Press Releases

                                                                      CONTACT:

Jan Pfeiffer

517-377-1410

jpfeiffer@lansing.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

First Fridays Features Live Entertainment on Trolley

Musical performances to be featured on free CATA rides to area’s

entertainment, shopping, dining and cultural districts 

LANSING, Mich. — On April 5, 2013, the Greater Lansing region will again host First Fridays. After two well-received events in February and March, live musical performances will be on CATA’s Entertainment Express trolley route again in April.

Fifteen-year-old singer-songwriter Kendall Cassella will be on-board the Entertainment Express to entertain riders with her meaningful lyrics and authentic voice. Early on, the Okemos resident was influenced by her parent’s eclectic music collection and her grandparent’s vinyl collection. Cassella writes from the heart, blending her words and music to compose songs motivated by the works of The Decemberists, The Killers, Peter Bjorn and John, Meiko and Vampire Weekend. The self-taught ukulele player first began developing a loyal fanbase throughout the area when she started singing lead vocals for 250 Calories, a local band comprised of her classmates.

The First Friday concept encourages bars, shops and galleries throughout the Greater Lansing area to feature unique specials, extended hours and special events and entertainment.  This musical addition to the First Fridays lineup further supports the concept and driving force behind the monthly event: to encourage community members to explore all of the great dining, shopping, entertainment, and special events Greater Lansing has to offer.  This initiative is designed to add interest to the region, raise awareness of its offerings and to spur economic development by attracting more people to local businesses.

To ensure First Fridays is accessible and affordable, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union and Team Lansing Foundation have underwritten free CATA service on First Friday evenings.  All CATA fixed-route bus service and Spec-Tran will be free on First Fridays from 7:00 p.m. to the end of regular service. CATA runs its Entertainment Express trolley service for First Fridays and trolley rides will be free throughout the evening.  The Express will start at an earlier time of 5:30 p.m. and run until 3:00 a.m. with service every 15 minutes along the Michigan Avenue/Grand River Corridor.

For more information about Lansing First Fridays visit lansingfirstfridays.com.

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CONTACT:

Louise Gradwohl

Executive Director

Old Town Commercial Association

517.485.4283

louise@oldtownmainstreet.org

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Historic Old Town Lansing Building Revitalized

Three new businesses now occupy the Old Town Comfort Station

LANSING, Mich. – The historic two-story building better known as the Old Town Comfort Station, which has been unoccupied for approximately two decades, welcomes new tenants. Located at 313 E. Grand River Ave., the building is now home to three businesses – Bradly’s Home and Garden, Michigan Community Resources and the Michigan Historical Preservation Network (MHPN).

The space was once most commonly used as a resting location for women and children to escape the cold while waiting for the train. Over the past year, the Comfort Station has undergone renovation under the supervision of MHPN, the building’s owner. MHPN is a statewide nonprofit dedicated to advocacy of historical structures. Nancy Finegood, the organization’s director, said she had her eye on the building for the past decade because of its charm and location. After a failed attempt to acquire it about eight years ago, she finally was able to move in on March 6.

“I’ve been watching this building sit for a long time, and I convinced my board we needed to walk the walk and own one of these beautiful buildings,” said Finegood.

MHPN shares the second floor of the Comfort Station with Michigan Community Resources, an organization delivering free legal services to nonprofit organizations building neighborhoods throughout the state.

Bradly’s Home and Garden, a retail shop specializing in home furnishings and garden supplies, resides in the buildings’ first floor. The store officially opened its doors on March 1. Store owner Bradly Rakowski said the new shop is three times larger than his old space, which has allowed him to expand his business tremendously. He now features items such as jewelry, artisan soaps, candles and accessories for children and dogs.

The building’s tenants expressed excitement about their new work spaces, and Finegood stated how happy she was to be working in Old Town. “Old Town is the place to be when it comes to historical preservation,” said Finegood.

Old Town Commercial Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitate the continued growth and revitalization of Lansing’s vibrant Old Town district through economic development, community empowerment and the celebration of culture and creativity.  For additional information, please visit www.iloveoldtown.org.

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CONTACT:

Louise Gradwohl

Executive Director

Old Town Commercial Association

517.485.4283

louise@oldtownmainstreet.org

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Old Town Lansing is Bringing the Scrap Back!

