Regionalism is a buzzword that’s uttered throughout metropolitan communities across the country, and mid-Michigan is no exception. Proponents say it’s more than a lofty ideal whereby the assets and resources of large cities benefit the surrounding suburbs. They claim in hard economic times, regionalism is a lifeline for survival.
It should come as no surprise that Kathryn Votapek is a musician, as both of her parents are pianists. Her father, Ralph Votapek, was the first winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
But Kathryn and her musician brothers chose other instruments, and her career path led her to the music faculty at the University of Michigan, where she is a lecturer in violin.
Exports are big business in Michigan. In 2012, $53 billion, which is about 15 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), was attributed to the state’s export economy. And that’s up 12 percent from 2011.