Gain perspective. Get inspired. Make history.
THE PLAY ISSUE
CAN MUSIC CHANGE OUR WORLD? PAGE 46
SESAME STREET PUPPETEER CARMEN OSBAHR-VERTIZ TALKS THE MOTIVATION TO MAKE WITH OUR HANDS
APOLLO WHEN WE WENT TO THE MOON
HENRY FORD MUSEUM OF AMERICAN INNOVATION®
FEBRUARY 19-MAY 8, 2022 FREE FOR MEMBERS OR WITH MUSEUM ADMISSION THF.ORG/APOLLO SUPPORTED BY
A touring exhibition co-produced by U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Flying Fish
READY TO INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION OF INNOVATORS Citizens is proud to sponsor Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village and to support The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation for all of its unparalleled educational experiences.
Member FDIC. Citizens is a brand name of Citizens Bank, N.A. 1458509_SP21
THE PLAY ISSUE
DIGITAL EDITION This issue of The Henry Ford Magazine is being distributed as a digital publication; print copies are not available. The digital publishing platform, ISSUU, expands our distribution globally and provides readers with the ability to easily share content they love through social media and email.
DEPARTMENTS FEATURES Our Mission 4 Behind the Scenes 5 Letter from the President 6 Off the Shelf 8 Ask + Answer 10 Screen Time 11 A Look Back 86
INNOVATION GENERATION 15 INSIDE THE HENRY FORD
Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation Greenfield Village Ford Rouge Factory Tour Acquisitions + Collections Membership Spotlight 2021 Events
64 66 68 70 72 74
PLAN YOUR VISIT 77
Our priority is the health and well-being of our staff, students and visitors while continuing to be a place that activates a can-do spirit in all of us. Please visit thf.org, subscribe to our eNews or follow us on Facebook for the most up-to-date information on venues, upcoming exhibits, events, programming and pricing. STAY CONNECTED
AMAZING MOMENTS Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz shares her journey to becoming a professional puppeteer, how she met Jim Henson and what it’s like being a part of the Sesame Street family
KEEPING IN TOUCH Understanding the power that resides in working, playing, making with our hands
WHERE CAN SOUND TAKE US? Innovators within the electronic music community are redefining the role technology can play in our lives ON THE COVER Detroiter and music visionary Waajeed is set to launch the Underground Music Academy in his hometown in 2022. The school will not only teach students how to make and play music but guide them on how to be successful businesspeople in the ultra-competitive music industry. See Page 46. PHOTO BY BILL BOWEN
ILLUSTRATION BY JULIE FRIEDMAN
Who We Are and What We Do
Gain perspective. Get inspired. Make history. THE HENRY FORD: A NATIONAL TREASURE AND CULTURAL RESOURCE The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, is an internationally recognized cultural destination that brings the past forward by immersing visitors in the stories of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation that helped shape America.
A force for sparking curiosity and inspiring tomorrow’s innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs, The Henry Ford fosters learning from encounters with authentic artifacts. Through its 26 million artifacts, unique venues and resources — Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation®, Greenfield Village®, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center® and Henry Ford Academy®, as well as online at thf.org and through the TV programs The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation and Did I Mention Invention? — The Henry Ford helps all individuals to unlock their potential and help shape a better future. The Henry Ford leads the Invention Convention Worldwide community and works to make STEM + Invention + Entrepreneurship (STEMIE) learning accessible to educators and students worldwide. As part of our leadership in invention education, The Henry Ford powers events like Invention Convention U.S. Nationals and curriculum and professional development. For more information, visit thf.org.
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Notable Colleagues and Correspondents
WHAT DID YOU ENJOY PLAYING/ MAKING AS A CHILD? Our contributors share with us.
BEHIND THE SCENES
When I think back to playing/making as a child, my most vivid memories are of happily swinging and climbing on jungle gyms, playing hopscotch and jump rope, and playing jacks. I haven’t changed much: I still like activities that fully engage my body and mind that I can enjoy with friends.
I used to build plastic model kits, beginning with snap-together dinosaurs and progressing to airplanes and spaceships put together with model glue. I thought I was indulging my interest in science/science fiction, but as an adult I learned that my mom had an ulterior motive: to improve my rudimentary fine motor skills. The finished creations still hang from the basement ceiling of my parents’ home, festooned with nearly a half century of cobwebs.
When I was a child, I always enjoyed playing as a geologist and studying new rocks and minerals and learning the unique natural qualities of different places.
Melanie Falick is an independent writer, editor and creative director — and a lifelong maker. She is the author, most recently, of Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live and the host of Making a Life: The Conversation, a new online series. She is the former publishing director of STC Craft/ Melanie Falick Books, an imprint of Abrams, and the current creative director and editor of Modern Daily Knitting Field Guides. Follow her on melaniefalick.com and @melaniefalick on Instagram. Keeping in Touch, Page 28
Expatriate Detroiter Mike Rubin is a writer living in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, Pitchfork, Vulture and Victory Journal. He has been an editor for Motorbooty — a Detroitbased, independently published satirical journal described as “the Spy of the rock world” — since 1987.
Memphis-native illustrator and designer Mia Saine is a nonbinary Black creative seeking to share a more positive, inclusive narrative. Since graduating from Memphis College of Art in 2017, they have specialized in commercial illustration and branding, advertising design and environmental design. Saine’s colorful, minimal digital illustrations strive to normalize and amplify minorities’ voices and experiences. Saine reveals the constant cycle of injustice, tropes and stereotypes by showcasing minorities embracing their self-empowerment and happiness. Ask + Answer, Page 10
Where Can Sound Take Us?, Page 46
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
It has been more than a year since The Henry Ford closed its venues due to the spread of COVID-19, joining a nation and world in lockdown. No one had any idea in mid-March 2020 what the future would hold — and certainly we had no way of knowing what was in store for our institution. We simply knew we had to dig in and move through this exceptional time in our history. Now, as we head into our summer 2021 season, a light seems to be dawning with news of increased vaccination and the promise of increased capacities at public venues. I’m excited for the future and for the number of new offerings we have planned at The Henry Ford. Opening June 5 in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited (see Page 74) will give visitors a glimpse inside the mind of creative genius Jim Henson and explore the unparalleled work that has entertained us for more than 50 years. This traveling show comes to the museum on the coattails of the longawaited grand opening of our new and highly interactive permanent exhibition, Driven to Win: Racing in America presented by General Motors. The inspiration for an entire issue of this magazine in 2020, Driven to Win opened to the public in March 2021 to great fanfare, and I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to
experience racing through its lens of innovation (see Page 64). While creating much excitement for staff and guests, the visiting Henson exhibition coming this summer has also inspired content for this issue of our magazine. Our new colleagues and friends with the Museum of the Moving Image and The Jim Henson Company, for example, connected us with professional puppeteer and Sesame Street veteran Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz. Through an exclusive interview, you can find out how she went from a young girl growing up in Mexico City to become one of Henson’s celebrated Muppeteers (see Page 20). Keeping in line with our playful theme, this issue also dives deep into how making and playing with our hands can contribute to living a satisfying life (see Page 28), featuring three of our own Liberty Craftworks artists. Plus, we share the stories of current-day visionaries in the electronic music community who are using their platform and tech know-how to play important roles in mentorship, health and community (see Page 46). I hope you enjoy The Henry Ford Magazine as much as we enjoy creating it. I look forward to seeing you soon at The Henry Ford.
The Henry Ford Magazine’s January-May 2020 issue totally dedicated to racing issuu.com/thfmagazinec
PATRICIA E. MOORADIAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO
PHOTO BY ROY RITCHIE
Love The Henry Ford?
OFF THE SHELF
Recommended Films, Fine Reads and Dot-coms
WHAT ARE WE READING + WATCHING?
The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids Matt Elliott, The Henry Ford’s head of creative and digital experience, speaks to the inspiration he draws from design critic Alexandra Lange’s exploratory book on how children’s playthings and physical surroundings affect their development.
“THIS BOOK GAVE ME INSIGHT INTO HOW MY KIDS ARE SEEING THE WORLD AND HOW SIMPLE THINGS ARE HELPING TO MOLD THEM.” —M ATT ELLIOTT, HEAD OF CREATIVE AND DIGITAL EXPERIENCE, THE HENRY FORD
Have you ever noticed how design influences our lives? The Design of Childhood by Alexandra Lange provides an in-depth look into how design and the things and items around us throughout our lives have a direct influence on our development and the way we see and think about the world. From early childhood, the items we play and learn with — like wooden blocks and Lego bricks — and the way our homes and cities are designed influence and shape the development and interactions of all of us. As a designer myself, I am fascinated by how things such as simple toys or architecture, from the development of planned communities to the differences between local versus government-built play spaces, can shape our learning and behavior. Now as a parent, I try to give my daughters the best opportunities to learn and grow, allowing them as much free play as I can — even when I am thinking in my head that’s not the way to do it. Lange shines light on the things that we often take for granted and experiences that we don’t always realize are working to shape us every day. This book gave me insight into how my kids are seeing the world and how simple things are helping to mold them, from collaborative learning spaces in schools to the evolution of playgrounds in the United States. As Massachusetts Emergency and Hygiene Association’s Kate Gannett Wells is quoted as saying in Lange’s book, “Playing in the dirt is the royalty of childhood.” The Design of Childhood is one of those texts that has rapidly become a coffee-table book for me, enticing me to pick it up, randomly open it to a page and dive in.
The Benson Ford Research Center has a number of books, resources and archival content with playful undertones — from books on carousels, doll quilts and car games to a collection of coloring books. For help with access, write to research.center@ thehenryford.org.
Manager, Digital Collections & Content The Henry Ford The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky and Death by Colson Whitehead Colson Whitehead’s fiction covers topics ranging from the zombie apocalypse and slavery to elevator maintenance. In this nonfiction book, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner recounts his unlikely adventures competing in the 2011 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Spoiler alert: He doesn’t win anything, but the reader is rewarded by Whitehead’s droll look into the world of highstakes poker.
BOOKS The Carousel Keepers: An Oral History of American Carousels by Carrie Papa Here Today and Gone Tomorrow: The Story of World’s Fairs and Expositions by Suzanne Hilton Once Upon a Playground: A Celebration of Classic American Playgrounds, 1920-1975 by Brenda Biondo Coney Island: The People’s Playground by Michael Immerso
Program Manager, Educator Professional Development The Henry Ford ARTLENS Gallery, The Cleveland Museum of Art ArtLens App available on Google Play and the App Store Playing in museums isn’t always allowed, but at The Cleveland Museum of Art’s ARTLENS Gallery, play isn’t just encouraged — it’s how you engage with art. Guests can play immersive multisensory games with original artworks and even create their own masterpieces. Although the gallery is currently closed, you can still experience it through the ArtLens App, which allows you to explore on-view works in the permanent collection both at the museum and elsewhere.
Wing Fong DID YOU KNOW? /
The Cleveland Museum of Art’s ArtLens for Slack, the channel-based messaging platform, was a finalist for a 2020 Fast Company Innovation by Design Award. The first rapid-response art exhibition app, ArtLens for Slack is designed for remote workspaces, letting co-workers create teambuilding exercises from their home offices using the museum’s collections for inspiration.
Experience Design Project Manager The Henry Ford The Way Things Work (1988) by David Macaulay My copy of this wonderfully whimsical adventure into the inner workings of our most fundamental inventions is 33 years old now. While the newest edition reveals smartphones and drones, some things never change. The Way Things Work will make the mechanics of a zipper fun again and perhaps help you explain, with fascination, how a differential works during your next kid-sponsored Lego session.
From Playgrounds to PlayStation: The Interaction of Technology and Play by Carroll Pursell The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers and Tinkerers by Mark Hatch ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS Paper Doll Collection, 1850-2008 Consisting of both commercially produced and handmade dolls featuring fictional characters, celebrities, politicians and more. Coloring Book Collection, 1894-1990 Consisting of books containing line drawings, primarily for children to paint or color. Many are souvenirs of tourist sites or museums. Exhibitions and World’s Fair Collection, 1848-1986 Consisting of a variety of ephemeral materials related to expositions and exhibitions, which were often forums for introducing new ideas.
ASK + ANSWER
Questions and Replies about Today’s Trends, Talk
ASK: HOW DID WORLD’S FAIRS ENCOURAGE PLAYFULNESS? ANSWER: I recently visited the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair site, now part of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. I gawked at the still-standing central icon, the Unisphere, then searched for long-forgotten ruins scattered about. Perhaps most striking were the still-existing pathways with their original concrete benches and drinking fountains. I could picture the people — the fairgoers — who had traveled from near and far to visit this temporary but extraordinary place, a place of wonder and delight, a place of enjoyment, leisure and playfulness — a world’s fair. The 1964-65 World’s Fair was a failure in many respects. It never reached its projected attendance and almost went bankrupt. When most large nations declined to participate, smaller nations and American states filled the gap. The fair is probably best remembered as a showcase for American corporations, with an endless array of new products displayed inside midcentury modern structures. Nowhere was the blend of design and playfulness more apparent than in the corporate attractions designed by Walt Disney and his Imagineers, especially Ford Motor Company’s Magic Skyway. Here guests embarked on “an exciting ride in a company-built convertible through a fantasy of the past and future in 12 minutes.” When Ford added new Mustang convertibles to the ride mere months before the fair’s opening, this only added to the anticipation and enjoyment. Walt Disney remarked about the attraction: “It could never happen in real life, but we can achieve the illusion by creating an adventure so realistic that visitors will feel they have lived through a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience.” This could well sum up the overall appeal of world’s fairs. — DONNA R. BRADEN, SENIOR CURATOR AND CURATOR OF PUBLIC LIFE
DID YOU KNOW? / The Henry Ford has digitized more than 2,000 artifacts from its collections related to world’s fairs. Browse items from multiple 1960s fairs here.
