America's Music Project: Explore Popular Music March through May with Films, Concerts, and Talks

AADL presents America's Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway, an eight-week series featuring documentary film screenings and discussions at the Downtown Library.

Wednesday evening sessions, led by Mark Clague, Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of Research, University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, will focus on various genres of twentieth-century American popular music, including:

A final session on May 8 will center on the history of performances at Ann Arbor’s own Hill Auditorium.

Throughout the series, the Library and Kerrytown Concert House will present related concerts performed by some of the area’s prominent musicians.

The series begins March 13 with a concert by Mr. B and a film preview at the Downtown Library.

The Ann Arbor District Library is one of fifty sites nationwide to host the America’s Music series, a project of the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music.

The AADL series is cosponsored by Kerrytown Concert House, UMS, WCBN 88.3 FM, and the Friends of the AADL.

America’s Music has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.

8-Bit Stitch

linklinkIf you like classic video games and dig DIY and crafty things, we've got a chance for you to combine the two!

Sunday, March 24 at 2pm, convert classic video game graphics into cross-stitch patterns and make over-sized stitched version of Mario, Pac-Man (or Pac-Man Ghosts) or Link!

Working through the process, you'll learn the basic technique for turning other classic characters into patterns you can make later.

This event is for teens (grade 6 and up) and adults.

Fanfare for the Common Cold

Join other piano music lovers on Sunday, March 17, 4-5 pm at the Downtown Library to hear original selections from the recent recording project, Sweet Geriatrics by pianist/composer Waleed Howrani. From “Bifocal Boogie Woogie” to “Balding Balalaika,” the pieces cover a wide range of topics and musical styles with aplomb. “Old to Joy” reflects on the happy free time of retirement via Beethoven backwards in a minor key, while the joyful “Great-Grandsonata” winds six elements of a sonata into 27 playful seconds. “The journey through life into middle age and beyond is a lot like a symphony,” said Howrani. “It takes place in movements and phases and has many different tones and moments along with recurring themes." You will be amazed and thoroughly entertained by how Howrani tickles the ivories and plays with mother time right before our very eyes!

Draw Robots with C. Jason DePasquale!

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Do you love robots? Artist C. Jason DePasquale digs robots too! As a teacher and longtime robot fan, Jason has had plenty of chances to perfect his robot drawing — through his work with Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair and beyond!

Saturday, March 16, 2-3 pm, come to the Downtown Library and watch Jason draw some simple robots, get ideas, follow along, and create colorful robo-drawings of your own to take home!

Seusstastical Puppets!

Saturday, March 2 | 1-2:00pm | Downtown Multi-Purpose Room | Grades K-5 with an adult

March 1 is Read Across America Day! "Now in its 16th year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources." It's no coincidence that this special day happens around March 2 each year... Because that day is author Dr. Seuss' birthday!

We'll be celebrating the magic of reading by making Seuss character puppets. We've got all the supplies for the kids to make Cat in the Hat and/or Thing 1 and Thing 2 puppets. As always, it's a great idea to catch silly spirit by curling up with some of your favorite Dr. Seuss stories.

Snowman Bookmarks and Snowflake Crafts

Monday, February 18 | 1 - 2 pm | Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room | Preschool to Grade 3

Make a simple, but snazzy, snowman bookmark out of construction paper, beads, decorative punch out designs, and twine. Also, learn how to make a unique, 6-point, paper snowflake that you can use to create a beautiful winter scene.

The AADL has crafting books of all kinds for kids!

Film & Discussion: Broken On All Sides

Matthew Pillischer, director of this 2012 documentary, will lead a discussion after a screening of the film. Broken On All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration and New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S. focuses on mass incarceration in the U.S. and racial inequalities in the criminal justice system. It discusses the theory that mass incarceration has become "The New Jim Crow" by targeting people of color and allowing much of the discrimination that was legal in the Jim Crow era to be applied to "criminals."

Using interviews with people on many sides of the criminal justice system--including Michelle Alexander the author of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads book, The New Jim Crow-- the film attempts to answer and provoke questions about the American penal system.

Cosponsored by the UM Community Scholars Program.

Thursday, February 21 | 6 - 8:30 PM | Grade 9 - Adult | Downtown Library Lower Level Multi-Purpose Room

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.

Washi Tape Greeting Cards

Wednesday, February 20 | 1 - 2 pm | Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room | Grade 3 - Adult

Washi tape is a popular, decorative, Japanese paper tape used in craft projects. We have a variety of colors and patterns of washi tape, along with various colors of card stock and other patterned paper available for you to make greeting card images and other inspired crafts.

If you have never heard of washi tape, check out this Pinterest pinboard for great project ideas. You could also bring an item from home to decorate, and feel free to bring a your own roll(s) of washi tape to use along with ours to create your greeting card, if you like!

This event is for youth (Grade 3 and up), teens, and adults.

Film & Discussion: Blacking Up: Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Identity

Blacking Up explores racial identity through the lens of hip-hop music and culture.
This 2010 documentary examines the popularity of hip-hop among America's white youth, and considers whether this reflects
new racial understanding in white America or reinforces an ugly history of stereotypes.

The director, Robert A. Clift is a filmmaker from Washington, DC, whose previous film, Stealing Home: The Case of Cuban Baseball, appeared nationally on PBS.
He is currently writing his dissertation for the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University

A discussion will follow the film.
Cosponsored by the UM Community Scholars Program
Thursday, January 31, 6:00 - 8:30 PM | Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

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