Harpbeat! African Musical Safari

Thursday, February 21 | 10 - 11 am | Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room | Preschool - Grade 5

Harpbeat's harpist, vocalist, and percussionist Donna Novack takes you on a magical world tour and explores the geography, culture, language, and music of Africa. Featured languages include Swahili and Zulu.

Travel across the "Middle Passage" to the West Indies. Take a ride on the Underground Railroad and arrive "dancin" in Motown. Learn how African musical styles -- call & response, work songs, spirituals and more, have revolutionized American music. Martin Luther King, Jr. is featured in Harpbeat's original "I Have A Dream," song, which is accompanied by simple sign language.

Harpbeat! recordings and Donna's original songs have won many national awards. The AADL has the Harpbeat! CDs Around the world from A to Z as well as Hopes & Dreams & Rainbows for checkout.

Performance Network: Good People

Performance Network will show Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire Feb. 21 through March 31. David Wolber directs this Michigan Premiere of a 2011 Tony Nominee for Best Play. The PN website describes the play as "a touching and funny look at American's great economic divide." Ticket information is here. Lindsay-Abaire also wrote Rabbit Hole which was made into a 2011 movie.

Human Rights Held Captive: Perspectives on the Justice System Conference

Thursday February 7th - Saturday February 9th | Rackham Graduate School Amphitheater Room 2435 (map)

The University of Michigan student organization Human Rights Through Education (HRTE) is holding a conference exploring imprisonment of minorities, prison conditions, incarceration and sentencing, prisoner reentry and rehabilitation, the school-to-prison pipeline, the death penalty, and detention and torture on both domestic and international levels.

Guest speakers include: Shane Bauer - an investigative journalist detained in Iran from 2009 - 2011, William "Buzz" Alexander - founder of the Prison Creative Arts Project, and David Shapiro - attorney at the ACLU National Prison Project, among other speakers whose work focuses on the above topics.

There will be a film screening of "The Invisible War" and a theater workshop with Frannie Shepherd-Bates.

The conference is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged but not required.

Mittenfest VII is coming up soon!

Mittenfest is an annual local music festival held in Michigan and played by Michigan bands. The festival serves as a fundraiser for 826michigan, dedicating 100% of its profits to the non-profit organization which helps tutor students ages 6-18 with writing. 826michigan is part of a nationwide network of non-profits, started in San Francisco by the acclaimed author Dave Eggers. Last year, Mittenfest raised $21,290.00 for 826michigan, bringing the total raised over the last six years to $55,000.00!

For its seventh consecutive year running strong, Mittenfest is going to run a full 5 days, over which 50 Michigan bands will perform live, including Frontier Ruckus, Starling Electric, Shigeto, Patrick Elkins, and Our Brother the Native, just to name a few! To see the other 45 bands and a complete 5-day schedule, click here.

Mittenfest VII will be held this year at Woodruff's at 36 East Cross Street in Ypsilanti, starting Friday Dec. 28th and running through Tuesday Jan. 1st. Bands will starting playing at 5:30pm and will run through 12:30am each day. Tickets are $10/day or $82.60 for the full 5-day pass. It's only 9 days away - don't forget! - head on out next weekend to hear some great live music and support a great local organization!

Your Guide to Buying Local This Holiday Season

Where will you shop for holiday gifts this year? It’s buy local week! In the recent years, local businesses in Michigan cities including Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti have been participating in several “buy local” themed holiday sales in order to take some of the spotlight off of the big box stores. This growing trend to “buy local Michigan” is a great way to support our state’s economy. If you’re looking for gift ideas that will support southeast Michigan, or just the state in general, here are some ideas:

-Farmer’s Markets are on the rise! According to a study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Michigan has been leading the country in the percentage growth of farmers markets over the last two years and also “ranks fourth among the states in the number of farmers markets.” There are several local farmer’s markets that are open year-round, such as The Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market and The Detroit Eastern Market. Pick up a locally made loaf of banana bread for a stocking stuffer. Or, for the more adventurous, cook your own gifts to give from the fresh foods found at the markets. The AADL’s catalog has several local-themed cookbooks for you to draw ideas from.

-Michigan is famous for its vineyards and wineries. Take a friend or loved one who enjoys wine on a tour of Michigan wineries by following this guide. Or pick up a bottle from a local winery.

-Speaking of local drinks, Michigan is also well-known for its local breweries. Ann Arbor Brewing Company, Bell’s, and Arcadia are among some of the most popular Michigan breweries holding holiday sales this year.

-Within the last few years, there have been several “Michigan” themed retail stores popping up that stock Michigan-made products. Among these include The Michigan General Store in Ypsilanti, The Dixboro General Store, The Produce Station in Ann Arbor, and the website “The Mitten State” which sells vintage-inspired Michigan themed t-shirts and other Michigan-themed gifts. Buying gifts from Michigan retail stores is a great way to support your local and state economy.

