Kalamazoo will be Hoppin’ during Kalamazoo Beer Week

Kalamazoo, MI - January 10-14, 2011 will mark the first ever Kalamazoo Beer Week. The event, which will offer beer tastings, meet the brewer events and beer dinners in restaurants and retail locations throughout the city, will feature Michigan craft beer and brewers.

Organized by Imperial Beverage, the week-long event will kick-off with a beer dinner at Martinis Pizza, featuring the brewing teams and owners from Arcadia Brewing and The Livery. Attendees will rub elbows with the breweries’ elite crafters, dine on great food from the Martini’s staff, and share a love of beer over Arcadia and The Livery selections. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by forwarding your party name, contact information and number attending to rsvp@imperialbeverage.com.) The closing event will feature a beer tasting and bottle signing at Drake Party Store featuring the brewing team from Shorts, the fastest growing craft brewery in the US (up 357% over 2009) and a favorite of locals.

See below for the Lineup of fantastic, beer centered events. This list is constantly growing. For a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute list of events, visit www.ImperialBeverage.com.

Monday, January 10, 2011 
6-9 p.m. Martini’s Pizza, 832 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo Beer Week Kick-Off Dinner Event
$25/person, included food and first beer
Reserve your spot by emailing rsvp@imperialbeverage.com
Featuring: Arcadia Brewing, The Livery

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 
6"30-9"30 p.m. Harvey’s on the Mall, 416 S. Burdick
Tap Takeover: All Arcadia, All Day / Meet the Brewer
Prices are a la carte
Open event: no ticket or reservation required.
Arcadia Beers pouring from every tap all day, meet the brewing team between 630pm and 930pm.

7-9 p.m. Gallagher’s Eatery and Pub, 4210 Stadium Dr.
Beer Dinner
Reservations Recommended.
Featuring: North Peak Brewing

7-9 p.m. Food Dance Café Market, 161 E. Michigan Ave.
Beer Tasting and Bottle Signing in the Market
Open event: no ticket or reservation required.
Featuring: New Holland Brewing

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 
5:30-6:30 p.m. Salut Fine Wine and Spirits, 5907 Gull Rd.
Beer Tasting and Bottle Signing
Open event: no ticket or reservation required
Featuring: Short’s Brewing

6-8:30 p.m. Central City Tap House, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall
Tap the Firkin and Meet the (Beer) Maker
Ceremonious tapping of the Firkin at 7pm (First ever Poet Stout on cask in Kalamazoo!) Special offers for those completing a punch-card of New Holland Offerings
Featuring: New Holland Brewing

7-8:30 p.m. Munchie Mart, 6180 Stadium Dr.
Beer Tasting and Bottle Signing
Open event: no ticket or reservation required
Featuring: Arcadia Brewing

7:30-9 p.m. Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, 211 E. Water St.
Beer Dinner
Reservations Strongly Recommended, limited seating
Featuring: Short’s Brewing

Thursday, January 13, 2011 
9:30 p.m. until ? Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, 211 E. Water St.
Late Night Gathering with Craft Brewers from around Michigan
Featuring 28 Michigan Craft Beers on tap, and brewers from around the state dropping by to meet and mingle.

Friday, January, 14, 2011 
5:30-7:30 p.m., Drake Party Center, 4717 W. KL Ave.
Beer Tasting and Bottle Signing
Plan ahead: this location will be hosting a very large crowd!
Featuring: Shorts Brewing

OFFICIAL FACEBOOK EVENT LISTING: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=114994961905445

Winter Wonderland Activities and New Wine Tours in Benzie County, Michigan

Benzie County, MI – Known for its spectacular winter sports and activities, Benzie County, Michigan tourism officials have announced that they are adding winery tours to their offering.

Coastline Transportation offers winery tours to groups of 5 – 7 passengers from any lodging location in Benzie County. The cost for six hours of transportation is $69 per person plus the winery event fees or tasting fees. The tours can be custom created by travelers who wish to travel to either the Leelanau Peninsula Wineries or Old Mission Peninsula Wineries both approximately 45 minutes from Benzie County lodging to the south. Winter sports can be combined with the winery tours for travelers spending 2 to 3 nights in Benzie County. (Fees subject to change due to fuel costs.)

“Our transportation company is excited to offer winery tours as one of our specialties for Benzie County travelers," said Jim Peck of Coastline Transportation. "With our seven passenger full sized van there’s plenty of room for people and they can travel safely in style while having a great time at the wineries. We allow our travelers in groups of between 5 to 7 people to create their own day tour to the wineries of their choice over a six hour time span door to door from their lodging location in Benzie County.”