The 5th annual Old Town Scrapfest applications are now available

LANSING, Mich. – Ten thousand pounds of scrap metal, 20 teams, two weeks and one intense competition. That defines the Old Town Lansing Scrapfest. Artists interested in participating in the fifth annual Old Town Scrapfest, a competition in which teams of artists, welders and creative community members use recycled scrap materials from Friedland Industries in Old Town to create new works of art, can now complete an application and return it before Friday, May 10.

Old Town is an advocate of green solutions, and Scrapfest aims to provide participants with a creative way to use old materials and resources. On June 1, up to 20 teams will be given one hour to collect 500 pounds of scrap metal at Friedland Industries.

Teams then have two weeks to reuse, repurpose and redesign their materials into a unique sculpture that will be displayed during Old Town’s popular Festival of the Moon & Festival of the Sun, which attracted more than 4,000 visitors to Old Town last year. While on display, the pieces will be judged by accomplished artists and community members and later auctioned off during the festival.

Not only is Old Town Scrapfest a fundraiser supporting public art projects in the historic Old Town district, but a portion of the proceeds from the auction also will go back to the artists.

Applications are available at www.oldtownscrapfest.com. Competition rules and guidelines also can be found online. Completed applications can be sent to the Old Town Commercial Association at 1232 Turner St., Lansing, MI, 48906, or emailed to oldtown@oldtownmainstreet.org.

Old Town Commercial Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitate the continued growth and revitalization of Lansing’s vibrant Old Town district through economic development, community empowerment and the celebration of culture and creativity.  For additional information, please visit www.iloveoldtown.org.

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CONTACT:

Louise Gradwohl

Executive Director

OldTown Commercial Association

517.485.4283

louise@oldtownmainstreet.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Old Town Lansing Hosts Ribbon Cutting For New Businesses

Honoring five businesses in Old Town

LANSING, Mich. – The Old Town Commercial Association (OTCA) is hosting a Ribbon Cutting to welcome the five new businesses in Old Town. The tour will be led by the Mayor of Lansing, Virg Bernero, and will take place on Wednesday, April 10, at 11 a.m.

The tour will begin on N. Washington Avenue at Linda J. Beeman Studio (located in the alley behind the Grand River Avenue 100 block), an art gallery that houses Beeman’s unique Moku Hanga woodblocking prints. Next will be a visit to Salon 1131, a full-service salon, in the historic Walker Building located on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Washington Avenue. Traveling down Grand River Avenue, the tour will stop at four businesses – Old Town Marquee, Bradly’s Home and Garden, Michigan Historic Preservation Network and Michigan Community Resources. Old Town Marquee, a one-of-a-kind event venue, is now located in the building that once housed Perspective 2. Right down the street in the historic Comfort Station building is a new business, Bradly’s Home and Garden, a retail shop specializing in home furnishings and garden supplies. The building is also home to two businesses – Michigan Historic Preservation Network, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to advocacy of historical structures, and Michigan Community Resources, an organization delivering free legal services to nonprofit organizations building neighborhoods throughout the state – who both recently relocated their offices to this site.

The tour’s final stop will be on Turner Street at Portable Feast, a restaurant that recently reopened in Old Town after closing its doors in 2009.

The OTCA works within the Michigan Main Street Program to preserve Lansing’s only historic commercial district and influence economic development and planning. The organization is heavily involved with each business in Old Town and is dedicated to their success, according to OTCA Executive Director, Louise Gradwohl. As an entire community, Old Town businesses generated more than $394,294 in private investment as of August 2012.

“It is exciting to see new businesses launch in our community that enhance our already-existing creative business mix,” said Gradwohl. “Not only do we have new businesses that choose to start their entrepreneurial ventures in Old Town, but they also choose to stay here.”

The OTCA invites all community members and Old Town supporters to join in its efforts to give these businesses a warm welcome to the neighborhood. For more information contact the OTCA office at 517-485-4283.

Old Town Commercial Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of Lansing’s Old Town through socioeconomic development, historic preservation, business recruitment and community outreach. For additional information, please visit www.iloveoldtown.org.

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