Learning About the Night Sky

Would you like to learn more about the nighttime sky? Does summer conjure up images of stargazing and picking out constellations? Then the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History’s “The Sky Tonight: Star Talk” may be just what you're looking for! Venture into the planetarium for a live talk that will cover what is currently in the night sky, including stars, constellations, telescopic objects, and the planets. This program runs throughout July and August. Admission is $5 for seniors, adults, and children.
Exhibit Museum of Natural History web site

Monday-Friday: 11:30, 1:30
Saturdays: 11:30, 1:30, 3:30
Sundays: 1:30, 3:30

Write a Song for a Kid in Need

The Songs of Love Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing personalized songs for children and teens currently facing tough medical, physical or emotional challenges, free of charge.They’re looking for volunteer songwriters (must be professional quality) to write and record songs for children and teens facing tough medical, physical, or emotional challenges. Over 15 years these efforts have produced 22,000 songs, a truly remarkable gift to these families.

Here’s how it works: You are sent a child’s profile sheet filled out by a parent or other caregiver that describes special interests, hobbies, favorite things, family members, friends, pets, favorite music style(s), and such. This profile sheet also spells all names phonetically so you are assured of getting them just right. You write a great song that has the child’s name featured in the chorus and that mentions all the items on the profile sheet. You make a tasty recording of the song and email an mp3 and lyric sheet to Songs of Love Foundation within 21 days. Songs of Love makes a CD with a nice label and an insert with the lyrics and mails it to the family. That’s the only use of the song unless Songs of Love chooses to use the song for promotional or fundraising purposes later. The song and sound recording belong to Songs of Love. What you get is the immense satisfaction of doing a really good deed.

Ginormous Mutant Caterpillars Conquer Traverwood Branch Library.


More Summer Game fun everyone! Stop by the Traverwood Branch Library to view a temporary exhibit of live Cecropia Moth caterpillars. The Cecropia Moth, the largest native North American moth, reproduces by laying eggs that hatch into caterpillars. Over the next month they will put on quite a show as they progress through their 6-stage life cycle.

The caterpillars, on loan from the Leslie Science and Nature Center, will remain until they complete their cocoons in early August. They will then return home, to overwinter on the grounds of the Science Center, where they will emerge as moths next spring.

When you visit the caterpillars make sure and find the code to earn 400 Summer Game Points, which you can enter at play.aadl.org and redeem for prizes at the online Summer Game Shop. Want to visit the caterpillars more than once? You sound like a savvy gamer. We'll generate a new code each time the critters molt, and we'll announce that in this thread. Will the points increase in accordance with the caterpillars girth? Possibly.

Updated 7/6: The caterpillars have molted. New game code info at http://www.aadl.org/node/41137

June 25th--Act of Grace: A Conversation with Karen Simpson and Robbie Ransom

On Saturday, June 25th authors Karen Simpson and Robbie Ransom will discuss their new book Act of Grace from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the University of Michigan's North Quad, room 2435. Act of Grace explores the story of Grace Johnson, an African American from Michigan who saves the life of a Klan member named Jonathan Gilmore--and the controversy which follows. Simpson and Ransom are both Michigan residents and graduates of Eastern Michigan University well known for their work in gender and cultural studies. The discussion is free and open to the public, and is presented by the Author’s Forum, a collaboration between the U-M Institute for the Humanities, University Library, Great Lakes Literary Arts Center, and the Ann Arbor Book Festival. Don't miss the discussion on this amazing story of forgiveness!

For the official UM Library event posting, click here.

Emancipation Proclamation at the Henry Ford Museum

Abe LincolnAbe Lincoln
How often do you get to see one of the nation's important documents up close and personal? Until Wednesday, June 22, 7:00 AM, the Emancipation Proclamation is on display at the Henry Ford Museum. According to a MLive article, over 7,100 visitors have already ventured to Dearborn to see it. Normally this original, handwritten document is stored at the National Archives. In fact, this is the first time that it has been out on display since the 1980s. It is kept under wraps in order to preserve it; it is sensitive to light. There is no charge for admission. While the Emancipation Proclamation is on display until 7:00 AM tomorrow, the doors to the museum will close at 6:00 AM.

