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Diversity Comes to the Grosse Pointes

The Grosse Pointes have a long and storied reputation for economic and racial exclusivity. But the last decade has seen significant change in the complexion of the five communities, and some residents are working to open the dialogue around diversity and acceptance. 

OpEd: Why Oakland Schools Technical Campuses has a Working Relationship With Business

As Michigan reinvents its economy, educational institutions are getting in synch with employers' changing needs. Leaders from the Oakland Schools Technical Campuses discuss the importance of retooling to supply the state's emerging high-tech industries with new talent. 

Michigan Land Banks: 10 Years of Struggles and Successes

Blight, foreclosure, real estate speculation -- they can degrade a neighborhood's value and compromise the social and economic health of a community. For the last decade, land banks have been used as a tool for revitalization. Embraced by some and reviled by others, Metromode takes a look at where the programs have worked and why.

OpEd: Your Guide to the Cinetopia International Film Festival

Could Detroit create its own Sundance Film Festival? The Cinetopia International Film Festival is hoping to do just that, bringing over 50 movies to both Motown and Tree Town (aka Ann Arbor).  Festival Director Russ Collins offers up suggestions for the best way to fest.

An Italian Piazza in Metro Detroit

Spawling 30,000 square feet and stocked with foods from around the world, Cantoro Italian Market has been referred to as a culinary Disneyland. Instead, it might be the closest thing to an official Italian piazza this side of New York City. Buon appetito! 

Can Metro Detroit Develop a Wind Power Economy?

Developers trying to get a wind turbine project off the ground often face steady headwinds in otherwise progressive urban communities. Metromode asks why, and also takes a look at successful renewable energy projects at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and in the Downriver communities of Taylor and Southgate. 

The Regional Ambitions and Financial Realities of the Cinetopia Film Festival

Over the years there have been several attempts to create a truly regional film festival, one that bridges the gulf between Ann Arbor and Detroit. With 50 films screening in Tree Town and 40 in Motown, the third year of Cinetopia might just be the film festival "to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

Metro Detroit's Cyber Candy Man

Like many people, Walter Blake Knoblock has a sweet tooth. But instead of simply acquiring cavities, this entrepreneurial 25-year-old decided to turn his passion for snacks into a business. Each month BoCandy sends subscribers sweets from around the globe, providing old faves, international confections and exotic discoveries.

Lessons From Downtown: Ferndale, Detroit and a Nation of Main Street Stories

Over 1,300 downtown professionals are making the journey to Detroit this week for the National Main Street Conference. Ferndale will be in the house, learning what Motown has to teach about revitalizing downtown development and, in turn, educating the Motor City about its Main Street successes.

OpEd: Closing the Gap Between Food Producers and Consumers

The biggest barrier to consumer access to fresh, locally-grown food is the distance between food providers and suppliers, says Rachel Leemis, founder of Monty's Beef Company, a Piedmontese beef retailer that keeps its own herd of cattle. But new state support for rural development is planting the way for the state's 52,000 farms to meet this growing trend. 

Bustin' Up the Boy's Club: Metro Detroit's Female Mixologists

The story of metro Detroit's rising craft cocktail culture is not just about men and their mixers. Despite a long history of exclusion (that even included laws prohibiting their place behind the bar), more than a few women bartenders have been bucking stereotypes and making their mark as celebrated mixologists.

The Business of Being Funny

As the old adage goes: "comedy is hard." Especially when it comes to turning a profit. Over the last six years, Ferndale's Go Comedy! Improv Theatre has evolved from a nightlife pastime to a growing business that teaches classes, hosts events and runs workshops for some of Metro Detroit's most notable businesses.

The Rise of Metro Detroit's Mixologists

Five years ago metro Detroit was barely a blip on the craft cocktail radar. Today it's considered one of the hottest regions for mixology, boasting bartenders and a scene that rival any in the U.S.  Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg charts our cocktail culture's recent evolution. 

OpEd: Why Mechatronics is Hot

Taking a cue from European-owned firms in Oakland County, southeast Michigan's universities and trade schools are offering degrees and certification in mechatronics, a multi-disciplinary field of engineering. Irene Spanos, Oakland County's economic development director, says why the region should support this burgeoning field.

Will Metro Detroit's Tech Community Ever Be Color Blind?

Metro Detroit has a long history of cultural silos and regional segregation. So how does its tech and entrepreneurial community create opportunites for greater racial and cultural diversity? There's no easy answer but places like Silicon Valley are implementing aggressive and sustained efforts to bridge a divide local business leaders barely acknowledge.
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