ONLINE Read about the Magic Skyway attraction on our blog thf.org/explore/blog/ford-meets-disney-at-the -magic-skywayc
ILLUSTRATION BY MIA SAINE
Interact with The Henry Ford’s Expanding Digital World
SEARCH, WATCH, DOWNLOAD Over the past year, many of us have been digging into the challenging history of race in America. The Henry Ford has seen this upsurge of interest both in our most-viewed digitized artifacts and in the stories of Black history we tell on our website. Here are a few stories related to arts, sports and leisure that might help provide a new perspective on African American culture.
ONLINE Explore Paradise Valley, the heart of Detroit’s music scene from the 1930s into the 1950s. It attracted major Black musicians and singers, including Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Visit thf.org/explore/blog/ a-piano-with-a-pastc
GAME ON If you’ve ever played a video game from a cartridge, you owe a debt of gratitude to engineer Jerry Lawson. Discover the story of one of the first Black engineers to work in Silicon Valley and his Channel F video entertainment system on our blog.
Dorothy “Dotty” Wise was a dancing teacher during the 1930s in Detroit. This photo of a young ballerina comes from the Wise Family Papers, which are in our collections and contain more than 100 photos. Explore the Wise Family Papers.
GO UNDER COVER
Susana Allen Hunter created quilts that warmed her family during chilly Alabama winters in their inadequately heated home — but also applied a playful sense of design through creatively repurposed materials. Dig into her story, and her masterpieces, in our online exhibit on Google Arts & Culture.
PHOTOS FROM THE HENRY FORD ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN INNOVATION
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Supporting Innovation In All Our Communities Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2.1 billion to strengthen communities and make people’s lives better in over 50 countries around the world. But our commitment goes far beyond writing checks.
Whether we are feeding the hungry, mentoring social entrepreneurs, supporting multicultural initiatives or helping communities rebuild in the wake of natural disasters, we personally connect at a grassroots level with Ford dealers and other partners to help people in need. Ford Motor Company Fund is proud to partner with the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation to bring learning and inspiration to life.
www.fordfund.org #fordgivesback @fordfund
Profiles of people curious enough to challenge the rules and risk the failures
INNOVATION GENERATION The Henry Ford is committed to ALL audiences and to inspiring the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators, regardless of backgrounds or barriers. Our Archive of American Innovation serves as the cornerstone for all of our innovation learning experiences, programs and curricula, which are designed to accelerate the innovative mindsets of all learners from across the globe.
Sensory-Friendly Programming 16 Programming, Resources + Events 18
BOOST TO ACCESSIBILTY Grant helps The Henry Ford expand sensory-friendly programming In 2000, The Henry Ford, in partnership with the Michigan Autism Society, held an event for families and guests with autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing disorder (ASD/SPD) during the then-new Day Out With Thomas programming in Greenfield Village. That included working with the Autism Alliance of Michigan to train staff on the impact of ASD/SPD and how to keep these guests safe during their visit. By 2015-16, that event had morphed into concrete campuswide initiatives to serve more guests with disabilities, from hiring a full-time accessibility specialist to developing comprehensive sensory-friendly programming. The Henry Ford’s mission to provide safe, unique and engaging experiences for members and guests on the autism spectrum and their families continues to grow stronger, recently receiving another big boost of support. Awarded a substantial grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in fall 2020, The Henry Ford is now expanding its sensoryfriendly programming to provide access to thousands more guests with ASD/SPD.
ASK AMY LOUISE LIEDEL, senior director of guest operations at The Henry Ford, how she felt when the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded The Henry Ford a $250,000 grant to support its sensory-friendly programming, and she’ll tell you straight up: “It has been a long journey with a slow start and now this positive twist during a worldwide pandemic.” Announced last fall in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions, the IMLS grant is enabling The Henry Ford to significantly expand its sensoryfriendly programming, setting up the institution to provide access to more than 18,000 guests with autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing disorder (ASD/ SPD) and their families within the grant’s three-year funding period. That equates to The Henry Ford increasing its number of sensoryfriendly events from three or four to 13-15 a year as well as including more access and accommodations for special and traditional annual events. Programming elements often include previsit materials (i.e., social narratives), sensory-friendly maps, noise-canceling headphones and earplugs, designated quiet zones, and turning loud sounds down or off in exhibitions or during events. “We will also develop and launch a new program for teens and young adults with ASD/SPD that will include activities aimed at informal learning and social skill-building,” said Liedel. This new programming will offer free admission too, supporting The Henry Ford’s commitment
Follow The Henry Ford’s social channels and thf.org for more information. 16
to providing everyone access to its collections and experiences regardless of backgrounds or economic or social barriers. As an additional component of the grant, Liedel and Caroline Braden, The Henry Ford’s accessibility specialist, are developing new training for staff in partnership with the Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM). This training, combined with yearly safety training from AAoM, will broaden awareness and develop programmatic and service skills around the unique needs of those with ASD/SPD. As Liedel shared, the IMLS grant is helping bring a decadeslong journey full circle. It was some 20 years ago when The Henry Ford, in partnership with AAoM, held its first exclusive program for guests with ASD/SPD during The Henry Ford’s first Day Out With Thomas event. “The focus then was on improving services and engagement for guests with ASD/SPD who were already visiting us, not necessarily on drawing more families and guests with ASD/SPD to our venues and programs,” said Liedel. Today, The Henry Ford is on the flip side of that conversation, taking more strategic measures to create awareness and attract more of these families with programming that caters to their needs. Adding Braden to The Henry Ford’s Guest Services team in 2015 was a key step in that process. Her background in museums and accessibility programming allowed The Henry Ford to build and deliver a broader range of services, programs
SEAL OF APPROVAL The Henry Ford recently received the Autism Alliance of Michigan’s (AAoM) Seal of Approval endorsement. The endorsement is given by AAoM to businesses and organizations in Michigan that demonstrate a conscious effort to accommodate and include individuals with autism in community activities that all families enjoy. “Making The Henry Ford a safe, unique and engaging experience for everyone, including our members and guests on the autism spectrum, along with their families, is something we have been working toward for nearly 20 years,” said Patricia Mooradian, president and CEO of The Henry Ford. “We are honored to have received this endorsement from our friends at AAoM and value their partnership and assistance in making our institution accessible to all.”
Amy Louise Liedel (left), senior director of guest b
and accommodations designed for guests with disabilities, both on-site and online. “It has been a rewarding journey to see how much this programming has grown and expanded over the past few years,” said Braden. “I look forward to seeing how it continues to grow, both in terms of the number and diversity of our offerings as well as the number of families impacted in the years ahead.” The timing of the IMLS grant during the COVID-19 pandemic has made The Henry Ford’s delivery of sensory-friendly programming more complex but not impossible, said Braden. “Knowing that on-site sensoryfriendly events were going to be challenging in early 2021, we tapped
into our creativity and available resources to develop and provide virtual sensory-friendly programs,” she shared. So far, themes in 2021 have ranged from Valentine’s Day to racing and trains, with each program including diverse components, such as a story, craft, movement activity and music. The Henry Ford plans to provide a combination of virtual and on-site events this summer and fall too, some connected to various exhibits and events, such as The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited (see Page 74) and Hallowe’en and Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. For updates on sensory-friendly virtual opportunities and on-site events in 2021, follow The Henry Ford’s social channels and website thf.org.
operations at The Henry Ford, receives the Autism Alliance of Michigan’s (AAoM) Seal of Approval from Dr. Colleen Allen, AAoM president and CEO.
DID YOU KNOW? / Caroline Braden, The Henry Ford’s accessibility specialist, spearheaded the formation of a group of Michigan cultural institutions that work together to advance better accessibility policies. The Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility began in 2016 as a collaboration between The Henry Ford, the Michigan Science Center, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Detroit Zoological Society. Learn more at miculturalaccess.org.
PROGRAMMING, RESOURCES + EVENTS What to watch, read, do to inspire big thinking
SEE OUR SAGAN The Henry Ford and Saganworks create gallery-like virtual room In 2020, The Henry Ford and Saganworks, a technology startup from Ann Arbor, Michigan, partnered to create a new virtual experience where people from around the world can interact with digitized collections in a curated virtual space. The duo created a Sagan: a virtual room experienced like a gallery. The Henry Ford’s Entrepreneurship Sagan highlights artifacts related to Agriculture and the Environment and Social Transformation digitized as part of the William Davidson Foundation Initiative for Entrepreneurship. To learn more about The Henry Ford’s Sagan, watch this narrated walk-through and read the blog post “Exploring Entrepreneurship, Virtually: The Henry Ford’s Sagan.” To learn more about the Initiative for Entrepreneurship, read “Exploring Entrepreneurship” at thf.org/explore/blog/exploring-entrepreneurship. Samantha Johnson, who was The Henry Ford’s project curator for the Initiative for Entrepreneurship, also recommends touring the Sagan at thf.org/ explore/blog/tour-our-entrepreneurship-sagan.
ONLINE INSIGHTS The Henry Ford’s Cynthia Jones chats with YouTubers about made-up museums in video games Late last December, The Henry Ford’s Cynthia Jones, general manager of innovation experiences, participated in a stimulating and insightful conversation with other top-notch museum experts on YouTube’s MinnMax Show, which features former Game Informer employees and others talking about the latest video games or game industry news. Jones and along with reps from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and Wyoming State Museum were invited by MinnMax Show host Ben Hanson to do a walk-through of the best museums in video games for 2020 and share their reactions. They discussed all kinds of interesting topics, from the interesting use of space and natural light to major museum don’ts like putting artifacts on high pedestals, making them more difficult for guests to see. Some of the video games and imagined museums highlighted during the chat include the Shinra Museum in Final Fantasy VII Remake, Blathers’ museum in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the Oscorp Science Center in Spider-Man: Miles Morales. You can watch the MinnMax Show video titled “Museum Curators React to 2020’s Best Video Game Museums” on YouTube at youtu.be/vAJrVXaPe9s.
SAVE THE DATES
INVENTION CONVENTION WORLDWIDE Mission to inspire young innovators to share their problem-solving solutions with the world continues The Henry Ford’s Invention Convention Worldwide team is proud to announce longtime partner Raytheon Technologies as the title sponsor of the sixth annual Invention Convention U.S. Nationals competition. This year’s virtually held event, titled Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention U.S. Nationals powered by The Henry Ford, is expected to host more than 400 participants from grades K-12 to showcase their inventions that solve problems in their lives and around the world. An online awards ceremony, hosted on inventionconvention.org and The Henry Ford’s social channels, is slated for June 24. Finalists from this event and other participating nationals programs in Mexico, Singapore and China will then be selected for the first-ever Invention Convention Globals competition. Up to 120 inventions will be featured in the new international competition, with judging to take place July 27-29. An online awards ceremony for the global competition will also be hosted on inventionconvention.org and The Henry Ford’s social channels. It’s set to take place on Aug. 20.
Raytheon Technologies 2021 Invention Convention U.S. Nationals Awards Ceremony June 24 The nation’s best young inventors and innovators are honored, chosen from the pool of Invention Convention national finalists identified at competitions held across the nation. Virtual event.
2021 Invention Convention Globals Awards Ceremony Aug. 20 The best young inventors from the all-new Invention Convention Globals competition are honored. Virtual event.
Hundreds of inventions, like third-grader Yi Wu’s d
WATCH The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation. Episode information about Innovation Nation can be found at thf.org/innovationnation, and episode clips are on youtube.com/thehenryford. Seasons one and two of Innovation Nation on DVD are also available exclusively at thf.org/shop and The Henry Ford gift storesc
BB Cup (above), have been celebrated at the annual Invention Convention U.S. Nationals held at The Henry Ford. The convention’s Model I Youth Inventor winner in 2019, Yi created this oral health device to help clean a toothbrush easily and keep bacteria from forming in the water.
