Providing services to people in northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
|REAL PEOPLE MEDIA - A 501(c)3 NONPROFIT||
Real People Media is grateful to have received a H.O.P.E (Humanities Organizations Pandemic Emergency) Grant award from the Michigan Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant is part of the CARES Act funding which was created to assist nonprofits facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant for $6,835 was received earlier this summer.
This grant has enabled Real People Media to continue operations of the Keweenaw Storytelling Center, our newly established 7,800 square foot community cultural center in downtown Calumet. With these funds, we were able to install, "Around the World in 80 Hats," an exhibit of ceremonial and utilitarian hats from around the world which shares the art and culture of countries as expressed through these hats. The exhibit will be in place through October 2021 and will be augmented by performances and storytelling events throughout 2021.
Funding also enabled us to create a socially-distanced theater space for recording and streaming online events so that we may continue performances despite COVID 19. We recently recorded two new episodes of The Red Jacket Jamboree in this new space. (sans audience) The theater will be used for live-streaming performances and events beginning in 2021.
(This article first appeared in the Traverse City Record Eagle on June 29, 2020)
Ten years ago, I awoke long before sunrise, in preparation for an early morning meeting. I felt queasy from taking a new medication. It was February, piercingly cold, dark. Several inches of fresh snow covered my long wheelchair ramp and path to the driveway. Lying on my side, I wondered why my prior requests to attend some meetings by phone or computer had been met with such resistance. I knew there were many other people who couldn’t work and volunteer because of their health challenges, lack of transportation or childcare. The clock ticked. I could call-in sick or get out of bed. I went to the meeting.
Now, like many people sheltering at home, I’ve embraced Zoom, Google Chat and Jitsi Meet. These platforms have given me a way to see my health care provider, stay connected to family and friends and meet my work and volunteer responsibilities. These include completing my teaching for the spring semester at Northwestern Michigan College, participating in the five-day Interlochen Writers Retreat and interviewing National Writers Series author, Elaine Weiss.
For these, and other reasons, I’d add tech professionals to our long list of COVID-19 essential workers.
There are numerous advantages to these platforms; audio descriptions for sight impaired folks, closed captioning and the wide use of ASL interpreters for the hearing impaired, recordings of missed meetings/classes and increased opportunities to interact with lots of people in diverse settings. For example, on any given day, I can offer public comment at a variety of public meetings, as well as observe court proceedings. Geography or commuting time are no longer barriers. I can also register for free training webinars on countless topics; from human rights to leadership.
In addition to work and board meetings, I’ve had great fun virtually attending the Cannes Film Festival, touring the Louvre Museum and singing along in concert with performer, Neil Young.
Since May 17, I’ve participated in “Crip Camp: The Official Virtual Experience” — the professionally led virtual camp follows ideas from the 2020 documentary film “Crip Camp” and runs every Sunday until August 30, 2020.
Topics span “Disability Community Culture & Identity” to “Disability, Race, Class, & Gender: Intersectionality,” to “ADA 30 Celebration” and “Let’s Talk About Sex: Our Bodies, Our Lives & Reproductive Justice.”
We, the campers, listen to speakers, process the material through guided exercises and live chat during the gathering. There often is a question and answer section and then the PeoplesHub lead an after-party where attendees assemble to further discuss the content and share thoughts, feelings and connect with others in the national disability community.
The following week on Tuesdays, I’ve continued the week’s theme with the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living Crip Camp Club discussion. From there on Thursdays, I’ve often joined our local Disability Network’s Peer Advocacy meetings. Some weeks, I’ve even been able to add an international related disability group discussion, such as with the International Disability Alliance.
Through each version of Crip Camp I’m learning a great deal about the topics and myself. My community of people with disabilities is now more global and vastly diverse.
By way of these platforms, the world feels both larger and more intimate. And, I never had to leave my house.
Contact Susan Odgers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is a 33-year resident of Traverse City and has been using a wheelchair for 44 years. She is a faculty member of Northwestern Michigan College and Grand Valley State University.
Real People Media is pleased to announce that we have received a mini-grant from Copper Country Community Arts Council and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs for “Around the World in 80 Hats,” an art and cultural exhibit of ceremonial and utilitarian hats (vintage and new) from around the world.
