Lithic Creations is a women owned, Michigan based jewelry & precious stone business founded in 2019 by Danielle Smith, along with her parents, Steve & Robin Smith. Lithic Creations focuses on creating one of a kind jewelry from stones while providing stone work including slabs, specimens and collectables. Whenever you purchase a piece from Lithic Creations’ collection, the company provides you with information about where your piece came from, and how it was made. There is a unique story behind every piece they create. This has built a customer base that values the pieces they purchase, not just for their quality, but for the knowledge they gain of where their pieces come from.
A large number of Lithic Creations collections consist of stones indigenous to Michigan, and they pride themselves on showcasing the beauty of their home state. They also use recycled materials, and they recycle their scrap metal back into their production creating a sustainable business that is environmentally conscious. Each piece is custom cut & custom wrapped, even if it comes from the same stone or slab, insuring that when you purchase one of Lithic Creations’ pieces, you will be the only one who has it. In addition, while some of the wire wraps are silver plated, every ring and pendant is set in .925 sterling silver. Lithic Creations also offers custom sizing to ensure that your piece fits just the way you like it. They also offer free shipping on any & all orders.
Danielle & Robin also has a passion for giving back to the community that has helped them grow their business. They do this by having Lithic Creations sponsor many local charity organizations & charity auctions. They also partner with other businesses & creative entities to help give emerging artists & stone workers a platform to showcase their skills in gem stone cutting, wire wrapping, polishing and setting, while providing them knowledge to help their creativity grow.
For more information on Lithic Creations or to purchase their abundance of one of a kind products, visit: www.lithiccreation.com.
Opportunity Arts is proud to announce that Hannah Vercelote has joined the team as the new Director of Social Media. Hannah will be handling the social media creation, engagement, & management for Opportunity Arts Affiliates & Clients. Hannah is proficient on a variety of social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, & TikTok.
Currently residing in the City of Chicago, Hannah received a Bachelor’s Degree with a focus in Public Relations from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL in 2016. Since then, she has worked in social media in the Chicagoland Market, and has worked on social media projects for companies including The Hertz Corporation, Erb Equipment Company, & Home Run Inn Pizza.
When Hannah isn’t busy advancing her career & the careers & followings of her clients, she enjoys watching Netflix, and spending time with her boyfriend, & two adorable cats!
Quote from Mike Marriott, Owner of Opportunity Arts:
“We are very excited to have Hannah join the Opportunity Arts family. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge in social media & experience in the industry that I think is going to be extremely advantageous for us as a company, allowing us to provide a higher standard of social media services. I also believe that having Hannah on our team is going to be immensely beneficial to the artists & creatives who trust us to handle their social media needs.”
Quote from Hannah Vercelote, Director of Social Media for Opportunity Arts:
"I'm extremely excited to be joining the Opportunity Arts family, and I'm grateful to be a part of an organization that cares so much about artists and creatives. I'm looking forward to being able to grow Opportunity Arts and myself in this position."
Melina Brann is an emerging acrylic painter who wants to make sure that Black women are portrayed as beautiful as they are. Originally from Battle Creek, MI, Melina now calls Lansing home. Before coming to Lansing, Melina studied art at Grand Valley State University in Allendale. Her work has been viewed & purchased at local arts & crafts shows. Melina is passionate not just about her work, but the reasoning behind it:
“Growing up, and even now, I didn’t see people who looked like me represented in art and I wanted to change that. As a biracial woman, painting portraits of Black women is one of the ways I celebrate and connect with my ancestors and community.” ~ Melina Brann
When not creating art, Melina spends her time serving her community as the Executive Director of the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing.
For more information on Melina and her work visit:
Opportunity Arts is proud to announce 517 Living as our newest business partner. 517 Living (www.517Living.com) is the quintessential community calendar for events & happenings in Mid-Michigan. Their Mission is to connect Lansing Area adventurers with unique, life-enhancing events and activities hosted by local businesses and organizations. If you represent a local business or organization you can add your event to the calendar, simply by going to their website (www.517Living.com) and clicking the green "Post Your Event" button above the calendar. This service is 100% free. Join their community and invite your friends!