PHOTO BY NICK HAGEN
Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz shares her journey to becoming a profession puppeteer, how she me Jim Henson and what i like being a part of the Sesame Street family Donna R. Braden and Jennifer LaForce, Contributors
nal et it’s
PHOTO COURTESY OF SESAME WORKSHOP
ost of us are familiar with at least one TV series or feature film that spotlighted the wildly creative work of Jim Henson (1936-1990). Perhaps it was his game-changing contributions to Sesame Street, the ingenious cast of characters on The Muppet Show or Fraggle Rock, or one of his fantasy films, Labyrinth or The Dark Crystal. Whatever it was, you probably came away with a renewed sense of wonder that someone could envision such imaginary worlds, where puppets with distinct personalities could convey a range of emotion while also imparting life lessons. As a curator at The Henry Ford, I gained renewed appreciation for Jim Henson while researching the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street in 2019, then again while commemorating Henson’s legacy on the 30th anniversary of his passing in 2020. So it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to a live interview with Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz, puppeteer for the Sesame Street character Rosita who had worked for and personally known Jim Henson. The interview for this magazine article immediately became about much more than Carmen’s connection with Henson. She enchanted us with her stories: growing up in Mexico; her personal interests and love
of family; her passion for puppetry and how this turned into her involvement with Jim Henson Productions; how she helped create her Sesame Street character, who was vibrant, outspoken and passionate — much like Carmen herself. Listening to her, Carmen struck us as fearless — a young, raw talent beating out more seasoned professionals for work; leaving Mexico behind to attend a puppetry workshop in New York City because she desperately wanted to learn more; staying there because Jim Henson himself asked her to. She regrets that she never returned home but recognizes that, through her work, she can proudly represent — as well as keep close to her heart — her love of her homeland, community and family. Carmen is humble, down-to-earth and completely genuine. Her words will charm you. If you’re a fan of Jim Henson’s work, you will love her words even more. — DONNA R. BRADEN, SENIOR CURATOR AND CURATOR OF PUBLIC LIFE, THE HENRY FORD
DID YOU KNOW? / Plaza Sésamo was one of the first international coproductions of Sesame Street. It has been running since 1972.
While working on the c
children’s television show Super Ondas for Mexican mass media company Televisa in the 1980s, Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz (at right and above far right) was one of a small group of professional female puppeteers in the industry.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CARMEN OSBAHR-VERTIZ
THF Magazinec Did you know from an early age that you wanted to work with puppets, become a professional puppeteer? COVcNo. Of all my friends growing up in Mexico City, I was the one who had no idea what she wanted to do. Nothing that gave me a sign. At one time, I thought I wanted to go to the Olympics — I was good in sports, very competitive. I even wanted to work with and talk to the dolphins until I found out about all the science I would need. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I did love to watch Topo Gigio [a character on a children’s puppet show on Italian television in the early 1960s] every Monday on TV. He was so alive. And then when I was 8, I remember having a playdate at a friend’s house watching Plaza Sésamo [Mexico’s Sesame Street] for the first time. We laughed and sang. I think my curiosity was there — I wanted to know how they did it. I watched The Muppets too when that show came out. But I didn’t know much about Jim Henson until a friend of my brother brought me a book, Of Muppets and Men, when I was in high school. The book had pictures of the puppeteers and explanations on how they did it. It was the first time I saw how it worked, and it blew my mind that they had to work with their arms above their heads, that they did the voices themselves. THF Magazinec Was reading that book your light bulb moment? COVcThe light bulb really went on for me when my brother, who was working for Televisa [a Mexican mass media company] at the time, invited me and my friends to attend a workshop with Americans for a children’s show that had puppets. I was the only one called back. I was with a bunch of professional actors from university — the youngest in the group at 18 with no idea of acting. On the third day of the workshop, they brought the puppets out, and we had to work with the cameras and monitors and learn how, when you move the puppet one way, it appears the other way on the monitor — it’s inverted. That is when it really clicked for me. I started remembering all I had watched on TV, how the puppets breathe and walk. They live. I was mesmerized by the challenge to make this thing with no expression have expression. I loved it. I was in heaven. While the professional actors were having problems because their expressions were happening below, not above, I was making this puppet come alive. It didn’t matter that I was shy or didn’t have the acting skills. I think my brother knew when he invited me to that workshop. After that, it all came together for me — why I loved the puppets, the magic, the joy, the curiosity. And I got a job working for Televisa.
A PERFECT MATCH Clockwise from above: When puppeteer Carmen OsbahrVertiz met Jim Henson in the 1980s, he was eager to create a bilingual character. Their matchup brought Osbahr-Vertiz to the Sesame Street set and the rigorous work of bringing her Spanish- and English-speaking Rosita to life — a labor of love she has now been doing for over three decades. TOP AND RIGHT PHOTOS BY RICHARD TERMINE/SESAME WORKSHOP, PHOTO ABOVE COURTESY OF CARMEN OSBAHR-VERTIZ
THF Magazinec How did you cross paths with Jim Henson? COVcI was working as a puppeteer at Televisa on The Treasure of Knowledge show when I met Kermit Love from the Henson group. He was in Mexico to train puppeteers from Plaza Sésamo. I asked him if he could help me. I felt that I was the only person in Mexico that was passionate about the puppets, that I had respect for them that no one else did. Most puppeteers were actors who were quick to move on to other things. I started asking questions about why we couldn’t do our own voices. I wanted to get better at my craft. I wanted our work to be better. Kermit invited me to the U.S. to attend a workshop. So I went to Manhattan. One day, he came by and said, “We’re going to a party. Here’s your mask.” Suddenly, I was at a masquerade party thrown by Jim Henson at the Waldorf Astoria. That’s when I met Jim for the first time. It was so amazing. He was so amazing. He invited me to come observe production of his next season of Sesame Street. Just to see them working as a team. They were brilliant, geniuses, magicians. I thought to myself I would love to stay here. This is a dream. When Jim did call me and said he decided he wanted me to be a part of the Muppet family, that he wanted a strong female puppeteer, I raised my hands and was like, “WAAAWWW!” That was 1989, just a year before Jim died.
THF Magazinec What role did you play in bringing your Sesame Street character Rosita to life? COVcWhen Jim was alive, he told me he always wanted a bilingual character for Sesame Street. I told him I didn’t really speak a lot of English. I was probably at 25%. He said no worries. We will work together. It will come out naturally. It’ll be fun. Designer Ed Christie first asked me to help write a bio for my character because he wanted to create someone I would be comfortable with. So I told him I wanted her to be colorful and present. We Latinos like to hug and kiss. She needs to be cuddly with flowing hair. I wanted her to play the guitar and be musical like I was. I wanted to name her Rosita, after my best friend in Mexico City, Rosa. I really liked the idea of how people could R the R’s — RRRRRosita. Ed heard all that and made a puppet that wasn’t tiny but had a presence. She has a round belly, live hands and wings like a flying squirrel. He said he designed her like that thinking of a flamenco skirt. And she’s turquoise, which is an important color in Mexican culture, representing life and hope. I just loved her from the start. Rosita is my immigrant girl, a happy, family-oriented monster that speaks better English than I do. She’s confident, doesn’t mind making mistakes and has explosive feelings.
Carmen’s Calls to Action GO AHEAD AND DREAM “Never be afraid of your dreams. And if things don’t work out quite the way you hoped now, you will find a way to make them work in the future.” MAKING MISTAKES IS OK “Making mistakes is actually more than OK. It’s wonderful. It’s how we learn.”
KEEP GROWING “Don’t be scared to try something new. Even now, I feel like me and Rosita still have a lot of space to grow, and we’re always learning new things, talking about topics I never thought we would be.”
BE PREPARED TO WORK HARD “Being a puppeteer in the Muppet style is so much fun, but it is difficult, hard work. If you like a challenge, teamwork, laughing a lot, and throwing out ideas and solving problems all the time, then this is for you.”
DID YOU KNOW? / Of Muppets and Men: The Making of the Muppet Show written by Christopher Finch is the behind-thescenes book that really introduced Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz to Jim Henson and his work. A 52-minute documentary of the same name was also produced.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SESAME WORKSHOP
MEET ROSITA Visit The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation this summer (through Sept. 6), and you’ll have a chance to meet several of the beloved imaginer’s creations — like Kermit the Frog and Grover. Here, we introduce you to Rosita, also a Henson team creation, brought to life on Sesame Street for the last 30 years by master puppeteer and Muppeteer Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz.
FULL NAME: Rosita la Monstrua de las Cuevas (the Monster of the Caves) AGE: 5 BIRTHDATE: Dec. 7
HER FIRST TELEVISION APPEARANCE: On Sesame Street in 1991 in episode 2888 (season 23) HER FAVORITE FRIENDS: Zoe, Elmo, Grover, Telly Monster, Prairie Dawn and Abby Cadabby
BIRTHPLACE: Mexico PARENTS: Rosa and Ricardo PUPPETEER: Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz DESIGNER: Ed Christie ROSITA IS: A bilingual turquoise monster
SHE LIKES: Presenting the Spanish Word of the Day and playing her guitar. She’s very good with history as well as geography.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SESAME WORKSHOP
“I was mesmerized by the challenge to make this thing with no expression have expression.” — CARMEN OSBAHR-VERTIZ
IMAGI Hen Am T
HE JIM HENSON EXHIBITION: INATION UNLIMITED nry Ford Museum of merican Innovation Through Sept. 6
THF Magazinec Is it difficult to bring Rosita’s explosive personality to life? COVcWhen you’re a puppeteer, you quickly learn that it is not just about your character above. It’s also about the layer underneath. We are in a very physical situation that is often very uncomfortable. You can’t be claustrophobic and you can’t be smelly. We all joke about eating no onions or garlic, brushing your teeth. With Rosita, I have someone else doing her right hand as well, so he has to match what I am doing so carefully. If you move the puppet slightly the wrong way, for example, it won’t look like it is listening. It is very specific, and you’re sharing a small, cramped space with others, looking at monitors and trying to work in extremely coordinated ways. As puppeteers, we are solving physical problems all the time, learning new ways to trick the cameras into presenting our characters as living, breathing things. It’s about subtle movements, creating reactions that match with the other characters. THF Magazinec In your creative community, in the entertainment industry in general, do you feel as if Jim Henson’s legacy is still alive and well? COVcJim was amazing. His mind was brilliant. He was curious and put together this world around all the things he liked. He was ahead of his time, and we keep trying to keep his legacy alive because he had it right. For me, I can see that he still touches people. I have so many young people come up and say, “I want to be a puppeteer. Jim Henson changed my life.” And so many of them are very, very clever. They are bringing all of these new ideas and technologies to the conversation. I’m so proud of everyone that comes to us that were inspired by Jim. It’s so rewarding.
THF Magazinec What about with audiences? Does Jim’s vision resonate with the next generation? COVcI know animation is where it’s at today, but it’s just so flat, and Jim’s characters are just so alive. When we did Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary concert live a few years ago, I was so worried about the audience’s reaction to seeing us rolling around, sweating on the stage. What I felt instead was absolutely incredible. I saw grandparents with their grandkids, parents with their children singing and crying, connecting with each other. Because of Jim. It was so touching, so inspiring. THF Magazinec In terms of your impact, how has your career influenced others? Can you speak to the appreciation you have for how your role as Rosita is helping children learn and grow? COVcWhat this job has brought to me has been amazing, and impact really goes both ways. The impact Rosita has had on others and the impact people have had on my life because of her. Rosita is part of lots of outreach within communities where so many see her and the other characters as friends. Today, we are working on racial justice messages, and Rosita and I have also been working with military families for 10 years. We’ve created videos for young parents so they can help explain deployment to their children. We’ve also had a script where Rosita’s dad comes back home from a tour of duty and is injured and in a wheelchair. The words in that video — how military families have to deal with both invisible and physical injuries, the suffering they face and sacrifices they make — I took it very personally. I even asked myself if I thought I was ready to become an American citizen. It was something I had researched before, but I was never sure if I was ready — I’m so proud of my Mexican heritage. After working with military families, though, I said to myself that I was definitely ready, and I became an American citizen. l
Curator Recommends Senior Curator Donna R. Braden suggests a read of Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones In this comprehensive biography, Brian Jay Jones masterfully tells the story of Jim Henson’s life, from his early years discovering, mastering and reinventing the art of puppetry to his almost manic involvement in a host of creative projects before his untimely death at age 53. Through meticulous research and personal reminiscences, Jones reveals well-known and lesser-known aspects of Henson’s work — as a puppeteer, writer, director, producer, entrepreneur and brilliant innovator never satisfied with the status quo. This book leaves you cherishing the unique gifts that Henson bestowed upon us, as there will never be another quite like him.
Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis, Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street by Louise Gikow and Big Bird’s Rhyming Book, featuring Jim Henson’s Muppets, illustrated by Normand Chartier, with paper engineering by Ib Penickc
PING IN UCH Understanding the power that resides in working, playing, making with our hands
By Melanie Falick
KEEPING IN TOUCH
Understanding the power that resides in working, playing, making with our hands
For millennia, making by hand was the key to human survival. It gave life purpose. With our hands, we made our tools, shelter and clothing. With our hands, we foraged, grew and prepared food. And with our hands, we made ordinary objects extraordinary. We lived in sync with the natural rhythms of nature — there was no other way.
The act of making something inspires further experimentation — like rolling out d
clay between handwoven pieces of linen to impart texture before forming a housewares object, as pottery artist Michele Michael demonstrates (see Page 40).
