Week of 7.24.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Detroit Music Weekend Gala

The inaugural Detroit Music Weekend began Friday night at the Detroit Opera House where 200 music lovers gathered for the Gala ($750 & $1,000 tickets). They savored cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres in the lobby, pausing for brief welcoming remarks delivered from the top of the grand staircase by founding director, Music Hall’s Vince Paul. A soaring operatic selection sung by soprano Nicole James signaled it was time for dinner, which was served at dramatically decorated tables set on the stage. There were interruptions to thank sponsors, board members and event coordinator Laura Raisch, and to salute Michigan Opera Theatre founder David DiChiera. His pancreatic cancer diagnosis has dictated his retirement but has not affected his good humor nor his bearing.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

August 2017

HORSE RACES: Democratic aspirations of taking a majority hold on Congress after the 2018 General Election will hinge on the party’s ability to take two dozen congressional seats, which may include upsets in Michigan’s 8th and 11th Districts, according to recent rankings of 82 districts by The New York Times. The piece split the districts into eight groups to watch, based on competitiveness ...more»
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Cindy Cheaves
Cindy Cheaves
Photo: Laurie Tennent
(click for larger version)
01/31/2011 - As president of the Cultural Council of Birmingham Bloomfield, Cindy G. Cheaves has helped immerse the community in the arts for the last 10 years. Although she initially moved to Bloomfield Township 20 years ago to start Maplewood Professional Services, an organization geared toward assisting businesses with their everyday needs, she quickly realized the influence art has on the sophisticated Birmingham and Bloomfield communities.

"Art may not be something that people consciously think about, but if it's not there, they notice it's missing," said Cheaves. "And, I think for anyone starting a business in Birmingham, volunteering and getting involved in an organization like the Cultural Council is a great way to meet people. For me, it gives me a great connection to the community." Cheaves' tenure as president, beginning in 1999, was fortuitous for her.

"I went to a meeting to volunteer to work at the Family New Year's Blast (formerly First Night) event, and they were in transition and needed someone to be the director of the event," said Cheaves. "I volunteered for that position. Eventually Harriet Alpern and Wally Klein recruited me to the Cultural Council." Alpern and Klein were originating members of the Cultural Council, according to Cheaves.

As president of the council, Cheaves is involved in initiating funding opportunities for CityScapes, the Cultural Arts Awards, and the Family New Years Blast, a family-centered New Year's Eve celebration in and around Birmingham. The ability for these programs to come to fruition is made possible only through the support of the community, Cheaves pointed out.

"For the Family New Year's Blast, Maggie Allesee has sponsored it every year. Without her help, we wouldn't be able to do it," she said. "We also had an individual who purchased a sculpture and donated it to CityScapes. We're always looking for individuals and businesses to purchase (CityScapes art) so the pieces can remain where they're at." Cheaves is pictured in Birmingham with a steel, mixed media sculpture entitled "Journey Home" by Dennis Oppenheim. The piece is a temporary installation, but Cheaves hopes it will be purchased and donated to the city so that it can remain as a permanent fixture.

As a business owner and president of the Cultural Council, Cheaves has little spare time, but recently acquired a new skill to apply to her Birmingham business.

"I started studying handwriting analysis," said Cheaves. "I've found it a valuable asset for businesses to use, and will be teaching it at my business in Birmingham."

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