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Art of Fashion & Research
Seventy guests ($150 ticket) convened March 9 at Neiman Marcus for the luncheon and fashion show sponsored by the Lighthouse Group to benefit the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids. During the pre-luncheon champagne reception, they socialized, perused designer apparel in the third floor salons and had make-up applications by stylists from Guerlain, Trish McEvoy and Le Métier de Beauté. After lunch, two passions were on display during the presentation before the fashion show. The first was Carol Van Andel’s for the cutting edge research, collaborations and education (cancer and Parkinson’s disease) that occurs at the institute founded 20 years ago by her in-laws. She concluded her description of the initiatives and the researchers with “...I don’t have a job, I have a dream.” The second was NM style adviser Ken Dewey’s fervor for fashion. He called the show a passion play in three acts which he named Take It to the Max, The Now of the New and The Games People Play.
oakland confidential MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA: Oakland County Commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) may have picked a fight with the wrong person in power when she called out county board chair Mike Gingell and vice chair Mike Spiz , both Republicans, during board swearing-in ceremonies on January 11. "She seemed determined to create dissension," said a fellow commissioner. "She ...more»
09/29/2010 - The adage that great artists need to suffer is not lost on Marina Arsenijevic. She left war-torn Yugoslavia as a young woman, coming to the United States for both personal and artistic freedom. She is now a world-renowned pianist, recently nominated for an Emmy award as a composer for "Marina at West Point: Unity through Diversity," a concert recorded with a 120-member ensemble which was broadcast across the country on local PBS stations.
Arsenijevic has composed music blending the melodies of diverse cultures as a way of promoting the unification of countries and ideals around the world.
"I mix diverse melodies and it reflects the message of unity and the meaning of strength and diversity," she said. Through her experiences as a witness to war, Arsenijevic has brought light to these issues and been able to use her own talent as a means to help others.
"We had wars and conflicts for centuries and every generation was affected by world war or civil war," she said. "I was a national artist in Europe, but we were not free to express ourselves, during the war especially."
In 1999, when Arsenijevic was in her 20s, she immigrated to the U.S., where she began a new life that would allow her to fully develop her craft. While she initially experienced culture shock, she has found the U.S. to be an inviting home of opportunity and an ideal place to cultivate her career.
"There is a different attitude that people have here," she said. "People are much more open and want you to succeed in this environment. That's what has made America so great." Her experiences with war and feelings of unity in her new home inspired her to create music reflecting that sentiment.
"Always when you have some talent, you want to give back to the community," she said. "I felt a need to help children who lost parents during the war and an obligation to donate my time." Arsenijevic performed charity concerts in 2004 and 2005 to raise awareness and humanitarian funds for needy children through the Yugoslavian Lifeline Humanitarian Organization and the Russian Children's Welfare Society.
A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Arsenijevic spends four to five hours practicing each day in the Bloomfield Hills home she shares with her husband. She said she finds it to be an asset to her artistry.
"It's very peaceful here, and it's very easy for me to create," she said. "I never envisioned myself living in the suburbs, but now I couldn't envision living in a crowded city."
With the support and love of her husband, Arsenijevic continues to perform and now has five recorded CDs to her name. Though she's made quite a journey, she has never lost sight of the importance of giving back and the self-determination needed to continue to flourish in her profession and her life.
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