Mary Carroll, President of Benzie County Visitor’s Bureau, said with the tours to Northern Natural Organics in Benzie County and to the wineries in the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas, Benzie County visitors can have more options when they come here to enjoy "our wonderful outdoor activities."

"In the winter we have the best downhill and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling on miles and miles of pristine trails within woodlands, lakes and along the Lake Michigan shore," Carroll said. "It’s a plus that Benzie County is only 45 minutes to the Leelanau and Old Mission Wineries. A daylong wine tour is really fun to mix in with outdoor adventure during a weekend getaway or longer vacation."

Benzie County is the perfect winter escape for those who like winter sports and outdoor adventure. There is excellent downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa, as well as, dog sled excursions that the family can enjoy. For those who seek a chance to see Michigan’s beautiful winter scenery there is snow shoeing along marked trails in Benzie County or along the Lake Michigan dunes and over 40 kilometers of groomed cross country skiing trails. Snowmobile rentals are also available to experience 135 miles of groomed natural trails.

Benzie County is 45 minutes Southwest of Old Mission Peninsula that has seven wineries and 45 minutes south of the Leelanau Peninsula that has 18 wineries. Approximately 4 to 5 wineries can be experienced during a daylong (six hour) tour with Coastline Transportation from any lodging location in Benzie County. A restaurant lunch stop along the way is also possible for an additional fee. Northern Natural Winery is also located in Benzie County specializing in organic hard ciders from Michigan fruits like apples, blueberries, cherries, peaches and strawberries.

Visit www.coastlinetransportation.com or call 231-398-0360 to schedule a winery tour and transportation while staying in Benzie County.

Winter Activities:
Downhill & Cross Country Skiing - At the top rated #1 Midwest ski resort, Crystal Mountain, conditions for downhill skiing and snowboarding are prime. Located on 1500 acres, Crystal Mountain has 45 ski runs, terrain parks and a half pipe. There’s a snow sports school and daily NASTAR racing, as well. Visitors can also experience snowshoeing and cross country skiing on 40 kilometers of groomed cross-country skiing trails. The award winning Crystal Mountain offers two fine dining restaurants and the luxury of the Crystal Spa, a destination, LEED-certified spa that opened in 2009. Many packages are available online at 800-968-7686 or visit http://www.crystalmountain.com.

Dog Sledding - Bundle up for a taste of real Michigan Fun! Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa has partnered with Shemhadar Kennels to offer a family experience you won’t soon forget. Meet the dogs and hang on for an amazing ride. Sleds are pulled by 4-6 Siberian Huskies along Crystal Mountain's wooded trails. Rides are available on select evenings by advance reservation. 30-minute rides start at $75. For more information about dog sledding excursions, contact Crystal Mountain at (231) 378-2000 ext. 7000.

Snow Mobile Rentals - Crystal Adventures, located on M-115, just two miles from Crystal Mountain, is offering snow mobile rentals by the day or weekend with prices ranging from $120 for four hours on a non-holiday weekday to $195 for an all day rental during weekends. Advance reservations are required. Accessories such as helmets can also be rented. Guided snowmobile trips are offered on some dates as well as snowmobile delivery and pick-up for a modest cost. Contact Crystal Adventures at 231-651-9648 or http://www.crystaladventures.com for more information.

Benzie County’s 135 miles of groomed and challenging snowmobile trails are spread throughout the county in three locations: East of the village of Honor, in Thompsonville, and in Beulah. Guests can make an afternoon or a week of exploring the picturesque region, with stops at numerous towns with taverns and restaurants along the way. There are maps, showing the trails as well as staging areas for loading in the snowmobiles, which are available at the Benzie County Visitors Bureau located on US31 in the village of Benzonia. Contact Benzie Country Visitors Bureau at 800-882-5801 or see www.visitbenzie.com/winter-fun--14/ for more information about snowmobile trails and resources.

Snow Shoeing - Snowshoeing is a sport that just about anyone can take part in. Snowshoeing doesn’t require a lot of advanced training and is a great group activity to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Some of the most majestic locations for snow shoeing in Benzie County are the Elberta Dunes and Arcadia Dunes along the Lake Michigan Shore. Snowshoes can be rented at Crystal Mountain Sports at (231) 378-2000. Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore is nearby to the north and a wonderful destination in any season offering guided snowshoeing excursions on the weekends during the winter season. Contact Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park at 231-326-5134 for snowshoe tour hours and other information. More information about snow shoeing at www.visitbenzie.com/winter-fun--14/