The Industrial Revolution presented a seismic jolt to our way of being: economically, socially and environmentally. Over the course of just a couple of hundred years, we transitioned in the so-called developed world from making to consuming, from having to meet our needs by way of our own hands and ingenuity to relying on either machines or outsourced labor to produce and repair most of our goods. The Digital Revolution has further distanced us from the physical world. We run so much of our lives by way of keyboards and screens — often pressing buttons or swiping rather than interacting with another human — that, as a result, we can easily feel strangely strained and detached, as if our attention is being hijacked by addiction to our devices and our reality is floating around somewhere in the cloud. What exactly is the cloud? Many of us wonder. And where is it? While machines and technology have arguably improved the quality of our lives in many ways, they — like just about everything else in our world — require balance and critical thinking: We must examine how these new tools changed us for the better and possibly for the worse. And so it makes sense that we are also in the midst of a DIY renaissance. People are feeling motivated to make with their hands in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time. It’s not necessarily as a means of physical survival anymore (and only sometimes for economic gain), but as a crucial source of emotional nourishment, grounding, unique creative expression and community — as a way of literally keeping in touch.
PHOTO BY WINKY LEWIS
KEEPING IN TOUCH
SEAMSTRESS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE In 2017 at age 22, Sara Trail launched the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) to empower youth to advocate for social justice through textile making. Though she was notably young to found a nonprofit, she was not new to sewing. She took needle to cloth for the first time at age 4 under the guidance of her mother and grandmother and quickly showed a propensity for it. Within a few years, she had gained mastery and could sew clothing, quilts and upholstery. A wunderkind, by age 15 she had written a book for other kids, Sew with Sara, about how to sew and sell one’s work, and licensed her own pattern and fabric collections. She was, for all intents and purposes, content with her sewing practice. “I liked the freedom and independence it gave me,” she recalled. ”I liked the idea that I could make something that was going to last and that I could do something that a lot of other kids my age couldn’t do.” And then her attitude — and self-expectation — changed profoundly in 2012 when Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager in Florida, was shot by a white man for no apparent reason other than he thought Martin looked suspicious. “I went from wanting to learn skills, make gifts, master something to knowing I needed to take the skills my mentors had given me and use them for a purpose,” Trail said. She made a fabric portrait of Martin — wearing the hoodie he had on the night he was shot — and that quilt became the seed of SJSA. Today, Trail describes the volunteer-run organization she founded as a 21st-century sewing circle that bridges social, racial, ethnic, generational and geographic lines. The quilts begin in workshops in schools, community centers and prisons across the United States. Participants, typically aged 12 and up, create art blocks to express their concerns, thoughts and beliefs, gluing fabric in place if they are not inclined to sew. The blocks are forwarded to volunteers around the world to finish the necessary stitching and join them together into a patchwork. Hundreds of SJSA quilts have gone on to be exhibited at quilt shows, museums and galleries nationwide.c
About the Modern Quilt Movement with Kristin Barrus, quiltmaker and graduate student studying material culture and textile history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in The Henry Ford blog post titled “Growing The Henry Ford’s Quilt Collection: The Modern Quilt Movement”c
NUDE IS NOT A COLOR QUILT Women have long used needle and thread to express opinions, raise awareness and advocate for social change. The quilt, Nude is Not a Color, was created in 2017 by a community of women who took a stand against racial bias. Fashion and cosmetics companies have long used the term “nude” to describe products made in a pale beige color that reflects lighter skin tones — thus marginalizing people of color. After one clothing brand repeatedly and disrespectfully dismissed a customer’s concerns, a group of quilters created this statement in fabric. To produce the shirt designs — and make the point that human complexions come in many shades — the women chose fabrics that best represented their own skin tones. A global community of women — using their talents to take a stand against racism — made a difference. More people became aware of the company’s bias and demanded change. The brand eventually altered the name of the garment collection. — JEANINE HEAD MILLER, CURATOR OF DOMESTIC LIFE
QUILT ’N’ CAUSE Social Justice Sewing Academy’s Sara Trail (above center) oversees a workshop at a Memphis high school. Trail’s handmade quilt, Rest in Power (left), commemorates the life of murdered Black teenager Trayvon Martin and marks her first experience combining her lifelong interest in sewing with social activism. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE SEWING ACADEMY
DID YOU KNOW? / The Henry Ford has 400 quilts, dating from the 1700s to the 2000s, in its collections.
DID YOU KNOW? / Social Justice Sewing Academy’s Sara Trail published the tween/teen sewing book Sew with Sara: PJs, Pillows, Bags & More — Fun Stuff to Keep, Give, SELL! in 2009 when she was just a teen herself.
The Nude is Not a Color quilt was on exhibit d
as part of What We Wore in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation earlier this year. Learn more about the quilt on our blog thf.org/explore/blog/a-quilt-with-a-cause.
ONLINE Quilter Hillary Goodwin is one of the many contributors who helped create the Nude is Not a Color quilt that was on display in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. Follow her maker adventures on Instagram at instagram.com/entropyalwayswinsc
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Trail often thinks back to the time in middle school when she was teaching sewing to kids in her neighborhood. “My class was $75 and my students were rich white kids. Low-income kids couldn’t pay that much to learn how to make something they may or may not have even liked in the end or end up using. Through conversations, especially with my parents, I realized what a privilege it was to make.” She now seeks to pass on that privilege, an understanding of the power that resides in our hands, to make textiles — and to make change. “I want to make sewing accessible and equitable,” Trail said. “I want to make quilts that matter.” ONLINE Learn more about Sara Trail and the Social Justice Sewing Academy at sjsacademy.orgc
TALKING WITH TEXTILES Clockwise from above: An SJSA embroidery volunteer (left) sews alongside high school students during an embroidery workshop at the nonprofit Girls Garage in Berkeley, California; SJSA students can proudly display their participation on their clothing; Herstory, a 2018 SJSA community quilt, was created by students from the Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School in Los Angeles. Opposite page: This block, made by SJSA participant Autumn Roberts during a workshop on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, is a statement about her culture and tribe. Her artist statement: “... I created this as an image of what happened at the DAPL [Dakota Access Pipeline protest] camp. I shall be the change the reservation will wish to see.” PHOTOS COURTESY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE SEWING ACADEMY
“I WENT FROM WANTING TO LEARN SKILLS, MAKE GIFTS, MASTER SOMETHING TO KNOWING I NEEDED TO TAKE THE SKILLS MY MENTORS HAD GIVEN ME AND USE THEM FOR A PURPOSE.” — SARA TRAIL
KEEPING IN TOUCH
PRINTMAKER & POET Across the pond and in a different life stage from SJSA’s Trail is Lou Tonkin. She describes herself as an “artist and printmaker from Cornwall.” She is also a single mother of three teenaged children and a lover of poetry and long walks in nature. Although she sometimes feels like others see her lifestyle — self-identifying as an artist and relying on her art as a means of supporting herself and her family — as an indulgence, she can’t imagine living — feeling comfortable in her skin or expressing herself — any other way. “I feel an adrenaline rush like nothing else I can describe. It is the most alive feeling when I invest myself in the process and then peel back the paper for the first time,” she said, referring to the many hours, often days, she spends depicting an image by carving it, stroke by stroke, into a linoleum plate before coating it with ink, then printing it. Tonkin’s prints tell stories and evoke feelings in a way that words rarely can; they are a sort of visual and tactile poetry. Her inspiration typically comes from her daily walks and the time she spends in her garden and sketching outdoors in the fields and on the beaches around her home in a small village in southwestern England. Her grandfather was a significant artistic influence, albeit unknowingly. A milk truck driver who began work early in the morning, he was home by lunch and available to spend afternoons with his granddaughter.c
PHOTO BY DANNY NORTH
“I FEEL AN ADRENALINE RUSH LIKE NOTHING ELSE I CAN DESCRIBE. IT IS THE MOST ALIVE FEELING WHEN I INVEST MYSELF IN THE PROCESS AND THEN PEEL BACK THE PAPER FOR THE FIRST TIME.” — LOU TONKIN
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ONLINE Learn more about Lou Tonkin and shop her prints, homewares and more at loutonkin.comc
TIME AND SPACE Lou Tonkin’s art studio (left and above) is a renovated, skylit garage in the yard behind her house. She often thinks of her grandfather’s calming and creative influence as she works (inset). PHOTOS BY DANNY NORTH
“He gave me the gift of his time and attention,” Tonkin recalled. “We would spend hours walking the lanes with no end goal. He knew a lot about plants and passed that on to me in the most natural way. We would make flower head crowns and weave grasses to make nests for pure pleasure.” Sometimes Tonkin and Grandpa Pellow would head to the local dump to find treasures for repurposing, such as discarded wood they could use to make a den or spare metal with which to repair a bicycle. Tonkin thinks often of her grandfather while she is working in her studio, a renovated, skylit garage in the yard behind her house, feeling grateful that she has been able to find her way — make a life for herself and her children on her own terms. Her grandfather did not consider himself an artist or even what these days we call a maker. “I don’t think I ever even saw him pick up a pencil and draw anything,” Tonkin said. But it is the lessons he bestowed upon her — about presence, observation, patience and ingenuity, about the value of one’s most precious resource, one’s time — that she relies on today for both her livelihood and her happiness that she is intent on passing on to her own children. “He gave me a toolkit,” Tonkin said.
DID YOU KNOW? / National Week of Making celebrates the ingenuity and creativity of makers around the world each May. Sponsored by the Nation of Makers coalition, it’s an opportunity for people to participate in making activities locally and to celebrate their innovation, ingenuity and creativity. Learn more at nationofmakers.us.
KEEPING IN TOUCH
IN SYNC Artists Michele Michael and Patrick Moore (above) sold their city apartment and moved to the winding roads and quiet days of Dresden, Maine (left) to nourish their creative spirits. Opposite page: Michael, who discovered ceramics in 2010, likes to create utilitarian objects for the tabletop, loving the feel and meditative properties of the clay in her hands. PHOTO ABOVE AND ON OPPOSITE PAGE BY PHILIP FICKS; PHOTO AT LEFT AND INSET ON OPPOSITE PAGE BY WINKY LEWIS
DID YOU KNOW? / Etsy is one of the largest global e-commerce websites for handmade items, with approximately 87% of its sellers of goods being women.
CREATIVES OF CLAY & WOOD Michele Michael and Patrick Moore also understand the importance of ordinary days and have a renewed appreciation for the concept of time. Today, Michael creates ceramics that reflect the natural beauty, quiet and peacefulness that surround her in midcoast Maine. Mostly she creates utilitarian objects for the tabletop. She builds, fires and glazes her wares — typically porcelain, sometimes stoneware — on the first floor of, or in season outside on the porch of, a light-drenched, barn-style studio that she shares with her husband, Moore, a woodworker. Michael came to ceramics serendipitously back in 2010. At the time, she and Moore were leading a higher-octane lifestyle in New York City, where they owned a successful prop house together. Michael curated a large collection of tabletop items that she would rent out for photo shoots for magazines, cookbooks and advertising. Moore built surfaces and other props for their business and also sets for film and music videos, often out of wood he salvaged from dumpsters at construction sites around the city. On one fateful spring day, Michael ventured into a ceramics studio in their Brooklyn neighborhood (to see if they had any plates or bowls she might want to buy for her inventory), then on a whim signed up for a class that started that very week. It was kismet. Michael loved everything about her experience: the feel of the clay in her hands, the meditative process of forming it into her desired shapes, the warm and supportive community of fellow makers. “In my career as a magazine editor, then photo stylist and business owner, I was constantly multitasking,” Michael said. “Right away, it felt so good to do something where I was fully in the moment, plus it was just nice to be using my hands to make something again.” Within just three years, Michael and Moore had sold their apartment and moved full-time to what had, until then, been a summer home in the small town of Dresden, Maine. By consigning their prop collection to another company similar to theirs, they could keep some of that income stream flowing while changing their way of life dramatically. They would build a studio where Michael could devote herself to her ceramics practice and Moore could do his woodworking. Today, they are able to live a life they fantasized about away from the city: in sync with not only the natural world that nourishes them but also the creative curiosity that drives them. Michael creates her wares — mostly platters and vases — and then photographs and posts them to their retail website, called Elephant Ceramics, in batches several times a year. Moore’s one-of-a-kind cutting boards, which he makes out of birch, maple, black walnut, cherry, oak and hickory he sources from a nearby mill, are also for sale on the site. Inventory sells out fast but isn’t replenished until months later when they feel ready to create a new body of work.c
“RIGHT AWAY, IT FELT SO GOOD TO DO SOMETHING WHERE I WAS FULLY IN THE MOMENT, PLUS IT WAS JUST NICE TO BE USING MY HANDS TO MAKE SOMETHING AGAIN.” — MICHELE MICHAEL
KEEPING IN TOUCH
COUPLE COLLECTIVE Patrick Moore seeks out wood with unusual grain with which to make his cutting boards (below). As he cuts, planes, sands and finishes each piece, his aim is to showcase and maximize the wood’s natural beauty. Opposite page: Michele Michael is always experimenting with new glazing techniques and processes to make her housewares, from creating handmade textures by rolling out the clay between two pieces of handwoven linen or painting freehand with indigo and cobalt underglazes. PHOTO BY MICHELE MICHAEL; OPPOSITE PAGE TOP AND MIDDLE PHOTOS BY MICHELE MICHAEL; BOTTOM PHOTO BY WINKY LEWIS
“We are constantly in a process of learning and trying new things,” said Michael. “I can’t imagine a life without making things. I think it’s in my DNA.” In between these bursts of making, the two are able to slow down and enjoy ordinary pleasures: walks, birdwatching, gardening, cooking nourishing meals, kayaking on the river that borders their property — and following those ever-important whims. Moore might transform random lobster rope that washes up on the beaches into boat fenders and other nautical knots; weave sticks and saplings collected while pruning in the yard into vessels to be used as planters or compost bins; teach himself to knit, inspired by a collection of old needles he picked up at a yard sale. Michael sometimes sets off on trips to faraway places and takes workshops — block printing in India, ceramics and cooking in Japan and weaving in Mexico so far — or she might stay home and hook a chair cushion using yarn from her stash and strips of wool cut from old clothing.
