Category Archives: Arts

Big changes may be coming to Mason Public Schools, if voters are willing to foot the bill

By Griffin Wasik
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter

The Mason Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Facilities Improvement Steering Committee to place a $79,845,000 bond on the May 3, ballot, according to a school board meeting.

Mason High School. Photo by Griffin Wasik

Mason High School.
Photo by Griffin Wasik

If approved, the bond would fund facility improvements, security upgrades, and new technology at all school buildings in the district, according to discussions at meeting.

Money from the bond would buy new computers and tablets for students to use for educational purposes, according to meeting officials.

“This has a $4.5 million investment in technology over nine years,” Mason Public Schools District Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said. “It will allow us to provide more 21st century environments technology driven. This will allow us to provide more devices at the hands of our students and teachers. We will also improve our infrastructure and wireless internet capacity.”

If approved, the millage rate would increase to 6.85 mills, which is still one of the lowest rates in Ingham County, according to officials at the meeting.

Homeowners would approximately have to pay $13 more per month for every $100,000 in market value of their home, according to officials at the meeting.

The bond will address the overcrowding issue in the district by building a new fourth/fifth grade building. Today, the district’s elementary schools average 484 students, but were designed for an average of 405 students, according to officials at the meeting.

“The new four/five grade building will immediately release the overcrowding in the elementary schools,” Drzewicki said. “It will take the fourth- and fifth-graders of the current kindergarten through fifth grade buildings and allow those buildings to breathe. There will be more space for classrooms and less traffic because the fourth- and fifth-graders will be going to the four/five building.”

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Filed under Arts, Business, Community, Environment, Events, Ingham Chronicle, Ingham County, Intermeidate school district, Michigan, Schools

Capital City Film Festival shows diverse films, local tragedy

Video by Marissa High
Article by Darcie Moran
Ingham County Chronicle staff writers

A normal school day at an elementary school typically consists of busy parents dropping off children to be reunited with friends and teachers.

No one expects danger.

“It’s an epic tragedy,” said Matt Martyn, a partner at the Lansing film production company Ahptic Film and Digital.

For many Ingham County residents, Martyn’s documentary at the Capital City Film Festival was the first time they had heard of the Bath school attack.

Bath School Disaster was one of several popular films at the recent festival in Lansing.

On the weekend of April 15, film fanatics came to see 70 films from all over the world.

“This is (filmmakers’) chance to show their films to an audience that would have no other way to see them,” film festival program director Dan Hartley said.
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Mid-Michigan melodies in hip-hop, metal, folk and electronic

This project portrays in videos and words artists in four musical genres and how mid-Michigan music scenes sustain them.

By Paige Bolen and Marina Csomor
Ingham County staff writers

Ingham County isn’t just some obscure site; Ingham County is on the map.

As home to the Capitol, Lansing is known as a location full of lawmakers. The grand, domed building and bustling department heads impress with their dignity. This is where important state decisions are made.

East Lansing holds the state’s pioneering land-grant university. Students studying and faculty researching at Michigan State University perpetuate a free flow of ideas and discussions. This is where the next generation of problem-solvers is trained.

Although Ingham County has a reputation, this is not a place well known for more than the academic or diplomatic. This is not where sculptors plan to erect monuments or where architects dream up their masterpieces.

And this is not where many musicians make music.

But for those who have composed lyrics and performed material locally, Ingham County matters. They are not based in legendary dream-come-true cities Los Angeles or New York City, but these artists still are attempting to make music a career in the middle of the Mitten.
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Vinyl enthusiasts prepare for Record Store Day

Illustration courtesy of recordstoreday.com

By Marina Csomor
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

EAST LANSING — In 35 years of business, Flat, Black & Circular owner Dave Bernath has never made more sales than he did on Record Store Day last year.

“It’s a big day,” Bernath said.

On April 21, more than 700 independently owned record stores throughout the country, including Flat, Black & Circular, 541 East Grand River Ave., will celebrate Record Store Day 2012. And after the success of last year’s celebration, Bernath’s excitement for the event is building.

“We’re planning on (doing) even better this year,” Bernath said.

Record Store Day entices both new and old customers to visit small, independent record shops, said Heather Frarey, owner of The Record Lounge, 111 Division St.

“It brings notice to all the indie record shops,” Frarey said. “It brings notice to vinyl.”

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Student premieres movie, joins ranks of mid-Mich. filmmakers

By Marina Csomor
Ingham County staff writer

EAST LANSING — When Brandon Laventure and his brother, Cameron Laventure, decided on a site to shoot their first feature film, “Apocalypse Theory,” they knew they wouldn’t have to go far.

“We wanted to work with locations that we were well-acquainted with,” said Brandon Laventure, writer and producer of “Apocalypse Theory.” “We chose East Lansing as the setting in which we wanted to write it and shoot it because it was a setting we were familiar with. It was great.”

On Feb. 24, the brothers premiered their movie, a college comedy about two brothers coming to terms with the possibility of the world’s imminent end, to students in Michigan State University’s Wells Hall. The movie featured scenes shot at Michigan State’s Mayo Hall and in downtown East Lansing at businesses including Wanderer’s Teahouse, 547 E. Grand River Ave.

Because Brandon Laventure is a Michigan State alumnus and Cameron Laventure is an English senior, the pair decided to shoot in East Lansing — a location they knew firsthand. Completing the project in the city was both convenient and artistically honest, writer and director Cameron Laventure said.

“The community was very supportive of the whole process,” Brandon Laventure said. Continue reading

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