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Ann Arbor

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Ann Arbor has it all: the University of Michigan, great shopping, bars and restaurants and amazing concert venues. It also has a vitality that few college towns across the country can boast. It's the kind of city that draws in undergrads and then keeps them for good.

Toss a rock into the air and it'd be hard not to hit a cafe, bistro, or high-tech startup. From its ever-thriving summer Art Fair to its venerable Film Festival, the city consistently tops national quality of life surveys --Forbes, Money/CNN, Sperlings, the list goes on and on. Its school system is first rate, green spaces dominate the landscape and nearly 70% of the population holds a college degree. This small but mighty city is Michigan's leader in innovation.

Ann Arbor Features

Affordable Housing: What Ann Arbor Can Learn From Santa Cruz, CA

In discussing the need for affordable housing in Ann Arbor, recent conversations have ranged from planned density to public assistance to developer incentives. But what about revisiting the idea of allowing accessory dwelling units (ADUs)? Santa Cruz, CA has taken the lead with these small, apartment-sized houses, creating a program that cities around the nation are emulating.

Cool Jobs: Quack!Media's Al McWilliams

Al McWilliams launched his ad and media agency Quack!Media with the profits he earned from selling a high school buddy's ska band cassette. Okay, there's more to the story than that, but suffice to say, it's representative of how this did-it-himself entrepreneur does things. We chat with McWilliams about his company's diverse client list, local politics and, believe it or not, municipal infrastructure.

Sound and Vision: Leon Speakers embraces the art of design

A lot of companies pay lip service to the idea of product innovation and aesthetics but Ann Arbor-based Leon Speakers walks the talk, using art and music as a source of inspiration. One has only to step inside its newly expanded complex to understand the depth of its commitment. Concentrate's Jon Zemke and Doug Coombe did just that.

Plot twists in Ann Arbor's publishing scene

Like the rest of the nation, Ann Arbor's publishing industry has undergone quite a bit of upheaval. The rise of e-readers and print-on-demand has presented both challenges and opportunities. Still, there is an active and even innovative local book scene, filled with readers, writers and publishers. 

Ann Arbor theater's next act

Recent upheavals in Ann Arbor's performing arts scene have left some worried about the state of local theater. Concentrate takes a look at where things are now, where they might go next , and who's filling (or not filling) those seats.
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