Ice Fishing - Benzie County has 57 inland lakes, which are perfect for ice fishermen and women. Make arrangements for your fishing shanty at Crystal Adventures at 231-651-9648.
For more information about ice fishing locations, contact Benzie County Visitors Bureau at 800-882-5801 or visit www.visitbenzie.com

Winter Events:
Winterfest in Benzie County
In the Villages of Beulah and Benzonia
Saturday, February 12, 2011

Make your way to Benzie County for a day packed with fun, food, and other unique winter activities. A must-see event in this festival is the fireworks display over Crystal Lake

3rd Annual Shiver By The River
In the City and Village of Frankfort and Elberta
Saturday, February 19 – Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snow Cross snowmobile races in downtown Frankfort highlight this winter weekend event. More than 100 riders will compete in a series of Snow Cross snowmobile races on an obstacle track built in the city’s Open Space Park. The event includes "bowling on Main St", Kid's games and activities plus much more.

For more information on Benzie County lodging, restaurants, recreation and more contact Benzie County Visitors Bureau at 1-800-882-5801 or see www.visitbenzie.com.

Snowbirds heading south!

My commute to work takes me on I-75 from Toledo, through Detroit and up to Pontiac (yeah, it's a long one).

This past week I saw a good dozen or so RVs heading south. You gotta believe their final destination is somewhere in Florida! Stuck around town until Christmas with the kids and grandkids, then load up the RV and hit the road!

Curiously, I did see one camper heading north. Maybe he forgot something?

Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show coming Jan. 14-16

The Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show is coming to DeVos Place in Grand Rapids Jan. 14-16. (Click here for a map and directions.) The show will focus on vacations and showcase the latest RVs, accessories, campgrounds and travel destinations. 

A dozen West Michigan RV dealers representing more than 125 RV lines combined with 200,000+ square feet results in the biggest RV Show in the state - The Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show. 

Features & Attractions

- A vintage RV display, including unique Airstreams, a Studebaker, a Hunt House Car from the RV History Museum in Elkhart, Indiana and many more restored, original vehicles from the 1920s-1960s. Some of the vintage RVs will come from the collection of Ken Faber, a Grand Rapids native. Click here for a video tour of some of Ken Faber's vintage RVs.

- A wide range of vehicles from the biggest RV rigs to easy pop-up campers and including many new environmentally-friendly, smaller, lightweight travel vehicles built for flexibility.

- 12 local dealers bringing more than 250 RVs and Campers. Dealers include: All Seasons RV, American RV, Camp America RV Centre, Egg Camper Inc., General RV Center, Holland Motor Homes, Midway RV Center, RV World, TerryTown Travel Center, Vacationland Sales, Veurink’s RV Center, Woodland Travel Center and more.

- More than 30 campground destinations and the latest RV & camping accessories. 

- Free Seminars on Michigan and Alaska RV Travel Adventures with travel author, Jim DuFresne. Jim DuFresne is a renowned travel author and avid hiker who has trekked around the world.  DuFresne has written more than 15 guidebooks, including titles for Alaska, New Zealand, Australia, and Nepal.  Living in Michigan, he has also written books on our wonderful state parks and hiking trails. His Alaskan seminar will his audience on a trip through Alaska on a road trip that includes the Alaska Highway and towns ranging from Fairbanks in the north to Ketchikan in the south. DuFresne covers everything from how long the drive on the Alaska Highway takes to the sights not to miss once you’ve reached Alaska.

- Daily family entertainment at the Cran-Hill Ranch Family Zone, including a bounce house, climbing wall and more. 

- Drag cars from Rescue 1 Fire Safety, kicking off its distracted driving campaign, including Jeff Steere's 1933 Willy's Drag Car named "Dragon Slayer" down to the show as part of Rescue 1's "Distracted Driving Kills" campaign.  Click here for a virtual tour of the car. 

- Pancake breakfast Saturday, 9–11 a.m., $5 tickets to benefit RacingAwareness, supporting Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Attendees will receive half off one adult admission. 

Prize Drawings  
- Win TWO Sym Scooters! Soon, you can register online at WZZM.com or at the show for your chance to win TWO $2,300 scooters from Woodland Travel Center! 
- Win an RV Weekend at the Races from Michigan International Speedway! Register with WBBL 107.3 FM or at the show to win an RV Rental, 4 Tickets, 4 Pit Passes and a Campsite at the races!
- Win a Week of Free Camping & Recreation! The Double R Ranch is giving away a week long campsite along with horseback riding, canoeing, tubing and golf for you and 3 guests!  There are 4 packages available - one could be yours!
- Win a Fully Collapsible Dahon Bicycle! All attendees can register to win a fully collapsible Dahon Bicycle, courtesy of Alger Schwinn Cyclery & Fitness! 
- Win a "Fish & Chips" Fishing Charter & Golf RV Vacation Weekend! Register at the show  to Win a 4-day RV Rental , a campsite , 4 spots on an afternoon fishing charter, and a 4some of golf!  (Some blackout dates may apply) 
- Win a Summer of Free Camping! Our Campgrounds have chipped in weeks of camping at different sites around Michigan and Indiana and you could win them all! 
- Win a Week-Long Getaway! Register at the show to win a week long Getaway & RV Rental from River Ridge RV Resort!

