Art Fair is canceled; Michigan Medicine announces layoffs; Ann Arbor Mother’s Day gift guide

Art Fair attendees browse the State Street Art Fair on Liberty St. in downtown Ann Arbor.
Art Fair attendees browse the State Street Art Fair on Liberty St. in downtown Ann Arbor. (State Street Art Fair)

Happy Friday!

More bad news keeps coming in, my friends. The Ann Arbor Art Fair has been canceled for the first time in its 61-year history. The directors of the four fairs released a joint statement on Thursday about the difficult decision. “We have consulted with City officials and determined that we are just not able to produce the Art Fair in a manner that will adhere to the mandated social distancing requirements that lie ahead," it read.

Whether you love it or make it a point to leave town during it, the cancellation of Art Fair is going to have a lasting impact on not only the artists and the four fairs, but on Ann Arbor businesses that have been shuttered for weeks and who rely on the profitable long weekend each year.

Though so far this summer leaves much to be desired, keep your heads up. It will only make us appreciate these treasured local events even more when they return.

Have a great weekend.

- Meredith (@meredith_A4)

What’s been happening:

🏥 Michigan Medicine has announced furloughs and layoffs of roughly 1,400 full-time employees, salary reductions and more as part of an economic recovery plan in response to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. (A4)

🙋‍♂️ Ann Arbor City Council voted 11-0 this week to waive late fees associated with property tax payments. "This is a very substantial crisis in our community,” said Mayor Christopher Taylor. (MLive)

🛑 Many local businesses are reeling after a canceled U-M spring commencement weekend. With no sales, for some it could spell permanent closure. (Michigan Daily)

📚 Also canceled this year? AFC Ann Arbor men’s and women’s seasons and the Kerrytown BookFest, which was canceled last year due to lack of funds and volunteers. (A4)

☑️ The city of Ann Arbor has opened voting for its new “I Voted” sticker design finalists. We personally love the K-6 age group’s designs. (A4)

🥪 Zingerman’s Deli has delivered more than 1,600 community-funded meals to frontline health care workers. (A4)

🎾 The city will be opening some parks amenities starting today, including basketball and tennis courts for limited use. Also, the Farmers Market returns tomorrow with curbside pick up only. (A4)

👉 Want to support your favorite local business? We’re starting a Small Business Saturday series and want to hear from you which ones you’d like to see featured. (A4)

Good to know:

🎁 Need a last minute Mother’s Day gift idea? Here are some one-of-a-kind items you can find at local businesses that all moms would appreciate. (A4)

🐐 Bring on the cute animals! The Ann Arbor Fire Department rescued several sweet ducklings yesterday. Meanwhile, White Lotus Farms’ new baby goats in coats are possibly the cutest things you’ve ever seen. You’re welcome. (A4)

👏 Zingerman’s Roadhouse has been named a finalist for a James Beard Foundation Award in the “Outstanding Hospitality” category. (A4)

🍻 Beer for a good cause: HOMES Brewery released its “All Together” IPA to help support unemployed hospitality workers in the Ann Arbor area, and -- in true HOMES fashion -- it sold out quickly. (A4)

Feature interview of the week:

“There’s no real criteria for being chosen as a winner because we feel like they [the nominees] all are. We wish we could give them all something but what we can do is give them a platform to have people know who they are and what they’re doing.”

- Katherine Lesse, co-owner of Abracadabra Jewelry and Gem Gallery on the store’s weekly jewelry and gift card giveaway for frontline workers

✉️ Have something to share? Write me anytime at mbruckner@wdiv.com.

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