CNN Sets Up for Broadcast from Thompson Library

According to our latest update, CNN will begin broadcasting from the campus of the University of Michigan-Flint — from their new stage set up in the Thompson Library Atrium — tomorrow, Friday March 4, 2016.

The new CNN stage and scaffolding for lights, etc, is being erected in the Thompson Library Atrium.

We have journalists from around the world converging on our campus as well.   They are being provided facilities in other buildings on campus.

This morning, our UM-Flint Chancellor, Dr Susan E. Borrego, sent out the following information about the various activities either in progress at this time or so to occur on and around our campus:

“The University of Michigan-Flint is partnering with CNN to host media, dignitaries, and guests from around the world in the coming days as the home for several activities connected to the Democratic Presidential Debate in Flint on March 6.

One of the biggest pieces of this partnership is that the Recreation Center is in the midst of being transformed into a “Spin Room” where approximately 500 journalists will file their stories and hear from campaign officials.

Also of important note is that the Frances Thompson Willson Library atrium is being converted into a set for CNN live broadcasts, which begin on Friday, March 4, and continue through Sunday, March 6.

This is an exciting opportunity to see democracy in action, highlight our campus, and show off our community.

About 60 of our students also are getting unique hands-on internship experience working with CNN and other groups coordinating this large-scale event.

To enable more of the campus community to participate in this partnership, , please consider attending the UM-Flint Debate Watch Party in the Northbank Center Ballroom.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 6. Join the conversation on social media at #UMFlintDebate.

Please also note that the University is not a distribution point for debate tickets, but we are looking forward to an exciting few days.

Thank you and — GO BLUE!”

We in the library will continue to watch the activities and report on events as they transpire.


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Thompson Library being spiffed up prior to broadcast. Hard not to pity this poor window washer, with temps around 13 degrees!
High tech equipment of all sorts being installed in Thompson Library. The new CNN “anchor desk” is installed. Lighting and sound equipment being placed. It takes a LOT of people to make a network run!









Everyone is scurrying around to get things ready for the on-air personalities to arrive and begin their unique Flint location broadcast!
Lights! Cameras! Action! Never dreamed we’d be working in a television studio. Exciting!







Are those …. BOOKS?!! Yes, the book stacks are directly behind the cameras! This IS, after all, a working academic library. Books, and more.
Crates, cartons and boxes. Oh, my!








HUGE satellite dish just outside the library, on a walkway next to Harrison Street and the Flint River. The White Building (UM-Flint) can be seen in the background, situated on the north side of the river.


IMG_2510 (2)
And so it begins …



Thompson Library to Host News Network Broadcast

 Guess who’s coming to the Library?





This week, the official Spring Break for all UM-Flint students, Thompson Library has been invaded by movers.

Reference Librarian Paul Streby looks on as electricians pump up our wiring to handle the expected load needs of the CNN on-site broadcast crew later this week.

Trucks are streaming into the loading area, carpenters are dismantling furniture on the first floor — the beautiful Atrium reading room — and electricians are busy ensuring the wiring is set to handle the load.


CNN  is coming to campus!


IMG_2478 - CopyA temporary broadcast set will be assembled in the Thompson Library Atrium.   Work is expected to continue for the next few days.


If things go well, the University of Michigan-Flint campus will host the news network CNN for several days of on-site broadcast news.

IMG_2451The network will cover topical news of the area, including the presidential campaign and, of course, the Flint water crisis.

While we have no further information on which of the several CNN broadcasters will be here, everyone is excited to see their favorite.

IMG_2480 - CopyWill it be Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Connie Chung or any other of their famous newscasters?


Will YOU be here to see it?

Will they let us anywhere near their temporary facilities?

At this time, we don’t know. But one thing we ARE sure of; it will be exciting!

Watch CNN over the coming few days to see.  Find out what the nation and the world will be learning about our city and what is being done to address the current clean water crisis.

And maybe, you’ll see our beautiful UM-Flint campus — and Thompson Library.