In addition to the calendar, 517 Living also facilitates a Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/1660456644277339/) with over 26,000 members who share events, seek recommendations, and promote businesses, artists, and non-profit organizations. The group is designed to connect Mid-Michiganders with local businesses, organizations, places, events, activities, goods, services, opportunities, ideas, people, & experiences. The group is a "Good Vibes Only" zone, and 517 Living asks that you keep this in mind when posting, "reacting," and commenting.
Kristine E. Brickey is an author and writer of fiction that confronts real-life issues and subject matter. She has authored 2 published novels; Flowers for Rodney & They Said She Was Crazy. Born and raised in Michigan, Kristine currently resides in Mason. Kristine holds a Master’s in Reading from Michigan State University and is a 2006 Red Cedar Writing Project graduate. Kristine retired after 30 years of teaching and currently works as the Red Cedar Writing Project’s Writing Events Coordinator; the co-lead for Fiction 440 & Mid-Michigan Word Gatherers, and develops and facilitates writing retreats, workshops, marathons, and other events.
Kristine has performed & presented her work throughout Michigan & the United States including: New Orleans Writing Marathon, the Grand Rapids Women’s Expo, The Artist’s Umbrella, Fiction 440, the East Lansing Art Festival Main Stage, Mason CADL, Bestseller’s Books, Everybody Reads Books & More, Art at the Lakeshore Festival, Made in Michigan Art Festival, Authorpalooza, and dozens of other Michigan events featuring artists and authors. She has also been featured for her writing at MMWG Conferences, as the luncheon speaker at the 2017 Michigan Council of Teachers of English Conference, a featured author/speaker at the Michigan Reading Association Summer Conference, and presented at the National Council of Teachers of English in Baltimore, MD.
She has been featured for her work in the Lansing State Journal, Ingham Today, The Record, The Okemos High School Press, and Louisiana Literature Journal. After each summer session of the New Orleans Writing Marathon, the Directors choose only a few pieces to feature during a radio broadcast. Kristine’s work has been chosen every year she has attended. During the NOWM, she has also had the opportunity to write and collaborate with writing greats Kim Stafford and Poet Laureate, Jack Bedell. In addition to her esteem as a writer, Kristine was also named the 2017 Michigan Council of Teachers of English Middle School Teacher of the Year.
For more information on Kristine & her work visit:
Photo by LivProductions/ Painting by Bob Rose
The Artist’s Umbrella Presents
The Shelter in Place Artists Showcase
Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 at 7:00pm Eastern
Virtual Production on www.facebook.com/artistsumbrella/
(Lansing, MI) – Multi-continental award winning & New York based Operatic/Vocal Performer Stephano Andreotti will Headline the Artist’s Umbrella’s upcoming virtual production “The Shelter in Place Artists Showcase on Wednesday, May 27th at 7pm Eastern Time via Facebook Live. The bill will also include additional artists from around the United States, as well as some of the Lansing Region’s top talent. The event is FREE to view, however the Artist’s Umbrella encourages you to donate the normal cost for a ticket ($10.00) to Mid-Michigan Non-Profit EVE: End Violent Encounters via the online donation link.
The Artist’s Umbrella, who will celebrate their one year anniversary next month, has established itself as Mid-Michigan’s Premiere Variety Show. The show is normally the last Wednesday of every month live from The Loft, but with Covid-19 preventing the show from occurring at their regular venue, the organization had to get creative. “With the performing arts world going virtual, it gave us a great opportunity to feature talent that under normal circumstances may not have the time in their schedule to get to Lansing from New York for a mid-week show,” said Brandon Navin, Creator, Founder, & Executive Director of the Artist’s Umbrella. “We are very excited to have Stephano Andreotti as our Headliner!”
