Supporter of the Month

Care to meet the generous people and businesses whom we’ve honored as 826michigan Supporters of the Month?

SaturdayMay 2017

Love and light—those are the two words that come to mind when we think of Juan Martinez. His art is magical and his spirit overflows with warmth and kindness. We’re super fans. In our estimation, Juan is quite simply, a hero. With some specifics, our Executive Director Amanda Uhle would like to step in:


juan martinez and pangolinHe took a pretty wild idea—turning bicycles into metal animals that convey passengers—and breathed life into it. For various reasons, our time and money were short, and somehow, Juan not only built a larger than life-sized bicycle-based bison and pangolin, but he did so with grace and ease and joy. It was a little like the experience of having a dream and then seeing parts of the dream come tangibly to life. This is all thanks to Juan’s remarkable artistic talent and metal working skills, which he pairs with a superhuman energy and an unwavering commitment to our community. At many points in the process of our work together, Juan’s asked, “How can we involve 826michigan students?,” or he’s suggested we recruit neighborhood young people interested in metalsmith apprenticeship opportunities to join us for future bike projects. And whenever there’s an opportunity to use the bikes or this project to engage Detroiters, he’s there. I’ve ridden these bikes through the city with Juan more than once, and between the eye-catching dazzle of the bikes and the many long and meaningful conversations Juan gets into, it always takes longer than we plan.

juan martinez with students and pangolin

In addition to the animal bike project, Juan has used his talent and time to support 826michigan in other important ways. For the Detroit Robot Factory store, he’s building an interactive 9 foot tall robot and a you-will-only-believe-it-when-you-see-it book vending machine/ferris wheel. Both of these projects will debut later in 2017.


Have you got a greater understanding of why Juan is amazing now? We are so honored to call him friend and have so much of his artwork contribute to the whimsy and wonder in our 826michigan space. We encourage you to learn more about him and his projects. His most prominent artistic contribution to 826michigan—The Spirit of the Animals is in the Wheels—is an art and community project by Dave Eggers & Juan Martinez. See a short film on the project here:

TuesdayApril 2017

This April, we celebrate the Galens Medical Society for its much needed and substantial contribution to transportation funds in support of our Field Trips program. The Galens Medical Society has existed for more than a century to not only bridge the gap between medical students and medical faculty, but to…

ThursdayMarch 2017

Friends, we are overjoyed to honor the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation as this month’s Supporter of the Month. There are several reasons why of course, but it is especially timely to recognize their contribution to our work in the heart of winter tutoring season. Most notably, the Michigan Masonic Charitable…

WednesdayFebruary 2017

It may be easy to assume that 826michigan’s community is filled with fans of literary journals. That assumption is totally correct. There are several this writer reads frequently, particularly because literary journals are the keepers of incredible writing by many authors who are mere steps from hitting the NYT bestsellers…

MondayJanuary 2017

There are few better ways to begin a new year than to say THANKS SO MUCH to those who offer us their invaluable support. To kick off 2017, we want to send out a rousing cheer to the Yelp Foundation for its gift of $3,000 to 826michigan! It’s a gift…

ThursdayDecember 2016

So much of 2016 has been a celebration of the outstanding growth into which 826michigan has expanded—thanks in part to the consistent and enthusiastic support of friends like you. To end this action-packed year, we could think of no better Supporter(s) of the Month to honor than all who pitched…

TuesdayNovember 2016

We’ve been talking about it a lot lately, but we’re so thrilled to have finally opened the Detroit Robot Factory!e It’s been eleven years in the making and we are bursting at the seams in anticipation of the many students who will join us soon to craft the next generation…

SaturdayOctober 2016

October 2016 will forever stand as one of our favorite months in the entire history of 826michigan because it’s the month when we FINALLY got to cut the ribbon to the Detroit Robot Factory! It’s no secret that we’re thrilled about it, as evidenced by our talking about it HERE,…

ThursdaySeptember 2016

The Detroit Public Library is an invaluable resource for the entire region, providing books, educational programs, and community events, to all who enter its doors. Of the twenty-two Branch locations across the city, 826michigan is privileged to have offered programs at five of them—Campbell, Franklin, Redford, Skillman, and the Main….

MondayAugust 2016

Inside 826michigan’s writing and tutoring lab on Liberty Street, The Lunch Room makes mouths and hearts water. It’s because the inviting eatery serves up a bountiful portion of community giving along with its delectable vegan fare. Last month, for five Saturday night dinner services in a row, restaurateurs Phillis Engelbert…

Liberty Street Robot
Supply & Repair
115 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 761-3463
Detroit Robot Factory
1351 Winder
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 818-0255