The exhibit, which will be on display at the Keweenaw Storytelling Center in Calumet from July-October 2020, will be augmented by performances and visual art activities which heighten the visitors' experience. Events include: A hat and fashion show by Friends of Fashion, international folk tales by storyteller Pat Judd, and classes on millinery. The exhibit, which will be tailored to young children and adults alike, will be comprised of international hats, vintage hats, and utilitarian hats.
We are grateful for this grant from Copper Country Community Arts Council and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. The arts and humanities add to the quality of life for our residents and to the visitor experience.
It was a year ago, March 7th, when I got a telephone call from Jerry Younce, RPM Board member and RJJ musical Director. It was just prior to a performance of The Red Jacket Jamboree and his voice was so grave that I feared he had broken an arm, or maybe someone had died. Fortunately, that was not the case, but he did have bad news. Part of the roof of the former Family Dollar store, had collapsed under the weight of 8-10 feet of snow! The collapse blew out a front window sending shards of glass across the road. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
A cave in was bad enough, but it was even more devastating to me and Real People Media because just a a month before, Family Dollar had sent me an email stating that they would donate the building to Real People Media. After the roof collapsed, Family Dollar Corporation decided they would just tear it down. It looked like our dream was over!
But we persisted. I contacted Joe Snow, who was the manager of the the village of Calumet, and explained our situation. Between myself and Joe, we convinced the company to donate the building AND make a separate financial contribution to pay for the roof repair.
And that's what happened. We took possession of the building in July of 2019 and Bill Darnell Construction had the new trusses installed and the roof back on in that month. We saved the 7,600 square foot historic Woolworth's building built in 1948, from demolition!
And even though we have not yet opened, the Keweenaw Storytelling Center is already making a positive impact on the community. We cleaned up the front windows, peeling off orange vinyl left by Family Dollar, and hand painted and installed 9'x12' banners across the entire front. Ever since, we've been creating window displays to celebrate the work of Real People Media and community events including:
The empty storefront with orange vinyl, as it looked in January 2017 when it was still owned by Family Dollar. The seed was being planted for the Keweenaw Storytelling Center
The historic Woolworth building just after we took possession of it in July 2019.
A lot is happening inside the building too!
By the end of January 2020, Calumet had 220 inches of snow and the roof had to be shoveled three times! This winter alone, we've invested over 150 man hours to keep the roof clean!! To save costs, Jerry and I volunteered 42 hours of this time, saving RPM over $1,200. Shoveling snow is usually not the work of an Executive Director, but the experience has helped me understand the unique challenges of maintaining our building. I feel I'm able to make informed decisions about our roof in the future. But, I'm really ready to put down my yooper scoop for awhile.
Real People Media is currently revising our architectural renderings and working to figure out the cost of our renovation which will be funded through grants and donations from people like you who care about our mission. We will be announcing our Capital campaign once renovation costs are determined. If you'd like to make a donation or pledge your support before this campaign is announced, we welcome you to do so. You may email me at email@example.com for more information. We look forward to sharing our progress with you!
Rebecca Glotfelty, Executive Director
The Red Jacket Jamboree brings the old-time radio variety show to the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, December 20th at 7pm. The cast of The Red Jacket Jamboree along with musical guests: Jennifer Barnett and Younce Guitar Duo, celebrate the holiday with two hour-long episodes: “A Billie Holiday Holiday” and “Christmas in the Keweenaw.”
Jennifer Barnett is a rising star within the Jazz world. The Michigan native is currently studying Vocal Jazz Performance at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. For the past two years, she has been named one of America's top young Jazz vocalists by DownBeat Magazine. Not yet 20, Jennifer has been performing in Jazz, Pop and Rock ensembles since she was 12. The Red Jacket Jamboree is excited to introduce you to this rising star!
Younce Guitar Duo takes listeners on a sonic journey woven together by elements of Jazz, Latin, Celtic and other world rhythms. The collaboration between father and son guitar virtuosos, has led to their distinct sound and exquisite original compositions and arrangements. Get ready to hear their unique interpretations of your favorite holiday tunes!