Stephano Andreotti is the 2017 winner of the Festival of Song USA Competition in Brooklyn, NY, and the winner of both the classical & musical theatre categories of the 2018 National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition. He is also the Overall Talent winner of the 2020 Talent-Inc USA Competition in Orlando, FL. In addition to his many awards, Stephano has performed in various concerts across the United States and Europe, including at the Red River Lyric Opera, the Castello Ristonchi in Pelago, Italy, and at the 2017 Cantamare in Palermo, Sicily.
The connection between Stephano Andreotti & the Artist’s Umbrella was facilitated by Opportunity Arts, a Lansing based Arts Promotion Company owned by Mike Marriott, who worked in the NYC Arts Scene before moving to Lansing two and a half years ago. “Both Stephano, and the Artist’s Umbrella are Opportunity Arts Affiliates, and I saw the chance with the virtual platform for one of my top New York clients to headline a show for one of my top Michigan clients,” said Marriott. “It’s a great chance for Mid-Michigan art lovers to see talent they would normally have to travel to New York to see, and with Stephano’s following in New York, and throughout Europe that will be tuning in, it’s a great opportunity for our Michigan & Lansing based talent to be seen by performing arts lovers & industry professionals from around the world.”
The lineup for the show is stacked with Michigan talent including musicians Matt Niven, Sarah Vedolich, Will Pruitt, & Scotty B with Earl Carr, poets Grace Carras, Morgan Madden, & Dan Feister, and storytellers Melissa F. Kaelin & Allison Spooner. The show will also feature Texas based professional dancer Katie Rowan, another talent that was only available via the virtual platform. There will also be a DIY Cocktail created by Bartender Jim Henson. The show will include content from the Artist’s Umbrella’s community partners including Downtown Lansing Inc., Carter & Cruz’s Silly Socks & Accessories, Lithic Creations, & Preuss Pets. In addition to performing, Allison Spooner will also be hosting the show, while the newest member of the Artist’s Umbrella brain-trust, Director of Art and Production, and artistic activist Roxy Hayes-Brown will be acting as the stage manager for this ambitious undertaking.
For more information on The Artist’s Umbrellas visit:
For more information on Headliner Stephano Andreotti visit:
To Support & Donate to EVE: End Violent Encounters visit:
Mila Lynn is a multi-disciplinary visual artist who specializes in collage, painting, and caricature art. Growing up, and currently residing in Lansing, MI, Mila has studied & presented art both nationally & abroad, including at Wimbledon Art Studio in London, England. While in London, she also had the opportunity to work alongside, share studio space, & brainstorm creative ideas with esteemed British abstract painter Allan Storer. Mila also commissioned, and presented her first solo exhibit, the Repurpose Project at Factory 114 in Tampa, FL in the summer of 2019.
The granddaughter of a professional jazz musician, creativity is in Mila’s blood. Her father taught her how to draw when she was a child, and she began studying other forms of visual art in middle school. When she picked up a paint brush again as an adult, she wasn’t expecting it to take her as far as it has. She is extremely grateful that she has been able to turn a childhood activity in to a blossoming professional career.
Mila loves working & creating visual art to a wide array of music, and she tries to tone the music to whatever creative project she is working on at the time. Through this process, her energy is focused on that specific theme, and is ultimately transferred into whatever she creates.
Mila has a passion & love of creation on every level, and one of her greatest gifts is her ability to visualize something and bring it to life through her art.
For more information on Mila and her work visit:
Group 2 is a stylistically diverse & musically engaging saxophone quartet that was formed at Michigan State University in East Lansing, after MSU Professor Joseph Lulloff assigned the four to work together during their tenure at MSU. Group 2 specializes in musical storytelling through a deep knowledge of style, vulnerability, and unique interpersonal connection, while introducing their ever increasing audience to one-of-a-kind soundscapes.
