Performance Network: A Little Night Music Runs through Dec. 30

Performance Network in Ann Arbor is showing A Little Night Music, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The book is by Hugh Wheeler -- and the romantic musical is a six-time Tony winner. The show is "a rollicking tour-de-force of love, lies, and liaisons," the PN website says, with "an amazing musical score, including. . . Send in the Clowns." Here is the plot summary: "Desiree Armfeldt is an enchanting Swedish actress. While on tour in a country town, she runs into former lover Fredrik, who has brought his young wife to the theatre. Reminiscing in Desiree's dressing room, their passion rekindles. The two seek to continue their affair at a gathering for several guests at Fredrik's country home, setting in motion a hilarious and flirtatious weekend for all." Ticket information is here.

Mittenfest VII is coming up soon!

Mittenfest is an annual local music festival held in Michigan and played by Michigan bands. The festival serves as a fundraiser for 826michigan, dedicating 100% of its profits to the non-profit organization which helps tutor students ages 6-18 with writing. 826michigan is part of a nationwide network of non-profits, started in San Francisco by the acclaimed author Dave Eggers. Last year, Mittenfest raised $21,290.00 for 826michigan, bringing the total raised over the last six years to $55,000.00!

For its seventh consecutive year running strong, Mittenfest is going to run a full 5 days, over which 50 Michigan bands will perform live, including Frontier Ruckus, Starling Electric, Shigeto, Patrick Elkins, and Our Brother the Native, just to name a few! To see the other 45 bands and a complete 5-day schedule, click here.

Mittenfest VII will be held this year at Woodruff's at 36 East Cross Street in Ypsilanti, starting Friday Dec. 28th and running through Tuesday Jan. 1st. Bands will starting playing at 5:30pm and will run through 12:30am each day. Tickets are $10/day or $82.60 for the full 5-day pass. It's only 9 days away - don't forget! - head on out next weekend to hear some great live music and support a great local organization!

Things to do with Children Over the Holidays

If you're looking for things to do with your children over the holidays, here are some ideas. The first stems from a grandmother at a library baby play group who asked about activities in Ann Arbor for her grandson. Already she knew about the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum and library events, so with help from a co-worker, I made her the list below:
* Visit the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum.
* Ice skate at Buhr Park or Vets Park:
* Go to one of the fabulous outdoor play structures at Eberwhite school or Fuller Park.
For more ideas, check out ArborWiki.

Trying to Kick the Habit?

If you'd like to quit smoking and have other addictions, this program may interest you. The session will describe the prevalence of tobacco addiction among people with alcohol & other drug addictions, the relationship between tobacco use and recovery, and basic information about how to quit using tobacco. This program is December 11th from 7:30-9:00 at the SJMH Education Center. It's free, open to the public and no registration is required!

Rockin' for the Hungry 2012

Volunteers and radio personalities from annarbor's 107one will be "freezin' for a reason" at the Food Gatherers' largest annual outdoor food and fund drive through December 9th. Broadcast live from Kroger on South Maple Road, you can participate by dropping off food or cash donations, purchasing food to donate, or by making a donation at the register of any Washtenaw County Kroger store location.

Conquer the Cold and getDowntown

Anyone with a go!pass is eligible to participate in the Conquer the Cold Winter Commuting Challenge in January 2013. Register for the Commuter Club and log your commutes in January to win weekly prizes and earn fun badges:
Cold Scout: Log any commute to earn this badge.
Abominable Snowman: Log a commute on a super snowy day.
Winter Dominator: Log 20 or more commutes in January.
Triathlete: You bus, bike, and walk.

AADL stuff on topic:
Book: The urban biking handbook
Book: On bicycles : 50 ways the new bike culture can change your life
Youth book: How do you get there?: a book of transportation jokes
Adult Horror Film: The Abominable Snowman

Your Guide to Buying Local This Holiday Season

Where will you shop for holiday gifts this year? It’s buy local week! In the recent years, local businesses in Michigan cities including Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti have been participating in several “buy local” themed holiday sales in order to take some of the spotlight off of the big box stores. This growing trend to “buy local Michigan” is a great way to support our state’s economy. If you’re looking for gift ideas that will support southeast Michigan, or just the state in general, here are some ideas:

-Farmer’s Markets are on the rise! According to a study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Michigan has been leading the country in the percentage growth of farmers markets over the last two years and also “ranks fourth among the states in the number of farmers markets.” There are several local farmer’s markets that are open year-round, such as The Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market and The Detroit Eastern Market. Pick up a locally made loaf of banana bread for a stocking stuffer. Or, for the more adventurous, cook your own gifts to give from the fresh foods found at the markets. The AADL’s catalog has several local-themed cookbooks for you to draw ideas from.

