New Big Brothers Big Sisters Event Aims to Connect Ypsi Families to Low-Cost or Free Resources
The event will take place at Riverside Center for the Arts (RAC), 76 N. Huron St. in Ypsilanti and several other locations in downtown Ypsilanti. Danni Murphy, marketing and outreach manager for BBBS of Washtenaw County, says the event is open to all Washtenaw County families, but has a special focus on Ypsilanti.
“That’s where our office is and where most of our kids come from,” she says. “We are making an intentional effort to be more ‘on the ground’ where the kids are.”
RAC will host performances by artists from Formula 734 Project, Ypsilanti Youth Symphony Orchestra, and more. RAC will also host dance and theater workshops, and the RAC Off Center site will host an activity station. RAC Gallery will feature an interactive art exhibit titled “Love is Love,” complete with selfie stations.
Murphy says BBBS’ partnership with RAC is an extension of The Big Little Fair’s focus on bonding.
“The idea behind the fair was that we spent all this time in the community building relationships with people, so maybe we should expand and build relationships with organizations like us that support family and youth” , Murphy said. “That way we can be more effective and have a greater impact on the community as a whole.”
RAC’s head of operations, Maggie Spencer, said RAC and BBBS share a “focus on community engagement”.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters foster relationships and connections between individuals while RAC offers programs and events to bring larger groups together. The Big Little Fair is an opportunity to combine those two things,” Spencer said.
She notes that RAC is one of the low-cost resources available to families attending the fair.
“Riverside is committed to offering a sliding-scale model for all of our programs. Our vision is to make artistic experiences accessible to everyone at little or no cost,” Spencer said.
Several other venues will host events as part of The Big Little Fair. A “Parent Plaza” at the downtown branch of the Ypsilanti District Library, 229 W. Michigan Ave., will offer information about local organizations that support children and families. Participants can join a docent from Accept our differences for a guided tour of the artwork the organization has placed in Riverside Park. Additionally, attendees are invited to a food truck rally at YPSI, 218 N. Adams St.
A detailed program of events and artists is available here.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and project manager of On the Ypsilanti field. She joined Concentrate as a news editor in early 2017 and occasionally contributes to other Broadcast Media Group editions. You can reach her at [email protected].
Photo courtesy of Washtenaw County BBBS.