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Dr. Benjamin Edmondson

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First Fridays Ypsi: An Evening with Emily Fineberg

The activity last night was bustling, in and out of the studio. Emily Fineberg and her husband Zach brought in a beautiful set up of packaged books and materials for demonstration. We had some new faces and luckily, lots of families because we brought our son Tai for his first First Fridays Ypsi opening. He had a blast, especially when artist Tim Householder showed up with an arsenal of chalks for outdoor art at each FFY venue. 

Afterward, we visited our friends at Ypsilanti Running Co. and the shiny, new salon Betty Green Salon. Another great night! See you in September for Jessica Tenbusch's Lacuna: Life Through Death opening on a non First Friday (we're going out of town the week before), Thursday, September 10th. 

Ballers in the house (or Tyler Weston).

Ballers in the house (or Tyler Weston).

Stitching signatures.

Stitching signatures.

Just a few of Emily's perfectly handbound books. 

Just a few of Emily's perfectly handbound books. 

Emily and Zach chat with our dear friend Hedger. 

Emily and Zach chat with our dear friend Hedger. 

Ypsilanti Community School's superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson brings a special delivery. 

Ypsilanti Community School's superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson brings a special delivery. 

Jeweler Lorraine Kolasa and Bekah Wallace from  Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse admire Emily's work. 

Jeweler Lorraine Kolasa and Bekah Wallace from  Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse admire Emily's work. 

Tim Householder beautifying the sidewalk. 

Tim Householder beautifying the sidewalk. 

#FirstFridaysYpsi

#FirstFridaysYpsi

Mark Maynard and his daughter learn about the book binding process. 

Mark Maynard and his daughter learn about the book binding process. 

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#YCS: Your Committed Superintendent

The culmination of the experiences over the last four years has led us to a project that we feel personally vested, more so than any other we've worked on before. We are humbled and happy to announce that Ypsilanti Community Schools is our newest client. 

I met Dr. Benjamin Edmondson, or "Dr. E." as students call him, two weeks ago during the buzz of his imminent appointment as the new superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS). I heard of his no-nonsense but encouraging approach when dealing directly with students and his uncanny ability to remember students' names when out and about.

I was looking forward to telling him about our academic approach to championing the arts including Nick's latest venture, the student photo incubator. Upon meeting, I learned that he was looking to not only change the schools from the inside out, he wanted a complete rebranding of the YCS image. We immediately started brainstorming, citing the recent history of the schools and the community-chosen colors. At our next meeting Nick and I shared our experience as new parents and the gnawing question of where our son would attend school three years from now. 

Ben's ideas are backed up by immediate action. He's making the rounds at YCS schools to meet students, faculty and staff, giving frank talks about his expectations and what the students can do to succeed academically. He also recently attended a City Council meeting to introduce himself to the community and talk about his first 90 days as superintendent.

As Ypsilanti business owners we feel a commitment to making our surroundings not only culturally engaging but socially and economically vibrant and viable for families of all backgrounds. Ben's hope, and ours as well, is to invigorate a partnership between businesses and families including mentoring students after school, donating in-kind services for school functions and more. These are all actions we not only stand behind but have been doing already. 

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Nick and I had the privilege of getting to spend time with his sons this past weekend and they are absolute gentlemen, charismatic and well-mannered beyond their years. It gives me so much to look forward to with our son! 

You'll be seeing more about our work with Ben and YCS, particularly as we near the start of the school year. We joke that we have three years to make YCS a viable choice for us. But all know — that we're not joking at all. 

Here's to the man that we believe will be the energy and leadership the community has been looking for. 

 


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