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AADL Talks to: Jay Stielstra

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 10:11am

In this episode, AADL Talks to Ann Arbor playwright, coach, teacher, and songwriter, Jay Stielstra. Jay discusses his life and work as a teacher and a coach in the Ann Arbor Public Schools; how he became a playwright without ever having been backstage; and how a kid from Ludington, Michigan who just wanted to be a football coach ended up being one of Ann Arbor's most prominent singer-songwriters.

Historical articles and photographs about Jay Stielstra in our Community Collections 

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Culinary Historians | Detroit Prohibition with Mickey Lyons

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 10:48am

Rumrunners and bootleggers and speakeasies, oh my! Mickey Lyons of DetroitProhibition.com takes us through Detroit's intoxicating history during the prohibition years, from sloshing the stuff across the Detroit River to raiding the liquor cabinets and speakeasies with a whole lot of intemperance. 

Mickey is a Detroit-based author and researcher on Detroit Prohibition history. Her upcoming book, City on a Still: Detroit During Prohibition, is in the works. In the meantime, she spends her days trudging through old bars and buildings and sifting through old newspapers.

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Stars Rising: Why U-M's Detroit Observatory Matters and Where It's Going

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 8:49am

Why is an observatory in Ann Arbor named for Detroit? What made the Detroit Observatory a milestone for the University of Michigan and American higher education? How was the Observatory central to the growth of American astronomical science, when did it lose that role, and how did it get it back? And who were some of the people who made it all happen? Gary Krenz of the University’s Bentley Historical Library will explore these and other questions in this talk. In its 165-year history, the Observatory has gone through many transformations, and it is currently going through another—the construction of an addition to improve access, education, and programming. Krenz will also look at what that project entails and what lies ahead.

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Author Event | Linda Solomon: The Queen Next Door: Aretha Franklin, An Intimate Portrait

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 9:24am

The Queen Next Door: Aretha Franklin, An Intimate Portrait is a book full of firsts, as photojournalist Linda Solomon was invited not only to capture historical events in Aretha’s music career showcasing Detroit, but to join in with the Franklin family’s most intimate and cherished moments in her beloved hometown.  In this talk she reflects on this book which documents Aretha's life and career.

Linda Solomon met Aretha in 1983 when Linda was beginning her career as a photojournalist and newspaper columnist and was hired to capture the singer’s major career events, and to also document everything else.  What developed over these years of photographing birthday and Christmas parties, annual celebrity galas, private backstage moments, photo shoots with the iconic pink Cadillac, and more, was a friendship between two women who grew to enjoy and respect one another.

Martin Bandyke, morning drive host on Ann Arbor's 107one, hosted this event.

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Author Event | The History of Tiger Stadium: A Love Letter to Baseball at Michigan & Trumbull

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 8:33am

After writing 9 books about the joy of canoeing & kayaking rivers, lifelong Michigan resident Doc Fletcher moves to dry land for his latest book: The History of Tiger Stadium: A Love Letter to Baseball at Michigan & Trumbull, honoring The Cathedral at The Corner where - together with great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, children, godchildren, & friends - we have cheered our Detroit Tigers. Although the structure is gone, the memories remain...

"It was a night game, the field a shade of green that was the most beautiful color I'd ever seen, the smells, sounds, and sights of the pre-game action delightfully overwhelming... the air filled with the bouquet of hot dogs, spilt beer, and a cigar aroma much like that of the House of Windsor stogies preferred by my Dad. Cries of the vendors peddling those items pierced the air. Several Tigers were engaged in a game of pepper along the box seats down the right field foul line, as nearby Bill Freehan tossed a ball back 'n forth with a teammate, entertaining the fans by playfully catching the ball behind his back."

Doc shares stories from the book of the characters on the field, in the stands, and those in the neighborhoods surrounding the ballpark, as well as about the broadcasters who brought the action to us when we couldn't be there ourselves.

