Office of Academic Service Learning awarded $3,600 to start Y Trikes

Eastern Michigan University’s Office of Academic Service Learning received a Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs mini-grant of $3,600 through the Arts Alliance.

The grant will be used to launch Y Trikes: A Community Art & Building Project, which will refurbish, design and repurpose at least 10 adult tricycles. Local artists Chin Azzaro and Cre Fuller will help direct the project. Local businesses, Ypsilanti residents and EMU students will help with the project.

According to EMU, the program’s goal is to “increase the visibility of non-motorized transportation in Ypsilanti while making the tricycles available to nonprofits, businesses and city residents.”

“EMU’s assets are its people and Y Trikes reinforces our mission to engage and collaborate on meaningful local programs,” Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander, director of EMU’s office of AS-L, said in a statement. “This is an equitable partnership because EMU is working to support local artists and art students through cultivating community art.”

The designs for the bikes, which were donated by design professor at the University of Michigan Nick Tobier, are based on proposals from nonprofit organizations and businesses.

Work will begin in January. A round of tricycles is scheduled to be completed by June 2016.

The tricycles will be displayed in a community trike parade and during First Fridays Ypsilanti, a self-guided monthly art and culture walk that takes participants through downtown Ypsilanti venues.

Y Trike, a national urban movement, is focused on merging art, transportation and mobility. According to EMU, the “movement cultivates community collaboration around co-creating useable art and to provide the art to non-profits and businesses.”

EMU’s AS-L is a learning and teaching strategy. Students participate in service activities that meet identified community needs.

For more information on Y Tikes, contact Alexander ataa_asl@emich.eduor Yen Azzaro

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