Ypsilanti’s Elbow Room will play host to the 3rd annual Mittenfest. This year’s Mittenfest is three nights of local musicians at one location, where all proceeds will go to 826Michigan. Ann Arbor's 826Michigan is the Michigan chapter of 826National, which was started by Pulitzer nominated author Dave Eggers. 826 is a "non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write." They offer totally free programs, such as tutoring, workshops, drop-in writing and all sorts of other fun things. (And they are housed in a robot store!) Mittenfest is a great way to enjoy quality local bands (such as Great Lakes Myth Society) and support a great organization. See here for a list of all the bands.
Elbow Room | 6 South Washington St. Ypsilanti | Dec 26, 27, 28 | Doors open @ 5pm, Music @ 6pm | $5 per night | $12 for 3-day pass
The Winter Shadow Art Fair, featuring more than 40 local vendors and artists, is this Saturday from noon to midnight at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. Stop by the PLAY Animation Station at the Ann Arbor Film Festival's table to make your own animation right on site. If you like what the Animation Station has to offer, then check out Terence Sacks' Opportunities in Cartooning and Animation Careers available at the Library. The AAFF will also be selling and playing their new DVD, Time Pieces, which highlights last year's winning film submissions. The Art Fair costs 2 cents for admission (so remember your shiny Abe Lincolns), and if you're under 21 you will need to be accompanied by an adult.
If you’re looking to wind down after a day of maddening bargain hunting, or if you need to wake up after a day of sleeping off that turkey/tofurky, why not grab your Hawaiian shirt & grass skirt and head over to Buhr Park Outdoor Ice Rink this Friday. Huh? The Ann Arbor Parks Department presents “Luau Skate” for all ages from 7:15-8:45pm, where you can open skate to Hawaiian music. Prizes awarded for best Hawaiian costume. Before you head out, brush up on your skills with Ice Skating Basics or have a laugh with some old friends in She's a good skate, Charlie Brown.
Other upcoming Funky Frosty Fridays (on the 2nd & 4th Fridays of the month) are: Celebrity Skate, Ugly Sweater Holiday Skate, Disco Skate, Disney Night, Valentine’s Skate, Rock the 80s Skate, St. Patrick’s Day Skate.
Here's a nice, soothing option for pre-holiday madness: An Evening of Brahms. This Friday evening the Kerrytown Concert HouseClassical Series is featuring an all-Brahms program comprised of: Sonata #2 in A Major for Violin and Piano; Trio in a minor, Op. 114 for Clarinet, Cello and Piano; Selected Songs. Performed by a mostly local group: 8pm, November 21. 734-769-2999
The 47th annual Ann Arbor Film Festival is a few months away (March 24-29, 2009), but that doesn't mean the AAFF has been resting on their laurels waiting for spring; rather, up until November 15th they've been receiving and evaluating this year's cutting-edge film submissions. The AAFF awards prizes in eighteen categories, including the Gus Van Sant Award for Best Experimental film and the Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary film, with prize purses up to $3,000.
Additionally, from August to January the Festival's International Tour has been visiting world theaters and art houses showing the award winning films from last year's festival. The Tour has been rolling since 1964 and will be making continental stops in cities such as Providence, Winnipeg, and Portland before closing in Chicago. Want to check out last year's winners but you missed the Tour? The AAFF is selling the DVD collection through its website.
You can register to watch the conference on your computer at home or you can attend the teleconference at the Malletts Creek branch from 12 to 3 pm. Registration is not required for the teleconference at Malletts Creek. The 90 minute conference will broadcast from 1 to 2:30 pm EST.
We are so lucky in Ann Arbor to have many opportunities to see theatrical productions. The U's shows are fabulous and we also have The Purple Rose and Performance Network. Do not forget the school productions as they can also be excellent. This week the Huron Players are putting on Return to the Forbidden Planet by Bob Carlton. No surprise that this Off-Broadway musical is adapted from the 1950s sci-fi, B movie and cult favorite, Forbidden Planet. The crew of Scientific Survey Flight Nine takes a faster-than-light trip to an alien planet where a mad scientist unleashes monsters from the Id and destroys the world. Groovy. November 13, 14, 15 at 7:30pm and November 16 at 2:00pm. $12 General, $10 Students/Seniors.
Here’s a chance to cheat at a game guilt-free and help kids at the same time. Sign up with a friend to be a Skrabbel team in the first annual Skrabbel For Cheaters fundraiser for 826michigan. This fun-filled event will take place on Sunday, November 23 at Conor O’Neill’s from noon to 6pm. You must sign up by November 14th. Then get your friends and family involved by pledging their support to your team. Your cheating efforts will benefit 826michigan’s youth literacy programs including tutoring, writing workshops, field trips, and in-school help for teachers.
The edible estates project consisted of tearing up the manicured front lawns of several households and replacing it with plants that produced edible food. The goal was both to make a statement and to be practical. This is remenicient of Victory Gardens during the World Wars where thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt even the White House lawn had some vegetable production. Similar ideas are also implemented in community gardens, but this project specifically picked the front yard as the area to attack, making the garden front and center. Here's a video of one of the gardens to give you an idea:
Here's a video interview with Fritz Haeg about the project:
The book consists of the plans for these gardens, homeowner stories, the drive behind the project and a few guides of what you can grow in your zone. What most homeowners were worried about, as can be expected, was what would the neighbors think? However, in most cases there were positive attitudes from the community and even a closer relationship between people in the neighborhood. The front yard was no longer a buffer zone between people but an active center of activity. The book also includes a few tidbits to think about:
Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 13 are probable carcinogens, 14 are linked with birth defects, 18 with reproductive effects, 20 with liver or kidney damage, 18 with neurotoxicity and 28 are irritants - National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns
Homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers use on crops. - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
"Suits fly against the national lawn-care companies, and interest is kindled in ''organic'' methods of lawn care. But the problem is larger than this. Lawns, I am convinced, are a symptom of, and a metaphor for, our skewed relationship to the land. They teach us that, with the help of petrochemicals and technology, we can bend nature to our will. Lawns stoke our hubris with regard to the land. What is the alternative? To turn them into gardens. I'm not suggesting that there is no place for lawns in these gardens or that gardens by themselves will right our relationship to the land, but the habits of thought they foster can take us some way in that direction.
Gardening, as compared to lawn care, tutors us in nature's ways, fostering an ethic of give and take with respect to the land. Gardens instruct us in the particularities of place. They lessen our dependence on distant sources of energy, technology, food and, for that matter, interest."
Just in time for Halloween! Parents, bring your child in grades 2 - 5 to the Downtown Library on Sunday, October 26 at 2 pm to see local author Johnathan Rand talk about how he became a writer and how reading and writing are necessary in life.
While his books can be spooky, this talk will not be! This event includes a book signing and books for sale.
Find out about all of the library's fun stuff for kids with AADL's parent page! JUMP is your stop to find recommended stuff for kids and learn about upcoming library events. Parents can also get information to plan their visit to the library an even find out about resources to help kids with their homework. It's all at jump.aadl.org!