Get photographed, and do some good in Ypsilanti

Remember how I told you a while ago about an ambitious undertaking by local photographer Erica Hampton called The Ypsi Project? Well, she’s still at it. Her goal, as you’ll recall, was to take 365 portraits in the city over the course of the year. I don’t know how many she’s done thus far, but, in hopes of getting closer to her target, she’s decided to shoot for nine hours straight this weekend, working with her friend, local filmmaker Mike Ambs. So, if you live or work in Ypsi, and would like your portrait taken, plan on being at Bombadil’s this Saturday, June 15, between 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM. I’ll probably be there at some point with my family. (If you’re on Facebook, you can RSVP here.)


And, if you’re looking for other ways to get involved in the City this summer, here’s something else you can do… Contribute backpacks, pens, notebooks, or any other new school supplies that you might have, to the homeless kids of Washtenaw County. (For background on the initiative, see my interview with Peri Stone-Palmquist, the coordinator of the Education Project for Homeless Youth in Washtenaw County.) Donations can be dropped off all this month at Beezy’s, or any local United Bank and Trust branch. You can also leave them near the front desk in the Teaching and Learning Center at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD), 1819 S. Wagner Road in Ann Arbor, throughout the summer and school year.

And, if you don’t have school supplies to give, how about time? Word is that the Depot Town Community Development Corporation is looking for volunteers to help with the big Jamboree scheduled for September 4-5, in Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park. In return for volunteering, I’m told you get free admission to the festival, a T-shirt, and an invitation to the wrap party. Not a bad tradeoff for spending a few hours hanging posters, taking tickets, assisting with activities in the Kid’s Tent, picking up trash, or whatever else you might be inclined to do. If you’ve got the time, I’m sure they’ve got a job that you’d like. Just send an email to Andrew Clock, Volunteer Coordinator at

And, if you know of other ways people can get involved over the summer, please feel free to leave a comment.

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  1. Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Nothing? No other volunteer opportunities in town? Nothing else coming up this summer where people could use a hand?

  2. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Thaks, Mark , for the plug! We can use all kinds of help at the Jamboree, including promoting the festival. So, if you’re excited to have a real, live and local music festival right here in Ypsi, tell every one you know about it! Oh, and tickets are on sale for cheap right now at
    $10 for Friday, $15 for Saturday, $20 for the whole weekend!

  3. Steph
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    There are also volunteer opportunities this summer with Growing Hope. YOu can find a list of things they need help with here:

  4. Kim
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know when the neighborhood picnic has been rescheduled for?

  5. A2 Arts Alliance
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Another opportunity:

    The Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan is providing up to $1 million of general operating support to match gifts to support participating arts and cultural organizations made online at A match of $1 will be provided for every $2 contributed. There are only seven organizations eligible to participate in Washtenaw County, and we’d like to see a good portion of this money come here! (Organizations include: The Arts Alliance; Leslie Science and Nature Center; Performance Network Theatre; Purple Rose Theatre Company; University Musical Society; University of Michigan – Museum of Art and Exhibit Museum of Natural History.)

    The challenge program starts at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 18, and will end as soon as the $1 million dollars of match is exhausted. Rumor has it that matching funds will be exhausted within an hour – so timing is everything!

    Here’s what folks can do to help out:

    (1) Save the Date & Donate. Tues., August 18 – 10a.m. Connect to to donate $25-$10,000 to the arts and cultural organizations in Washtenaw County. This is a race – once the $1 million matching funds are exhausted, the challenge will be over.

    (2) Spread the word. This is a grassroots effort – If we all give a little, we can achieve a lot! Be sure to share this unique giving opportunity with your family, friends, and co-workers.

    (3) Attend a Challenge Party. We’re planning events in the morning and evening of the 18th where folks can give, mingle, & have fun.

    • “Challenge Party” — The Arts Alliance will be partnering with the NEW Center and the other participating Washtenaw County organizations to host a “Challenge Party” on the 18th from 9a.m.-1p.m. at Sweetwaters on Washington St. Come support good causes, enjoy good coffee, and have a good time. We’ll have an hourly raffle of great prizes! (If possible, please bring your own laptop)
    • “Challenge AfterGlow” — Join the Arts Alliance and the other participating Washtenaw County organizations for an evening celebration of arts and culture! We’ll be at the Aut Bar from 5-7p.m. (Even if matching funds are exhausted, there will still be an opportunity to donate to participating organizations online at

  6. Posted August 12, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    The Ypsilanti Community Band is looking for volunteers (we finish our summer season tomorrow, but we operate year-round) to assist with a variety of behind-the-scenes operations. Needs include setting up/tearing down for concerts, ushering, publicity, and more. If you are interested and available to help in any capacity, please email me at and let me know!

  7. Posted August 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    @Mark: Thanks so much for the post about this Saturday! It would be very awesome to see you there with Linette and Clementine :)

    Ooh! Do you think it’s possible that you could get the whole Michigan Design Militia to show up with you all around the same time? ;) And that you could come wearing some kind of pre-decided, matching, backyard military’ish uniform? Maybe some red berets? Just an idea… probably not a very good one.

    @Steph Erica and I’s names should already be on the volunteer list for Growing Hope :) we signed up during your last fundraiser / tour.

  8. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    The Jamboree is still taking volunteers! Please contact me at I need mostly ticket takers and backstage/band merch table help, so it will be a good time had by all!!

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