Join us at the Traverwood branch on Saturday, October 17, 2-4:00 p.m. to help us launch the online version of Ann Arbor's Signal of Liberty newspaper. The full text of this abolitionist newspaper, published in Ann Arbor in the 1840s, will be available online for the first time. Carol Mull, local historian of the Underground Railroad in Michigan, will be on hand at the launch to talk about some of the unique content in the Signal of Liberty and its role in her research; and Library staff will demonstrate browsing and full text access to over 12,000 articles and 312 issues of the newspaper. This project was done in partnership with the Bentley Historical Library and Digital Library Productions Services.
City staff prepared a 32-page Report briefing City Council on the options to consider in responding to the order by the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality regarding Argo Dam. City Council reviewed the report at a Sept. 8 public work session. The session will be replayed tonight Friday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. on CTN Channel 16.
Otto’s Band used to help Ann Arbor celebrate Labor Day, marching from downtown to Schwaben Park at Madison and Fifth for a picnic for labor union members. Starting around 1875 and continuing for about 50 years, this fascinating band drummed up enthusiasm by marching in parades, playing at dances, giving concerts, and sending soldiers off to war. Once the band became professional, participants became the first local members of the musicians’ union. Among other honors was being the first to play the U-M fight song, “The Victors.” Read all about the band in Ann Arbor Observer Then and Now.
Peter "Madcat" Ruth, a world-class harmonica player who's lived and played in Ann Arbor for over 30 years, celebrated his 60th birthday last April. We had the privilege of talking with Madcat about his varied career, which included lessons from Chicago blues harmonica legend Big Walter Horton; touring with Dave Brubeck; inventing the Madcat harmonica microphone; and winning a Grammy for his solo performance in Songs of Innocence and Experience. Madcat also reminisces about playing the many lost music venues in Ann Arbor and treats us with his signature harmonica rendition of "Take Five".
In celebration of the 50th Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, AADL brings you an interview with the only artist whose art has appeared in every fair, JT Abernathy. Fresh off a recent successful show at the Clay Gallery, JT sat down with us and Stan Baker, another Ann Arbor pottery great and former student of JT's, to talk about his career and how pottery is different from half a century ago. Stan and JT gives us a good look at how they think about their work and how their 30-year relationship has shaped them as artists.
Local musician Mark Lincoln Braun, aka Mr. B, is celebrating his 30th year playing street boogie-woogie piano as part of the original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. We talked recently with Mr. B about his memories of art fairs past; his musical influences; and his most recent venture, Mr. B's Joybox Express, a 125-mile bike ride he began July 13 for charity, riding a special bike designed to haul his piano. You'll find Mr. B playing every day during the art fair, Wednesday, July 15 through Saturday, July 18, on North University near Ingalls Mall.
Last week we had the opportunity to talk with local historian, author and teacher, Grace Shackman, about how Ann Arbor has changed over the years. Throughout the discussion, Grace looks back at articles she's written; how she got her start writing about Ann Arbor history; the importance of preserving local landmarks; and her memories of early Ann Arbor art fairs. Over 130 of Grace's articles are featured in Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now, a new website with full text searching and browsing access to articles on local history from the Ann Arbor Observer.
This Wednesday, June 24, we'll be launching Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now, a new site with searching and browsing access to over 130 full-text articles on local history written for the Ann Arbor Observer over the past three decades by local historian and author, Grace Shackman. Stop by for a demonstration of the site, refreshments, and a lively discussion by Grace and Observer editor, John Hilton, at 7:00 p.m. in the Downtown lower level Multi-Purpose Room.
Discover the history of Ann Arbor through 6000 pages of historical texts and over 800 images. This partnership between the AADL, the University of Michigan University Library and the Bentley Historical Library also includes collections of postcards, historic buildings, and maps of early Ann Arbor.