LIFE IN PLAY When we make by hand, we do slow down to a human pace rather than speeding up to keep up with machines that, at this point, will nearly always outrun us. We look inward — to our own bodies and minds — for resilience, fulfillment, innovation, focus and expression, and to enjoy the satisfaction of mastery. As Michael shared: “Often my inspiration comes from an idea of something I’d like to have but cannot find. I think making things yourself helps you see the value in items that are handmade. You realize how much goes into something that is carefully thought-out and crafted. It also teaches you patience.” With our hands, we take agency over our lives. We connect with others, past and present, near and far, with a similar passion. We feel a sense of belonging, not only to one another but to the planet. l ONLINE Learn more about Michele Michael, Patrick Moore, their artist mediums and upcoming sales events at elephantceramics.comc thf.org
KEEPING IN TOUCH
FROM THE MAKERS OF THE HENRY FORD
We asked artisans within Greenfield Village’s Liberty Craftworks community why they like to make things with their hands Compiled by Jennfer LaForce
MAKING A LIFE: WORKING BY HAND AND DISCOVERING THE LIFE YOU ARE MEANT TO LIVE The Henry Ford Magazine asked author Melanie Falick to contribute to this issue, understanding her love of and appreciation for makers and their inner motivations. This summer, you can find Falick’s latest work, Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live in The Henry Ford gift shops. A carefully curated compilation of maker stories, this book is a treat to digest — formatted as individual profiles for easy scanning and reading. A maker and entrepreneur herself, Falick is passionate and eager to explore with readers the role building with our hands can play in making a good life.
Joshua Wojick Crafts and Trades Program Manager Mediums: Glassblowing, Mixed-Media Sculpture Years at The Henry Ford: 16 A student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit in the 1990s, Joshua was interested in industrial design, thinking about going into the automotive industry. Then he decided to take a glassblowing class. “I was hooked instantly,” he said. “It spawned my love of craft, of materiality and the honesty of material, of making.” He changed majors and has never looked back. At The Henry Ford, he appreciates the boutique expression of production afforded by the Liberty Craftworks community. “It’s a tough world getting into strict production craftmaking. It takes specific focus to make the same things over and over again. When you get to see it in a smaller setting — where artists are working, controlling, understanding the material moment by moment — it draws you in. That is what’s unique to The Henry Ford.” He is also grateful for the guests he can interact with in Greenfield Village during daily demonstrations. “I have always looked at this interaction as the driving force of the Craftworks community. As artists, we have the opportunity to meet unique people and hear their life journeys, which can help you think differently throughout the day.” Joshua never stops making things, creating award-winning art inside as well as outside of The Henry Ford. See more of his work at joshuawojick.com.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOSHUA WOJICK
Melinda Mercer Lead, The Henry Ford Pottery Shop Mediums: Wood-Fired Porcelain, SaltGlazed Stoneware, Patchwork Quilting Years at The Henry Ford: 17
PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDY KOUPAL
Andy Koupal Lead, The Henry Ford Glass Shop Medium: Glassblowing Years at The Henry Ford: 10
Melinda has loved pottery for decades, first enthralled by its artistry as she watched her high school art teacher throw clay on his potter’s wheel and next while earning her fine arts degree. Then, as an intern at The Henry Ford a few years later, she had the privilege of tutelage under Bryan VanBenschoten, a lead potter in the Pottery Shop for nearly 40 years. One of her favorite things in the world is wood-firing in the shop’s wood kiln. She calls it a labor of love, a rewarding team effort that the potters do only once or twice a year. “It takes us months to prepare,” she said. “And once we start putting wood in the kiln, we have to stay with the kiln for 30 hours, loading more wood every couple minutes. There’s no electricity, no technology. Just us, the wood and the fire.” Melinda loves the individuality the wood-firing process affords her. “We really get to stretch artistically,” she said. More importantly, she can share the experience with guests at The Henry Ford. “The wood-firing is a magical event — when visitors see the flames shooting from the top of the kiln, their reactions are quite remarkable.” Melinda is equally passionate about her saltglazed stoneware, which is made in The Henry Ford’s salt kiln using a rare historical technique that vaporizes salt to create the glaze. And when she’s not practicing her primary craft, she’s at home making patchwork quilts.
Andy started out at The Henry Ford as a part-time artist. Now he’s a full-time supervisor and lead in the Glass Shop, mentoring fresh young art students each season. “It’s easy for me to relate because I remember being in their position,” he said. “For them, it’s valuable to see someone who has moved up the ladder and built a wide variety of skill sets.” Andy feels a certain satisfaction in watching those new to his craft work with their hands, learn the materials and create muscle memory from repetition. “It’s a rare, learn-by-doing, performative experience at The Henry Ford,” he said. “When we are fully staffed and are all doing our parts — working as a team — it can be an extremely rewarding process and learning opportunity for everyone.” Not afraid to admit to his affinity for the structure of production, Andy understands its relevance for artists — appreciating the discipline and hand skills needed to assert the same calibrations over and over again. “I really dig the production runs at The Henry Ford,” he said. “It’s an invaluable experience for young artists to see this side of the craft and figure out if it is for them or not.” Andy is particularly fond of the more complicated Early American-style pieces he has created in the Glass Shop, which he said is “like no other glass community in America.” And he takes great pleasure in applying the skills he has mastered at The Henry Ford to create his own art. See examples from his personal collection at andykoupal.com or on Instagram @andykoupal.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MELINDA MERCER
WHERE CAN SOUND TAKE US? INNOVATORS WITHIN THE ELECTRONIC MUSIC COMMUNITY ARE REDEFINING THE ROLE TECHNOLOGY CAN PLAY IN OUR LIVES By Mike Rubin
Electronic instruments like synthesizers, drum machines and samplers have been part of the pop music landscape for almost half a century, helping form the chassis of genres like progressive rock, synth-pop, hip-hop, techno and house. But these gadgets are more than just a great way to get the party started right (and quickly): They’re also increasingly transforming our interactions with the world around us. Several ambitious visionaries are reimagining the possibilities of where sound can take us and using electronic music technology as a platform for education, wellness and accessibility. This story illustrates the role music can play in promoting mentorship, health and community — and how three different projects within the electronic music community are using their talents and machines to inspire and help others.
WHERE CAN SOUND TAKE US?
THE ROLE MUSIC CAN PLAY IN MENTORSHIP WAAJEED | UNDERGROUND MUSIC ACADEMY Waajeed (right) has worn many hats in his musical career. Besides the stylish Borsalino he usually sports, he’s been the DJ for rap group Slum Village, half of R&B duo Platinum Pied Pipers, an acclaimed producer of hip-hop and house music, and proprietor of his own label, Dirt Tech Records. But it’s his latest venture that feels closest to his heart: educator. The 45-year-old Detroit native is now the director of the Underground Music Academy (UMA), a school set to launch in 2022 that will guide students through every step of tackling the music industry obstacle course. “You can learn how to make the music, put it out, publish it, own your company and reap the benefits,” he said of his vision for UMA. “A one-stop shop.” While Waajeed initially broke into music via hip-hop, UMA will, at least at first, focus on electronic dance music. Detroit is internationally renowned for techno, a form of electronic dance music first created in the Motor City in the mid1980s by a group of young African American producers and DJs. But as the music exploded globally, particularly in Europe, techno became associated with a predominantly white audience. While Detroit’s pioneers were busy abroad introducing the music to foreign markets, the number of new, young Black practitioners at home kept dwindling. UMA’s initial spark hit Waajeed a few years ago, when he was spending endless hours on
planes and in airports, jetting to DJ gigs around the world. “On almost every flight I jumped on, I didn’t see a lot of people that looked like me, and it didn’t feel right,” he said. “All of this energy that’s being put into building Europe’s connection to our music and our past and our history, and it’s like, this needs to be happening in our own backyard. It was an awakening.” Waajeed spoke to Mike Banks, a founder of the fiercely independent techno collective Underground Resistance, about how best to communicate to younger Black listeners that this music, primarily associated with Germans and Brits for the last 30 years, was actually an African American art form. The genesis of UMA flowed from their discussions. Waajeed described Underground Resistance’s credo of self-determination and mentorship as “a moral and business code that’s been the landmark cornerstone for our community.” Another huge inspiration came from older musicians like Amp Fiddler, a keyboardist for Parliament-Funkadelic whose home in Detroit’s Conant Gardens neighborhood was close to Waajeed’s high school, Pershing. Whenever Waajeed and his friends (like future hip-hop producer J Dilla) skipped class, they’d end up in Fiddler’s basement, where he taught the teens how to use instruments and recording gear. “It started with people like Amp,” Waajeed said, “taking these disobedient kids in the neighborhood and giving us a shot in his basement, to trust us to come down there and use what felt like milliondollar equipment at the time, teaching us how to use those drum machines and keyboards. Amp put us in the position to be great at music.”
DID YOU KNOW? / Detroit’s Conant Gardens Historic District, where Waajeed learned to play and record music in mentor Amp Fiddler’s basement, is located on land once owned by abolitionist Shubael Conant. In 1837, Conant founded and became the first president of the Detroit Anti-Slavery Society.
DID YOU KNOW? / Waajeed received a full art scholarship to Detroit’s College for Creative Studies at age 19.
WATCH the video Covalence and discover Detroit's techno roots at c
PHOTO BY BILL BOWEN
WHERE CAN SOUND TAKE US?
Waajeed hopes UMA will institutionalize that same “each one teach one” tradition, not only with respect to musicmaking but also business and social acumen. “I heard stories about people who worked with Motown that would teach you what forks to use so you could sit down for a formal dinner, and that’s what I’m more interested in,” he said. “As much as being a beat maker is important, it’s just as important to be a person who is adamant about your business: knowing how to handle yourself the first time you go on tour, or how to set up publishing companies and bank accounts for those companies. That’s what we’re trying to do, to make that instruction more available so you have no excuses to fail.” Until the physical space is ready to host students — scheduled for 2022, though the COVID-19 pandemic may alter that plan — UMA is concentrating on video tutorials that can be watched online as well as fundraising, curriculum planning and brainstorming about how best to reach the academy’s future pupils. “The result of this is something that will happen in another generation from us. We just need to plant the seed so that this thing will grow and be something of substance five or 10 years from now,” Waajeed said. “I would be happy with a new generation of techno producers, but I would be happier with a new generation of producers creating something that has never been done before.”
PROMISING PROPOSITION After years in the making, Waajeed (above and on opposite page performing at Brunch Electronik Lisboa in Portugal) is hoping to welcome students to the physical space for his Underground Music Academy (at right) in 2022. It will be located in Detroit on East Grand Boulevard, near the internationally known Motown Museum. THIS PAGE PHOTOS BY BILL BOWEN; OPPOSITE PAGE PHOTO COURTESY OF BRUNCH IN THE PARK
DID YOU KNOW? / The Detroit Institute of Music Education in downtown Detroit offers unique educational experiences to students who want to study commercial music and pursue a career in music. Learn more at dime-detroit.com.
PERFECT PAIRING FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF THE HENRY FORD: THE ROLAND 808 DRUM MACHINE The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer was a force of nature in the electronic music world, providing rhythms to music genres like synth-pop, house and hip-hop. A palette of nowlegendary drum sounds could be combined and programmed at the touch of a finger, making it ideal for both the studio and live performance. The sizzling bass beats of the 808 were embraced by innovative musicians like Afrika Bambaataa, Run-DMC, Juan Atkins, Beastie Boys and Talking Heads. Launched 40 years ago, the 808 continues to hold sway as one of the most influential electronic instruments.
“As much as being a beat maker is important, it’s just as important to be a person who is adamant about your business ... That’s what we’re trying to do, to make that instruction more available so you have no excuses to fail.” — WAAJEED
— KRISTEN GALLERNEAUX, CURATOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
PHOTO FROM THE HENRY FORD ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN INNOVATION
ONLINE Watch an extensive Serato Unscripted interview with Waajeed where he shares his plans for the Underground Music Academyc thf.org
WHERE CAN SOUND TAKE US?
