Contributors: December 2016


Todd and Brad Reed

Father-son Michigan photographers Todd and Brad Reed (Todd is on the right) have spent much of their lives photographing the lighthouses, forests, and wildlife of their hometown of Ludington and all of Michigan. Their work has been featured in our travel teasers for much of 2016. The Reeds have published six books featuring their photography, including two national award-winning books: Tuesdays with Todd & Brad Reed: A Michigan Tribute and Todd & Brad Reed’s Michigan: Wednesdays in the Mitten. Their imagery has also been featured by Pure Michigan, Michigan Outdoors, PBS, and more. They have participated in ArtPrize all eight years. They own and operate Michigan’s largest photography-only gallery in downtown Ludington and teach outdoor photography workshops.

Jack Lessenberry

Jack Lessenberry, the head of journalism at Wayne State University, has interviewed Kwame Kilpatrick at length several times. He first spoke with Kilpatrick for Hour Detroit for the February 2003 issue as the mayor looked back on his first year in office. In an essay he argues that the corrupt actions of the ex-mayor and now Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate 44678-039 may have actually helped Detroit. A former foreign correspondent for The Detroit News, Lessenberry is also now senior news analyst for Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor, Flint, and Grand Rapids. The winner of a national broadcast Emmy Award in 1994, he has interviewed every Detroit mayor since Jerome P. Cavanagh.

Richard Bak 

Richard Bak has always been fascinated by con men reason enough to explore celebrity preacher Prophet Jones. “Jones lived large and fell hard,” Bak says. “He had a run of maybe 15, 20 years where the press delighted in reporting on practically his every move, though it was almost always superficial stuff like how many suits he owned.” Jones’ radio and TV shows were highly rated among Detroit’s blacks. But even before the 1956 trial, the flamboyant leader was beginning to be disavowed. “The growing civil rights movement required more mainstream symbols of black success. Wholesome representatives of the ‘New Negro’ included the Rev. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. After his arrest, the Prophet was largely shunned by the same media that put him in the spotlight.

Martin Vecchio 

Photographer Martin Vecchio has a complicated relationship with “stuff.” On one hand, buying and having a new thing is exhilarating and fun. On the other hand, was that purchase really necessary, considering everything it took to get it to you? “The raw materials, the manufacturing costs, the single-use packaging, and the transportation costs in terms of pollution, waste, and environmental impact are considerable,” he says. So when all the gifts poured into the studio on shoot day for Hour Detroit’s gift guide, Vecchio was pleased that many of them represented more thoughtful, modern sentiments. “Gifts that have quality, longevity, craft, and a consideration for the environment are more truly able to embody the love the gift giver has for the receiver and the spirit of the season,” he adds.