Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · News · Spring Fever Hits the Ramsdell
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Spring Fever Hits the Ramsdell

Kristi Kates - March 17th, 2014  

Shoveling snow during the drab late winter days inspired Brian Garcia to spread around a little sunshine in Manistee last March.

Garcia used the website Kickstarter to rally 80 backers, funding the first-ever Spring and All Festival at the historic Ramsdell Theatre.

Now, he’s about ready to launch round two on March 22.

“I wanted a way to bring people together … to honor the community’s hard work at keeping Manistee alive,” Garcia said about the event, which celebrates the arts through music. “Live music is emotional and inspiring.”

MANISTEE MISSION

Garcia said he was initially inspired by “The Manistee River Song” by Michigan native Jim Crockett and “Spring and All” by folk singer Greg Brown.

“Both are music heroes, and their songs became the vehicle for the festival,” he said. “Music has got me through a lot of tough times, and helped celebrate good times too. That’s what I hope this festival does for people, and why it’s so powerful to me.”

The festival’s underlying mission is to bring the Manistee arts community together.

“Having musicians, organizations, and businesses all at the Ramsdell is what we are all about,” said Michael Terry, executive director for the 111-year-old theatre.

“It’s a place for people and artists to interact with each other. Our mission is to provide meaningful and memorable life experiences through the arts and community.”

And that’s just what Garcia and his festival hope to do.

NATURAL RESOURCES

In addition to the music, there will be exhibits in the theatre’s Grand Ballroom that feature canoe builders, artisans, photographers, painters, wildlife experts, local conservation groups, and Manistee National Forest Service representatives – even Smokey the Bear.

“Lake Michigan, the Manistee River and the surrounding forests are part of what makes us and this area unique,” Terry said. “The exhibits and the music celebrate those who work to preserve these natural resources, and help make our community sustainable.”

Admission to the Ballroom is free to all, and local food resources will be on site, too, at the Spring and All Food and Beverage Garden, a farmer’s market featuring local Michigan foods from regional farms, including soups, salads, and sandwiches, plus a selection of non-alcoholic beverages.

MUSIC EVERYWHERE

The musical performances kick off at noon with Jim Crockett appearing first, performing “The Manistee River Song.”

Following Crockett is Goodboy! featuring Patrick Niemisto, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellies; then Australian musician Harper; with local musicians on stage from 5 to 6:30pm.

Michigan-born Drew Nelson, an Americana/roots rock storyteller, follows; then Lansing band Lincoln County Express, a roots and blues outfit featuring Jen Sygit and Sam Corbin, goes on.

“There will be live music in every corner of the Ramsdell as people ‘busk’ in hallways and stairwells,” Garcia said. “You won’t be able to go anywhere in the Ramsdell without hearing live music.”

The festival is expected to end at 9pm with the day’s final concert, Joshua Davis and Friends.

“Davis’ show will be a great way to end a day filled with great music,” Terry said. “And I’m looking forward to helping create an environment and event in which people can enjoy and feel welcomed. That’s what I like about my job.”

Garcia said he’s looking forward to shining a light on his community theater, while seeing new and familiar faces come and enjoy the arts.

“What will also make this event meaningful to me is seeing all the diverse parts of our community come together and celebrate,” he said. “There are no strangers in this town – that’s the feeling here. Whether you were born and raised here, or just arrived today, you are part of Manistee.”

Manistee’s Spring and All Festival will take place at the Ramsdell Theatre on Sat., March 22. Doors open at 11:30am. Tickets are $15 in advance/$20 at the door, available at MyNorthTickets at (800) 836-0717 and online at ramsdelltheatre.org.

 
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