THE ROLE MUSIC CAN PLAY IN HEALING LAVENDER SUAREZ AKA C. LAVENDER | LAVENDER SUAREZ SOUND HEALING Lavender Suarez (right) has made music as an experimental improviser for over a dozen years as C. Lavender and studied the philosophy of “deep listening” with composer Pauline Oliveros, which helped her understand the greater impact of sound in our daily lives. But it was seeing fellow artists and friends experience burnout from touring and stress that inspired her to launch her own sound healing practice in 2014. “Many artists are uninsured, and I wanted to help them recognize the importance of acknowledging and tending to their health,” she said. “It felt like a natural progression to go into sound healing after many years of being a musician and studying psychology and art therapy in college.” Suarez defines sound healing as “the therapeutic application of sound frequencies to the body and mind of a person with the intention of bringing them into a state of harmony and health.” Suarez received her certification as a sound healer from Jonathan Goldman, the leader of the Sound Healers Association. She recently published the book Transcendent Waves: How Listening Shapes Our Creative Lives (2020, Anthology Editions), which showcases how listening can help us tap into our creative practices. She also has presented sound healing workshops at institutions like New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art and Washington, D.C.’s Hirshhorn Museum. “I love bringing meditation to museums because it’s a space with people who appreciate art and beauty but who might be the kind of person that’s never stepped foot in a yoga studio before, never thought about mindfulness, never thought about what they can do in their lives to slow down,” she said. PHOTO BY JENN MORSE
WATCH Lavender Suarez perform a sound bath at the Whitney Museum of American Art at tinyurl.com/84psuht5c thf.org
WHERE CAN SOUND TAKE US?
To create rhythmic but meditative tones, Suarez uses neurological software as well as synthesizers and acoustic instruments like gongs, singing bowls and tuning forks (which can be used directly on the body for pain release by creating vibrations at acupressure points). “I’m very interested in rhythmic sounds and the phenomenon known as brain wave entrainment, which is when your brain waves sync with the external stimuli of either light or sound,” she said. “I work with electronic tones that are actually pulsing very quickly, and your brain waves sort of sync into these rapidly moving tones because they set a certain level of familiarity where your brain can kind of go into more of an autopilot zone because it knows to expect these sounds.” The changing speeds and intensity of the rhythms she plays, as well as the acceleration and deceleration of digital tones, guide her listener’s meditative experience. “I’m creating sounds to facilitate that person’s wellness,” she said. “Some people are really attracted to the digital tones and respond really well to them, while for others the acoustic sounds work much better. Being able to create a dialogue between how we experience digital music and how we experience acoustic music is really interesting to me and not something that I’ve really seen other sound healers investigating.” While the COVID-19 pandemic may have paused group gatherings like the museum workshops, Suarez has adapted her sound healing practice to a successful online experience. A session with Suarez is a bit like having a private concert. “When you have an appointment with me, it’s not just about the sounds you’re hearing. It’s about the communication I have with you to create a live presentation of music that’s distinctly catered to your needs,” she said. “Our whole body is a listening being — it’s not just what goes into our ears.”
“I’m creating sounds to facilitate that person’s wellness ... Being able to create a dialogue between how we experience digital music and how we experience acoustic music is really interesting to me and not something that I’ve really seen other sound healers investigating.”
DID YOU KNOW? / A number of musiccentric programs have been created to help military veterans with their physical and mental health and well-being, from pairing them with songwriters so they can learn to tell their stories through song to offering intensive musicfocused rehabilitation programs for the severely wounded. Learn more at operationwearehere .com/musictherapy.html
IN RHYTHM Lavender Suarez often uses acoustic instruments such as gongs during her sound healing sessions to create rhythmic, meditative tones that can facilitate wellness. PHOTO BY EXPERIMENTAL SOUND STUDIO
— LAVENDER SUAREZ ONLINE To learn more about Lavender Suarez and her sound healing practice, visit lavenderhealer.comc 54
PERFECT PAIRING FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF THE HENRY FORD: MOOG PROTOTYPE
WATCH and listen to a 36-second video on Transcendent Waves: How Listening Shapes Our Creative Lives at tinyurl.com/s9x5fc3kc
The composer Pauline Oliveros was a mentor and inspiration to several generations of experimental musicians, including Lavender Suarez. In the 1960s, Oliveros explored the possibilities of electronic music through tape loops, her own design for the “expanded instrument system,” and commercial Buchla and Moog synthesizers. The Henry Ford’s collections are home to the prototype Moog synthesizer, developed by engineer Robert Moog and composer-educator Herbert Deutsch in 1964. The sounds of electronic instruments like the Moog were infinitely flexible, capable of producing both harsh noise and sweeping ambient tones. Beloved by boundary-pushing musicians of the past, they continue to find relevance in the music of the present. — KRISTEN GALLERNEAUX, CURATOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
PHOTO FROM THE HENRY FORD ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN INNOVATION
WHERE CAN SOUND TAKE US?
THE ROLE MUSIC CAN PLAY IN EQUALITY, ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL MICK EBELING, DANIEL BELQUER | MUSIC: NOT IMPOSSIBLE Film producer Mick Ebeling (right) founded Not Impossible Labs to be a tech incubator with the mission of righting wrongs with innovation. Since then, his credo to “create technology for the sake of humanity” has resulted in developments like an invention allowing people who are paralyzed to communicate using only their eye movements and 3D-printed arms for Sudanese children who’ve lost limbs to war. So when Ebeling witnessed a concert for deaf listeners — where the music was turned up loud enough for the crowd to feel the vibrations — around the same time as a friend lost his sense of smell in a skateboarding accident, he had a revelation. “He didn’t fall on his nose — he fell on his head,” Ebeling said. “That means you don’t smell with your nose. You smell with your brain, which means you don’t hear with your ears, you do that with your brain too. So what if we went around and kind of subverted the classic way that people hear and we just took a new pathway to the brain?” Thus was born the Music: Not Impossible project. Ebeling enlisted Daniel Belquer, a Brazilian music composer and technologist, to be the “mad scientist” shepherding the endeavor. Belquer was obsessed with vibration and tickled by the observation that skin could act as a substitute for the eardrum. “In terms of frequency range, the skin is much more limited than the ears,” said Belquer, “but the skin is better at perceiving texture.” Belquer and Ebeling worked with engineers at Bresslergroup, Cinco Design and Avnet, in close collaboration with members of the deaf community, to create the current version of a wearable device consisting of a “vibrotactile” vest, wrist straps and ankle straps. The harness 56
features 24 actuators linked to different instruments and sounds that distribute vibrations all over the body. The system is totally customizable and could, for example, have the drums vibrate the ankles, guitars stimulate the wrists, basslines rumble along the base of the spine, vocals tickle the chest and so on. “What we’re doing is transforming the audio into small packets of information that convey frequency amplitude in the range that our device can recognize,” Belquer said. “And then we send this through the air to the technology of the device. The wearables receive that information and drive the actuators across the skin, so you get a haptic translation of the sound as it was in its source.” As the team tested prototypes and held demo events, they also discovered the device has benefits for hearing listeners as well as deaf ones. “We can totally provide an experience that is both auditory and haptic,” said Belquer, referring to the term describing the perception of objects by touch. “So with the vibration and the music, you hear it and you feel it and you get gestalt. This combined experience is more powerful than the individual parts. It’s like nothing you’ve ever felt.” The project won Silver in the Social Impact Design category at the 2020 Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). “In the beginning, people would say this might be something like Morse code or Braille, that you have to go through an educational process in order to understand,” said Belquer. “But as an artist, I was always against a learning curve. You might not know or like a specific kind of music or style, but you can relate to what the emotional message of the content is. You don’t need to be trained in order to have the experience and be impacted by it.” PHOTO COURTESY OF NOT IMPOSSIBLE LABS
WHERE CAN SOUND TAKE US?
“You might not know or like a specific kind of music or style, but you can relate to what the emotional message of the content is. You don’t need to be trained in order to have the experience and be impacted by it.” — DANIEL BELQUER
What may be most remarkable about the project is that it creates a shared experience among people who might not have had one otherwise. From what the Music: Not Impossible team has witnessed so far, wearing the device can be just as intense and euphoric for folks who can hear as those who can’t. “We’ve had maybe 3,000 demo participants at this point,” said Belquer, “and there’s this face we always see: Their eyes open wide and their mouth and jaw drops as they have this ‘wow!’ moment.”
ONLINE For more information on Not Impossible Labs and the Music: Not Impossible project, visit notimpossible.comc
WOW MOMENTS Inset far left: Mick Ebeling (left) and Daniel Belquer worked with leading engineers and members of the deaf community to create the current version of their wearable device, which consists of a “vibrotactile” vest, wrist straps and ankle straps (below left). Those who wear it, can experience music by feeling it, not just hearing it. DEVICE PHOTOS BY CINCO DESIGN; TOP AND BOTTOM RIGHT PHOTO COURTESY OF NOT IMPOSSIBLE LABS; INSET BY DIA DIPASUPIL/ GETTY IMAGES FOR TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
PERFECT PAIRING FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF THE HENRY FORD: WORDS FROM A CURATOR AND JUROR OF THE INTERNATIONAL DESIGN EXCELLENCE AWARDS Last year, the Music: Not Impossible project won Silver in the Social Impact Design category at the 2020 Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), hosted at The Henry Ford. Here’s what Marc Greuther, vice president of historical resources and chief curator of The Henry Ford and an IDEA juror, had to say about the project: “I like to think of design as an essentially friction-reducing discipline, reducing chafing in the functional, aesthetic or durability realms — of design building bridges, shortening the route between user and a known destination promised by a tool’s outcome, whether it’s a really good cup of coffee, a comfortable office chair or an intuitive e-commerce interface,” said Greuther. “Music: Not Impossible grabbed my attention for going an order of magnitude further — for bridging unconnectable worlds, making sound and music accessible to the deaf. In his Design Checklist, Bill Stumpf said good design should ‘advance the arts of living and working.’ Music: Not Impossible fulfills that goal by creating an opening into a vast landscape — not by reducing friction but by removing a wall.”
DID YOU KNOW? / Physician and professor Oliver Sacks wrote a book titled Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. The book investigates the place music occupies in the brain, how it affects the human condition and how it has the power to move us, heal us and haunt us.
— JENNIFER LAFORCE
June 5-September 6, 2021 Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation® FREE FOR MEMBERS OR WITH MUSEUM ADMISSION
©MUPPETS/DISNEY. ©2018 SESAME WORKSHOP. ©THE JIM HENSON COMPANY.
Prepare to be astounded by our attractions and resources
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INSIDE THE HENRY FORD Flip through the following pages to find out what’s happening inside this mind-blowing cultural institution and how to make the most of your annual membership.
Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation Greenfield Village Ford Rouge Factory Tour Acquisitions + Collections Membership Spotlight 2021 Events
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INSIDE THE HENRY FORD
HENRY FORD MUSEUM OF AMERICAN INNOVATION
READY, SET, GO
Driven to Win: Racing in America exhibition is a playground for all ages DRIVEN TO WIN: RACING IN AMERICA presented by General Motors is Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation’s premier racing exhibition. It was all set to open last summer. Anticipation was high. Preview parties were planned. The cars on display — from the “Old 16” race car to Jim Clark’s Lotus-Ford from the 1965 Indy 500 — were ready for installation. Racing simulator games were plugged in, and a gravity racetrack was constructed, poised to welcome visitors to take a turn on its hills. COVID-19 changed all that, forcing a long pause in the exhibition’s grand opening plans in 2020. In March 2021, that pause was finally over, with Driven to Win welcoming guests for the first time. Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at The Henry Ford, will tell you that many of the elements within Driven to Win make it a literal playground — for kids as well as grown-ups. There are lots of interactive elements: There’s a quarter midget car that kids can sit in, six full-motion racing simulators (additional fee required to experience), a pit crew exercise where you can try your hand at changing a stock car’s tires — real fast, a drag racing Christmas tree light column that tests your reflexes, a race car driver training gymnasium complete with hightech cognitive games and much more.