For a dose of history even closer to home try these items:

The Emancipation Proclamation, a book for adults.
You Are There. Abraham Lincoln's Great Moments, a DVD.
The Emancipation Proclamation, a book for children.

Top of the Park 2011!

Looking for something to do this summer?

Top of the Park kicked off this past Friday June 17th. Bands play every evening and movies show Sunday through Thursdays at dusk (10 pm), with the exception of Mondays. TOP will again 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: Top Gun, How to Train Your Dragon, Inception, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Back to the Future, Footloose, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Phantom of the Opera Silent Film with Carillon Accompaniment & Guest Soprano.

Tomorrow's entertainment includes: Rock the Mall, a Teen Music Competition and the film The Social Network. This summer's TOP also includes wacky acrobatic troop Strange Fruit performing The Three Belles.

You can view the entertainment schedule at the Festival Website. For a printable Calendar, click here.

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 performaces at the Mainstage as well. Artist/Comedians that are performing at the Power Center include: Steve Martin, Los Lonely Boys, k.d. lang, The Capitol Steps, and Tom Tom Crew.

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

Check out the Ann Arbor Summer Festival on facebook!

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival runs till July 10th, so come prepared to dance, sing along and have a good time!AASF2011AASF2011

Be Well Block Party!


Did someone say Free Health Care? I just did! Packard Health invites you to their annual Youth Health Fair Thursday June 23 from 12:00-5:00 PM. Not only that, the first 300 children will get a free digital thermometer. But wait! There's more! Kids can also get free camp & sports physicals, vaccines and dental screenings. Come on down to 3174 Packard Road Ann Arbor for your child's health screening!

Kids Read Comics!


The Kids Read Comics Celebration kicks off this Friday, June 17, at 6pm at the Downtown AADL branch with a live comics reading by Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy, X-Men: Misfits) and Raina Telgemeier (SMILE, Baby-Sitters Club). Then at 8pm, Kevin Coppa will join Dave for a live performance of Dave Roman Presents: Avatar: The Last Puppetbender live!

The fun doesn't stop there! Saturday and Sunday (June 18-19), Kids Read Comics will take over downtown Chelsea with free events for comics lovers of all ages! Festivities begin at the Chelsea District Library at 10am, the event will also expand down Main Street to the Clocktower Commons, where shops and restaurants throughout the downtown business district will host artists and special activities from 10am to 8pm Saturday and noon to 6pm Sunday.

Events include:
Artists’ alleys where you can meet comics and animation professionals
Hands-on comics workshops
Art demos and discussions
Portfolio reviews for youth and teen artists
Opening reception for the Comics Jam! art exhibition at the River Gallery (Saturday at 6pm)
For preschoolers through preteens:
Costume parade
Superhero crafts
For teens:
Giant drawing wall and interactive art events
Cosplay classes and marketplace, plus Saturday evening costume contest and masquerade party
For teachers and librarians:
Professional development workshops on Sunday

See a complete list of events on the Kids Read Comics Programming page!

Rainbow Picnic!

The whole family is invited to the Washtenaw Pride Picnic, 1-5 pm on Saturday, June 25 at Olson Park, 1505 Dhu Varren Rd, Ann Arbor. You bring your own food and beverages (no hard liquor) and fun stuff like a DJ, lawn games, face painting and relay races will be provided. More information can be found at the Facebook event page by searching for “Washtenaw Pride Picnic.” If you would like to volunteer, contact Scott Klee at scoklee@gmail.com. Everyone under the rainbow is welcome!

Performance Network: "Next Fall" running through July 3

The drama Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts -- a 2010 Tony nominee for best play -- is running at Performance Network Theater in Ann Arbor through July 3. The play was produced on Broadway by Elton John and his partner David Furnish. You can read a preview of the PNT production here and buy tickets here.

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