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Book Discussion | What the Eyes Don't See

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 9:36pm

Stephen Henderson of WDET's Detroit Today leads a discussion of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s What The Eyes Don’t See: The Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

The book dives into Dr. Hanna-Attisha's story in contributing to the discovery of elevated lead levels in Flint’s public water infrastructure.  Henderson is in conversation with Michigan Radio Investigative Reporter Lindsey Smith ​and State Senator Jeff Irwin.

This event is part of a community-wide discussion on the story of Flint and how it’s affected the country’s views on infrastructure, justice and the relationship between state and local government.

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Author Event | Paul Vachon Discusses "Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline"

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 12:27pm

Let’s take a walk—a long walk, back over three centuries. At the dawn of the eighteenth century Detroit was established as simply an outpost for the French to take advantage of the fur trade while keeping the British at bay. The new book Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline, by Paul Vachon, points out many of the seminal events and noteworthy turning points of Detroit’s long journey, some little known: the city’s fall to the British during the War of 1812, the existence of slavery in Detroit as late as the 1820's, and Mayor Hazen Pingree’s aggressive advocacy for the everyday citizen against corporate interests. Chapters devoted to the twentieth century highlight Detroit’s underappreciated architectural heritage, the development of its notable cultural institutions, as well as the exploits of assorted scoundrels, such as the Black Legion, the Purple Gang, Harry Bennett and Father Charles Coughlin.

Martin Bandyke hosts author Paul Vachon as he discusses and shows images from Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline.

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Nerd Nite #65 - A Tale of Two Lakes: Eutrophy in Western Lake Erie and Oligotrophy in Lake Michigan

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 4:24pm

In Western Lake Erie, massive mats of blue-green algae blossom every summer, stirring up memories of the 2014 Toledo Water Crisis with every reappearance. Meanwhile, in Lake Michigan, there are nearly as many invasive mussels in the lake as there are gallons of water. Each mussel is the size of a thumbnail and, under the right conditions, their combined force can filter the entire volume of water in Lake Michigan in less than a week. The resulting crystal clear waters are great for beachgoers but extremely problematic for the lake ecosystem. In this talk, Christine discusses some of the causes of eutrophy (too much vegetation) in Western Lake Erie and oligotrophy (too little vegetation) in Lake Michigan and how lake-wide management strategies for one problem can exacerbate another.

About Christine:

Christine Kitchens is a research technician at the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research at the University of Michigan. She graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from North Carolina State University and an M.S. in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan. While she performs a variety of tasks at the cooperative institute, she primarily spends her days helping monitor and understand harmful algal blooms in Western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. When she does manage to find some free time, she spends it running around doing more volunteering with the Huron River Watershed Council and other various local environmental organizations, playing video/board games, and basically being a massive nerd in all facets of life.

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Shockwaves from Stonewall: Gay Liberation in Michigan

Mon, 07/29/2019 - 12:42pm

In the first few years following the Stonewall Uprising in New York, Michigan experienced a surge in gay liberation activism, what today might fall under the umbrella of the LGBT movement.  Historian Tim Retzloff explores the multiple queer organizations that sprang up in Metro Detroit and elsewhere in the early 1970s and key events from that time that sent political and social shockwaves through the state still felt today.

Tim Retzloff teaches history and LGBTQ studies at Michigan State University.  He earned a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in history in from Yale University.  His scholarship has appeared in the anthology Creating a Place for Ourselves, the journal GLQ, and the collection Making Suburbia.  He is finishing his first book, Metro Gay, about gay and lesbian life and politics in Metro Detroit from 1945 to 1985.

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Aaron Foley

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 2:09pm

Aaron Foley is an author, editor, Detroit native and current resident. He is the author of the 2015 book How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass and editor of the 2017 anthology "The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook." Currently, he is the chief storyteller for the City of Detroit government. Previously, he was editor of BLAC Detroit Magazine, and a contributor to several local and national news outlets, including Jalopnik, CNN, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed and Reuters. Foley draws on a wealth of knowledge about the city and discusses his life and career through an insightful perspective that is sure to educate and entertain.