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Hatch Final Four: A full service music instrument store in Midtown

Given Detroit's rich musical legacy, a lack of music stores throughout the city comes as a surprise -- and an annoyance -- to many a musician. Despite the fact that there are thousands of musicians who live and perform in the city, amateur and professional alike, there's nary a place where a drummer can pick up drumsticks before a gig or where a mother can buy a saxophone reed for a daughter who just joined band class.

Jen David is working to change that. If she has her way, guitarists won't have to drive to the suburbs for guitar strings anymore, and parents won't have to fight traffic as they bring their children to music lessons outside the city. She's starting Third Wave Music, a full service music instrument store that will be located in the Forest Arms apartment building in Midtown. Forest Arms is currently being renovated after a fire shuttered the building in 2008.

David says that the store will focus on accessories like strings, sticks, and reeds as well as music lessons. Locally made products, like instrument effects pedals and cigar box guitars, will be offered, too. David's partner Jeffrey Thomas will offer made-to-order instrument cables (musicians will be able to request specific lengths and specific jacks). Third Wave will sell used gear and offer instrument repair services as well.

For David, it's fulfilling a need for a community of professional musicians, independent artists, and local students that will be the most rewarding aspect of the business.

"The biggest thing is the absolute need for something like this in Detroit," says David. "We've already received so much support and positivity. With the musical legacy of Detroit, it's a resource that this community deserves."

A musician who also gives lessons, David knows first hand the challenges of commuting back-and-forth to the suburbs, currently a necessity for any musician living in Detroit.  

Third Wave Music is one of four contestants vying to win the $50,000 grand prize from Hatch Detroit. Voting ends August 20 at 12 p.m. EST. Voting is open to the public and available online.

Source: Jen David, owner/operator of Third Wave Music
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Hatch Final Four: New Orleans food and music for Woodbridge

Dameon Gabriel comes from New Orleans music royalty. His family can trace its music roots all the way back to 1850s New Orleans and the eventual beginnings of jazz. The Gabriels moved to Detroit in the 1940s and they brought that New Orleans-style jazz music with them. Since the move north, generations of Gabriels have worked to preserve their New Orleans roots here in Detroit, maintaining a line of New Orleans-style jazz players that continue to play throughout the city.

Dameon Gabriel is working to cement that musical heritage and its place in Detroit by establishing Gabriel Hall, a bar, restaurant, museum, and music venue. He's partnered with Ederique Goudia, a Louisiana-born and raised chef who now caters throughout metro Detroit, to ensure an authentically Creole menu.

The bar will offer cocktails famous to New Orleans, like the Hurricane, a rum-based drink popular in that city's French Quarter. Gabriel is curating a wealth of family history into a mini-museum, where visual and audio displays will explore the musical connection between New Orleans and Detroit.

And then there's the music. Gabriel says that while the live entertainment won't always be New Orleans-style music, there will be certain nights of the month that will feature that famous sound. Gabriel himself plays trumpet in the Gabriel Brass Band. And when the band is offstage, expect Gabriel Hall to play New Orleans-style music throughout the venue, both old and new, from Louis Armstrong to the Rebirth Brass Band.

Gabriel is currently working to confirm a certain building in Woodbridge, one whose owner is already excited by the idea. He hopes to open in the summer of 2015.

"I'm surprised by how many people have already attached themselves to this idea and want to see it happen," says Gabriel. "I'm humbled by all the support."

Gabriel Hall is one of four contestants vying to win the $50,000 grand prize from Hatch Detroit. Voting ends August 20 at 12 p.m. EST. Voting is open to the public and available online.

Source: Dameon Gabriel, co-founder of Gabriel Hall
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

First round of Hatch voting ends Thursday as 10 startups vie for $50K prize

The popular Hatch Detroit contest has entered its fourth year and the ten start-ups announced as semi-finalists are doing all that they can to garner votes. The eventual winner of the small business competition will receive a $50,000 grant and a suite of business support services.

