Free, but donations are appreciated.
February 14 The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess: A New Edition from the University of Michigan
The Gershwin Initiative at the University of Michigan:
Mark Clague, editor-in-chief; Jessica Getman, managing editor; Wayne Shirley, editor for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and George and Ira Gershwin, has long been considered one of the great American operas. It tells the story of a small black community in South Carolina, as it confronts tragedy and loss; it tells the story of a disabled man—Porgy—as he falls in love, only to see his Bess tempted away. As an affirmation of the opera’s cultural value, and in order to provide meticulously edited materials for performance and study, editor Wayne Shirley, in collaboration with The George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition at the University of Michigan, as well as the Gershwin families, has worked diligently over the last decade to produce the work’s first critical edition. In preparation for its test performance by the University Musical Society and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Mr. Shirley, Mark Clague, and Jessica Getman will discuss the composition and reception of the work, as well as the process of producing this new edition, highlighting the history behind some of America’s favorite music, including “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty o’ Nothin’,” and “My Man’s Gone Now.”
March 7 A brief history of German clocks
Andy Anderson, horologist/owner of Northville Watch and Clock Shop
The horologist who expertly repaired our Vienna Regulator clock talks about the history and interesting tidbits regarding clock-making and repair.
March 14 Mid-Century Modern Architecture
Grace Shackman, local historian and author
Grace will discuss Ann Arbor’s remarkable collection of post-war architect-designed homes in the style known as mid-century modern.
March 21 Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist
Nancy Goldstein, local author
Nancy will present a slide show on Jackie Ormes from her 2008 biography that chronicles Ormes’s fascinating life and cartooning career. Her work appeared in the black weekly newspapers the Chicago Defender and Pittsburgh Courier during the mid-20th Century. Primarily a humorist, she also took on the serious subjects of segregation, the Cold War, and environmental justice in her cartoons and comic strips. Ormes and her husband led a socially prominent life in Chicago where she also produced fashion shows for the Urban League and other activist groups. There will be a limited number of Nancy’s books for sale.
March 28 Songs and Tunes from the Era of Stephen Foster
“Banjo Betsy” Beckerman, as the children in her audiences know her
Betsy Beckerman plays hammered dulcimer and banjo as well as other instruments. She has spent considerable time in 1840’s period clothes performing at Crossroads Village and in the Dodworth Duo. She’ll be singing and playing songs and tunes from the era of Stephen Foster.
April 4 The Love, Lure, and Lore of the Clothesline
Anne Lawrence, clothesline historian and hobbyist
Do you remember the days when laundry was always hung to dry outdoors? Anne presents a nostalgic trip down memory lane, with a bit of washday history, fun stories, laundry poetry, and samples from her vast collection of clothesline memorabilia.