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FEBRUARY 2011 Bringin’ the love for the Neutral Zone

Caption: Teens learning about what it takes to be a great facilitator at the YDS Summit

Why You Should Come to Wine, Word & Song Honestly, why shouldn’t you? There’s no good excuse not to come! Our annual event that features the tremendous talent of our music and poetry programs, along with delicious local food and drink, is once again being hosted in the spectacular offices of Hobbs + Black Architects. The inside scoop, for those who missed out last year, is that the space is an award-winning restoration and conversion of a church into offices - it’s quite a sight to see. Along with the setting, you will be able to nibble on hors d’oeuvres and desserts from restaurants all over Ann Arbor. The bar will feature beer and wine and will be tended by our very own Board President Bill Stapleton! You will be treated to musical performances and poetry readings by Neutral Zone teens throughout the evening. If that isn’t enough incentive, there will also be valet parking at the venue to avoid trudging through any cold or snow. Wine, Word, & Song will be held March 19th at 7pm and the price is $75 a person, with all proceeds going to benefit Neutral Zone programs.

Hooray, We Did It! This winter, Youth Owned Records decided to try a new and experimental method of funding by running a Kickstarter Campaign, an all-or-nothing funding platform where dollars are pledged online to support creative endeavors. Kickstarter seemed like a

good fit for YOR because of its use by up-andcoming musicians and performers, but the teens knew that if they were even one dollar short of their goal they wouldn’t see a penny a risky move. Teens reached out to parents, teachers, and community members to energize the campaign to make sure their goal of $2,000 was reached to produce a compilation CD of bands who have recorded at NZ’s Orpheum Studio. Knowing that teens, especially NZ teens, can do whatever they set their minds to, it should come as no surprise that not only was the campaign successful, but their goal was surpassed! This means that all album sales are one-hundred percent profit, money that will go right back into Youth Owned Records for future musical endeavors. In celebration of this incredible accomplishment, there will be a CD release party in Neutral Zone’s B-Side venue on February 12th at 7pm with an admissions price of $5. The compilation, titled “Bust Out the Jams”, has been in the works since the reopening of the Orpheum this past spring. All tracks were recorded and mixed by teens, and the artwork for album was commissioned and created in-house by our very own Visual Arts department. The Music Department at Neutral Zone has obviously been hard at work with the tremendous success of the Kickstart caompaign, but they don’t get a break just yet! Breakin’ Curfew, the biggest and best showcase of teen talent, is on the horizon! Grab your calendars and make sure May 15, 2011 stays free - this isn’t something you’re going to want to miss.

We Love Our Sponsors Anderson Foundation Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation AAACF Next Generation Philanthropists Merton & Regina Allen Memorial Fund Ann Arbor Public Schools Aprill Family Foundation Argus Gay & Lesbian Fund Comcast Foundation Comerica Bank Dan Cameron Family Foundation DTE Energy Foundation First Congregational Church Gay & Lesbian Straight Education Network Hasting Mutual Insurance Company Charitable Foundation Helen L. Kay Charitable Trust James A. & Faith Knight Foundation Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor Kresge Foundation Leonard Marshall Kahn Challenge Grant for the Arts Liberty Hill Foundation Community Foundation of SE Michigan Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs Mukti Foundation Redies Foundation Stranahan Family Foundation University Musical Society Toyota Technical Center W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Here’s a convenient list of all the amazing events happening at the Neutral Zone in February & beyond! Interested in details? Get in touch!







Youth Owned Record compilation release party

Mid-Winter Break for Ann Arbor Public Schools, ends the 25th

Vintage Hollywood II at the Michigan Theater, the second annual fundraiser thrown by FreNZ




Riot Youth presents “Do Ask, Do Tell”, a conversation with LGBTQQA youth activists

Wine, Word & Song, hosted at Hobbs + Black

Breakin’ Curfew at The Power Center...and it will sell out!

“Feral Citizens” Released The Neutral Zone’s independent publishing company, the up-and-coming Red Beard Press, announces the launch of its emerging writer’s series with a debut combocollection of poems by Aimee Le and Fiona Chamness titled “Feral Citizens”. Both Le and Chamness are former members of NZ’s Volume Poetry Program, have been featured in HBO’s Brave New Voices documentary, and performed at the release event. Red Beard Press teens recognize that literacy is taking an evolutionary turn and are, quite literally, owning the process. Teens select, edit, and see the publishing of contemporary works of young people through from start to finish. Additionally, The teens of Red Beard Press have a unique and community-based method of marketing that centers around readings at local high schools and coffeehouses.This strategy engages audiences through the experience of listening, giving them a stronger tie to the performer and the material, which then drives book sales. The costs of printing “Feral Citizens” has been completely recouped in just one week, proving that getting out and connecting really does work. The incredible success of Red Beard Press would be impossible without the support of the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, who funded the project, as well as the

phenomenal Adult Advisors: Vic Strecher, Michael Nisson, Phil Jenkins, Mia Moyad, Tim Peterson, Sally Peterson, Dr. Oded Gur-Arie, Mike Huget, Dan Dennison, Jeremiah Chamberlin, Jeremy Peters, Linda Fingerle, and Zafar Razzacki.

“Do Ask, Do Tell” The teens of Riot Youth (Neutral Zone’s youth-led safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning youth and their allies) are hosting the third annual Youth.Out, an event in which participants can directly engage in conversations with LGBTQQA youth activists about how to enact and foster positive changes in our community. The theme of this year’s event is “Do Ask, Do Tell,” centered around creating an open dialogue and exchange of ideas between teens, parents, and community members about the experiences of LGBTQQA teens. With the recent attention being paid in the national media to bullying and suicide, the goal of this discussion will be to build an informed network of allies who support the mission of Riot Youth and LGBTQQA teens. “Do Ask, Do Tell” will be held on March 3rd at 7pm at the Neutral Zone. The event is free and open to the public.

Caption: Teen at Building Bridges Retreat

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The Neutral zone is a diverse, youth-driven teen center dedicated to promoting personal growth through artistic expression, community leadership and the exchange of ideas. 310 E. Washington St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104 | (734) 214 - 9995 |

Bringin' the Love...for NZ!  

February E-News