Motown’s greatest hits to be featured in one-weekend Croswell event

Toledo-born singer-songwriter Tatiana Owens will return to the Croswell Opera House on Valentine’s Day weekend for a pair of concerts spotlighting some of Motown’s greatest hits. “Spirit of Motown: Tatiana Owens in Concert” will feature music from Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Temptations, and many more. It will also include a special tribute to nine-time Grammy Award winner Natalie Cole, who died in December. “Spirit of Motown” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, and at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. Continue Reading

Adrian Armory

Adrian Armory could be redeveloped into apartments

A proposal for two new apartment buildings downtown has shifted focus, but is still in the works. Last summer, Peter Jobson, president of Excel Realty Group in Ohio, spoke to the Adrian City Commission about building two affordable housing complexes on spaces that are currently occupied by city parking lots. One would have been on the site of the Maiden Lane parking lot on the east side of South Winter Street, and the other would have been on Church Street across from the Lenawee County Historical Museum. In order to provide enough parking for residents and to replace the parking spaces that would have been lost, the apartments would have sat on top of three-story parking structures, bringing the total height of the buildings to six stories. However, city administrator Shane Horn said, the developer is now looking at two different downtown locations. Continue Reading

Downtown Adrian

City commission says no to four-story limit on buildings downtown

The Adrian City Commission on Monday shot down a proposal to ban any building higher than 60 feet or four stories in Adrian’s central business district, but left the door open to considering a more limited list of height restrictions in the future. The proposed ordinance, which was recommended by the planning commission in a 6-3 vote, would have applied to the entire B3 central business district. Planning commission chairman Mike Jacobitz said the concern is that with no height limits whatsoever, the door is currently open to buildings of any height anywhere downtown, which could damage the appearance of the downtown historic district. Most buildings downtown are shorter than four stories, with only a few having four. “It’s not a development issue. Continue Reading

Cotton Brewing Company

Cotton Brewing Company opens taproom in former auto parts store

A former auto parts store in an industrial section of Adrian is now the home of a new taproom opened by Cotton Brewing Company. After a “soft opening” on New Year’s Day for friends, family and members of the brewery’s Founders Club, the taproom drew guests from as far as Ann Arbor, Jackson, Livonia and Westland over the course of the holiday weekend. Owners Brett and Krista Cotton plan to have 16 beers on tap — with probably three or four regular beers that are always available, and the rest rotating frequently. Aside from a popcorn machine and prepackaged snacks like chips and pretzels, they’re not planning to make food themselves. Instead, they’re trying out a “guest kitchen” concept that Brett Cotton said he’s seen be successful in places like Ann Arbor and Columbus. Continue Reading

Cole Carrico as the Nutcracker and Halle Horwath as Clara are pictured in the Croswell's "The Story of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King."

Children’s adaptation of ‘The Nutcracker’ staged at the Croswell


The Croswell Opera House in Adrian is presenting an adapted version of “The Nutcracker,” aimed at introducing younger audiences to the Christmas classic. The production, titled “The Story of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” will not be the traditional ballet, director Julianne Dolan said. Instead, lyrics have been added to the traditional melodies and dialogue between the songs will help children follow the story more easily. The dances have also been adapted for a young cast. “It’s under an hour and it has all the elements of theater, so it’s a great way to introduce your child to ‘The Nutcracker,’” Dolan said. Continue Reading

"Handel's Messiah Rocks" opens Saturday at the Croswell.

Croswell Opera House to stage ‘Handel’s Messiah Rocks’

A modern treatment of a Christmas classic will hit the stage this season when the Croswell Opera House in downtown Adrian stages “Handel’s Messiah Rocks.”

“Handel’s Messiah Rocks” is a rock ’n’ roll adaptation of “Messiah,” the sacred 18th-century oratorio by George Frideric Handel. “Handel’s ‘Messiah’ is one of the greatest pieces of sacred music ever written,” said Jere Righter, the Croswell’s artistic director. “Even though it’s been updated in a modern style, the core message is the same as it’s always been. It’s an incredibly joyful celebration of the Christmas season, and I think Handel would be pleased to know that his music continues to speak to people all these centuries later.”

“Messiah” was originally written in 1741 with text drawn from the King James Bible. Its first performances included a series of charity benefit concerts that raised money for hospitals and to free people from debtors’ prison. Continue Reading

Melissa Snead is pictured at her store, Craft, which opened today in downtown Adrian.

New handmade gift store with Michigan emphasis opens downtown

Craft, a new gift store featuring handmade items with a Michigan focus, opened today in downtown Adrian. Owner Melissa Snead said the store features exclusively handmade items, about 90 percent of them from Michigan. Craft is located at 128 N. Main St. Snead has sold her own knitted and crocheted accessories since 2008 under the name Owl’s Nest, and decided to open a store after she started selling at fairs and meeting other artisans. The store has close to 100 people’s work represented. Continue Reading

Laura Parra stands in front of the former Red Door tavern, which she is trying to turn into a new cultural center in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Adrian.

Effort is underway for a new cultural center in Adrian’s Sunnyside neighborhood

Laura Parra had a dream — literally. One night a few years ago, she dreamed she was walking around the Sunnyside neighborhood east of Adrian when she saw a building, opened up like a garage, with Oaxacan-style ceramics lining the walls and people sitting at tables, working, creating art. That dream ended up being the inspiration for what Parra hopes will become a new center for community and culture in Adrian: the Sunnyside Cultural and Historical Center for Peace and Justice, to be located at 2471 E. Maumee St. in the building that was once the Red Door tavern. Parra said the center — which also goes by the abbreviated name of Sunnyside Center for Peace and Justice — could serve many functions. Continue Reading

Ann's By Design is at 118 W. Maumee St., next to the Brick Wall Pub and Grill.

Local needle arts store and travel agency team up for trip to Missouri Star Quilt Company

We love seeing local businesses try innovative things, and here’s a good example. Ann’s By Design, a needle arts store that opened earlier this year in downtown Adrian, is organizing a trip to the Missouri Star Quilt Company, a quilting destination that has gained nationwide fame. If you’re not familiar with the Missouri Star Quilt Company, you can click the following links to listen to an NPR story about the business or read about the founders being honored at the White House in May. The founders are credited with helping turn around their small town’s economy, and the business they’ve built has become a kind of mecca for quilters from all over. Ann’s by Design is hooking up with Horizon Travel and Cruises in Adrian to offer a four-day trip to Hamilton and the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Continue Reading

Benjamin Duke's "Dominating the Flux (Through Analogy Or Through Code)" is one of the pieces in Valade Gallery's new exhibit.

Moments in time captured in Valade Gallery exhibit

Valade Gallery at Adrian College is offering a drawing and painting exhibition titled “Perpetual Now” through Dec. 11. The exhibition showcases the work of five regional artists, Brandon Briggs, Jason E. Carter, Benjamin Duke, Deborah Rockman and Jessica Summers. A reception will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, with a talk by Briggs at 7 p.m.

Works in the show capture specific moments in time, which are perpetuated with each viewing, allowing viewers to experience and mingle their own present with the “now” the artist displays. Continue Reading