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Pandemic Ponderings: Some stay-at-home thoughts during COVID-19

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 4:30pm by christopherporter

Stay at home thoughts

I have learned some things about myself during this whole COVID-19, stay-at-home time. Time will only tell what I will do with this new information in the aftertimes -- a looming question we all share.

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Keep Talking: Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Obama, expressed optimism at The Michigan Theater

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 11:18am by christopherporter

Valerie Jarrett

If I had been paying as much attention to national politics in 2009 as I do now, maybe I would have been more familiar with Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama. But her visit to the Michigan Theater on Monday, April 22, gave me the chance to learn more about her story.

I am so glad that I took that chance.

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Influence & Appropriation: Carrie Mae Weems at the Michigan Theater

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 1:30pm by christopherporter

Carrie Mae Weems photo from her Kitchen Table Series

Carrie Mae Weems in a photo from her Kitchen Table Series. Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Sometimes we remodel because we’ve been left out.” --Carrie Mae Weems

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All the World's a Stage: Madeleine Albright at The Michigan Theater

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 7:45am by christopherporter

Madeline Albright at the Michigan Theater

Madeline Albright photo by Timothy Greenfield Sanders/Harper Collins; Michigan Theater photo by Sherlonya Turner

Madeleine Albright is the former secretary of state I’d most love to have a drink with if given the chance. I learned this after seeing her speak about her book Fascism: A Warning at the Michigan Theater on February 2. Heck, I’d love to have a drink within eavesdropping distance from Secretary Albright.

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Magical & Unwieldy: Aimee Bender and Philip Metres' prose & poems at UMMA

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 5:00pm by christopherporter

Aimee Bender & Philip Metres

Aimee Bender holds a special place in my heart.

Several years ago, I found myself thinking about Bender's work, a story of hers that I remembered. I took to the internet, looking for the name of the story; instead, I found someone’s dating profile, someone who also adored Bender’s writing.

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Cider Mill Marathon: Spending a day at Washtenaw County apple and pumpkin farms

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 12:30pm by christopherporter


I was in Houghton Lake a few weeks ago with my guy when I turned to him and said, “We should do an apple cider crawl.” And then I trailed off.

I’m used to taking on weird projects alone or dragging along my son who depends on me for food and shelter and has little leverage to say no. I don’t usually involve other adults in my shenanigans. I wasn’t shut down immediately, so I continued, “We could visit the cider mills in Washtenaw County.”

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Her Story Is History: Brenda Travis, "Mississippi’s Exiled Daughter"

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 10:15am by christopherporter

Brenda Travis and her book Mississippi's Exiled Daughter

Brenda L. Travis, June 2, 1962. Photographer unknown, Library of Congress, Washington D.C. (LC-USZ62-135777).

Brenda Travis surprised me.

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The Art of Eating (& Living) Well: Cookbook author Julia Turshen & Chef Kate Williams at Literati

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 1:45pm by christopherporter

Kate Williams and Julia Turshen

Chef Kate Williams (left) and cookbook author Julia Turshen talked food and social justice at Literati.

“For Grace, whom I fell in love with then and do again and again …” --Julia Turshen’s dedication in her newest cookbook, "Now & Again"

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Morag Myerscough creates welcoming worlds that make us reconsider our own

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 2:30pm by christopherporter

Morag Myerscough, Temple of Agape

Temple of Agape by Morag Myerscough (left) and Luke Morgan. Installation photo by Gareth Gardner.

A sucker for colors, I was persuaded solely by the image on the Penny Stamps Speaker Series calendar to see Morag Myerscough speak at the Michigan Theater on September 20 on the theme of  “belonging."

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From the Ancient to the Future: Osborne Macharia and Blinky Bill on Afrofuturism

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 10:30am by christopherporter

Osborne Macharia and Blinky Bill

Penny Stamps of Approval: Kenyan artists Osborne Macharia (left) and Blinky Bill explored Afrofuturism at the Michigan Theater.

I love the energy of the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series, where one can go to the Michigan Theater, join a multi-aged crowd, then sit back and hear the perspective of a creator who has been selected to create a dynamic learning experience for the audience members.