- Win a 4th of July Campsite Reservation! The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Grand Haven State Park have reserved an exclusive campsite for the weekend of the 4th of July! 

Show Hours: 
Noon to 9:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 

$8 for adults, $3 for children 6 to 14, free for children 5 and under.  

Discount Coupons: 
Available at participating Wendy’s Restaurants in the Grand Rapids area.

For More Information:   
Call 800-328-6550, visit www.GrandRapidsRVShow.com, become a Fan on Facebook or follow on Twitter @grrvshow. 

Detroit Film Theatre at Detroit Institute of Arts Launches “DFT 101” Series

Classics of world cinema to be shown on select Saturday afternoons

Detroit, MI – The Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) launches a new “DFT 101” film series on Jan. 15, 2011. The movies are essential classics of world cinema, presented on the big screen as their directors intended them to be seen. The matinees are at 4 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) and are free for DIA members, free with museum admission, and $5 for all others. The Detroit Film Theatre is sponsored by JP Morgan Chase.

Most movies will be introduced by DFT Curator Elliot Wilhelm, who places them in both an historic and aesthetic context. “The films shown in this ongoing series constitute many of the basic building blocks of the evolution of motion pictures,” says Wilhelm. “Seeing them together with the newer films that are presented at the DFT allows audiences to more fully appreciate the manner in which the language of cinema—which many of us have come to take for granted—continues to reinvent itself.”

Schedule for DFT 101

January 15F for Fake (France/West Germany/Iran, 1973)
A perfect companion to the DIA’s Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries exhibition, Orson Welles’ dizzying, free form documentary examines the thin, often invisible line between art and illusion, as well as the very nature of fakery. Centering on the “celebrated” art forger Elmyr de Hory and Clifford Irving, the debunked Howard Hughes biographer, Welles stuffs his cinematic grand illusion with ingeniously conceived diversions and digressions about the very nature of cinema and what it really means to “believe our own eyes.” This late work by Welles (a self-described "charlatan") will be introduced by Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA associate curator of European Paintings.

February 19Lust for Life (USA, 1956)

In his Oscar-nominated performance, Kirk Douglas is physically and emotionally uncanny as the tormented Vincent van Gogh, whose life is chronicled from his ill-fated stint as a preacher to his artistic awakening, stormy friendship with Paul Gauguin (Anthony Quinn), commercial failure and subsequent psychological descent leading to his suicide in 1890. Director Vincente Minnelli brought vitality and intelligence to this project, using then-innovative camera techniques and a rich, appropriate color palate to vividly recreate van Gogh's paintings, and filming at the Dutch and French locations where van Gogh lived and worked. Presented in conjunction with the DIA’s Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries exhibition, the film is introduced by Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA associate curator of European Paintings.

March 19The Cameraman (USA/1928)

Perhaps the greatest physical comedian in film history, Buster Keaton reached a brilliant pinnacle with one of his last silent films and unquestionably one of his best. The plot involves a tintype photographer (Keaton) who gets into the newsreel business in pursuit of an attractive girl. The fact that complications compound fast and furious goes without saying. Watching the hilarious action happen everywhere from Chinatown to Yankee Stadium (a classic and memorable sequence) makes this brilliant marriage of visual invention and sheer slapstick one of silent cinema’s purest pleasures.

March 26The Battleship Potemkin (USSR, 1925)

This brilliant depiction of a 1905 mutiny over intolerable shipboard conditions—one that sparked many more uprisings, culminating in the Russian Revolution—virtually reinvented the art of film editing and redefined its power to overwhelm audiences. For the first time in decades, a definitive restoration of this classic can be seen on the big screen, complete with dozens of restored shots and title cards, as well a newly recorded version of Edmund Meisel’s rich, original orchestral score.

April 2Children of Paradise (France, 1945) 3 p.m.

Poetic realism reaches sublime heights with this witty tale of a woman loved by four men. Deftly entwining theater, literature, music, and design, the film resurrects the tumultuous world of 19th-century Paris, teeming with hucksters and aristocrats, thieves and courtesans, pimps and seers, as well as the seductive spectacle of the streets themselves. An incredible undertaking under any circumstances, this physically magnificent was filmed almost entirely in secret, practically under the noses of France’s Nazi occupiers. In French with English subtitles.