The quartet consists of Lansing, MI native Evan Harris, who received degrees in Saxophone Performance from Central Michigan University, & University of Oklahoma, and is pursuing his doctorate at MSU; Tucson, AZ native Eric Zheng, who received degrees in Saxophone Performance and Economics from Northwestern University, and is now pursuing his Master’s degree at Michigan State University; Aberdeen, NC native Tyler Young, who received degrees in Saxophone Performance from Florida State University & Michigan State University, and is now pursuing his doctorate at Michigan State University; and Adam Epler, a native of Richardson, TX, who is currently pursuing Bachelor degrees in Saxophone Performance and Music Education at Michigan State University. Each of the members embody diverse backgrounds in classical, jazz, new music, and transcriptive performing, and together Group 2 delivers fulfilling musical experiences to diverse audiences both near and far.
Group 2 has performed in venues all over the United States including at North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Biennial Conference in Tempe, AZ, the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, Meijer Gardens, Cook Recital Hall, UrbanBeat, Albion College, & the MSU Broad Museum’s Business Gala. The quartet has been named finalists in several national competitions as well including the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition and the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Competition, and winning first prize at the New Orleans Chamber Festival Competition. Group 2 was also named semi-finalists for the Michigan State University Barbara Wagner Competition, and The 28th World Music Competition.
The members of Group 2 have also won individual accolades including top prizes in the Yamaha Young Artist Competition, Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, the Music Teachers National Association solo and chamber competitions, and the North American Saxophone Alliance solo and chamber competitions. Each member of Group 2 teaches saxophone classes throughout Mid-Michigan. Tyler teaches at the Flint Institute of Music & Alma College, Adam teaches in Jackson, Evan teaches at Grand Ledge, and Eric teaches at Albion College.
For more information on Group 2 & their music visit:
Bridget Vander Hoff is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher with a background in competitive and concert dance and an interest in educational and therapeutic applications to the art form. Originally from Morenci, MI, Bridget moved to Lansing after completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance from Oakland University, where she also received the Thesis Award in Dance from Oakland University’s Honors College.
A third generation dancer, Bridget currently teaches in and around the Capital Region including as an instructor at Happendance & Nerve Dance Center. She has presented choreography at DANCE Lansing and the Young Choreographers Forum. She has also performed at American College Dance Association and various performances as a member of Happendance’s professional company, Velocity.
For more information on Bridget and her work visit:
Sarah Sanders is an emerging mixed media artist & body painter with extensive experience in installation art, music, mural work, body casting, video art, makeup, photography, frame design, cake decorating, and floral design. She has transferred body paints onto canvas, canvas work onto cupcakes, pastel work into video work, and prides herself on being able to make art versatile with the medium.
Born & raised in Mason, MI, Sarah is currently pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Arts Foundation, and an Associate’s Degree in Art History from Lansing Community College. She has won numerous awards including The Award of Excellence for outstanding performance and contribution to the 2014-2015 Art Gallery Exhibit & Celebration from Ingham Intermediate School District and Lansing Art Gallery, The Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts at Mason High School, and The Outstanding Performance of Excellence in Visual Arts from Mason Public Schools and the Mason City Council. As the winner of The 2017 Zimmerman Arts Fund Competition, you can also see her work displayed publicly & permanently on Lansing Community College campus in the Health and Human Services Building. Sarah’s work has also been seen at the Ingham County Fair Art Contest, MSUFCU Art Exhibit, Ingham Intermediate School District, From Soup to Art: A Fundraising Auction for Arts Initiative of Mason, and the Mason Emerging Artist Event & Exhibition.
In 2020, Sarah launched Contrasted Content, a public platform to showcase her upcoming projects. Contrast is a consistent theme within the basis of her work and has a deep meaning within the artist herself. In her words, “Contrast lies within every aspect of life, whether it be day and night, joy and sorrow, or love and hate. Contrasted Content’s purpose is to remind us that without the contradictions life brings us, balance wouldn’t exist.”
For more information on Sarah and her work visit:
News about Opportunity Arts and it's Affiliates.
Seizing the Opportunity:
The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center Becomes an Opportunity Arts Affiliate.
Seizing the Opportunity:
The Poetry Room with
Masaki Takahashi becomes
Opportunity Arts Affiliates.