Mittenfest, a massive three-day music festival featuring 40 state and local bands, benefits 826Michigan. WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with 826Michigan Executive Director Amanda Uhle about her organization and what the December 27th-31st event means to it.
Mittenfestis an annual music festival in Washtenaw County, Michigan, that serves as a fundraiser for 826michigan as well as a good-time holiday get-together. It was founded in 2006 by Brandon Zwagerman as an addition to the backyard and campus shows he had been organizing while a student at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Mittenfestis now in its 8th year, and has taken place in venues such as Corner Brewery, The Blind Pig, The Elbow Room, and Woodruff’s. MittenfestVII featured 60 bands over 5 packed days of music and revelry, and at least 1,500 (and perhaps upwards of 2,000) people attended over the course of the event. The inauguralS'Mittenfestwas organized as a way to provide support and promotion for the newly-founded Detroit faction of 826michigan, and featured two stages at the Magic Stick on a single summer Saturday in 2013.
826michiganis a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around our belief that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. 826michiganis part of a nationwide network of non-profits, started in San Francisco by famed writer and editor Dave Eggers (826 Valencia). Have you heard of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius or McSweeney’s? Well, he’s behind both. Anyway, a few years back he decided to start a non-profit organization that focused on mentoring kids in creative writing. Founded by Ann Arbor writer Steven Gillis,826michiganis a chapter of that national non-profit organization. Through afterschool, drop-in tutoring, field trips, workshops, writing rooms, and various other means, 826’s main goal is to inspire young people and foster their creativity. 826 takes kids very seriously in an often not-so-serious way. Programs are free of charge. We are not responsible for how overwhelmingly creative or thoughtfully energized any young person may be upon leaving 826. We should note that they are housed within the world-renowned Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair.