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CivCity: The gamification of civic engagement

With voter turnout for the 2014 primaries dipping to 16.5 percent and political issues dominated by a vocal minority, Mary Morgan and Dave Askins decided that there must be a way to better engage local voters. The former Ann Arbor Chronicle publishers are launching CivCity, a nonprofit that seeks to combat civic apathy with games and programs.

You've heard about urban agriculture, but people are farming the suburbs, too

Urban agriculture in Detroit is a hot topic in the media and on social networks. Less talked about, however, are the projects that have quietly grown up in the city's backyard. That's right, a "suburban" farming movement is alive and kicking in southeast Michigan.

Accelerate Michigan win sets stage for DeNovo Sciences future success

DeNovo Sciences has come a long way in its first five years, but especially after winning the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition in 2011. That win is why DeNovo Sciences is one of the Gazelle 100, a year-long exploration of the fastest-growing startups in metro Detroit as part of SEMichiganStartup's "Year of the Gazelle" series.

Full STEAM ahead for Ann Arbor's Northside Elementary

After years of dwindling enrollment, Ann Arbor's Northside Elementary School fully embraced the concept of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) integrated learning. The result has been a dramatic upswing in student admissions and performance. So much so that the school is expanding to a K-8 curriculum in 2016.

Ann Arbor's Great Divide Part 2: How we can reintegrate our metro

Concentrate's Natalie Burg relates her personal struggles with Ann Arbor's lack of affordability, and points to a similarly sized city in Wisconsin, where we might find ideas and inspiration for combatting the socioeconomic segregation that challenges our community.

Welcome to the Year of the Gazelle

Over the next year, we will identify the fastest-growing local companies and tell you the behind-the-scenes stories of the entrepreneurs, investors, and the resources that are building Michigan's new economy.

OpEd: Film incentives are good business for Detroit and Michigan

With the future of Michigan's film tax incentives in question, Detroit cinematographer Geoff George makes the case for why we can't afford to give up on them yet.

Ann Arbor's Great Divide Part 1: How our metro has become segregated by class

A recent report by the Martin Prosperity Institute ranked Ann Arbor as the eight most socioeconomically segregated metros in the United States - out of a possible 380 regions. In a two-part story, Concentrate's Natalie Burg digs into the how and why, as well as what we, as a community, can do about it.

LGBT-friendly Ann Arbor: 45 years of change

Though the state of Michigan still has a long way to go when it comes to LGBT rights, Ann Arbor has remained ahead of the curve due to the efforts of people like Jim Toy, Keith Orr and Martin Contreras (among many others). Today, the college community has been called the second most LGBT-friendly city in the Mitten. Concentrate looks at how we got there.

A plan to make Ann Arbor Michigan's startup city

To establish a true startup culture, Ann Arbor needs more than just a SPARK. It needs incubator, research and co-working spaces that can accommodate a growing and wide variety of needs and disciplines. Mark Smith hopes to address that with his ambitious plan to build an entrepreneurial campus on the outskirts of the city.

3 up and coming arts nonprofits that deserve your support

In a community filled with long established arts and culture nonprofits (some over a century old), launching a new organization can be tough going. Concentrate shines the spotlight on three fledgling groups that could help seed the ground for the next generation of creators and audiences.

OpEd: Makers need an audience

For more than 50 years the Ann Arbor Film Festival has been presenting experimental and thought-provoking cinema to local audiences. Executive Director Leslie Raymond makes the pitch that the festival is as relevant as ever, and that you should clear your calendar March 24-29 to attend.

5 tough questions with Roger Hewitt of Ann Arbor's DDA

While DDAs tend to have a good reputation in most Michigan communities, Ann Arbor's downtown development authority has frequently come under fire by local (and particularly vocal) critics. So, what's the deal? Concentrate talks housing, affordability, and ambassadors with veteran board member Roger Hewitt.

Building a better beer ecosystem

Having a microbrewery in your community is great. Having a craft brew ecosystem is freakin' awesome! And that's just what Washtenaw County has. What started decades ago as a small homebrewers scene has grown into a beer-o-sphere that includes hop growers, small batch pioneers, a craft brew organization for women, and even beer-flavored suspense novels.

Healing through Xbox: Locally-launched non-profit gives games to sick kids nationwide

Talk about the law of unintended consequences. In 2007, a local police officer shut down a Saline high school Halo tournament, claiming video games corrupted the minds of teens. That one misguided complaint ended up inspiring Gamers Outreach, a growing nonprofit that provides video games to children's hospitals across the country.
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