-Michigan is famous for its vineyards and wineries. Take a friend or loved one who enjoys wine on a tour of Michigan wineries by following this guide. Or pick up a bottle from a local winery.

-Speaking of local drinks, Michigan is also well-known for its local breweries. Ann Arbor Brewing Company, Bell’s, and Arcadia are among some of the most popular Michigan breweries holding holiday sales this year.

-Within the last few years, there have been several “Michigan” themed retail stores popping up that stock Michigan-made products. Among these include The Michigan General Store in Ypsilanti, The Dixboro General Store, The Produce Station in Ann Arbor, and the website “The Mitten State” which sells vintage-inspired Michigan themed t-shirts and other Michigan-themed gifts. Buying gifts from Michigan retail stores is a great way to support your local and state economy.

-Over the next few weeks, Friday, December 7th, Friday December 14th, and Friday December 21st, Main Street in Downtown Ann Arbor will be hosting “Festive Fridays” which include live street entertainment and extended hours for Main Street retailers! This is a great opportunity to enjoy and support your local economy.

-Connect with local crafters and support them at DIYpsi, coming up December 8th & 9th in Ypsilanti. Other local DIY craft events and holiday bazaars coming up include Tiny Expo in Ann Arbor on December 8th, the 7th Annual Holiday Baar Bazaar in Detroit on the 14th, The Detroit Mercantile Merry Market on the 15th & 16th, and The Detroit Annual Food Bazaar on December 10th.

-If you’re into crafting yourself, check out some of the craft programs coming up at the AADL to make your very own gifts to give!

-Do you have an avid reader to please this holiday season? Check out the AADL’s Friend’s of the Library Book Shop, located on the basement level of the Downtown branch. The shop’s holiday hours this season are: Saturdays, 10-4 and Sundays, 1-4 through December 16th, 2012. Then closed until January 5th and 6th, 2013. The shop includes a wide variety of gently-used books, CDs, DVDs, sheet music, and jigsaw puzzels.

Happy local holiday shopping!

Mom & Dad.....I'm Gay

Thursday November 29, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

When a child confides these words to a parent, they can totally transform the relationship. Whether that transformation results in a closer bond or a broken one is entirely dependent upon the parent's ability to accept, nurture and honor the child, whatever his or her sexual orientation. Join us and author Anne Dohrenwend at the Traverwood Branch as she shares insights from her book, Coming Around. Coming Around is an uplifting resource for understanding and coming to terms with a child’s sexual orientation and maintaining a dialogue between parent & child. With compassion and wisdom, Dohrenwend addresses parents' fears regarding what to say and what not to say, bigotry and social and religious prejudice, the legal issues facing LGBT individuals and how to understand homophobia. Dr. Dohrenwend will be there to sell and sign books as well.

Homeless and Hunger Awareness Week

Did you know that November 11-17th has been deemed Homeless & Hunger Awareness Week? Around the country people are bringing attention to these issues in a variety of ways, from workshops and lectures to simulating homelessness get a better feel for what it's like to not have permanent housing. Last February AADL hosted an interesting panel of homeless serving agencies in Washtenaw County. If you weren't able to attend, we filmed the event and you can watch it at your leisure. One fact that always startles me no matter how often I hear it is that children are often the forgotten faces of homelessness and that Domestic Violence is still the number one cause of homelessness among children. There are homeless children in nearly every elementary school in Washtenaw County, and likely countless kids who go to bed hungry every night. We just want you to be aware of homelessness and hunger in our community.

It was the Night Before Thanksgiving

It was the day before Thanksgiving, and I was intent on a search, for a free Thanksgiving Dinner at the Ypsilanti Free Methodist Church. The flyer tacked to the telephone pole did assert "Come enjoy turkey and the the fixings, including pie for dessert! At 1800 Packard Rd., 4:30-6:30 pm, across from Ypsilanti High athletic fields, the feast will commence. So if you are planning to join us Nov. 21 on Wednesday, call 734-482-2055 to reserve a seat for the number attending. Happy Holidays!

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