Don't Believe a Word He Says!

The Smithsonian Center for Folk Life says “Bil Lepp is a side-splittingly funny man” and Michael Feldman from Whad’Ya Know says “He’s terrific…fantastic…he’s a good one!” You can learn how storyteller Bil Lepp “lies well” on Saturday, February 20th at 10:00 am at the Downtown Library. Then treat yourself to the Ark’s 23rd Annual Storytelling Festival that same evening. The library partnered with the Ann Arbor Storytellers’ Guild for this wild workshop.

Ignite Ann Arbor 3: Coming in March!

Global Ignite WeekGlobal Ignite Week

If you only had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to present their answers. We consider geekery to equal passion, so we're looking for food geeks, tech geeks, business geeks, music geeks, art geeks, history geeks, and others to come and share their stories.

Submit your application here by 11:59 pm, February 10th for Ignite Ann Arbor 3, coming March 4th at Blau Auditorium at the Ross School of Business on campus.

Ignite Ann Arbor 3, presented by the Entrepreneurship and Venture Club, is special because it's part of Global Ignite Week--a week with 60+ Ignites being held worldwide. In addition, your talk could get global attention through Ignite video portal! (Check out some talks from Ignite 1 and Ignite 2).

Finally, the best presenters of Ignite Ann Arbor 3 will also be invited to the Library over the next few months to give expanded versions of their talks. In fact, on Sunday, February 28, 1-2:30 p.m. at the Downtown Library, AADL will present Ignite Second Stage: The Silver Age of American Jewish Music is Happening Now! And You're Missing It!

Monthly Book Discussions at Crazy Wisdom

Looking to read a book and join a discussion on it? Check out Crazy Wisdom’s monthly book discussions, which take place at 7 p.m. at Crazy Wisdom Community Room. Titles to be discussed in the near future are:

February 12: Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears by Pema Chodron
March 12: How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons
April 9: When Technology Fails by Matthew Stein

There is no registration, just show up! Check here for full details!Crazy WisdomCrazy Wisdom

Pioneer to stage "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"

Pioneer Theater Guild presents its mid-winter musical -- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee -- Feb. 12-21 in The Little Theater. This is a one act musical comedy about a spelling bee at Putnam Valley Middle School, where six quirky adolescents compete in a bee organized by three odd adults. Sounds fun. The web page says the show "features spontaneous and hilarious audience participation!" Sounds like even more fun. Check out our CD of the original 2005 Broadway cast recording. The show also is being performed this month at Encore Theatre in Dexter.

Prevent Grandparents Scam

All grandparents should know about a recent telephone scam that tries to persuade them to send thousands of dollars to their distressed grandchildren. Michigan’s Attorney General Mike Cox provides information on how to avoid this deception. Everyone wants to help family in trouble, but it's important to know who you're sending money to. Sid Kirchheimer’s book and his AARP Bulletin column Scam Alert will inform you how to handle many rip-offs out there.

Valentines Day: Make a Date with Your Kids

To properly celebrate Valentines Day, a little planning is always good. Cards and candy are fun, but this year how about enjoying a craft or dance with your children? Consider a Daddy-Daughter Dance at the Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center on Friday Feb. 12 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Or plan to Create a Valentine at our AADL Mallets Creek branch Saturday Feb. 13 from 2-4 p.m. If staying home sounds like just the thing, why not make a paper craft to celebrate the holiday. Whatever you decide to do, have a wonderful celebration!

Vogel 50x50

Vogel 50x50Vogel 50x50

The exhibition An Economy of Means: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection opens at the University of Michigan Museum of Art on Saturday, January 30th.

In 2008 the University of Michigan Museum of Art was one of 50 museums selected to receive a gift of 50 works of art from Herb and Dorothy Vogel. A previous blog relates the extraordinary story of Herbert, a postal clerk, and Dorothy, a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library, who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with very modest means.

The couple began collecting in the early 1960s. Their collection, notable both for the character and breadth of the objects, was guided by two rules: the piece had to be affordable, and it had to be small enough to fit in their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. They were among the first collectors to buy work by artists who were virtually unknown at the time but went on to achieve considerable acclaim such as Robert Barry and Richard Tuttle.

A gallery talk is scheduled for 2 p.m. on opening day. Watch the Museum's program guide for upcoming events and docent-guided tours of the exhibition.

Learn more about the Vogels' 50 gifts for 50 states.

Lynda Benglis
American, born 1941
Tacpere Maptom, 1985
glass
22 x 5 ½ (diam.) in. (Image shown)
© Lynda Benglis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY *

33rd Annual Folk Festival @ The Ark

ArkArk

January 29-30 is a great time to be at The Ark in Ann Arbor. The famous Folk Festival is going on again! Each night will feature a good mix of seasoned artists as well as up-and-coming musicians. “All funds raised through the Festival benefit The Ark, Ann Arbor's non-profit home for folk, roots, and ethnic music.” See The Ark’s website for all details. This year’s line-up includes:

Friday, January 29
Iron & Wine, Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard, Band of Heathens, Hoots & Hellmouth, Po' Girl, Jer Coons, Nervous But Excited, and Patty Larkin, MC.

Saturday, January 30
Rosanne Cash, Richie Havens, Doc Watson, Raul Malo, Hot Club of Cowtown, Enter The Haggis, and Patty Larkin, MC.

Opportunity for school-aged English Language Learners

826michigan is offering a drop-in workshop for English Language Learners. This new workshop series is especially designed for English Language Learners between the ages of 6 and 18! A team of knowledgeable, passionate volunteers are working hard to create a fun and creative atmosphere for kids to learn and practice new English skills. The students will participate in activities designed to improve their pronunciation, grammar, and conversational skills in individual or group settings. This workshop is most suitable for beginning or intermediate ELL students.

Eric Canosa is an English teacher. He spent time in China teaching English in the WorldTeach program through Harvard's Center for International Development. More recently, he has taught Teen English classes for University of Michigan Family Housing.

This workshop will be on Saturday afternoons, 12:00-1:00 PM through March 27, 2010 (no session on February 27). This workshop takes place at 826michigan: 115 Liberty St., Ann Arbor, MI. If you have questions, you may contact them at (734) 761-3463.

For other learning resources, you might try Brainfuse, an online homework help service, free to AADL cardholders and available 7 days a week between 2:00 and 11:00 PM. For in-person homework help, members of the University of Michigan chapter of Circle K are available on Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00-8:00 PM, in the Youth Story Corner of the Downtown Library.

2010 It's All Write! Short Story Writing Contest

short storyshort story

Got an idea for a short story? The timing is perfect if you do, either have an idea you've been thinking about, or put an ending to a story that has a brilliant beginning but you just didn't know how to finish. The 2010 It's All Write short story writing contest for area teens has begun. The last day to turn in stories is Friday, March 19. Click here for complete guidelines.

1st Place ($250), 2nd Place ($150), and 3rd Place ($100) prizes will be awarded in the following categories : Grades 6-8, Grades 9-10, and Grades 11-12.

Need inspiration? You might want to check out last year's winning stories or any of the short story collections edited by Donald R. Gallo.

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