Amanda Uhle of 826Michigan was able to use her recent TEDx talk to announce that the non-profit writing center located in Washtenaw County would expand their program to Detroit thanks to a $100,000 seed grant from the DTE Energy Foundation. Read more about 826 here and an a overview of the announcement here.
826Michigan is part of a nationwide network of similar outposts founded by noted author Dave Eggers. Each of the operations has a themed storefront with the original one in San Francisco using the popular pirate motif. The Ann Arbor location has cleverly utilized a Robot Supply and Repair Shop as their theme resulting in more than $70,000 of sales a year which go to support the operation. In addition to the retail sales, 826Michigan has extensive fundraising programs throughout the year and has tremendous support from major authors. This year Eggers was the centerpiece of a fundraiser and last year Richard Ford and Jeffrey Eugenides hosted a major fundraiser for the group.
This is great news for 826 and Detroit. I hope that Detroit gets its own theme retail store in a high profile location. Read about the TEDx Detroit operation here.