ONLINE For more information, hours and pricing for Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, visit thf.org/museumc
In addition, you can get acquainted with some of the young-at-heart personalities who have and still are burning up the competitive racing scene, like professional rally driver Ken Block. “You really get a sense of Block’s showmanship,” said Anderson about watching the video that runs on a continuous loop near Block’s wild-looking 2012 Ford Fiesta ST HFHV, which is part of the exhibition. Or you can stop and learn about stock car driver Bubba Wallace, the second Black driver to race full-time in NASCAR’s toplevel series. A die-cast model of his 2020 Chevrolet Camaro painted with “Black Lives Matter” is on display. And don’t forget to take a closer look at the 1960 Slingshot Dragster built by teens Sam Buck and Bob Thompson. “These guys are a case study for r acing as grown-up play. A couple of young hot-rodders who built a car from a kit, modified the engine with speed shop parts and became drag strip heroes on weekends,” said Anderson. Plus, there’s an impressive c ollection of tether cars, a display of Hot Wheels and slot cars, Lego models of F ord GT racers, and a whole s election of influential racing video games — from Atari’s Indy 500 (1977) and Pole Position (1983) to M icrosoft’s Forza Motorsport (2005). — JENNIFER LAFORCE
The Henry Ford Magazine’s JanuaryMay 2020 issue totally dedicated to racing. It includes a questionand-answer with drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr., spotlights some of racing’s remarkable women and takes you inside one of racing’s top-tier training facilities in Indianapolis issuu.com/thfmagazinec
HOLMAN MOODY-BUILT FORD GALAXIE Driven to Win: Racing in America has a new addition: a Holman Moody-built 1966 Ford Galaxie driven by Wendell Scott. He was the first African American to compete full-time in NASCAR’s Cup Series and the first to win a top-level race. The car is on loan to The Henry Ford from Hajek Motorsports through the end of 2021. Breaking barriers, Scott fought limited resources and discrimination throughout his 13-year career in auto racing, even inspiring the 1977 film Greased Lighting. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015. Learn more about the obstacles he faced and overcame on our blog. See the visiting ‘66 Galaxie in the exhibition, and then go to The Henry Ford’s digital collections and view related photos in the Dave Friedman Collection, where Matt Anderson, curator of transportation, said images were recently found of Scott and the Galaxie in its original Holman Moody paint.
c Scotsman Jim Clark won the
Indianapolis 500 with this rear-engine Lotus-Ford in 1965, effectively killing the traditional Indy roadster and establishing a new design for American race cars. The vehicle is one of 22 race cars on display in The Henry Ford’s now-open Driven to Win: Racing in America exhibition.
HOTOS BY WES DUENKEL P MOTORSPORT PHOTOGRAPHY
INSIDE THE HENRY FORD
ROUND AND ROUND The Herschell-Spillman Carousel is just plain fun SAY THE WORD “CAROUSEL” and most people conjure up images of ornate horses on poles, happy children upon them screaming with glee as they go up and down, round and round. Visit the Herschell-Spillman Carousel in Greenfield Village and the scene is similar. It’s a centerpoint of fascination, fun and play for thousands of guests each year. A place to decompress from the more serious points of history shared in the village and just let go. “The carousel gets to the multifaceted nature of the Greenfield Village experience,” said Marc Greuther, vice president, historical resources and chief curator at The Henry Ford. “That it’s not always about innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness. Sometimes it’s simply about having fun. If you think about it, there’s some ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation in that.” The carousel dates back to 1913 with a backstory that is somewhat uncertain, which is a bit odd, according to Greuther. “It’s kind of interesting to think something this large having sort of shadowy beginnings,” he said. It is known that the carousel was originally installed in San Francisco and somehow made its way to a park east of Spokane, Washington, along the way, where it operated until the 1950s. After years in storage, The Henry Ford acquired and installed it in Greenfield Village in the early 1970s, where it
ONLINE For more information, hours and pricing for Greenfield Village, visit thf.org/villagec
has entertained visitors ever since. A menagerie carousel, it’s the eclectic collection of hand-finished wooden animals that makes the Herschell-Spillman so memorable for so many. Whether it’s one of the multitude of decorated horses, the rare hoptoad — referred to by some as the frog — the dapper rooster, the majestic lion or the ferocious-looking pig with a stolen corncob in its mouth, most repeat visitors have their favorites. Some animals are “jumpers,” while others are stationary. There are even two chariots and a lover’s tub for those who simply want to sit in a more traditional manner to enjoy the ride. “Being on the outside gives you the best sensation of speed,” said Greuther, who has an affinity for the carousel’s mythical sea dragon. “I kind of like rooting for the underdog,” he added. “The sea dragon has an awful lot of character — a sort of mythological beast holding its own amidst a whole bunch of real animals.” As Greuther concludes, a ride on the Herschell-Spillman Carousel may not necessarily be profound, and there’s nothing wrong with that. “It’s an environment where the normal rules don’t apply. Where you’re riding around in circles, there’s lots of speed and lots of noise. It’s fun after all: a big exercise in sparkle, pizzazz.”
PLAY BALL Historic Base Ball in Greenfield Village is a longtime guest favorite. No wonder. There’s a certain fascination in watching the game as it was played in the 1800s — town versus town, the only prize the sweet taste of victory. For the 2021 season, base ball is back on the calendar in Greenfield Village’s Walnut Grove with all the neccessary COVID-19 safety protocols in place. Take in a game with the home teams, the Lah-DeDahs and the National Base Ball Club. Get a sense for the origins of America’s pastime. The rules are different, the uniforms and equipment intriguing. Gloves are optional. Games are set to begin the weekend of June 12-13 and will continue weekends through Labor Day. A World Tournament is scheduled for Aug. 14-15. For more information and a current game schedule, visit thf.org/ current-events/calendar/ historic-base-ball-games.
PHOTO BY GARY MALERBA
— JENNIFER LAFORCE
WATCH Episode 58, titled “Spider Catcher,” of The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation for a segment about the Herschell-Spillman Carousel in Greenfield Village thf.org/explore/innovation-nation/ episodes/spider-catcherc
DID YOU KNOW? / The carousel was not originally designed for entertainment. It was a practical military training tool for warfare, teaching soldiers how to maintain balance and draw their weapons while on horseback.
c Forty people can ride the Herschell-
Spillman Carousel in Greenfield Village at one time. View The Henry Ford’s expert set on the carousel here as well as the expert set here on carousels in general.
PHOTO BY KMS PHOTOGRAPHY
INSIDE THE HENRY FORD
FORD ROUGE FACTORY TOUR
WITH GREAT PRIDE
The need to lead is strong at the Dearborn Truck Plant COREY WILLIAMS HAS BEEN a part of the Dearborn Truck Plant management team for nearly four years, promoted to plant manager in January 2021. And he’s worked at many Ford facilities in a variety of management positions over the 25-plus years he’s been with Ford. He’ll tell you with conviction that the Dearborn Truck Plant (DTP), where the Ford F-150 is built and The Henry Ford’s Ford Rouge Factory Tour welcomes thousands of visitors a year, is unlike anywhere else in the world. “Every Ford plant has the same goals, metrics and objectives — we all want to deliver the best, highest-quality product to the customer that we can,” said Williams. “But at Dearborn Truck, the culture is different. And when I say different, I mean everyone here understands that we are building America’s bestselling truck and the sense of pride in that is like no other. “Everybody knows that we are leaders, never followers,” he added. “That if it can be done, it will be done at DTP — at not only the highest rate and volumes but with the greatest efficiency.”
ONLINE For the most up-to-date information, hours and pricing for the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, visit thf.org/rougec
That attitude and mental mantra fit perfectly with Williams’ persona. He’s not afraid to admit he’s an ultracompetitive guy who feeds off having to face the next challenge. “I’ve been a sports guy my entire life,” he said. “I love to compete and like the idea of a team — the collaborative part of it and how you have to work together toward a common goal.” And when asked about the new set of players — vehicles as well as workers — that are now ready to call the Ford Rouge Complex home along with DTP, Williams couldn’t be more excited. In 2022, the new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is slated to open, employing hundreds of new hires and manufacturing the all-new batteryelectric F-150. “Not a day goes by that people don’t ask me about our new hybrid, the EV center and electric truck — the buzz and amazement just grows,” said Williams. “It’s a huge step in continuing our truck leadership and dominance. We are changing the game.” — JENNIFER LAFORCE
PLAY TO WORK Corey Williams, plant manager at Dearborn Truck Plant, will tell you that playing team sports in his younger years is a key precursor to his manufacturing management skills today. “Involving yourself in team events where you need to collaborate and compete as a team toward a common objective is extremely relevant from a STEM standpoint,” he said. The Henry Ford Magazine also asked members of Ford Motor Company’s vehicle launch team and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour what games, TV shows, toys, etc., they remember growing up that helped spark their interest in STEM and manufacturing. James Housel, bodyshop launch manager: “Saturday morning cartoons watching ‘Wile E. Coyote, SUUUUUUPER Genius.’” The cartoon character is always obtaining crazy gizmos from fictional mail-order company Acme in the hopes of capturing the Road Runner. Cynthia Jones, The Henry Ford’s innovation experiences general manager: “I loved to play the board games Risk and Clue. Both of those helped me identify patterns, test hypotheses, set strategy goals and learn from failure.” Like Williams, Jones, a dedicated swimmer through high school, credits competitive sports too. Doug Plond, operations manager, Ford Rouge Factory Tour: “As a really young tyke, I loved to build with my red cardboard brick set — knocking them down was the fun part. Once I got a bit older, I moved up to Lincoln Logs.”
DID YOU KNOW? / National Manufacturing Day is an annual event that occurs on the first Friday of October. For 2021, that’s Oct. 1. All across the country, organizations — including The Henry Ford and the Dearborn Truck Plant — use this day to celebrate what manufacturing really looks like, sometimes hosting special events and programming. Learn more at manufacturing.gov.
c Corey Williams, Dearborn Truck
Plant manager, will tell you that the culture at the plant where the Ford F-150 is built is one of a kind. “Everyone here understands that we are building America’s bestselling truck and the sense of pride in that is like no other,” he said.
PHOTO BY NICK HAGEN
INSIDE THE HENRY FORD
ACQUISITIONS + COLLECTIONS
SUPER COOL IDEA
Water toy tells story of innovation and entrepreneurship SOMETIMES SERIOUS WORK LEADS to serious play — with seriously successful results. Did you know that the Super Soaker water gun was an accidental invention by NASA rocket scientist Lonnie Johnson? Johnson was passionate about inventing not only at his “day job” as an engineer working with hundreds of colleagues but also working on his own inventions in his spare time. In 1982, Johnson was in his home workshop developing an environmentally friendly cooling system. To test his idea of using circulating water and air pressure — instead of the chemical Freon — Johnson connected a high-pressure nozzle to his bathroom faucet, aimed the nozzle, turned it on and then blasted a powerful stream of water into the bathtub. He quickly recognized its potential as a toy — a pressurized water gun that didn’t require batteries and was safe enough for kids to play with. Johnson quickly produced a prototype using Plexiglas, PVC pipe, a two-liter soda bottle and other materials. Over the next few
ONLINE See other toys from the 1990s in The Henry Ford’s Digital Collectionsc
years, he continued to make improvements. In 1989, Johnson licensed his design for the Super Soaker to Larami. The company launched the toy on the market in 1990. Kids loved it! Within two years, the Super Soaker generated over $200 million in sales, becoming the top-selling toy in the United States. Improved versions of the Super Soaker debuted during the following years. By 2016, Super Soaker sales were approximately $1 billion. Johnson didn’t just take his royalty money and retire. It was a means to achieving his real goal — to establish his own research company, Johnson Research & Development. Today, Johnson has more than 100 patents and is currently developing innovative technology to efficiently convert solar energy into electricity with world-changing results. Johnson’s Super Soaker, familiar to millions of kids, can inspire new generations of inventors and entrepreneurs. The message? Creative play can lead to great achievements. — JEANINE HEAD MILLER, CURATOR OF DOMESTIC LIFE
WATCH Episode 98, titled “Super Soaker Inventor,” from season 4 of The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation thf.org/explore/innovation-nation/ episodes/super-soaker-inventorc
ANOTHER NASA SCIENTIST Lonnie Johnson isn’t the only NASA scientist who’s a bit of a kid at heart that has caught the attention of The Henry Ford. In 2009, Charles Elachi, who was then head of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), was interviewed as part of The Henry Ford’s OnInnovation oral history project. He talked about the solar system being his team’s playground: “Having fun is a big part of being passionate about what you do. Every time we launch a spacecraft, we have to be very serious about it because we are spending taxpayer money and people have spent years and years designing these missions. “On the other hand, the work has to be fun or who is going to come here and work 60, 80 hours a week until the job is done? “Every morning, I look forward to whatever problem I might face because I am going to learn something new, be enriched and maybe become a little bit smarter. I think most of the people at JPL think about it that way. That this is a playground, but a serious playground.” To read or watch the full interview with Elachi, visit thf.org/explore/stories-of -innovation/visionaries/ charles-elachi or view the feature story in the JanuaryMay 2015 issue of The Henry Ford Magazine at issuu.com/ thfmagazine.
PHOTO INSET FROM THE HENRY FORD ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN INNOVATION
d NASA rocket scientist Lonnie
Johnson was in his home workshop developing an environmentally friendly cooling system when the idea for a pressurized toy water gun first popped into his head. Some eight years later, his Super Soaker (above left) was generating millions of dollars in sales.
PHOTO BY THOMAS S. ENGLAND/
THE LIFE IMAGES COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES
INSIDE THE HENRY FORD
NAMES: John Henry and Beatrice Marie “Peggy” Rendzio
NUMBER OF YEARS AS MEMBERS:
Walking in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
FAVORITE MEMBER PERK: “We walk almost every day in the museum,” said John Henry. “We know the security guards and lots of the staff. And after we’re done walking, we can stop in at Plum Market for a coffee and sometimes a cookie.”
WHAT’S YOUR SPARK?