The Red Jacket Jamboree is a NEW old-time radio variety show sharing stories, songs and history from Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. Hosted by Lena Dorey, the show is performed/recorded in front of a live audience at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Michigan Tech University and also features Martin Achatz, Poet Laureate of the U.P.,the Red Jacket Actors and music by the Copper Cats, with Jerry Younce on guitar, Bill Carrothers on piano, Harry South on bass and Zach Ott on percussion. It's an entertaining show for the entire family. Adult tickets are $20; Students with I.D. are $5. The next performance is Friday, December 20th at 7pm. The audience is asked to be in their seats 5 minutes before the show.
The Red Jacket Jamboree is produced by Real People Media, a nonprofit helping people share their stories through the literary, visual, performing and media arts. The 2019/2020 season is sponsored by Copper Country Preservation with financial support from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Humanities Council. Episodes of The Red Jacket Jamboree are distributed by PRX Radio Exchange. For more information about this and other upcoming shows, visit www.redjacketjamboree.org. Reserved seating tickets can be purchased through the box office at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts at (906) 487-3200 or online at: www.mtu.edu/rozsa.
Real People Media is offering 9'x12' window frontage in RPM's Keweenaw Folklife and Storytelling Center to local nonprofit organizations. The windows, which face 5th Street Calumet, provide excellent exposure to pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Real People Media will provide a 9x12 white backdrop or organizations can use their own. These windows are huge! Think big when creating your display. Real People Media can assist organizations with design ideas and implementation. Monthly rental per 9x12 area is $220/month or $400 for a full window. There are two windows areas available for rent. The windows available are located on the north end (right when facing building) adjacent to Calumet Floral. Each 9x2 display area is provided with 4 solar powered spotlights which come on in the evening.
Organizations/clubs need not be 501(c)3 nonprofits but they must provide charitable services to the community or help promote or protect our community and its natural resources. For more information or to reserve a window, email our Executive Director, Rebecca Glotfelty at realpeoplemedia at gmail.com.
RPM Executive Director, Rebecca Glotfelty attended the 2019 Northland's Storytelling Confabulation held in Madison, Wisconsin. The conference was three days of workshops and presentations by professional storytellers from across the Midwest. This wonderful experience was made possible by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Copper Country Community Arts Council. Thank you! Pictured below are scenes from the 2019 Confabulation. With featured storyteller, Tim Lowry of South Carolina in bottom right corner.
Last Saturday Real People Media produced the 11th and 12th episode of the Red Jacket Jamboree at the Calumet Theatre in Calumet, Michigan. The Red Jacket Jamboree is a New old-time radio variety show sharing stories, songs, history and music from Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. Episode 11 celebrated summer the county fair/carnival while episode #12 remembered Armistice 1918. As the director, I wasn't sure how a remembrance of WWI would go over with the audience. It turned out to be a moving episode with pianist Bill Carrothers sharing selections from his CD Armistice 1918 with vocals by Peg Carrothers, music by Younce Guitar Duo and The Copper Cats, reflections by host Lena Dorey and poetry by Martin Achatz. Of course we did include a humorous 911 in the 906 sketch with Red Jacket Radio Actors Ralph Horvath and Little Girl.
We thank the audience for coming to the performance and for helping to record this very special show.
Below is Marty Achatz blog entry about The Red Jacket Jamboree's Armistice Show.
July 29: A Little Story, Armistice 1918, a Hero, "In Memoriam"
I just returned from a little sojourn in Calumet, Michigan, where I performed in The Red Jacket Jamboree at the Calumet Theatre. It was a wonderful weekend, working with a lot of musicians and artists and actors who have become really good friends of mine.
Usually, on Sundays, I include a Classic Saint Marty post. Today, I'm not going to do that. Instead, I want to tell you a little story . . .
One of the shows we did last night in Calumet was a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice that ended World War I. I found the entire experience profoundly moving. There was music from the era. News from the era. I did a tribute to Wilfred Owen, one of the greatest poets of the war. Read one of Owen's poems. And I read a poem of my own that I wrote on Memorial Day many years ago.
At the end of the performance, I was a bundle of emotions. As I was standing near the stage, speaking with my family afterward, a man approached me.
He was probably in his late sixties, large and bearded. He was wearing a leather vest that you might see on motorcyclists. On the vest, patches were sewn. Some were military patches, identifying the man as a Vietnam War veteran. He was obviously struggling to control his emotions, but I could tell he was close to tears. His face was red, and his eyes were wet.