Voting for the semi-finalist round is open to the public and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on August 14. Voters may select four businesses during the first round and may vote once a day. Voting for the second round will begin August 15, when the field of competitors is narrowed to four businesses. The eventual winner of the $50,000 prize will be announced August 20.

While there is only one winner, just making it into the top ten is a great source of exposure and motivation for businesses.

"Hatch has given us a faster pace to run to," says Jen David, co-founder of Third Wave Music. "I've been meeting new people and talking to many musicians and students excited for a new spot to get what they need and have support. It's been really encouraging to hear positive feedback. It's really motivating."

The semi-finalists are:Source: Jen David, co-founder of Third Wave Music
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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Bonbon shop opens in Hamtramck

Years of training and chocolate-making have culminated in the grand opening of Bon Bon Bon, chocolatier Alexandra Clark's bonbon production facility and retail storefront in Hamtramck. A grand opening was thrown Saturday, July 19.

Throughout the week, the shop at 2756 Evaline St. is the center of operations for Clark's wholesale business -- she sells bonbons to a number of boutique hotels. The storefront opens to the general public every Saturday, where they're open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Clark, who has nearly a decade of training from a number of culinary programs, has always known that she was going to be a chocolatier. She chose bonbons for their inherent creativity. Where truffles are strictly defined by their ingredients, bonbons allow the classically-trained Clark to come up with her own twists on a centuries-old treat. Of the nearly 50 flavors available at Bon Bon Bon, there's the paczki bonbon, a dough ganache and berry-mix bonbon that pays homage to the deep Polish roots of Hamtramck, and her signature bonbon, the Hot Mess, a hard-shelled chocolate filled with molten chocolate.

"It's sort of like doing a shot but you can do it with your grandma," says Clark. "Not like you couldn't do shots with your grandma but you can do it with kids and your grandma."

Clark and her team craft many of the ingredients by hand, whether they're tempering chocolate or chopping mangoes. Other ingredients are bought from local bakeries or the corner grocery store. What she can't find locally she imports from places like France and Switzerland.

Once the weather cools down, Clark will take her bonbons to Eastern Market. If that goes well, she'll start searching for a retail storefront and have longer hours. Until then, Bon Bon Bon is open every Saturday.

Source: Alexandra Clark, owner of Bon Bon Bon
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

$100K awarded for arts and culture programming along Hamtramck-Detroit border

Non-profit group Power House Productions has been tasked with shepherding two cities, four community arts organizations, and $100,000 in grant money through an 18-month long series of arts and culture placemaking activities along the Hamtramck-Detroit border.

The focus rests along Carpenter Street, Hamtramck's northern border. The $100,000 grant was awarded to the groups by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of Our Town, their arts-based community building and placemaking program. In total, Our Town awarded $5.073 million in grants to 66 projects in 2014.

The Hamtramck-Detroit winner is titled Carpenter Exchange and will begin an 18-month-long run of events this September. Community arts organization Power House Productions will manage events led by the Hinterlands, a performance arts group; Carrie Morris Arts Production, a story-telling and performance arts group; Popps Packing, an arts studio and venue; and the Work Department, a communication design and development studio.

"Power House Productions and their project partners, including the City of Hamtramck, demonstrate the best in creative community development and whose work will have a valuable impact on its community," NEA chairman Jane Chu says in a statement.

Planned activities include the Porous Borders Festival, a two-day fest along the entirety of Hamtramck's northern border. Led by the Hinterlands, the May 2015 festival will attempt to engage both sides of Carpenter Street through performance and visual arts.

Carrie Morris Arts Production will lead two events, a large-scale shadow puppet show and a documentary on young women and story-telling. An abandoned storefront will receive the pop-up treatment from Popps Packing as they install a trading post, tool library, and community gallery in the unused space. The Work Department will produce a communications toolkit along with graphic art installations and workshops open to the public.

