20Cinema Lab presents: Strangers on a Train wsg Shirley Griffin - Grand Rapids

June 21-24 - Electric Forest (Weekend 1) - Rothbury

June 21-23 - Charlotte Bluegrass Festival - Charlotte

June 22-23 - Summer Solstice Jazz Festival - East Lansing

June 22-24 - Threadbare Mitten Film Festival - Charlotte

June 23-24 - Festival of the Sun & Moon - Lansing

June 24 - Rebel Pictures Showing of Deadbolt & Song for the Moon! - Lansing

June 28-July 1 - Electric Forest (Weekend 2) - Rothbury

July 5 - Detroit Festival of Books - Detroit

July 5-8 - Common Ground Music Festival - Lansing

July 6-7 - The Michigan Elvisfest - Ypsilanti


Submission Deadlines

June 16 - I See You Awards

June 22 - Soo Film Festival

August 1- Royal Starr Film Festival