We looked at each other for a few moments, and then I said, "Thank you for your service."
He nodded and said, "I want to thank you for that poem." He stopped, started crying, then regained control of himself again. He pointed to a patch on his vest. "I lost a lot of buddies over there . . . and . . . I just want . . . to thank you for that poem." And he started crying again.
I nodded. Put my hand on his shoulder. He continued to cry. Then, I reached out and hugged him.
After a few moments, he took a deep breath and stepped back from me. "You don't know how much that meant," he said.
I looked him in the eyes, and I said, "Thank you for coming tonight."
He nodded, turned, and walked up the aisle.
So, tonight, I'm feeling incredibly humbled by my encounter with that gentleman.
Saint Marty is thankful he met a real hero last night.
Real People Media has received a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council to bring storytellers, Bill Jamerson and Pete Griffin to Calumet, Michigan.
Bill Jamerson, of Escanaba, will present stories and songs from the U.P. during the August 17th performance of The Red Jacket Jamboree, a new old-time radio variety show performed and recorded in front of a live audience at the historic Calumet Theatre. More information about the show is available at www.redjacketjamboree.org. On August 18th, Bill will present a free family concert as part of the Pasty Fest celebration. Families are invited to bring their chairs and blankets to the concert, which will be held on the south side of the Keweenaw National Historical Park visitor center, located on 5th street.
For over a decade, Jamerson has been sharing stories about America's past with his “History through Song” programs and school assemblies in a 12-state region across the Upper Midwest. He developed a love of history at an early age inspired by his grandfather's stories about life in the lumberjack camps and living through The Great Depression.
Jamerson attended the University of Michigan and was in the advertising business for 15 years when he decided to change direction in his career. In 1992 he wrote and produced his first major documentary for Michigan Public Television, Camp Forgotten - The Civilian Conservation Corps in Michigan, which aired on 58 PBS stations nationwide. He went on to produce ten other films on Michigan history including Grand Rapids furniture making, Mexican Farmworkers, General Motors, Herbert Dow the chemical pioneer and a history of winter sports in Michigan.
In 2002 Jamerson began presenting live programs about the Civilian Conservation Corps, lumberjack and iron mining history in schools, libraries and other venues. His programs included original songs played with his guitar. Most of the songs are based on stories collected from people with first-hand knowledge. Today, Jamerson presents his live programs across the Upper Midwest at a wide variety of venues.
Jamerson's presentation has been described as a cross between Woody Guthrie and Garrison Keillor. It's the oral tradition of sharing cultural and ethnic traditions with humor, storytelling, and song. The telling of these stories is more than preserving the past; they are a reminder of who we are, and how we got to where we are. And in this way, the stories are as important as they are entertaining. More information about Bill can be found at: www.billjamerson.com
Pete Griffin, known as the storyteller Ranger, will share some “spooky” Yooper tales during the October 4th performance of The Red Jacket Jamboree. Griffin will also lead a storytelling workshop on October 5th and 6th for local historians, KNHP park staff, and heritage site interpreters.
Pete, a native of Cedarville, started his career with the US Forest Service in 1973 as a wildlife biologist. When he was promoted to District Ranger on the Tongass National Forest in Juneau, Alaska in 1999, he started recording short natural history vignettes for radio. Titled, Tongass Trails, the essays documented his exploration of the temperate rainforest and eventually incorporated Pete's experiences growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The series, which ran for five years, received numerous public accolades. Pete later narrated Shades of Green, a Forest Service production of video stories about life and land of the Tongass as told by the people who live and work there. Following his retirement from the Forest Service, he has shared his stories aboard the Disney Wonder, a 2600-passenger cruise ship, along the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska . He performs for hundreds of passengers at a time, featuring unique aspects of some common and not-so-common species of plants and wildlife of Southeast Alaska. For more information about Pete visit: www.thestorytellingranger.com.
Real People Media is a 501c3 nonprofit organization helping people share their stories through the literary, visual, performing and media arts. More information about Real People Media can be found at the website at www.realpeoplemedia.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebecca Glotfelty, RPM's Executive Director shares Real People Media News and information related to storytelling! You are welcome to comment!
Providing services to people in northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.