The Art Fairs are Coming: Feels like the (Fifty) First Time

Scene from the first Ann Arbor Street Art FairScene from the first Ann Arbor Street Art Fair

In case you hadn't noticed, the Ann Arbor Art Fairs are about to start. This annual event takes over much of downtown Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan campus in late July and covers them with arts, crafts, activities, refreshments, and music. But the art fairs weren't always the juggernaut that they are today; once upon a time even Ann Arbor's biggest event was just a small one.

With the art fairs on my mind, I started combing through the Ann Arbor News files and came up with this: a front page story about the first art fair back in 1960, published 51 years ago today. The article notes that the fair (which was simply an adjunct to the Ann Arbor merchants' Summer Bargain Days) featured work from 100 artists. This year's fairs will feature nearly 1100 artists. We can only hope to draw "large crowds" this year as well, although the last several years have seen over 500,000 attend, so that should fit the bill.

Click read more to see the full article from the Ann Arbor News. To learn more about the beginnings of the art fair and to see photos of the early fairs, take a look at our online exhibit 50 Years of Originality: A History of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair.

AADL Productions Podcast: Brandon Doman

Don't Talk to StrangersDon't Talk to Strangers

Having returned to Ann Arbor after college, one day Brandon Doman wanted to see what would happen if he put out a handwritten sign inviting people to write in his journal. 3000 journal entries later, Brandon is still inviting people to contribute anonymously to what has been named Don't Talk to Strangers. People from all walks of life stop by to chat with Brandon and write sometimes funny, sometimes heart-wrenching entries. Brandon stopped by the library to talk with us about how the project came to be, where it is headed next, and what he has discovered from talking to strangers. You can read a selection of entries online and learn how to support the project.

Attachment Size
AADL_Productions_Podcast-Brandon_Doman.mp3 28.3 MB

Purple Rose Theatrer: Famous French Farce

Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea is staging a French farce this summer that sounds like a lot of fun. "Boeing-Boeing" by Marc Camoletti, adapted by Beverley Cross, stars a Parisian guy named Bernard who for some reason tries to juggle three fiancees, all flight attendants. His love life unravels (haha Bernard!) in one crazy night. In 1991, this play apparently was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most performed French play throughout the world.

Take a nature walk at Wurster Nature Area

Wurster Nature AreaWurster Nature Area

Join Natural Area Preservation staff for a free nature walk through Wurster Nature Area. A staff naturalist will point out wildflowers, trees, and shrubs and talk about ecological restoration, as well as volunteer activities in Ann Arbor Parks, recreation opportunities, and responsible use of public lands. Plenty of time will be available for questions. Meet at the Edgewood Place cul-de-sac just off of West Davis Avenue. Parking available on the outer ring of the cul-de-sac.

Wurster Nature Area Hike | Thursday, July 15 | 7:00-8:00 PM | All Ages

Performance Network: "It's gonna be one hell of a night"

If you like stories about the sea, Ireland, male friendship, or myth, here's a play you won't want to miss: The Seafarer by Conor McPherson. The chilling story opens on Christmas Eve when Sharky is back in Dublin. Two old drinking buddies want to play cards, and Sharky's soul may be in grave danger. Performance Network is staging the play through July 25.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival goes MST3K

That’s right, as part of Ann Arbor’s Summer Festival, the creators of one of TV’s funniest shows ever, Mystery Science Theater 3000, will be live at the Michigan Theater riffing on the best of the worst movies ever made.

There are two consecutive performances, dubbed Cinematic Titanic, at 7:30pm and 10pm, on Friday July 2. The first film is East Meets Watts, and the second film showing is The Oozing Skull. For each film, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, and J. Elvis Weinstein will be riffing live on stage during the film, in typical MST3K fashion. Crow and Tom Servo at the Michigan Theater?! YES. Hooray Summer Festival! See there for ticket info.

And be sure to check out the FREE panel discussion with the MST3K cast the night before, also at the Michigan Theater!

mst3kmst3k

Free Bowling for Kids & Families

bowlingbowling

How often do you get to go bowling when the Kids Bowl Free? You and your kids can take advantage of this offer throughout the summer! Lots of bowling lanes across the state are participating, including Ypsi-Arbor Bowling, Bel Mark Lanes and Colonial Lanes. Need more info? This link will explain it all. Before you go, brush up on your skills by watching this DVD! Personally, I like to use bumpers when I bowl...

Don't Miss The Butterfly Garden: High-tech Theatre for Kids!

Company T.P.O.: The Butterfly GardenCompany T.P.O.: The Butterfly Garden

In addition to their outstanding concert and movie series, for the past several years the Ann Arbor Summer Festival has brought something different to town from far away; new kinds of theatrical experiences like Australia's Strange Fruit in 2007 or The Dream Engine from the UK in 2008. This year, the Summer Festival has brought Company T.P.O., a troupe from Italy that produces "Interactive theatre in immersive environments for children". Company T.P.O. is here in Ann Arbor through this Sunday, performing "The Butterfly Garden" (or Farfalle), a 45-minute show that blends engaging digital imagery and music with dance and audience involvement through the life cycle of a Butterfly. I took my family to see the first show earlier today, and we absolutely loved it... read more to find out about the show and how you can see it during its Ann Arbor run.

Top of the Park 2010

TOP.jpgTOP.jpg

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Top of the Park kicks off this Friday evening at 5:00pm. Fridays entertainment includes opening act Tokyo Sex Whale, Mucca Pazza and Ann Arbor's own, My Dear Disco. Also, After Dark at TOP featuring DJ Brody Rock starts at 10:30pm that evening. Bands play every evening and movies show Sunday through Thursdays at dusk (10 pm), now with the exception of Mondays. This year TOP will be officially closed on Mondays i.e. no events/movies/music will take place on Monday evenings. Some of the movies featured this year include: Star Trek, Princess Bride, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Birds, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Avatar!

You can view the entertainment schedule at the Festival Website. For a printable Calendar, click here. (Top of the Park events are in gray, other Summer Festival programs are in orange.)

Top of the Park is located at Ingalls Mall, directly in front of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies on Washington Street near the Burton Memorial Tower.

Don't forget to check out the performances at our Mainstage as well. Artist/Musicians that are performing at the Power Center include: Patti Griffin, Company P.T.O., Cinematic Titanic, Devo, Chris Isaak and Bernadette Peters!

Before you go, make sure to check out Festival Rules and Regulations for helpful tips to make everyone's experience more enjoyable.

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival runs till July 11th, so come prepared to dance, sing along and have a good time!

Help Shape Michigan's Future -- Before June 30

MSUsite_logoMSUsite_logo

AdvanceMichigan is your personal chance to discuss and vote on local projects to shape Michigan's future. Urban farming? Affordable housing? After-school activities for urban kids? Tourism? Climate change? Healthier school meals? Be sure to put your ideas on this social media site by June 30, because the people at MSU Extension and Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station want to use them to help solve Michigan's many problems.

Syndicate content