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Wednesday, September 11,2013

Beauty from the beats

Percussionist Lisa Pegher wants to whack lyrical at Lansing Symphony opener

by Lawrence Cosentino
A bomb goes off in a fireworks factory. “Nothing to see here,” a cop barks to the onlookers as fireballs erupt behind him. That’s the paradox of Friday night’s explosive Lansing Symphony opener. (It’s also a scene from the classic ‘80s cop spoof “Police Squad.”) Athletic percussionist Lisa Pegher will join maestro Timothy Muffitt and the home team for a sensesshattering per- cussion concerto by Pulitzer Prizewinning composer Jennifer Higdon.
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Wednesday, September 4,2013

Appreciating the appreciators

Preservation Lansing award nominations recognize the city's best historic restoration jobs

by Lawrence Cosentino
Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope and his partner, Bradly Rakowski, have lived in their 1926 Lansing home at 1402 N. Genesee St. in the West Side neighborhood for 10 years. How long have they been restoring it to original condition? Oh … 10 years. “It’ll be another 10 years at least,” Swope said. “We’re going out feet first,” Rakowski added.
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Wednesday, September 4,2013

Alley splat

REO Town's first gallery falls victim to early gentrification

by Lawrence Cosentino
The deluxe new sidewalks and bike lanes along South Washington Avenue are barely dry, but Lansing’s post-industrial center of cool has already lost a home for struggling local artists and musicians. Art Alley, the plucky brick REO Town gallery that fired the first volley of art in the resurgence of the old factory district three years ago, will close Monday.
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Wednesday, September 4,2013

Steamed up

New downtown mural creates deafening clash of symbols

by Lawrence Cosentino
It’s big and colorful and science-y and it’s definitely trying to communicate to us. But what is the message? A new 36-foot-by-20-foot mural on the north face of the Impression 5 Science Center has a lot of people scratching their heads. Spoiler alert: If you want the satisfaction of figuring the puzzle out for yourself, don’t read beyond the next two sentences.
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Friday, August 30,2013

Art Alley to close doors

REO Town’s first gallery, closing Sept. 9, falls victim to early gentrification

by Lawrence Cosentino
Friday, Aug. 30 — Art Alley, the plucky brick gallery at 1133 S. Washington Ave. in REO Town that fired the first volley of art in the resurgence of the old factory district south of downtown three years ago, will close its doors Sept. 9, the gallery creative director, Diane Wilson, announced today.
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Wednesday, August 28,2013

A monumental rebirth

Concrete art slabs from Lansing's past find a home in a west-side neighborhood

by Lawrence Cosentino
England has Stonehenge. Easter Island has heads. Lansing’s Leitram Street, only a block long, has six massive, mysterious concrete slabs, each weighing over two tons. Gently monumental relics of the earthy 1970s aesthetic, and of urban renewal in Lansing, resurfaced in the Genesee Neighborhood this spring after seven years of oblivion.
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Wednesday, August 28,2013

All-American mutt music

Lansing's Mosaic Music Festival is no purebred, but this hound can hunt

by Lawrence Cosentino
Purity, in breeding or music, isn’t an American thing. We like to mix it up and guess whose child is whose 10 years later. Lansing’s Mosaic Music Festival, this weekend at Adado Riverfront Park, has a unique formula for showcasing all-American mutt music in its ever-changing grit and glory.
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Wednesday, August 28,2013

From turnips to quarks

Michigan State University enriches the heartland and goes global

by Lawrence Cosentino
Michigan State University almost got plowed under shortly after sending out its first tender shoots in 1855. In a near-fatal turnip scandal, an early alumnus of Michigan Agricultural College overplanted and spoiled his crop in a highly visible spot along Grand River Avenue. Farmers across the state snorted at the evils of book-larnin’ and tried to cut the college’s funds off in the state’s Legislature.
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Wednesday, August 28,2013

Arts, sciences and access

Lansing Community College keeps up with the competition

by Lawrence Cosentino
They’ve taken your pulse, fixed your landing gear, trouble-shot your software, remodeled or built your house, maybe written you a ticket or two. Lansing Community College graduates make everyday life roll on in greater Lansing.
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Wednesday, August 28,2013

Doing it new school

Career-focused Davenport University plants its big 'D' in downtown Lansing

by Lawrence Cosentino
One of the best things about a new building is that everything works. Students at career-focused Davenport University’s new downtown Lansing campus may find that some things work too well. The nursing practice dummies cough, complain, vomit and die. The female unit even gives birth. (She wasn’t allowed to demonstrate that ability at a ribbon cutting and open house last week, because she screams a lot.)
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