This Week on One Detroit:

Detroit has an air pollution problem, and it’s impacting climate change, residents’ health

On a sunny spring day in Detroit, residents are likely spending time outside, taking in the fresh air, but for some residents across the city the air isn’t so fresh. On the city’s southeast side, resident and activist Robert Shobe chooses to stay inside most days to avoid breathing in the polluted air from a Stellantis assembly plant less than 500 feet from his backyard. 

In Southwest Detroit’s 48217 zipcode, noted as being among the most polluted areas in Michigan, long-time environmental activist and Detroiter Theresa Landrum said residents are surrounded by more than 42 major and minor polluting sources, which have been connected to a breadth of health issues from cancer to heart disease and diabetes and contribute to global climate change. 

In recognition of Earth Month, One Detroit contributor Bryce Huffman sat down with the two environmental activists to talk about how air pollution and poor air quality have an impact both on climate change and residents’ overall health. Plus he talks with two city officials who are part of the city’s Office of Sustainability — the office’s new Director of Sustainability Jack Akinlosotu and Detroit’s Chief Strategy Officer Trisha Stein, who oversees the Sustainability office — about the efforts the city officials are putting in to improve the city’s air quality.

2023 Detroit Free Press Film Festival features AAPI film series, Freep-produced documentary

The 2023 Detroit Free Press Film Festival is right around the corner, taking place April 26-30 at select venues around the city, as well as through virtual screenings. It’s the 10th annual year of the festival, which showcases the works of independent filmmakers from across the globe.

The centerpiece of this year’s festival will be the Detroit Free Press-produced documentary “Coldwater Kitchen,” which originally premiered at DOC NYC. The festival will also include several AAPI-themed documentaries as part of an AAPI film series for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.

Ahead of the festival, One Detroit Senior Producer Bill Kubota sat down with two of the filmmakers, Suzanne Joe Kai, director of “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of Ben Fong-Torres,” and “Coldwater Kitchen” co-director Brian Kaufman, whose films will be featured at this year’s festival, to learn about the creative process behind each documentary.

Kubota and Joe Kai talk about the decade-long journey and more than 100 interviews that have gone into “Like a Rolling Stone,” which intertwines modern popular music history with modern Asian American history. Plus, Kubota talks with Kaufman about the humanity his story portrays and the Free Press’ approach to documentary filmmaking.

Interlochen Arts Academy students recreate Sergei Prokofiev’s ‘Cinderella’ ballet

Students at the Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan have staged a production of the timeless fairy tale “Cinderella” by Sergei Prokofiev, a ballet that took multiple hands to bring the fairy tale to life. 

From the dance students to costume and set design, technical teams and a large production crew, Interlochen Center for the Arts Dance Director Joseph Morrissey, who led the “Cinderella” production, sat down to talk about the creative collaboration that went into creating the performance and how the production has provided him with opportunities to tell the classic story in a new way.

Plus, we hear from several of the dancers involved, who share their favorite moments about the production, as well as Interlochen’s Costume Shop Supervisor Amanda Lifvendahl, who talks about some of the costume’s connections to Ukraine.

One Detroit Weekend: April 21, 2023

Are you looking for some arts, culture, music and family-friendly fun to experience in Southeast Michigan this weekend? From celebrations for Earth Month and Arab American Heritage Month to Broadway’s Audra McDonald at Hill Auditorium, the Detroit area has so much to offer this weekend. 

One Detroit contributor Cecelia Sharpe of 90.9 WRCJ shares what’s happening around metro Detroit during the April 21 weekend and into next week on “One Detroit Weekend.” 

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