Source: NEA press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Grandmont Rosedale coffee shop celebrates one year anniversary

This week marks the official one year anniversary of Always Brewing Detroit. To thank its customers and community, the Grandmont Rosedale coffee shop is celebrating with a week's worth of events including music and poetry performances, massages by a professional masseuse, and a community brunch.

Shop owner Amanda Brewington has been working with Chazzano Coffee of Ferndale to perfect her own blend of house coffee. After several taste tests, Brewington will debut the Always Brewing First Blend this week. She recently achieved her goal of having all of her products locally sourced from within 15 miles of Always Brewing. Even the cups are from nearby.

While downtown Detroit and the Corktown and Midtown neighborhoods have seen their fair share of coffee shops open in recent years, neighborhoods like Grandmont Rosedale, far from the city's core, haven't experienced such the development frenzy. Even when she was opening the shop, Brewington says that people asked her why she wasn't opening somewhere like downtown instead.

"Those places have a ton of coffee shops. They're good. They don't need me," says Brewington. "I wanted to go to a place where there is a need."

She estimates that 80 percent of her customers are people that either live or work in Grandmont Rosedale. With her business humming along, Brewington sees more business opportunities along her stretch of Grand River Avenue. She anticipates a thriving district -- one where the community doesn't have to drive to the suburbs for a good cup of coffee or yoga class.

Amanda's all in on Grandmont Rosedale, having recently purchased a house in the neighborhood. In one short year, she's become a champion of the area, taking joy in hosting her community while also introducing new people to the neighborhood.

"I always try to have people leave with more than a cup of coffee."

Source: Amanda Brewington, owner of Always Brewing Detroit
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

A new artist collective, studio, and printmaking shop for Eastern Market's Service Street area

An artist collective formed by a group of six local artists recently opened in Eastern Market. The artists of the Riopelle Collective, as they're known, represent a wide range of styles and media, including furniture-making, hand lettering, and mixed media. The collective's space is located along a stretch of Gratiot that is commonly referred to as Service Street, the name of the red-bricked alley that runs behind the length of the block.

Jessica Krcmarik is one of the six members of Riopelle. As excited as they are to have opened their own space, Krcmarik stresses that there are already a number of established artists who work, present, perform, and live in the buildings of Service Street. The Riopelle Collective is an addition to an already rich community of artists, residents, and businesses located in the Service Street area.

"There was an arts district before we came here," says Krcmarik. "So we're standing on the shoulders of the other artists."

The Riopelle space will operate as a retail space during market days. The collective also plans to host events like Drink and Draw nights, where people will be invited to bring a sketchpad and drinks and use the Riopelle space to work and socialize. Riopelle is also home to the Prankster Press, a printmaking shop run by Riopelle members Lyz Luidens and James Reich. Dylan Box, Ellen Rutt, and Matthew Jenkins round out the group.

It was Box and Rutt, says Krcmarik, that got everything started. They originally wanted to rent the space as a twosome, but the landlord required more artists before leasing the space.

Thus the Riopelle Collective was born.

Riopelle is located at 1492 Gratiot Ave.

Source: Jessica Krcmarik, member of the Riopelle Collective
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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Mt. Elliott Park Fun Shop opens in time for summer

The grand re-opening of Mt. Elliott Park has brought more than a new water park and pavilion to Detroit's riverfront. Entrepreneurs Richard Roy and Charlene Dwyer and Chief Fun Officer Abby have opened the Mt. Elliott Park Fun Shop in the River Park Lofts building at Mt. Elliott and Wight streets.

Having opened in the first weeks of June, the Fun Shop is already quite a presence on the block that faces the park. Roy has some of his homemade corn hole boards in front of the shop, ready for passersby. They rest on a sidewalk covered in colorful chalk drawings. He says that he likes to take one of those big-hoop bubble makers and teach the nearby kids how to use it.

