Peninsular Place

The Magazine

July 2, 2013

Rock, Reading and Writing – S’Mittenfest!


20 bands, three stages, one great cause

More people needed to experience Mittenfest. Last year’s annual end-of-year music festival spanned five days and stirred a surge of good cheer and charity. The scene’s camaraderie churned as attendees raised funds for 826 Michigan, an Ann Arbor based non-profit organization providing Washtenaw County students (age 6-18) free creative writing and tutoring services. The memories – endearing, exciting, warm and wild – are now countless when fest organizers like Brandon Zwaggerman or 826 Michigan’s Executive Director Amanda Uhle reflect on years past. But not everyone (namely, Detroit music fans) made it over to Mittenfest’s host city (Ypsilanti) during its first six years.

Bolstered by a grant from the DTE Energy Foundation, 826michigan serves three Detroit Schools with “Residencies” assisting teachers of overcrowded classrooms, working one-on-one with students needing extra attention. Already serving 2,500 students through a wide variety of educational and artistic programming, 826michigan expands into Detroit’s Clark Park (Franklin Wright Settlements and the Detroit Library’s Campbell Branch) with free creative workshops. And, as more people are experiencing 826michigan’s services, it’s time more music fans experienced Mittenfest!

So, Summer + Mittenfest = S’Mittenfest! That’s right – Mittenfest now has a summer installment. Washtenaw County regulars like Drunken Barn Dance, Timothy Monger State Park and Santa Monica Swim & Dive Club will be sure to put on a good show at the first S’Mittenfest. There are a handful of impressive Detroit acts joining the party as well, spanning three stages (one night only) on July 20 at the Magic Stick in Detroit.

“We know we’re new in Detroit, but we’re committed to our work there and to building more, better partnerships with other nonprofits, schools, businesses and individuals,” Uhle says. “S’Mittenfest is a party, and we’re inviting the people of Detroit, who have already shown us an incredibly warm welcome, to come celebrate Michigan music.”

Uhle added that 826michigan’s work is so inspiring that it leaves her in awe – especially “what and how people give to make our work possible,” raising students’ confidence and expanding their achievements. “We’re deeply grateful for each contribution,” says Uhle, considering, beyond financial gifts, thousands of hours of volunteer tutoring services and the bands contributing their time through performances. And that gratefulness extends to anyone who purchases a S’Mittenfest ticket to the July 20 show at the Magic Stick in Detroit.

Visit and or call (734) 761-3463 to learn more about S’Mittenfest and to purchase tickets and see a full line-up and schedule.

About the Author

Jeff Milo
Jeff Milo
Jeff is another awesome member of the iSPY team.

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