Border Crossings Program Is Outside the Box!

Border Crossings Program Is Outside the Box!

photo courtesy coolhunting.com
photo courtesy coolhunting.com

outside the box, Informal. in an innovative or unconventional manner; with a fresh perspective: You have to think outside the box and adapt those strategies to your business. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 12 noon – 1:30 p.m., I will be telling the story of Charles Novacek’s award-winning book – Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance outside the box, the First Container [Collision Works] Story Box,  that is in Detroit’s Eastern Market. If it rains I expect the event will have to be held inside the box, but still with a fresh perspective! Charles’ memoir is about his youth spent in the Czech resistance during World War II and the Cold War and his miraculous escape and immigration to Detroit.

First Container is the innovative project of Shel Kimen, a fellow MSU alumna with many achievements. Shel masterminded a VERY successful Kickstarter campaign in April 2013 raising $41,064 of her $37,000 goal from 438 backers!  The campaign was for Shels’ prototype for Collision Works, a planned 36-room boutique hotel, co-working and public event space built from repurposed shipping containers.  The hotel will overlook the Dequindre Cut, an abandoned railroad track transformed into a bicycle and walking path in Detroit.

photo courtesy coolhunting.com
photo courtesy coolhunting.com

The Story Box is the project’s FIRST repurposed shipping CONTAINER (purchased with Kickstarter funds), highly visible on 2934 Russell Street outside Shed 5 in Detroit’s Eastern Market with its bright blue and shell pink exterior. It opened in May 2013. The interior sparkles with its crystal-like chandelier hanging under a teal blue ceiling surrounded by walls paneled with leftover wood scraps.  It’s like a lobby and has free Wi-Fi, too! Adjacent to the container outside is a wooden platform stage for presenters and performers.  The audience sits on stackable chairs on a grassy piece of open land.

Shel Kimen of Collision Works said, “We’ve organized our programming and sponsorships around six, month-long thematic areas and bcfirstcontainershelkimenan ongoing “Welcome to Detroit” series.” Among the areas are: The Neighborhood, The Local Community and The Arts.  They’ve started an “oral history project” to document the lives and stories of residents in the Eastern Market area and Detroit to showcase a variety of local talent telling stories about their current projects as well as to create some new, interactive, story-making activities. The Story Box has already hosted storytelling seminars, Detroit Public Library programs, the Detroit Design Festival and other events featuring Detroit artists.

9780985415105-JacketGray_novacek.inddI’m excited to tell Charles’ story and my story within his story about the publishing of Border Crossings. When you stop and think about it how many authors/publishers get the opportunity to talk about their books in a repurposed shipping container? I’m proud to be among that few and proud to a part of the many who are working hard like Shel (and Charles did) “outside the box” to create a vibrant, new life for the City of Detroit!

See my blog of Charles Letter to the Editor, Please, Quit Knocking Detroit!.” http://www.charlesnovacekbooks.com/please-quit-knocking-detroit/

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One Reply to “Border Crossings Program Is Outside the Box!”

  1. Well stated, Sandy. I also loved reading Charles’ letter to the editor. His advice is sterling. The picture he paints with his words reminds us how fortunate we are to live here. I hope to see you on the 19th.

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