Roy and Dwyer come from the art and advertising worlds. Though still involved in those industries, they decided a storefront across from the new Mt. Elliott Park would be an ideal location for a shop that specializes in, well, fun. Much of the shop is geared toward kids of all ages -- which the new Mt. Elliott Park has no problem attracting -- with bubble makers, kites, and frisbees for sale. There are a few refreshments, too.

"It's a lot of fun. It's fun when we sell bubbles or those snap poppers and you hear them used outside. Or we'll sell a couple of kites and you watch them out there flying the kites, laughing and running around," says Roy. "It's great."

Another important component of the shop is local art. It's made by friends of Roy and Dwyer who create everything from iconic concert posters to porcelain wares, Detroit-themed t-shirts to jewelry. The pair saw the shop as an opportunity to provide artists a place to sell their work, something that's not always so easy or affordable.

The store is currently involved in a micro loan campaign.

Source: Richard Roy and Charlene Dwyer, co-owners of Mt. Elliott Park Fun Shop
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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Hello Records store owner opens second location in Jefferson-Chalmers

Wade Kergan, owner of Corktown's Hello Records, has opened a second Detroit record store. Located at 14401 E. Jefferson in the historic Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood, the as-yet untitled record store is taking part in the June on Jefferson pop-up series along the East Jefferson corridor. Kergan, however, already has plans to turn the temporary location into a permanent one.

It was Coffee and (____) partner Ray Cronk who first envisioned a record store for the corner storefront at E. Jefferson and Chalmers. An open doorway connects Coffee and (____) to the former liquor store location, making for an easy back-and-forth between the coffee and record shops. Cronk approached his friend Wade Kergan about the possibility of a second Hello location -- something Kergan was already considering -- and the rest fell into line rather quickly. The pair credit Joshua Elling and the rest of the people at Jefferson East, Inc. for the easy move. Cronk will manage the record store.

Kergan plans on keeping the store open well past the month-long June on Jefferson pop-up run. He says he'll be open at least through the summer but the real hope is to keep the record store open year-round. At roughly 2,000 square feet, the new location dwarfs his 600 square feet store in Corktown and will allow Kergan the chance to show off even more of his massive collection. He has 15,000 to 20,000 records in backstock, he says.

"The last shop was really informed by the neighborhood and gained its identity both through what we hoped to accomplish in the community and also in meeting people and making them a part of it, figuring out what they want and bringing them into the shop," says Kergan. "We hope to do the same thing here."

In addition to records, the bigger shop will feature more floor space for Kergan's vintage stereo equipment, posters, books, and musical artifacts.

The second record store is open every Friday and Saturday this June with plans to expand its hours later this summer. Hello Records will continue to operate as always.

Source: Wade Kergan, owner of Hello Records
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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Deadline approaches for writers looking for a house in Detroit

A different kind of deadline hangs over the heads of writers this week. In its inaugural year, Write A House is going beyond the traditional terms of a writers residency by awarding houses to writers for keeps. Submissions are due by noon on Saturday, June 21.

The Detroit house, purchased for $1,000 in a foreclosure auction, will be awarded to a writer of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry this September. Renovations, led by Zac Cruse Construction and Young Detroit Builders are currently under way. The nonprofit group Young Detroit Builders is a training program for 18 to 24 year olds throug which participants receive on-the-job training while earning a living allowance. Job placement and follow-up assistance is provided upon completion of the program.

Write A House has received submissions from all over the world, though they can only award houses to U.S. citizens aged 18 or over. A set of income requirements also exists, as the group plans to award the houses to low- to middle-income writers. The organization reports that the majority of applications are coming from California, Michigan, and New York.

While receiving a house for free, the winning writer is required to pay taxes and insurance. The group also requires that the winning writer resides in the home 75 percent of the time. Before being awarded the title, writers must pass a two-year probationary period in which Write A House determines if the situation is satisfactory.

The Saturday deadline is for the first Write A House home. Two more houses are being reserved for future contests.

Source: Write A House press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here.

