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More Details Revealed About The Ann Arbor Summer Festival Concerts And Events

David Zinn

Ann Arbor Summer Festival executive director Mike Michelon shared more information about opportunities for live performances for the upcoming Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Michelon about the opportunities created this year, which are different from a typical Summer Festival due to the ongoing pandemic.

Mike Michelon
Credit Ann Arbor Summer Festival / a2sf.org
Ann Arbor Summer Festival executive director Mike Michelon

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF) announces a mix of new, in-person, and digital events that kick off on June 11. A2SF’s season anchor this year is a pop-up concert series Live Here Now presented by Toyota and will take place in public parks and spaces throughout Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. A2SF is engaging a diverse group of community partners throughout the two cities and presenting many in partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) this summer.

In-person events include Live Here Now pop-up neighborhood concerts, RSVP-based concerts and movies at Fuller Park in Ann Arbor, a downtown Ann Arbor theater installation for one audience member at a time titled Temping, a community-based Indian dance event Garba360, and Sidewalk Chalk Day featuring local favorite David Zinn. 

Digital events include the premiere of an A2SF new commission by New York-based Theater in Quarantine, an interactive performance by Brooklyn-based 600 Highwaymen titled A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call co-presented with University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), and the second season of the A2SF Podcast: Stories from The Top.

A2SF is working closely with local officials on event safety protocol for all limited capacity, in-person events. All in-person events will follow current safety guidelines from the State of Michigan, Washtenaw County, the City of Ann Arbor, and other local municipalities as well as national best-practice.

Reservations and tickets to most programs will become available at a2sf.org beginning on Thursday, May 20. Tickets to A Thousand Ways (Part One) will go on sale on Thursday, May 27.


Tiny TOPs: Intimate concerts you can reserve for yourself or gift to a friend between June 11-July 3. Beginning May 20, choose from a roster of 20 artists and select a time for that artist to play at an outdoor location of your choice. Featured artists include ANA, Jordan Hamilton, Chris DuPont, Duo 1717, and Amy Petty. Tiny TOPsis sponsored by O&W, Inc. See the full lineup here

Live Here Now: Pop-up concerts and events will take place in public outdoor spaces throughout Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, and Superior Township between June 11-July 3. Patrons will fill out an RSVP form to register to attend each event starting on May 20Live Here Now is sponsored by Toyota and the Ann Arbor dates are presented in partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) with four locations supported by the Ann Arbor Housing Commission to serve affordable housing communities. Ypsilanti area locations are presented in partnership with Ypsilanti Township, Ypsilanti Community Schools, Superior Township Parks and Recreation, and Ypsilanti District Library. A2SF is also proud to partner with the Amplify Fellowship to present all three of its first year of fellows. Featured artists include Cold Tone Harvest, Chris Canas Band, London Beck, Ki5, Dani Darling, Peter Madcat Ruth & C.A.R.Ma. Quartet, and George Bedard and the Kingpins. Live Here Now at Fuller Park artists include Last Gasp Collective, Steffanie Christi'an, Sabbatical Bob, and Jive Colossus. See the full lineup here

Garba360 - Live Here Now: When people in the northwestern Indian state of Gujarat want to celebrate, the ecstatic dance tradition known as garba often provides the fuel. An essential component of wedding celebrations and the nine-day fall Hindu festival, Navratri, garba is an intoxicating, high-energy folk dance style marked by handclaps and twirls. Danced in a circle (reflecting the cyclical Hindu conception of time), garba steps can be anything from a simple two-step to intricate movements. Garba360 brings this lively celebration to new spaces for all to celebrate through dance. You'll learn garba, sanedo, and other Gujarati folk dances with the dance instructors, and dance (and just listen) to live music by Saptak. Feel free to wear a long, flared skirt, kurta top, or other Indian clothing. All are invited to participate and dance! Performances will take place on June 16 at 6 & 9 pm EST. Sign up to participate starting on May 20 and learn more here

Garba360 is created by MELA Arts Connect, presented in partnership with AADL, and is sponsored by Zingerman’s Community of Businesses with additional support from Wessinger Properties.

Sidewalk Chalk Day: On June 13, A2SF brings everyone together for Sidewalk Chalk Day, an outdoor explosion of imagination set close to home. Whether it be children expressing themselves or professionals treating the community to delightful works of art on a concrete canvas, chalk art is part of what makes Top of the Park memorable. A2SF regular David Zinn joins in the fun, creating works around town. Take photos of your work, share it to social with the #a2chalkday hashtag, and AADL will select winners as part of its Summer Game. If you’re not using the hashtag on social media, you can email your entry here: a2chalkday@aadl.org. Learn more here

Sidewalk Chalk Day is presented in partnership with AADL and sponsored by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital with additional support from Rochman Design-Build.

TempingSarah Jane Tully, a 53-year-old actuary, is taking her first vacation in years, and you’ve been hired to take her place. Temping, the strange and comic tale of an employee’s inner life, is performed for an audience of one by a Windows PC, a corporate phone, a laser printer, and the Microsoft Office Suite. Filling in at Sarah Jane's cubicle, you’ll update client records, send emails, and eavesdrop on intra-office romance as you discover the secrets of your new employer. Congratulations, you’re the new temp! Pack your lunch and get ready to work. Sign up to participate in Temping on a date between June 15-July 3 starting on May 20Temping is presented in partnership with AADL. Learn more here.


A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call: On a simple phone call, you and another audience member – nameless strangers to one another – follow a carefully crafted set of directives. Throughout the journey, a portrait of each other emerges through fleeting moments of exposure and the simple sound of an unseen voice. 

A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call is co-presented with the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) and will run from July 13-18 at various times and tickets are $10 for general audiences and $5 for students. Tickets will be available for purchase on May 27. Learn more here.

Theater in QuarantineTheater in Quarantine is a performance laboratory dedicated to the exploration of the live theatrical experience in the digital space. Developed in response to the pandemic by Founder/Co-Creative Director Joshua William Gelb and Co-Creative Director Katie Rose McLaughlin, TiQ has created and live-streamed over 25 new, original works of performance. A2SF is commissioning an original piece that will premiere on Youtube on June 21 at 7 & 9 pm EST. The New York-based company will perform live along with a local musician simultaneously live-streaming from UMMA, who is partnering with A2SF on the presentation. 

Sign up for the interest list starting on May 20 to receive the link. Learn more here.

Stories from the Top Podcast: Launched in 2020, Stories from the Top is a podcast featuring people you know and people you should know. Artists, educators, and entrepreneurs linked to Southeast Michigan share stories about how they connect with others, cultivate inspiration, map out processes, or rise from failure. Each episode explores an individual at the top of their game chatting with a friend or colleague on a video call which will become the audio podcast. New episodes will be released weekly starting on May 27. Listen to the first season here

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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