This Week on One Detroit:

Detroit Public Schools’ progress report: Supt. Dr. Nikolai Vitti shares district updates as new school year begins

The new school year is underway, and students are back in Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) buildings across the city, including the latest addition, The School at Marygrove. The school is a unique educational partnership that began in 2019 and is part of a “cradle to career” program called the P-20 Partnership.  

The initiative is a collaboration among several organizations including Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), The Kresge Foundation, the Marygrove Conservancy, Starfish Family Services and the University of Michigan School of Education. This summer, the school celebrated a major milestone in its growth after the first class of high school seniors graduated. 

On the heels of The School at Marygrove’s success and a new school year, DPSCD Supt. Dr. Nikolai Vitti joins One Detroit contributor Stephen Henderson, host of “American Black Journal,” for an exclusive interview at Marygrove Conservancy to share an update on the state of the district and what he’s prioritizing this school year.  

They talk about new teacher contracts, challenges with funding and equity, and the state of student absenteeism. Plus, Dr. Vitti talks about the success of the School at Marygrove and its first graduating class. Detroit Public Television will air “The Pioneers of Marygrove” documentary about the school’s first graduating class Friday, Sept. 15 at 9:30 p.m. ET. 

Ballet Folklorico de Detroit keeps Mexican folkloric dance traditions alive in Southwest Detroit

A rich tradition of Hispanic culture lives within Southwest Detroit’s neighborhoods. It’s not only found in the corridors of Mexicantown but in a local dance troupe, Ballet Folklorico de Detroit, whose mission is to keep the Mexican traditions of folkloric dance alive for a new generation of Mexican Americans living here. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, One Detroit contributing producer Daijah Moss takes a trip to Southwest Detroit to learn more about local dance troupe. 

Ballet Folklorico de Detroit Co-Founders Janette and Lance Rodriguez join Moss to talk about giving younger Mexican Americans a sense of pride in their heritage through the folkloric dance traditions, the role dance plays in Mexican culture, and the numerous styles of dance and clothing dancers might wear based on the region where the dance originated.

Plus, Moss talks with four students — Adiley and Adilen Ramirez Garcia, and Karen and Alondra Castellanos — about how being involved in the organization has helped them connect with and learn about their Mexican heritage.

One Detroit Weekend: September 15, 2023

We’re in the last days of summer, but Detroit still has plenty of fun activities in and around the city. You can see the latest model vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show, celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the Detroit Public Library, or hear “Ghostbusters” in concert performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. For the late-night adventurers, there is Eastern Market After Dark. Check out everything you can do around town this weekend and into next week on “One Detroit Weekend” with contributors Cecelia Sharpe and Dave Wagner of 90.9 WRCJ.

List of upcoming events: 

  • See the latest advancements in automotive technology at the Detroit Auto Show at Huntington Place through Sept. 24. The world-class auto show features more than 20 attractions and events, as well as a new indoor EV experience. 
  • Experience more than two weeks of art across Grand Rapids during ArtPrize 2023, where art is exhibited in galleries, storefronts, parks, speakeasies and more locations throughout the city for 18 days. 
  • Kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 15 at the Detroit Public Library with a story hour and Papel Picado craft for children. Families can create beautiful paper banners to hang up in their homes.  
  • Immerse yourself in the many cultures of the Arab World at the Arab American National Museum’s JAM3A Music & Arts Festival, a free two-day music festival and artisan market taking place at Heinz C. Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center Sept. 15-16. 
  • Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Hear the “Ghostbusters” soundtrack live in concert performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall Sept. 20-21.  
  • Get your haunt on at FrankenFest from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Historic Fort Wayne. The festival features mad, magical and mystical artwork, and a showcase of literary guests, haunt aficionados and paranormal experts. 
  • Watch Junebug Production’s regional premiere of “Gomela/To Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue” at the Detroit School of Arts Sept. 15-16. The performance journeys into the connection of Africa and Haiti to the American Midwest and South.  
  • Explore Eastern Market under the lights at Eastern Market After Dark, the signature event of Detroit Month of Design. The annual event features a night market, open studio galleries, retailers, brand activations, live music and more.

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