Hubbard Farms artist residency program hopes to grow

An artist residency program and art gallery, Third Story, is bolstering its mission through a crowdfunding campaign. Third Story is located on Detroit's southwest side in the Hubbard Farms neighborhood.

Third Story was started by artists and married couple Lauren and Ryan Harroun in the third story of their home. The couple has built an art gallery there and has already hosted a handful of artists.

The aim of Third Story is to introduce new artists to Detroit. The residency program only accepts those who have little to no experience in the city. With so many outside artists having heavy interest in Detroit, the Harrouns are looking to provide a place for artists to stay and work. They're excited, too, to introduce the artists to the neighborhood.

"It's a wonderfully diverse, lively, and passionate neighborhood," says Lauren. "We're excited to bring something like this to Hubbard Farms, to provide a place to stay in a really nice neighborhood."

As they look to further establish their artist residency program, the Harrouns are hosting a fundraiser and party at their home on Thursday, June 5. The party is open to the public and art raffles, music, pizza, and a bonfire are planned.

The couple is currently running a crowdfunding campaign. The money raised will allow them to join a number of national registries, granting them access to new resources, including fundraising opportunities. The Harrouns hope to register their artist residency program with Fractured Atlas, ResArtis, and Alliance of Artists Communities.

The Harrouns encourage artists to stay for a minimum of one month. Artists looking to apply can do so through the Third Story website.

Third Story is located at 1130 Vinewood.

Source: Lauren Harroun, co-founder of Third Story
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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New public art installations for Hart Plaza, then neighborhoods

Six new public art pieces will be temporarily placed at Hart Plaza over Memorial Day weekend, greeting electronic music fans from all over the world who flock to Detroit for the Movement Electronic Music Festival. The artists responsible for the pieces were chosen because of a number of factors, including their connection to Detroit.

Once the festival is over, the pieces will be relocated to various parts of the city and installed again as public art projects. Paxahau, Community Arts Moving Projects (CAMP), and Opportunity Detroit are responsible for the contest.

Ernst: King of Cats by Sean Hages is a towering marionette that festival-goers can control by pulling and manipulating a system of ropes.

Yeah Yoy, Foch by Louis Casinelli and Andrew Thompson uses trees from an eastside neighborhood, recessed lighting, and lycra to create a playful sculpture and bench.

Reflection Portal by John Rizzo and Will Tyrell is a 'portal' where electronic music fans walk through a ring of accordion-shaped mirrored Plexiglas.

Dystopian Disco: Sonic Crystals by Bethany Shorb and Kip Ewing. The pair designed a series of prismatic disco balls, bright, reflective hanging shapes that enhance the listening experience.

The Good-time Light-hearted Lean Peaks by Patrick Ethen, Ellen Rutt, Alan Sedghi, Eiji Jimbo, Simon Anton, and Rachel Mulder. They designed a number of pyramid-shaped structures that provide weary festival-goers places to lean during the day. At night, the structures respond to the music.

Amity by Eddie Bullock is a graceful flower sculpture fashioned out of steel.

This is the fifth year CAMP has led the public art project. It has not yet been announced which neighborhoods will receive the public art once the festival is complete.

Over 100,000 people attended the 2013 Movement festival.

Source: Paxahau press release
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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Russell Industrial Center to host open studios, adds over 40 tenants in six months

The Russell Industrial Center will be hosting another of its open studio days on Saturday, April 26. The all-day event invites the public to come tour the sprawling 2.2 million square foot complex and its many artist studios and businesses. It's an opportunity for artists and small businesses to showcase their wares while also providing the public an inside view of the Albert Kahn-designed manufacturing complex.

There will be a number of new vendors for the public to check out in addition to the Russell's numerous well-established artists and businesses. Leasing officer Eric Novack says that the Russell has added over 40 tenants in the past six months. The list of new tenants includes artists, recording studios, furniture makers, and marketing and promotions teams. Novack credits a number of factors for the increase in occupancy.