Mott-Warsh Art Display; New Pieces on View in Library

Six new pieces have arrived at Thompson Library — on loan from the Mott-Warsh Art Collection.

Click on any image to enlarge.

The art collection, owned by The Maryanne Mott and Herman Warsh Collection, contains samples of some of the very best late 20th century works by African American artists.

The mission of the Mott-Warsh Collection is to present contemporary fine art to public audiences in non-traditional venues as well as educational and cultural institutions.   University of Michigan-Flint (with its strong historical ties to the Mott family of Flint, Michigan) and the Thompson Library in particular fit perfectly with the mission and vision statements established by Maryanne Mott and her late husband, Herman Warsh.

The entire Mott-Warsh Collection currently consists of works by over 125 artists, featuring 20th century masters such as Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett to new and innovative artists of the early 21st century, and includes a broad array of work from the abstract to the representative.  Common to all pieces within the collection is the focus on unique cultural and social experiences of Africans and Americans of African descent living and working in western (American) society.

Maryanne and Herman begun collecting their art with the intent to assemble and preserve rare works of art endemic to the African community and make them available to the wider audience through its lending program with the intent to educate viewers in art appreciation, art making processes, art history, 20th century American history and the history of the African diaspora.

The Collection contains over four hundred works and is supported by the Mott-Warsh research library which has assembled monographs, exhibition catalogs, auction catalogs and journals with subject concentrations in African American art as well as information on fine arts collection management.

Selected works from the Mott-Warsh Collection are currently on display at several locations around Flint, including the Flint Institute of Music, the Flint Public Library, the Ruth Mott Foundation, Mott Community College, Applewood, Kettering University Innovation Center and other locations.

Nationally, pieces are on loan at such renowned institutions as the Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), Wexner Center for the Arts (Ohio State University), Walker Art Center, Denver Art Museum, Rudenstine Gallery (W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University), the Seattle Art Museum, the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (Boston) and many other museums and art galleries around the nation.

Thompson Library is proud to be numbered among such fine institutions in being selected as a location to display pieces from the Mott-Warsh Collection.

We would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Michael Doyle — Mickey — who numbers among our reference librarians and serves as our Head of Access Services — for being instrumental in arranging our library’s participation as a display site for works from this esteemed collection.

Our first pieces were installed earlier in March of last year.   Those have been cycled out and the new pieces are now on display.  To view, enter the Thompson Library (3rd floor) and walk directly to the far wall.

This winter, the acclaimed Mott-Warsh Art Collection has brought to the Thompson Library a collection of the works of John Wilson (b. 1922).

Information on the artist  provided by the Mott-Warsh Collection:

The artist, a son of a follower of black nationalist Marcus Garvey, was introduced at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) to the work of Daumier, George Groszk, Ben Shahn, and Picasso — artists who addressed social issues.   But it was the politically charged paintings of the Mexican muralists that especially impressed him.

In Paris, at the Museum of Man, he discovered the art of African and other non-Western cultures, and later he studied and worked in Mexico.  “Along with looking and listening, I began to read.  Orozco paintings told it like it was!  So did the stories of Richard Wright!”

The Richard Wright Suite is a set of six color acquatint prints inspired by African American novelist Richard Wright’s, Down by the Riverside.  The  narrative was first published in 1938 as part of a collection of four short stories in Wright’s book, Uncle Tom’s Children.  Artist John Wilson responds to Wright’s tragic story about Mann, a black man who dies trying to save his family during a storm.

In 2001, Wilson provided four color aquatints for the Limited Editions Club’s reprinting of Wright’s, Down by the Riverside.  The aquatints were printed by James Stroud of the Center Street Studio, Milton Village, Massachusetts “Norrie Fund.”

These prints on loan from the Mott-Warsh Collection are from a portfolio issued separately, in which Wilson included two additional prints, Death of Lulu and The Death of Mann, arguably the bleakest and most powerful images in the series.


Click any image to enlarge.