20 Feet From Stardom

Last summer I boasted about the wonderful documentary, 20 Feet From Stardom, that my nephew, Jason Zeldes, edited. Today it was nominated for an Oscar. It's simply impossible to sit still when you hear these remarkable women sing!

Performance Network: County Line

Performance Network Theatre in Ann Arbor is showing County Line, by David Wells, January 16 through February 16. Wells also wrote Brill, a recent hit at the theatre. His current play is described on the theatre website as "the whimsical and profound story of 17-year-old Lois’ journey after the arrest of her father. Lois is sentenced to the strict confines of a foster home run by Tanya – a woman who is not your typical guardian and owns the County Line Truck Stop & Travel Center. In this coming of age story, Lois encounters both her first look at the subtle terrors one human can inflict upon another and a lifeline to humanity that will ultimately save her." Click here for ticket information.

Purple Rose: Redwood Curtain

Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea is showing Redwood Curtain, a play by Lanford Wilson January 16 through March 15. From the Purple Rose website: "Geri is a young prodigy searching for her birth father. While visiting her aunt in northern California, Geri meets a homeless veteran, Lyman, who has chosen to hide behind the curtain of the Redwood Forest. Discovering startling similarities between Lyman and her natural father, she decides he is the key to her true heritage. From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Talley’s Folly, Book of Days and Rain Dance comes a magical story of family and self-discovery. *Contains mild adult language." Ticket information is here.

The Puck Drops Here and the Winter Classic help ring in the new year in Ann Arbor!

At 1:00pm on New Years Day, hockey fans will pack The Big House in downtown Ann Arbor for the 2014 Winter Classic. The battle between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs is not only expected to shatter the record of the highest attendance ever at a hockey game, but is also expected to break the overall attendance record in the Big House, which currently stands at over 115,000.

To welcome visitors in town for the game and celebrate the New Year, local Ann Arbor groups have worked together to create The Puck Drops Here, an outdoor celebration being held in downtown Ann Arbor tonight. There will be over 6 hours of live entertainment throughout the event, most notably The Voice finalist and Ann Arbor native Michelle Chamuel, and a midnight ball drop on Main Street. Many Main Street restaurants plan to re-open their outside seating for the evening, so the guests can watch the festivities under the warmth of outdoor heaters.

In conjunction with this event, the Farmers Market space in Kerrytown will have family-friendly activities including a skating rink, ice carvings, and marshmellow roasting.

You can read more about activities related to these events at AADL. Kids will enoy Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet. Red Wings fans can explore The History of Hockeytown: Detroit Red Wings, 75 Years and The Winged Wheel: A Half-Century of Detroit Red Wings in Photographs. And, you can hear more of Michelle Chamuel’s work on Dancethink Systems, by My Dear Disco, the local band she was part of before competing on The Voice.

Happy New Year to all!

Save the Date: Smart & Thrifty Energy Expo

Mark Thursday, January 30th on your calendar for the Washtenaw County Smart & Thrifty Energy Expo. The expo will be from 4 to 7 pm at the Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center. Topics and presentations will include methods for conserving energy, home weatherization, new energy saving products, and alternative energy options. If you want to monitor the energy efficiency in your home, take a look at our home tools. These uncommon tools to check out from the library include three different kinds of energy meters!

Take a Hike@ Furstenberg Nature Area

Thursday August 7, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Furstenberg Nature Area

This event is intended for all ages

Furstenberg Nature Area is a 38-acre park on Fuller Road, west of Gallup Park. Enjoy wetlands, woodlands, prairie, and oak savanna on this nature walk with a staff naturalist from Natural Area Preservation (City of Ann Arbor). Learn about native plants and trees, invasive plants, ecological restoration, and lots more.

Meet near the restrooms near the parking lot off Fuller Road (across from Huron High School).

Take a Hike @ Argo Nature Area

Thursday June 5, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Argo Nature Area

This event is intended for all ages

On World Environment Day, take a hike in this 22-acre linear park on the east side of the Huron River. An unpaved trail runs the length of the park along the river. The trail travels through two types of woods: basswood and willow in the southern half and black oak and shagbark hickory (and spring wildflowers!) in the northern half. The entire trail offers beautiful views of the river. A staff naturalist from Natural Area Preservation (City of Ann Arbor) will discuss native plants and trees, ecological restoration, and more.

Meet in the parking lot north of the Argo Canoe Livery, off Longshore Drive.

Take a Hike @ Mary Beth Doyle Nature Area

Thursday September 4, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Mary Beth Doyle Nature Area

This event is intended for all ages.

Celebrate National Wilderness Month with a hike along Malletts Creek, through the woods and wetlands of this 81.4-acre park. A staff naturalist from Natural Area Preservation (City of Ann Arbor) will lead the hike.

Meet at the park entrance parking lot off Packard Road, across from Easy Street and just southeast of Cobblestone Farm, or park at the Malletts Creek Branch (3090 E. Eisenhower) and walk a half mile east along Eisenhower and Packard to the park entrance.

Get the Facts About the Affordable Care Act

Join MSU Extension experts for a live, online webinar to learn how you can get the most out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Sessions for individuals and families will be held on Mondays from 9 am to 11 am, 3 pm to 5 pm, and 6 pm to 8 pm. The same information will be provided during each time period. Sessions for farmers, self-employed people and small business owners will be held on Mondays from noon to 2 pm. To participate, log on to connect.msu.edu/healthinsurance. Click "guest" and type any name to attend anonymously.

Inspired Addition - More Trees for Traverwood

WindbreakWindbreakOne of my very favorite spaces in town is the reading room of the Traverwood Branch Library. I think it is that combination of coziness, open space and trees, inside of the building, that makes me feel so calm. I didn't think it could get better until a donated piece of artwork was installed over the fireplace. Gale Nobe's black & white photograph, Windbreak, is the perfect addition to the space.The row of aspen trees in the image visually echos the tree-inspired architecture of Traverwood. We have exhibited Gale's work previously, but this venue highlights the lovely and haunting evening scene with the moon hanging overhead. Go in peace and enjoy!

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