-Over the next few weeks, Friday, December 7th, Friday December 14th, and Friday December 21st, Main Street in Downtown Ann Arbor will be hosting “Festive Fridays” which include live street entertainment and extended hours for Main Street retailers! This is a great opportunity to enjoy and support your local economy.

-Connect with local crafters and support them at DIYpsi, coming up December 8th & 9th in Ypsilanti. Other local DIY craft events and holiday bazaars coming up include Tiny Expo in Ann Arbor on December 8th, the 7th Annual Holiday Baar Bazaar in Detroit on the 14th, The Detroit Mercantile Merry Market on the 15th & 16th, and The Detroit Annual Food Bazaar on December 10th.

-If you’re into crafting yourself, check out some of the craft programs coming up at the AADL to make your very own gifts to give!

-Do you have an avid reader to please this holiday season? Check out the AADL’s Friend’s of the Library Book Shop, located on the basement level of the Downtown branch. The shop’s holiday hours this season are: Saturdays, 10-4 and Sundays, 1-4 through December 16th, 2012. Then closed until January 5th and 6th, 2013. The shop includes a wide variety of gently-used books, CDs, DVDs, sheet music, and jigsaw puzzels.

Happy local holiday shopping!

Found and Read


Brothers Davy and Peter Rothbart visit their hometown of Ann Arbor tomorrow night at The Last Word as part of FOUND Magazine’s epic 10th Anniversary tour, which brings them to 37 states this fall. (The Ann Arbor stop benefits 826Michigan.) The tour also celebrates the release of Davy’s new book My Heart is an Idiot. MHIAI is a collection of personal essays, many regarding his search for love in all the wrong places. See here for info on the tour, and here for FOUND books at AADL.

Celebrate Astronomy Day at Peach Mountain!

Saturday, October 20 | 7:00 - midnight | Peach Mountain, Dexter, Michigan

Saturday, October 20, is Astronomy Day! and AADL is partnering with the University Lowbrow Astronomers for a public viewing starting after sunset at Peach Mountain, a dark sky area roughly 16 miles northwest of Ann Arbor off North Territorial Rd. in Stinchfield Woods.

You'll be treated to views through large-aperture telescopes, including the 24-inch McMath telescope located on site. Guidelines, maps, directions and parking information are available. Open houses will be cancelled if conditions are unusually cold or if it's cloudy. If you're unsure, check back here for an update at 4:00 p.m. October 20.

50th Anniversary of the Port Huron Statement

Tom Hayden at Ann Arbor fundraiser, 1985Tom Hayden at Ann Arbor fundraiser, 1985

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the now-legendary Port Huron Statement, a manifesto written by “Students for a Democratic Society” (SDS) at a retreat on Lake Huron in 1962. From October 31 - November 2, the University of Michigan is hosting A New Insurgency: The Port Huron Statement in Its Time and Ours, a free 3-day public conference exploring the significance of the Port Huron Statement and its social, political and cultural consequences for the New Left of the 1960s - from anti-war movements to civil rights and women’s liberation movements. We’ve pulled together articles from our Oldnews archive about the Students for a Democratic Society, featuring SDS co-founders Tom Hayden and Alan Haber and reflections from other New Left activists over the intervening years.

Local Mystery Book Store Celebrates Anniversary with Visiting Authors


Mystery bookstore, Aunt Agatha's is celebrating their 20th Anniversary by having 15 authors visit their store on Fourth Ave. Aunt Agatha's will be hosting an open house on Wednesday, October 3rd from 4-7pm, feature cake and drinks as well as the opportunity to meet the authors.

A few of the guest authors include:
Alyse Carlson, author of The Azalea Assault
Sarah Zettel, award-winning author of mystery and sci fi books and Ypsilanti native
Steve Hamilton, author of the Alex McKnight series
And many more.

For the full schedule of authors and more information, check Aunt Agatha's Event Page.

The "Ypsi Flea" is happening this Sunday, Sept 23rd

With television shows such as American Pickers becoming increasingly popular, people across the country are realizing that the old saying is still true, "one man's junk is another man's treasure!" From flea markets to garage sales, thrifting culture is now more popular than ever, and America is on the hunt!

Once every blue moon, it is known that some folks over in Ann Arbor's neighboring city of Ypsilanti throw together a community event - "The Ypsi Flea" - that combines local vendors featuring everything from used clothing and records to crafty things and live music.

The Ypsi Flea will be happening this Sunday, September 23rd from 12pm-8pm, and will be held at Woodruff's at 36 East Cross Street in Ypsilanti.

Come out and hunt for some treasures of your own, or just to enjoy some live local music; either way, the event is free, all ages and held in the name of fun and community expansion!

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