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

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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

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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.

Free pap test screening!

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and if you are a woman aged 21 or older, have not had a pap test in the last two years and do not have medical coverage for a pap test, you can get one free on Saturday, January 30. Testing will take place at the U-M Health System, Briarwood Building 2, Suite B, 400 E. Eisenhower Parkway between 10:00AM and 2:00PM. This screening is sponsored by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Women's Heath Program.

Cervical cancer is a serious disease that affects about 11,000 women each year. Cervical cancer has no symptoms at its earliest stages; however with early detection, the cancer can be cured. This test takes less than 10 minutes, and could be life-saving.

To schedule a free screening, call the Cancer AnswerLine at 1-800-865-1125. Registration is required.

Great Lakes, Great Times reading series

Great Lakes, Great Times is a monthly reading series that, according to this month’s host, “showcases the best established and up-and-coming writers working today.” The January reading will take place at 826Michigan, and will feature readings from authors Brian Evenson, Joanna Howard, and Blake Butler. (Find Evenson's The Open Curtain at AADL.)

The event is geared towards adults, admission is free, and anyone is welcome. It's all happening Saturday, January 23, 7pm at the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair Shop at 115 East Liberty.

U-M authors tackle germs, epidemics

Heads up for a fascinating conversation between U-M faculty members Laura Kasischke, poet and novelist, and medical historian Howard Markel at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20 in Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, 913 S. University. These prominent writers will "reflect on how their research methods, narrative styles, and sense of themselves as authors challenge our knowledge and sentiments about diseases and ourselves." Kasischke’s latest novel, In a Perfect World, is set in a time when Phoenix Flu is ravaging the country. Markel has written books including When Germs Travel. The event is presented by the Author’s Forum, a collaboration of the U-M Institute for the Humanities, University Library, Great Lakes Literary Arts Center, and the Ann Arbor Book Festival. Learn more here.

The Verve Pipe plays a “family show” at The Ark

Michigan’s own legendary rockers, The Verve Pipe, will bring some family fun to Ann Arbor on the morning of January 16.

After being asked to submit a song for a youth compilation CD, they ended up having more fun and creating more kids’ songs than necessary, which lead to the family-friendly songs becoming their new CD, "A Family Album.” If you’re interested in hearing the digital album, check out the band’s website. The show at The Ark starts at 11am this Saturday and all tickets are $10 and general admission. See The Ark’s listing for full event/ ticket info.
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