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Afa S. Dworkin on the Sphinx Virtuosi and their UMS concert "This Is America"

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 12:00pm by christopherporter

Afa Dworkin and Sphinx Virtuosi

Afa S. Dworkin photo by Kevin Kennedy. Sphinx Virtuosi photo by Brian Hatton.

Classical music has had a long history of lacking diversity, which is why Aaron P. Dworkin founded the Sphinx Organization in 1997 to encourage and support minorities in this art form. The name was inspired by the iconic Great Sphinx of Giza statue in Egypt, which “reflects the power, wisdom and persistence that characterize Sphinx’s participants," according to the Detroit-based organization's website.

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The Ark's Ann Arbor Folk Festival goes virtual for its 44th edition

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 12:30pm by christopherporter

The Ark by Dwight Burdette, Creative Commons

Photo by Dwight Burdette.

Like any town, Ann Arbor has annual events that help define the place: Art Fair, University of Michigan's first home football game, the summer closings of nearly every road in downtown due to construction.

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2020 Ann Arbor Jewish Book Festival offers 25 authors over 20 days

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 8:00am by christopherporter

2020 Ann Arbor Jewish Book Festival books

I've increased my reading tenfold since the beginning of the pandemic.

Of course, most of that reading is doom scrolling on Twitter, but nevertheless, words were seen by my eyes.

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Ann Arbor Civic Theatre and Dexter Community Players' Halloween Drive aims to scare you with good theater

Fri, 10/23/2020 - 1:45pm by christopherporter

Halloween Drive

Skeleton dance photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Civic Theatre and Dexter Community Players.

While most of us mourn the loss of traditional Halloween celebrations this year—scary movie marathons at home notwithstanding—the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre and Dexter Community Players decided to do something about it.

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Alison Swan's poetry collection "A Fine Canopy" celebrates the natural world

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 10:00am by christopherporter

Poet Alison Swan and her book A Fine Canopy

The natural world and the built environment sometimes seem so enmeshed that the borders between them blur. We walk into the fluorescent lighting of a store and then back out into the day’s weather. We go to the beach and some sand trails, then back inside vehicles and homes. 

Poet Alison Swan explores this complexity in the lives that we live both with nature and in our manmade world in her new collection, A Fine Canopy (Wayne State University Press). One poem called “Lake Effect” considers how the environment coexists and contends with human life: 

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Publisher Michelle Dotter details upcoming works from Ann Arbor's Dzanc Books

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 12:30pm by christopherporter

Michelle Dotter

Dzanc Books publisher and editor in chief Michelle Dotter. 

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Astronomy at the Beach moves the sky (and sand) online for its 2020 edition

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 12:15pm by amy

Photo by Adrian Bradley

Dark Sky Preserve at Lake Hudson State Recreation Area. Photo by Adrian Bradley.

Astronomy at the Beach (AATB) is the Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs (GLAAC)'s signature annual event. Held each year at Island Lake State Park near Brighton, Michigan, and attended by thousands, this year’s two-day event on Friday and Saturday, September 25-26 has been moved online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Rasa Festival shifts online but still offers a full month of arts and culture from India

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 12:00pm by christopherporter

It looked bleak in March and April for the fourth edition of Ann Arbor's Rasa Festival. Everything was being canceled, and the annual September celebration of arts and culture from India looked like it was not going to happen either.

"We canceled all our venue bookings at that time, although with a heavy heart," wrote Sreyashi Dey, the president and artistic director of Rasa, in an email to Pulp. "We had some fabulous concerts planned this year, with world-renowned touring artists from India, but had to cancel that as well. It was very depressing."

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Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra recasts fall season, partners with Kerrytown Concert House

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 11:45am by christopherporter

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra was supposed to launch its fall 2020 season with "Goodyear Plays Beethoven" at the Michigan Theater, in front of an audience, on September 10. [Insert section about Covid-19 ruining everything] [That's not an editing mistake; I'm just saving myself time since we all know what's going down in the world.]

Stewart Goodyear will still play Beethoven, and there will still be an audience; the crowd will just be at home and the concert will be broadcast from the Kerrytown Concert Hall on September 26.

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Two local theater festivals are coming to a living room near you

Tue, 09/15/2020 - 10:00am by christopherporter

Photo by Adrien Olichon from Pexels

Photo by Adrien Olichon from Pexels

Area stages have gone dim to protect audiences, actors, and theater workers during these uncertain times.