Mobilize Conference: College to Careers Pathways Detroit 2013

C2CP sign

C2CP sign

What a wonderful weekend it’s been! Learning from the many movers and shakers in Detroit has been a rewarding and revilitalizing experience. Millennials as our generation has been named have come together for idea generations sessions, proposals for funding to build in Detroit, and a general good time in the middle of downtown Detroit during the Tigers home Opening series.

Starting the conference on Friday evening we heard from Phil Cooley, Slow’s Bar-B-Q and Ponyrides founder. Being a keystone to development in Corktown he brought a very nice vibe to social entrepreneurship and partnership building. It was nice to hear someone who easily could have come in and made money and moved on feel so passionate about the success of Detroit and is continuing to reinvest in new projects and endeavors. Incidentally the Tigers Opening Day also was occurring at this point (a very nice win over the dreaded Yankees).

Day 2 was a wonderful example of idea generating and sharing. Utilizing technology Mobilize had us vote upon ideas generated live using clickers. Questions such as “What can be done in Detroit to make it more attractive for Millennials to work and live?” brought up some great ideas on bike sharing programs, increased safety measures, and creating community forums bridging citizens and new Detroiters.  Lunch was a pleseant luncheon with Brittany Guerriero from the United Way Southeastern Michigan. We were able to speak on the abilities to grow leaders and fundraising  Our day then continued with speed networking with representatives from Summer in the City, MEDC, Suburbs Alliance, and GM. A thorough day of networking and building.

Lastly, we have kicked off Day 3, the Proposal Day. I’ll be pitching my idea with Chelsea Gallagher and the Students for Education Reform Michigan State University very shortly and will hopefully write about how it all went. I’m sure that every idea that wins the competition will be incredible because everyone here is driven and wants to see the city succeed and regardless of how our proposal goes I now feel revitalized and able to grow in the City.

January – The Month of Shows

So many people hibernate and disappear from their local scenes during the winter, and I find this disheartening. I mean the snow is out, sure, the cold can be biting, I get it, but come on people, we live in a world where temperatures fluctuate and if we hole up for parts of the year you are only going to miss out on some of the best parts of the Michigan music and art scene.

For me January was one of the most rewarding months for shows, having performed in Homegrown for the fourth year, hosting the Middle of the Mitten Music Festival, and seeing the one and only Shigeto kick off his spring tour at MOCAD in Detroit. Details below on each event.

Homegrown – January 24th

Mike KulickBeing a part of Ann Arbor Wordworks for the past 4 years has been one of the best experiences of my life. Being challenged and impressed daily by my group mates I was very happy to be able to put together Homegrown:Poems from the Ann Arbor Underground this year.  Our show was held at the Lydia Mendlessohn Theatre on the campus of University of Michigan. One of my favorite theaters in the area we had an incredible show that featured guest poets and rising musical star Dan Henig. Sounds by the famous DJ Cataclysmic of Tree City and The Branch Out Collective made the show jump. Oh and I did a few pieces of poetry too.

To everyone that was able to make it, I truly thank you and look forward to making 2013 a successful year for my own performing of poetry.


Middle of the Mitten 5 – January 24th-26th 

Middle of the Mitten

The Kick Off party for of MOTM 5 was taken by Homegrown (who isn’t overbooked these days) but I was thankfully able to make the entire show for Day 1 and Day 2 on the 25th and 26th. We worked really hard these past few months on creating a festival that featured some of the Mitten’s best in rock and folk music.

Highlights from Day 1 was the Lansing Unionized Vaudeville act that included over 15 performers, and a saw fiddler. We also had a sell out crowd at SCENE metrospace.

Day 2 was held in Lansing at The Loft and was a tough and cold night but the stage was hot. The Handgrenades from Detroit tore up the stage as the opening act and it went all night long.  A very successful MOTM and we are currently looking forward to our upcoming spring show, to be announced shortly.

Keep up to date with MOTM Events photos, happenings and more at these places – Facebook, Site, Tumblr


 Shigeto Kick Off Show – February 1st 


One of my favorite artists, Shigeto, who hails from my hometown of Ann Arbor, I had the pleasure of being just a fan for the last event of January (which I realize technically was February 1st). Zachary “Shigeto” Saginaw has been on steady career growth over the past few years. I saw him in Brooklyn two summers ago, when he called Williamsburg home, at a welcome home show from his first cross continent tour as the drummer for School of Seven Bells. Unaware that he would break out I have had the pleasure of hanging out with Zach and seeing him open his spring concert tour in his new home of Detroit was truly incredible. The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, better known as MOCAD hosted the event with a gallery opening for their own new 2013 series. A packed crowd of everyone from Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Lansing, it felt like a house show with the style of New York Fashion week. Joining Shigeto was Charles Trees, another friend and Ann Arbor musical juggernaut and Bill Spencer.

Shigeto played an unbelievable set intertwined with live beat creation, drums laced with his jazz ancestry and new age sound, and finally a booty shaking DJ set that made every hipster forget how cool they wanted to seem and just let loose.

For those of you who’ve made it this far thank you and I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Shigeto tracks that has been remixed by Charles Trees, Ann Arbor pt 1.

Michigan Energy Options Communications Management

During the fall of 2012 I was brought on as an intern for the non-profit Michigan Energy Options (MEO).  The primary goal was to work in communications and development for the organization as a whole and for the new project, Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability.  These two projects have been the focus of my internship course as well during my last semester at Michigan State.  I joined the communications team of Tim Nester, Becky Jo Farrington and Katey Joe Desantis at the beginning of September.  Since that point I have worked with the social media (links below) and helped to manage the official site. (Linked above.)  MEO uses the Joomla content management system which has been extremely helpful to learn since many non-profits work with that CMS.  Additionally we have created a comprehensive media plan and social media strategy for the organization which has slowly been rolled out at the end of this year.

Official Facebook


As a social media coordinator I have helped facilitate an fairly impressive amount of growth over the past four months. We have consistently posted related articles and news to energy, sustainability, Michigan current topics, and of course our own original content.

This internship and working for the communications team has taught me that you have to be on your toes at all times and ready to work.  That means meetings, web site updates, quick take-downs of spam posts, and  to have consistent messaging.  It has been a very rewarding internship and I will transition into a full-time employee after graduation with MEO.



Writers’ Bloc Social Media Management

The student board for Professional Writing is known as Writers’ Bloc and as any student group needs a fairly involved social media manager to convey messages to fellow students, organize media, and continuously post.  I was elected into the student board during the 2011-2012 school year as a representative for the Digital and Technical field with the Professional Writing program.  Following a good year learning the structure of the Board I was promoted to social media coordinator for the 2012 school year.  Since taking over the Facebook page I have been able to greatly improve the audience and reach of Writers’ Bloc through the metrics provided by Facebook. (See Below)

Along with Facebook I also have managed the Twitter account which unlike Facebook doesn’t have consistent metrics.  Managing both has taught me that there are numerous messages and voices even from the same organization.  Twitter constrains the abilities of people’s posts on purpose to force users to be as terse as possible while Facebook allows for great deal of information with links and events.  This has been a valuable learning experience since I have learned how to utilize HootSuite an online service meant for managing multiple social media accounts.  Also valuable has been learning how posts and regularity are key to growing audience, even if it isn’t necessarily original content. Reposts and Retweets for other organizations can result in very strong links with those organizations that will become your megaphone when you post your own content.  I will continue to grow this skill and plan on being a social media coordinator for whichever company I work for in the immediate future.