"It's been a back-to-basics approach with our tenants, people who don't need a lot of overhead and regulating," says Novack. "It's a shift back to our original ideology. Come for your dreams and ideals and manufacture that reality."

Several high profile events and appearances have also helped that surge in occupancy. The Russell recently hosted the ever-popular Dirty Show for the first time. GMC unveiled its 2015 Canyon there during this year's North American International Auto Show. The iconic and gigantic chimera graffiti mural facing I-75 was even featured in the Bob Dylan-narrated Chrysler commercial that aired during this year's Super Bowl.

The Russell is also gearing up for Rummage. Billed as Detroit's biggest garage sale, $20 will buy vendors space at the May 17 and 18 event.

Source: Eric Novack, leasing officer of Russell Industrial Center
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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The Lorax comes to a historic Woodbridge home

At what is sure to become known as The Lorax House, developer Alex Pereira of Secure Realty, LLC has commissioned two artists to liven up Trumbull Street as it runs through the Woodbridge neighborhood. A mural and a sculpture inspired by the Dr. Seuss book The Lorax are being placed in the front lot of 4759 Trumbull. The sculpture installation is planned for today.

A mural painted by artist Matt Hebert will serve as the backdrop for Scott Kuefler's Lorax sculpture. The sculpture, made from wood, was carved by chainsaw. The mural is being painted on a retaining wall and features the famous line from the book, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Pereira feels that the quote reflects what is happening in Detroit right now. He's currently rehabbing the building at 4759 Trumbull with hopes of having it ready for renters by May. Pre-leasing has already begun for the five-unit building built in 1900.

"I think art is an important component in the revitalization of Detroit," says Pereira. "It's taking something that's not the prettiest and, with minimal work, you add value."

The redevelopment of 4759 Trumbull marks a shift in focus for Pereira and Secure Realty, one from suburbs to city. Pereira plans on purchasing and rehabbing more properties in the city. Detroit's structures, he says, are invaluable character pieces that can't be recreated today.

Pereira purchased 4759 Trumbull in the 2012 Wayne County tax auction. 15 years vacant with a roof ravaged by the elements, the owner of the neighboring building thought 4759 Trumbull was too far gone and planned on purchasing it in order to demolish it and turn it into a parking lot.

In May of 2013, Pereira began construction on a building that was nearly demolished.

Source: Alex Pereira, developer at Secure Realty
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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Group uses public art to improve life in Lindale Gardens

Bleeding Heart Design, a community and arts organization, has put out a call for entries from Detroit-area artists. The group is soliciting submissions for a mural contest in the Lindale Gardens neighborhood in northeast Detroit. Entries will be accepted through March 16.

Bleeding Heart Design is based in Lindale Gardens, a neighborhood bounded by State Fair Rd. to the north, John R Rd. to the west, 7 Mile Rd. to the south, and I-75 to the east. Founded by Rebecca Bucky Willis, the group was formed while she completed her Master of Architecture degree from University of Detroit Mercy. The mural project, just one of many public art projects for the group, is designed with the neighborhood in mind.

"Any time you bring more art and culture into a neighborhood, it's a great asset to enhance the quality of life," says Willis. "It's a call to action to increase the value of the neighborhood. Even if it's not the best house or the nicest neighborhood, it still deserves value. We're trying to create value and a sense of belonging. We want residents to have ownership of the neighborhood."

Willis identifies a number of themes that the winning entry must incorporate into their mural. The mural must inspire unity, inspire altruism, be a call to action, and convey love and forgiveness. Entrants are encouraged to review the goals and values of the Fetzer Institute, the organization providing the grant money. The winner will be provided a $1,000 dollar supplies budget and an additional $1,000 as an honorarium.

The mural will be painted on the north wall of 325 E. State Fair Rd. The wall overlooks a community space already engaged by Bleeding Heart Design. The lot contains a stage and is regularly maintained by the group.

The winning artist will be announced March 28.

Source: Rebecca Bucky Willis, founder of Bleeding Heart Design
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here.
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