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Artpod: Two guys, one remote island, and a piano-hauling bicycle

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Image courtesy of Rob Gorski
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Rabbit Island lies three miles from Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula

On today's Artpod, we'll hear from a New York physician who bought a remote, uninhabited island in Lake Superior. His plan is to turn it into an artist residency next summer.

The land, known as Rabbit Island, is about a half hour boat ride from the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Rob Gorski, a Michigan native and the man who bought the island for less than $150,000, says his plan is to preserve the island as is, and build only a small, green cabin where future artists can stay.

"We’d like to be able to send an artist, maybe two, out to the island to practice their creative process within an entirely isolated environment. We think it’d be a very remote experience, it’d be very difficult in some ways, but I think the end result could be very interesting."

We'll also hear from boogie-woogie piano man Mark Braun, aka Mr. B. He and his merry band of musicians are bicycling across Michigan...with their instruments in tow!

Braun says his JoyBox Express tour is "about playing music in unexpected places for people." The tour started in Holland on July 2 and ends in Detroit on July 15.

"If we see someone painting a house, or sitting on a porch or just walking about and we think that they need to have their day cheered, we’ll stop right there and play them a tune right there on the spot. We’ve done it dozens of times."

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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