Pioneer Theatre Guild Presents Shrek: The Musical

Pioneer High School Theatre Guild will present Shrek: The Musical April 27 through May 5. The show is based on William Steig's 1990 book Shrek! and the 2001 DreamWorks film Shrek. Should be a fun show for both kids and adults. More information about the production and tickets is here.

Ann Arbor's First Ever "Veg Week"

VegMichigan and US VegWeek have partnered together to start Ann Arbor's first Veg Week, starting Monday, April 21. Many other cities across the country have been hosting Veg Weeks since 2011. The goal is to reduce the impact of factory farming on the environment, reduce animal suffering, and improve health. Residents are encouraged to take a week long pledge and eat only vegetarian or vegan food. There will be restaurant specials, film screenings, talks by health experts, grocery store tours, and other events going on in the city. Most events are free of charge.

A list of events and participating restaurants can be found on the Ann Arbor Veg Week website. To get started, the library has a collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. There will also be a viewing and discussion of the film "Vegucated" on Tuesday, April 23 at the downtown library.

Did somebody say "veg out"?!

It's Veg Week! Ann Arbor Veg Week 2013 is brought to you by VegMichigan, the state’s largest vegetarian organization promoting awareness of the health, environmental, and ethical benefits of a plant-based diet. The campaign encourages people to take the 7-day pledge and eat vegan or vegetarian for a week, and features a variety of events around the community.

Things kick off tonight at Downtown Home & Garden with special guests John Salley & Ann Arbor Mayor John Heiftje. There are special events happening every day this week, including a viewing of the Award-Winning Documentary Vegucated at the Downtown Library on Tuesday. Local restaurants are also featuring special vegan dishes this week! Be sure to check the schedule to see what's happening where. It’s a great week for seasoned vegans and vegetarians and for those who are pondering a plant-based diet to give it a whirl and ask questions.

And to cap it all off, the library has a ton of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks to entice you with yummy recipes beyond this week.

Come Play Games at International Table Top Day!


This Saturday, March 30th, from Noon-10pm The Vault of Midnight will be hosting International Table Top Day based on the popular Geek & Sundry YouTube channel's show, TableTop. The goal is to encourage everyone to play more games.

From the International TableTop Day website, "International TableTop Day is a reminder to spend more time and strengthen the bonds with the people who matter most, our friends and family, by playing games together. Tabletop gaming promotes many positive social and cognitive benefits like increased communication, team work, planning, and is an excellent stress relieving activity for all ages."

The 41st Annual Dance for Mother Earth Powwow is this Saturday & Sunday

This weekend, April 6th & 7th, the 41st Annual Dance for Mother Earth Powwow will be held in Ann Arbor at the Crisler Center. The event is hosted by the Native American Student Association at the University of Michigan, and will feature an amazing display of singers, dancers, drummers, artisans, and food vendors.

I had the opportunity to attend this massive Powwow last year, and was blown away by the the turnout; The Mother Earth Powwow attracts people from all over the country, and is the largest Powwow held in the Midwest. The drum circles, dancing, and beautiful traditional dress created a wonderfully energetic atmosphere. In addition, the food was delicious; I tried the buffalo burger on the Native American staple, fry bread. You can’t go wrong there.

Powwows are commonly known as large gatherings that “Native American people use as a place to meet, dance, sing and otherwise renew and strengthen their rich culture. The Ann Arbor Powwow is one of the largest university-run pow wows in the country, with more than 1,000 of North America's greatest singers, dancers, artists and craftspeople.” For more information about what Powwows are all about, check out this fabulous information page on the U of M’s website, or read about Powwow’s and Native American History in the AADL’s catalog. In addition, if you’d like to sample some of the music you might hear at the Mother Earth Powwow, the AADL also has a large collection of Native American Music.

This is an event that only happens once a year, and is not to be missed! Doors will open at 10:30am and grand entries will be at 12pm on both Saturday & Sunday. Admission ranges from $10 for adults, with discounts for students, seniors, families, and children. For more information be sure to check out the official information page, as well as the event schedule. See you there!

AADL @ FoolMoon

Friday April 5, 2013: 6:00 pm to 11:59 pm

Join us for the annual FoolMoon event on Ann Arbor's Washington Street! Be sure to stop by the AADL activity area on Washington and Ashley to try your gaming skills playing Johann Sebastian Joust! If you participated in our March 'Logo remix' workshops, you may even see your animations projected above AADL's activity area!

Jazz Musician Esperanza Spalding to Visit Ann Arbor

At the prime age of 26, Esperanza Spalding won the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist, and for good reason. The jazz musician may be best known for her rad skills on the bass guitar, but she also both sings and composes her extraordinary tunes. The Grammys weren't the only ones to take notice to Spalding's sharp musical skills - at 20 she became one of the youngest faculty members ever at the world renowned Berklee College of Music.

The Ann Arbor District Library has several of Spalding's albums in our collection, including the winner of the 2012 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Radio Music Society.

Now, the city of Ann Arbor will have a chance to see her shine in action on the eve of Saturday, April 6th at the Michigan Theatre, starting at 8pm. For more information, see the UMS's website.

Ann Arbor Film Festival: Films, Archives, DVDs

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is next week! I love this time of year. So many films to see in just a few days time. Have you been hawking over the schedule and taking notes of what you’d like to see? Be ready, as the fun begins gala-style on Tuesday, March 19 and runs through Sunday, March 24.

Established in 1963, The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America, and we are lucky to have it in our own backyard. The 51st annual festival is bringing some wonderful experimental films to the Michigan Theater, and a visit from Ken Burns is also on deck!

Fore more film fodder, be sure to check out the Ann Arbor Film Festival Archive, accessible online. You’ll have full access to old photos, flyers, articles, festival programs, and interviews from past festivals. Meanwhile, to view some of the films of past festivals, check out these collections available at AADL:

Time Pieces: 46th Ann Arbor Film Festival, DVD collection, Volume 1

Unexplored territories: 47th Ann Arbor Film Festival, DVD collection, Volume 2

48th Ann Arbor Film Festival, DVD collection, Volume 3

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.

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