Dexter, Chelsea, Manchester and Saline: Then & Now

Dexter villageDexter village

Thanks to local historian Grace Shackman, we've recently added to Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now dozens of past articles from the Community Observer tracking the histories of our neighboring communities Dexter, Chelsea, Manchester and Saline. Some articles, including one about the origins of area libraries, another on the county's one-room schoolhouses, and a third detailing Christmases past cover the history of the subject in all four locations. You can also read many feature-length articles about the architectural landmarks, businesses and people that characterize the towns, from the Chelsea Private Hospital and the Dexter Underpass to the Manchester Mill and Saline Valley Farms. Grace has also written about the smaller villages of Dixboro and Delhi.

Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing

homeless help pic

If you are currently homeless or have lost your home to foreclosure, check this out: There's a federally-funded financial assistance program that may help. The Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing program, serves Washtenaw County residents who are homeless, facing eviction or whose housing has been condemned. The process begins with a completed State Emergency Relief application; income documentation & photo ID's for everyone over 18 in the household. There are several local partners who can assist as well, just mention HPRP when you call Jewish family Services, Catholic Social Services or SOS Community Services, among other agencies. You can also call the HPRP Team at 734- 662-2829, ext. 232.

Congratulations to Vault of Midnight

vault curtis: comics storefrontvault curtis: comics storefront

Vault of Midnight, an Ann Arbor institution for 15 years, has won this year's Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. The award, handed out to a store who has "done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large", was given out last night at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, the comic industry's biggest event of the year. As frequent partners with Vault of Midnight, we can attest to their involvement with the community; almost any day of the week you can walk in and find a book signing, an art show, or a game night happening at 219 S. Main Street.

Stores from all over the US and Canada are entered into the running for the award, and owners Curtis Sullivan and Steve Fodale were surprised to get the award. Read more about the win on annarbor.com and then stop in to say congratulations!

Polling Place Changes for Aug. 3 Primary Election

votevote

The primary election Tuesday, Aug. 3 will include candidates for mayor, city council, county commissioners and state and federal elected officials. City of Ann Arbor polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Several polling location changes are in place for the August 3rd primary so be sure to check the list for your polling location. And remember to bring photo I.D. with you to vote.

Looking for a sample ballot? Not sure what your polling location is? Not sure if you're registered to vote? Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center, the State of Michigan online voter information center. The City Clerk is still accepting applications for absentee ballots and will be open on Saturday, July 31, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. In-person requests for absentee ballots will be accepted at the City Clerk's Office, 2nd floor of City Hall, until 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2.

Collection Development at the William L. Clements Library

Reading RoomReading Room

The William L. Clements Library of the University of Michigan is one of Ann Arbor's most fascinating hidden gems. Opened in 1923, the Library holds tens of thousands of rare and unique books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other materials documenting American History from the 15th to the early 20th century. From June 14th to October 10th, 2010, the library will be hosting a special exhibit showcasing some of its most impressive recent acquisitions. These items are used to explain how the library develops its amazing collection. History and library enthusiasts alike are especially encouraged! The exhibit is open to the public.

“Fine Tuning a Great Collection” is open to the public in the Main Room of the Clements Library Monday through Thursday from 1:00 pm to 4:45 pm. After September 7 the exhibit will be open Monday though Friday. The Clements Library is located on the campus of the University of Michigan at 909 South University Avenue, Ann Arbor. For further information please call 734-764-2347. E

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.

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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.

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