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Lorenzo Cultural Center features the 101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan

– Monday, February 16, 2015 12:00AM

Exhibits, presentations, performances and film will explore the story of Michigan from a variety of perspectives

Ask a geologist how Michigan was made and you might hear how glaciers melted, causing water to fill up the basins the glaciers carved out, creating the Great Lakes that surround our two peninsulas. Ask a historian, an economist or an arts aficionado and you’ll get very different responses.

From Feb. 28 to May 9, the Lorenzo Cultural Center, on Macomb Community College’s Center Campus in Clinton Township, will explore those answers in 101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan. The program series will include exhibits along with more than 40 free events, including presentations, performances and film that help tell the story of why Michigan is the way it is. 

The series will kick off Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. with Neal Rubin, columnist at the Detroit News, who will present a lighthearted talk entitled “Mount Michmore: Besides You and Me, Who Deserves to be Carved in Stone?” Rubin will discuss key figures in Michigan history, focusing on lesser-known people who have made a big impact as well as lesser-known facts about famous people.

“The story of Michigan is obviously complex and narrowing it down to 101 key influences or influencers is a matter of perspective that invites debate,” said Christine Guarino, director of cultural affairs and community engagement, Macomb Community College. “Lorenzo Cultural Center’s 101 People, Places and Things program series is not only a great opportunity to survey the history of our state, but also an invitation for people to take a deeper look and develop their own perspective on the key factors and personalities that helped define the character of Michigan.”

Highlights of the program series include:

  • Michigan’s heroes, visionaries  leaders and scoundrels – The Kevorkian File: The Real Story, March 1, with journalist Jack Lessenberry; Viola Liuzzo: Passionate Undertakings, April 11, presented by Michael Placco, professor of history at Macomb; Killing Jimmy Hoffa, 40 Years Later, April 17, with filmmakers Al Profit and Scott Burnstein; Coleman A. Young: His Life and Legacy, April 22, with Patrina Chatman of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; Stevens T. Mason: The Boy Governor, April 23, with author Don Faber.

  • Michigan at War   Michigan in the Civil War, March 22, with Roger L. Rosentreter of Michigan State University; French Town and the Battle of River Raisin, 1813, April 8, presented by historian Ralph Naveaux; The Toledo War: The Origin of the Michigan-Ohio Rivalry, April 12, with Alan Naldrett of  Baker College; The Peace Pipe and the War Axe: Treaties for the Land that Made Michigan, April 15, with Charles E. Cleland of Michigan State University; The Attack at Michilimackinac and the War Called Pontiac’s, April 17, with Keith R. Widder, former curator of history, Mackinac  Island State Park Commission.

  • Social Change in Michigan – Detroit: Race Riots, Racial Conflicts, and Efforts to Bridge the Racial Divide, March 14, by Joe T. Darden and Richard W. Thomas of Michigan State University; The Employers’ Association of Detroit and the Making of the Motor City, March 21, with Thomas Klug from Marygrove College; Ethnic Diversity in Michigan, March 26 presented by author Armando Delicato; A Hanging in Detroit and the Abolishment of Capital Punishment in Michigan, April 9, with attorney and author David Chardavoyne.

  • Performances –Stories, Songs and Dances of the Voyageur, March 20, with storyteller Genot  Picor and fiddler Jim Boynton; Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, April 25, with storyteller Miz Rosie (Rosie Chapman); Bunyan and Banjoes, May 1, with singer and songwriter  Kitty Donohoe.

Exhibits in the cultural center’s 8,500-square-foot Discovery Hall will focus not only on the things that made Michigan but also things that are Michigan made, including a Mustang convertible, World War II vehicle made at the Willow Run factory, artifacts from the 22nd Michigan Regiment of the Civil War and historic items from Motown Records.  Artifacts on loan will include items from the Detroit Historical Museum, the Arsenal of Democracy Museum, Mariner’s Church, the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society, the Port Huron Museum and other private collectors and historical societies.

A complete schedule of events is available here.  Admission to 101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan is free, but pre-registration is required for all presentations and performances. To register, call 586.445.7348 or visit  The Lorenzo Cultural Center is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday -Saturday and 1- 4 p.m. Sundays. School and group tours are available.  

About The Lorenzo Cultural Center
The Lorenzo Cultural Center ( explores the influences and experiences that shape our community's heritage, examining topics from a variety of perspectives and creating interactive opportunities for learning, celebration and entertainment. Located on Macomb Community College's Center Campus, Hall and Garfield roads in Clinton Township, the cultural center is adjacent to the Macomb Center for Performing Arts.

About Macomb Community College
Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 students annually.  Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges.  The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media Contact: James Melton, 586.445.7271,