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Exported From Michigan - A Special Screening at the Library of Michigan

August 28, 2014

LANSING – The Library of Michigan will be hosting a special screening at 2 p.m. September 13 of a feature length documentary film about the resilience that people in Michigan have shown in the face of great economic and environmental challenges.

The film, Exported From Michigan, explores local business solutions like art, urban farming and microbreweries; as well as big business innovations in wind, solar and hybrid electric auto.

“All over Michigan, people have created and developed new economic models as solutions to these challenges,” said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan. “Developing and fostering creativity in our citizens, along with a strong foundation in math, science, and the arts, will continue to rebuild a stronger Michigan.”

The film’s director, Jon Vander Pol, is a Grand Rapids native who has teamed up with a skilled crew of producers, animators, narrators, musicians and cinematographers. Three years in the making, Exported from Michigan was partially funded by a grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

“In the publishing world, we are seeing a rash of ruins photography and rust belt books focused on the state of Michigan. This is the opposite of that trend,” said Randy Riley, State Librarian and Michigan Notable Book Program Coordinator.

“This is a positive film but from the mid-1970s through the 2008 auto bailout it’s been clear Michigan needs to diversify its economy,” Vander Pol said. The title is a play on Chrysler’s Imported from Detroit campaign.

Some of the main characters and stories in the film include: ArtPrize, Earthworks Music, Urban Farms, U of M’s Solar Car Team, Ford and GM’s hybrid and electric cars, Energetx wind turbines, MOSAIC Youth Theater, Bob Lutz, Rick DeVos, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, Bing Goei and many others.

“When you have artists such as Gretchen Minnhaar lined up with cardiothoracic surgeon Luis Tomatis, permacultures and Mark Covington, that is Michigan’s kind of diversity and everyone should be able to see it in action,” Riley said. “There is a lot to explore in this state, and plenty of creativity from which to draw.”

The special screening is 2 p.m. Saturday, September 13, in the Library of Michigan Forum, with an introduction to the film by Vander Pol and a question and answer period with the director following the film.

Free to attend with limited seating. Parking at the Michigan Library & Historical Center, located at 702 W. Kalamazoo St. in Lansing, is free on Saturdays.

For more information, contact Edwina Murphy, Library of Michigan’s Michigan Collection Curator, at (517) 373-1300.