Members John Henry and Beatrice Marie Rendzio find a much-needed outlet for exercise among the artifacts and exhibits of Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
WHEN YOU’RE IN YOUR mid-90s, finding a climate-controlled space where you feel comfortable getting in a bit of physical fitness may be difficult. That’s why you’ll find John Henry and Beatrice Marie “Peggy” Rendzio at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation almost every day around 10-10:30 a.m. Members of The Henry Ford for a quarter of a century, the Rendzios are longtime regulars with The Henry Ford’s museum walkers, a cherished group of old and young who use the museum’s perimeter and winding exhibit pathways to exercise and socialize. Danette Fusco, with The Henry Ford’s Guest Services team, sees the Rendzios often. “Like clockwork, this charming couple visits to get their daily exercise and socialization,” she said. “They are truly an inspiration.”
WHAT’S YOUR SPARK? Let us know what inspires you on your next visit and what takes you forward from your membership. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 72
PHOTO BY NICK HAGEN
Take It Forward as a Member Enjoy benefits like free admission and parking, discounts on events and tours, exclusive member previews and more. ONLINE thf.org/ membershipc
EXPLORE MORE WITH OUR FREE APP Download THF Connect to transform your visit to Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation with curator-led audio tours, augmented reality experiences, an interactive map and more. Unlock stories that cross exhibits. Find your way to your favorite objects. Explore our collections and even create your own virtual innovation. thf.org/ConnectApp
ESPECIALLY FOR MEMBERS: Download the app to access your digital membership card — the best way to activate your membership benefits from any place at any time.
INSIDE THE HENRY FORD
From left: Richard Hunt, Jim Henson and d
Frank Oz performing Bert and Ernie on the set of Sesame Street in the 1970s. Opposite page: Jim and Jane Henson on the set during the filming of a Wilkins Coffee commercial in 1960. The ninesecond commercials were so successful that more than 200 were produced.
© 2018, SESAME WORKSHOP COURTESY SESAME WORKSHOP/MOMI PHOTO ON OPPOSITE PAGE BY DEL ANKERS, © THE JIM HENSON COMPANY. COURTESY THE JIM HENSON COMPANY/MOMI.
Other Premier Events ONLINE
Featuring leaders in their fields and ONLY curators in their element, these virtual sessions via Zoom discuss topics and challenges facing us today as well as artifacts and collections with relevance past, present and future. Attendees can interact and ask questions.
July 16 THF Conversations | Food at Eagle Tavern Presented by Senior Curator Donna R. Braden (part of Member Appreciation Days)
Aug. 26 FREE FOR MEMBERS
HENRY FORD MUSEUM OF AMERICAN INNOVATION
The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited
THF Conversations | A Market Shed in Its 160th Year Presented by Curators Debra Reid and Jim Johnson and Director Alec Jerome
Sept. 21 THF Conversations | The Henry Ford’s Quilt Collection Presented by Curator Jeanine Head Miller To watch previous THF Conversations, see the archive at thf.org/thf-conversations-archive. ONLINE For more information on upcoming THF Conversations and how to register to attend, visit thf.org/thf-conversationsc
Open: Through Sept. 6 Jim Henson’s groundbreaking work for film and television has had a transformative impact on popular culture. He built the Muppets into an enduring international brand, contributed beloved puppet characters to Sesame Street and made movies that applied his vivid imagination to stories for the big screen. You can explore and celebrate his innovative approach to puppetry and unique contributions to the moving image at The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. Featuring more than 100 original artifacts, this exhibition showcases 25 iconic Henson puppets, includes film and TV clips, and offers a closeup look at many of his character sketches, storyboards, scripts and more. Depending on current COVID-19 restrictions, visitors may also be able to enjoy interactive puppeteering activities. Discover Henson’s curious creative nature and how he and a talented team of designers, performers and writers created an unparalleled body of work that continues to delight and inspire people of all ages.
Curator of Public Life Donna R. Braden’s blog post on Jim Henson and his legacy — thf.org/explore/ celebrating-jim-henson-and-his-legacyc
The story, “Amazing Moments,” on Page 20 of this magazine to learn more about the origins of Rosita, a character currently featured on Sesame Street, and her puppeteer, Carmen Osbahr-Vertizc
ONLINE To learn more, visit thf.org/current-events/calendar/ the-jim-henson-exhibition-imagination-unlimitedc All programs and dates are subject to change. For the latest updates and more information on special events and programs, call 313.982.6001 or visit thf.org. thf.org
In these faces we see the future Today’s students will drive tomorrow’s workforce, enrich our communities and build a better future. We support programs like Invention Convention Worldwide for fueling their success.
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How to make your travel plans to The Henry Ford quick and easy
PLAN YOUR VISIT At The Henry Ford, you’ll discover America — its culture, inventions, people and can-do spirit — and hundreds of ways to explore it, enjoy it and be inspired by it. Maximize your visit — whether it’s for three hours, three days or a full year — and see for yourself why The New York Times called The Henry Ford one of the world’s coolest museums.
PLAN YOUR VISIT Hotel Partners
OVERNIGHT VACATION PACKAGES The Henry Ford offers overnight packages through several lodging partners that meet a variety of needs, including full service, limited service and campground. When you book with one of The Henry Ford’s official lodging partners, be sure to ask about available double and family vacation packages, which include attraction tickets and overnight accommodations. Don’t wait; book your date at America’s Greatest History Destination today at thf.org/vacations. Double Package
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Location: Dearborn Drive time*: 4 Sleeping rooms: 116 Pool: Indoor Pets: No Meeting rooms: 1 Meeting space (sq. ft): 250
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Room and two vouchers to two attractions (Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour) Family Package
Room and four vouchers to two attractions (Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour) LIMITED SERVICE
Contact hotel directly for room availability. Packages and pricing vary by hotel.
THE DEARBORN INN, A MARRIOTT HOTEL 20301 Oakwood Boulevard Dearborn, MI 48124 877.757.7103 dearborninnmarriott.com Location: Dearborn Drive time*: 3 Sleeping rooms: 229 Pool: Outdoor Pets: No Meeting rooms: 17 Meeting space (sq. ft): 17,000
COUNTRY INN & SUITES - DEARBORN 24555 Michigan Avenue Dearborn, MI 48124 313.562.8900 countryinns.com/ dearbornmi Location: Dearborn Drive time*: 7 Sleeping rooms: 100 Pool: Indoor Pets: Yes Meeting rooms: 1 (55)
SEE AD ON PAGE 81
SEE AD ON PAGE 81 CAMPING
DETROIT/ANN ARBOR KOA
1700 General Motors Rd., Milford, MI 48380 248.684.6000 campdearborn.com Location: NW Oakland County Drive time*: 45 Sleeping rooms: 191 Pool: Outdoor Pets: No Meeting rooms: 0
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6680 Bunton Road Ypsilanti, MI 48197 734.482.7722 koa.com/campgrounds/ detroit Location: I-94 Corridor Drive time*: 20 Sleeping rooms: 212 Pool: On lake Pets: Yes Meeting rooms: Outdoor pavilion Meeting space (sq. ft): 600
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COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT - DETROIT DEARBORN 5200 Mercury Drive Dearborn, MI 48126 313.271.1400 dearborncourtyard.com Location: Dearborn Drive time*: 10 Sleeping rooms: 147 Pool: Indoor Pets: No Meeting rooms: 2 Meeting space (sq. ft): 1,274
SEE AD ON PAGE 85 LIMITED SERVICE
COMFORT SUITES SOUTHGATE 18950 Northline Road Southgate, MI 48195 734.287.9200 comfortsuitessouthgate.com Location: Downriver (I-75 corridor) Drive time*: 15 Sleeping rooms: 78 Pool: Indoor Pets: No Meeting rooms: 1 (50)
SEE AD ON PAGE 85 *Drive time in minutes to The Henry Ford.
Best outdoor venue in Michigan
Looking for a WOW company picnic? Greenfield Village picnics immerse attendees in our 80-acre outdoor attraction filled with family fun and inspiration. Packages for groups of 150 to 5,000 include admission, parking and picnic-style lunch. Our professional planners will make it easy. Learn more at thf.org/picnics or call 313.982.6220.
R E V I V E TH E PLE A SU R E O F TR AV EL .
The Dearborn Inn puts you at a distinct advantage of being just three blocks from The Henry Ford. Built in 1931, this 23-acre colonial retreat offers a setting reminiscent of a classic American inn, with a AAA four-diamond rating and the level of service and amenities you expect from Marriott. For reservations and group bookings, call 313-271-2700 or visit DearbornInnMarriott.com THE DEARBORN INN, A MARRIOTT HOTEL 20301 OAKWOOD BOULEVARD DEARBORN, MICHIGAN 48124
Stay PRODUCTIVE. Feel REFRESHED. • Free high-speed Internet access • Complimentary hot ‘Be Our Guest’ breakfast • Comfortable spacious rooms • Indoor heated pool • Fitness center • And more!
24555 Michigan Avenue Dearborn, MI 48124 (313) 562-8900 • countryinns.com/dearbornmi
Great People. Great Camping. DETROIT ANN ARBOR KOA 6680 Bunton Road Ypsilanti, MI 48197 PHONE 734.482.7722 FAX 734.544.5907
MORE PLAY IN YOUR STAY
· Private spring-fed lake and scenic forest setting · Large private beach and lakeside trails · Excellent boating, fishing and swimming · Long pull-thrus and full hookups + 50 amp · Holiday weekend family events · Just 35 miles from Detroit attractions
Plan your trip and make reservations at www.koa.com/campgrounds/detroit
With ideal comfort and accommodations, we’ll help you craft the ultimate getaway. Located just minutes from the Henry Ford Museum and offering our own Henry Ford Package, you’ll experience a weekend to remember.
• 20-, 30- and 50-amp RV campsites • Two beaches and three stocked fishing lakes • Heated pool with lifeguards • Laundromats 626 acres of rolling hills, trees • Extensive seven-day and lakes that offer a wide variety recreation program for kids of amenities for outdoor activities • Paddle boat rentals and Canteen food service • 27-hole championship Mystic Creek Golf Course & Banquet Center • 18-hole miniature golf course • Resort-style cabins, rustic cabins and tent rentals
Book your room or package by visiting DearbornCourtyard.com Courtyard by Marriott Detroit Dearborn 5200 Mercury Drive Dearborn, MI 48126 313.271.1400 DearbornCourtyard.com
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THE ORIGINAL DETROIT-STYLE PIZZA since 1946 buddyspizza.com 82
Nourish your next big idea, and taste American farm-fresh foods at the new Plum Market Kitchen in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation®. Stop by for a Zingerman’s pastry and coffee in the morning or a lunch featuring organic, sustainable and artisanal soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees. MEMBERS: Show your card to save 10% on dining and grab-and-go meals. No museum admission is necessary to visit Plum Market Kitchen at The Henry Ford.
Visit thf.org/plummarketkitchen for menus and more information.
Find Your Fun. Playtime is anytime in Dearborn.
From world-class museums to green, scenic spaces where you can bike, hike and kayak. From charming neighborhoods to not one — but two — downtowns. From park concerts to local shopping, Dearborn affords plenty of reasons to play and stay.
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Upon activation and with proper identification, AAA will provide regular AAA services and full privileges for the new member. Roadside benefits begin three days after payment of dues. Some restrictions apply. *AAA Gift Membership program and availability are subject to change without notice at any time. Visit AAA.com/Gift for full terms and conditions. 21-MS-0992 J
more ways to play
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Comfort Suites 18950 Northline Rd. Southgate, MI 48195
A LOOK BACK
a Per his sketches,
designer Robert Propst envisioned children climbing out the top and tumbling down the sides of his Child Volcano playground structure — like flowing magma.
THE HENRY FORD ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN INNOVATION
ROBERT PROPST, A CHILD VOLCANO AND PLAYGROUND SCULPTURES WATCH How a growing bunch of children in a park play happily on Robert Propst’s Fun Swing. View film footage in our Digital Collectionsc
Designer Robert Propst was best known for leading Herman Miller’s development of the Action Office cubicle system. In the mid-1950s though, he created a number of toy designs, including the Fun Sticks game, a Fun Duck scooter and the Fun Swing — a piece of playground equipment safety experts might cringe to see in action today. In 1958, Propst drew up designs for playground sculptures cast in fine cement — no sharp corners in sight — covered in red, yellow and blue plasticized paint. Park plans show the curiously labeled Child Volcano nestled between slides and biomorphic Hide & Seek structures. Inside the volcano’s hollow core, ladder rungs allowed children to climb out the top and tumble down its sides like flowing magma. Playgrounds seem to contrast with the controlled systems Propst is celebrated for. However, this approach — proposing a spectrum across structured activity and free exploration — not only encouraged creative thinking paramount to learning and growth but informed his vision for flexibility and problem-solving in the office. — KRISTEN GALLERNEAUX, CURATOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Welcome to Generation E.
Simulated battery shown. Do not attempt. Follow all battery label warnings.
Battery empowered, our new Ultium Platform is a catalyst for change. Capable of range, power and flexibility for all, it’s this kind of innovation that’s helping to build our all-electric future. General Motors is proud to support The Henry Ford on the road to creating a better tomorrow.
everybody in. gm.com ©2021 General Motors. All Rights Reserved.
MAGAZINE For access to past issues of THF Magazine, please visit issuu.com/thfmagazine.