Monday, June 15, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From Page 1
year's 174. Brown attributed the
decrease in to a decline in the num-
ber of artist applications and fewer
invitations to artists from the fair's
Brown said the budget decrease
is unprecedented because the fair's
organizers have reported budget
growth each year since relocating to
the Burton Tower area in 2003. The
fair has retained an average budget
of $370,000 in past years.
Brown and the fair's organiz-
ers have been trying to generate
new revenue and cut nonessential
expenses in order to repair the bud-
Expenses that were cut are based
on responses in surveys given to
past performers and patrons, rang-
ing from services for artists to entire
workshop events at the fair.
"We look at the surveys to see
which workshops are the least
important and have low attendance,
and those ones are vulnerable,"
Brown said, adding that artist ser-
vices like free drinking water were
eliminated using surveys given to
Amid the expense cuts, Brown
said the fair's daily music and art
performances are receiving com-
paratively few cuts, since fair offi-
cials want to continue offering
compensation to the performers for
Fair officials are also calling on
community members to help repair
the budget, which does not neces-
sarily entail donating money.
"They can help just by volun-
teering. They can get an inside
look at the fair this way," Brown
said, adding that potential volun-
teers and donors should consider
the fair's consistently invigorating
impact on the local economy.
Brown said that this is the first
time in 50 years that fair organiz-
ers have looked to the community
for help - though fair organizers
always accept donations at booths
during the fair.
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In addition to charity from the
community, Karen Delhey, part-
nership and marketing director
of the Ann Arbor Street Fair, has
been trying to generate revenue by
putting together custom advertis-
ing packages for local businesses.
"In lieu of national corporate
tours, we figured we could take
advantage of this and work with
more regional and local compa-
nies and offer them packages," she
A few regional businesses that
have accepted such offers to join
the fair this year include Fire-
Keepers Casino in Battle Creek,
Wow Green (a manufacturer of
eco-friendly cleaning products in
Southfield) and Relax The Back,
a distributor of massage products
and ergonomic furniture based out
ticipated for the entire fair, Delhey
said they're now able to make safer
investments by appearing only one
or two days out of the four.
Several local businesses are also
involved with the Art Fair Town-
ie Street Party kickoff event,
which includes music, a beer and
wine tent and a kids' art fair held
the Monday night before the Ann
Arbor Street Art Fair.
The Townie Street Party has
consistently been a financial suc-
cess in previous years, and fair
officials expect to repeat strong
attendance this year.
"The question people have
been asking is, 'Are you going
out of business?' and the answer
is a resounding no," Brown said.
"We're trying to do the best we
can to be creative and resource-
"We're going to be fine, but we
want to be fine for the next 50
years," she said.
From Page 1
but in effect what it does is it's go-
ing to drive out all of the businesses
around the University that special-
ize in textbooks," Pohrt said Friday.
He added that the book indus-
try is going through a digitalization
revolution and that the University
will be at the forefront of it.
"That's the way that history's
tipping," Port said, adding that the
last major revolution in the liter-
ary world was the invention of the
Pohrt said that electronic books
will be part of the digitalization
movement, which will completely
change the textbook industry.
"What's looming on the hori-
zon is the rise of electronic books,"
he said. "I think those are going to
especially impact the textbook in-
Though the direction ofthe book
industry is not promising for inde-
pendent booksellers, Pohrt said he
was not spiteful of the new technol-
"I'm not particularly bitter about
all of this," Pohrt said, adding that
he thought electronic books would
be much easier for students to car-
LSA senior Torrance Laury said
he was disappointed to hear that
Shaman Drum was closing.
"It's pretty disappointing to
hear," Laury said. "I bought a few
books there, but I know they also
sold a lot of books for leisure read-
ing, and they've been around a long
LSA senior Olivia Both also la-
mented the closing of Shaman
Drum, stating that she prefers to
buy most of her books there.
"That's where I get all my books
from," Both said. "I feel like they're
always so helpful there. I've always
In an effort to continue the
legacy of his bookshop, Pohrt ap-
plied for nonprofit status with the
IRS over a year ago and planned to
create a center for the literary arts
- called the Great Lakes Literary
Arts Center - that could receive
tax-deductible donations and gov-
"The question is,'What does the
bookshop of the future look likeT'
and that's a really interesting ques-
tion," Pohrt said. "I hope a way to
explore that question is with the
Pohrt said he hopes to come up
with a solution to help the failing
independent bookshop industry in
the city within the next six months.
"I've done my best to be a com-
munity bookshop and a community
resource, and it doesn't work right
now" Pohrt said. "I don't know how
to fix this, but maybe I'll have a bet-
ter idea about that six months from
now, or if other people are drawn to
answer that with me."
Pohrt wrote that he was grateful
to have 28 good years of business
out of Shaman Drum's 29-year run
and thanked the community for its
"I'm very grateful for the opportu-
nity to be a bookseller in Ann Ar-
bor," Pohrt wrote.
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