New home of Arts Council opens with ribbon-cutting

Photo by Evelyn Cairns

Photo by Evelyn Cairns

A host of speakers addressed a reception crowd following ribbon cutting ceremonies for the Wyandotte Arts Center, the new home of the Downriver Council for the Arts. The speakers were Norma Wurmlinger (left), board member and a founding member of the DCA in 1978; Wyandotte Mayor Joseph Peterson; Nancy Pitel, DCA executive director; Wyandotte Councilman James DeSana, former mayor who was devoted to bringing the center to fruition; and Cathy Turgeon, DCA president.

The opening of the Wyandotte Arts Center, the new home of the Downriver Council for the Arts, on May 3 was a homecoming for the DCA, which had its start in Wyandotte in the basement of the city hall.

Among those participating in a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the opening were Wyandotte Mayor Joseph Peterson and council members including James DeSana, former Wyandotte mayor, who was devoted to bringing the center to fruition.

Also taking part in the ceremony were Nancy Pitel, executive director of the Downriver Council for the Arts; Cathy Turgeon, DCA president; and Norma Wurmlinger, board member and a founding member of the DCA in 1978 and former mayor of Southgate. Wurmlinger reviewed the history of the organization at the ceremony.

After the ribbon cutting, refreshments were served at a reception in the auditorium of the center while Jody Chansuolme, Wyandotte’s director of mu-seums and cultural affairs, spoke on the history of the building. Tours of the center and entertainment fol-lowed.

The arts center occupies the former Masonic Temple at 81 Chestnut, originally the old Brown Schoolhouse in 1881, then in 1911 the headquarters of the International Order of Odd Fellows, and finally the home of the Wyandotte Freemasons.

Originally a 1 ½-story building, the center even-tually grew to three stories and has been extensively remodeled with an elevator providing access to a lower-level gallery and classroom space; offices and a special-exhibit area and food-service facilities on the main floor; and the upper-level auditorium.

Currently on exhibit are selected works from Art Ambience’s recently juried show.

The Henry Ford seeks entries
Entries from makers, tinkers, inventors and do-it-yourselfers are being sought for Maker Faire Detroit 2010, to be held July 31 through Aug. 1 at The Henry Ford.

The family event seeks projects in science and technology, engineering, food, and arts and crafts from adults and young people.

May 31 is the deadline for entries. Entry forms and details are available on the Maker Fair Web site

Fisher Theatre schedules ‘Cats’
Eight performances of the extraordinary musical and favorite family show “Cats” have been scheduled for May 18 through 23 at the Fisher Theatre.

The play, based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” has won seven Tony awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Costumes.

Tickets range from $29 to $69, including parking. They are available at all TicketMaster outlets and at or www.BroadwayinDetroit.

For more information, call (313) 872-1000.

Exhibit honors Ernie Harwell
The late, beloved Ernie Harwell, known as the voice of the Tigers, is being honored in a special exhibit that will continue through May 30 at the Detroit Historical Museum.

Included in the display are artifacts including photos and images, an autographed microphone and other items and an opportunity to listen to many of Harwell’s broadcasts of great moments in Tiger his-tory.

In conjunction with the exhibit, a 66-minute film, “Michigan & Trumbull: The History of Tiger Stadium,” narrated by Harwell, is being shown at selected times following the screening of “Radio Priest,” about the life of the Rev. Charles Coughlin, through May 30. The schedule is available by calling the museum at (313) 833-1805 or going to

The exhibit and film showings are free with gen-eral admission to the museum ($6, adults; $4, seniors, college students and youths 5 to 18; children under 4, free).