April 16Wings of Desire (Germany, 1987)

Damiel, an angel perched atop buildings high over Berlin, can hear the thoughts—fears, hopes, dreams—of the people living below. But when he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, he is willing to give up his immortality and come back to earth to be with her, and to experience human sensations. Made shortly before the fall of the Berlin wall, this stunning tapestry of sounds and images, shot in shimmering black and white and color, is cinematic poetry of the highest order. In English, French and German with English subtitles.

April 23Tokyo Story (Japan/1953)

Tokyo Story follows an aging couple, Tomi and Sukichi, on their journey from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, postwar Tokyo. Their reception is disappointing: too busy to entertain them, their children send them off to a health spa. After Tomi falls ill, she and Sukichi return home, while the children, grief-stricken, hasten to be with her. From a simple tale unfolds one of the greatest of all Japanese films. In Japanese with English subtitles.

April 30Wooden Crosses (France, 1932)

This masterwork was hailed by the New York Times on its Paris release as “one of the great films in motion picture history.” Wooden Crosses, France’s answer to All Quiet on the Western Front, still stuns with its depiction of the travails of one French regiment during World War I. Using a masterful arsenal of film techniques, from haunting background images to jarring and revolutionary documentary-like camerawork in the film’s battle sequences, the movie is a pacifist work of enormous empathy and chilling power. In French with English subtitles.

For a complete schedule of the new DFT season, visit

Hours and Admission

Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6-17, and free for DIA members. For membership information call 313-833-7971.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. As the DIA celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2010, it does so with renewed commitment to its visitor-centered experience and to its mission of creating opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible in part with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Detroit.

Wins free tickets to Camper & RV Show coming to Battle Creek, Jan. 27-30

Sure signs of spring in the Midwest: potholes forming, birds coming back and RV shows popping up.

So, it's a good sign then that the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles & Campgrounds (MARVAC) is hosting the Camper & RV Show in Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena, Jan. 27-30.

Better yet, MARVAC is giving away tickets to the show. Simply "like" their Facebook page (Search: MichiganRVers) and stay tuned for further details.

MARVAC Camper & RV Show in Battle Creek
When: January 27-30, 2011

Hours: Weekdays 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Kellogg Arena, One McCamly Square, Battle Creek, MI 49017. Located just east of M-66 in downtown Battle Creek. Click here for a map.

On Display: All types of new recreation vehicles—over 50 units and over 15 brands displayed; folding campers, motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheel travel trailers, ranging in price from $5,000 to more than $100,000.

Booths featuring parts and accessories, campground information, RV financing and RV rentals make this the complete RV show experience. Consumers can pick up the new 2011 RV & Campsite. This guide to camping and RV dealers in Michigan now includes coupons.

Adult admission (ages 13 and up) is $5; senior admission (ages 55 and older) is $4; children 12 and under get in free!

For More Information: Visit the MARVAC website.

New attractions, hotels, tours, exhibitions and innovative theater coming to Chicago for 2011

New attractions, hotels, tours, exhibitions, internationally-renowned theater and culinary excellence make Chicago the perfect destination in 2011. From the world’s highest ice skating rink at the John Hancock Center Observatory to the return of the Art Institute’s beloved Chagall Windows, here is what to look for in 2011. 

For more information, visit www.ExploreChicago.org. 

John Hancock Observatory Offers Skating in the Sky – World’s Highest Ice Skating Rink

January 1 – March 31
John Hancock Observatory will open the world’s highest ice skating rink on the 94th floor, more than 1,000 feet off the ground. The 45 ft x 20 ft rink overlooks sky-high views of the city’s lakefront skyline and bustling Lake Shore Drive. 875 N. Michigan Ave.

Large-Scale Sculptural Installation Comes to Millennium Park

April 2011
Interconnected: The Sculptures of Yvonne Domenge will feature four monumental works by Mexican sculptor Yvonne Domenge in Millennium Park, one of Chicago's most popular public spaces. Often referencing the natural world, Domenge’s work reveals a fascination with form and geometry. Her large spheres defy gravity and space, conveying a rhythmic beauty and the sense of a larger universal order. Millennium Park's Boeing Galleries will show three of the artist's stunning spheres, as well as her three part "Tree of Life" work. Michigan Ave. at Washington St.

Chicago’s First Building Dedicated to the Art of Poetry

June 2011
The Chicago Poetry Foundation’s new home will be the city’s first building dedicated solely to the art of poetry and the first permanent venue for the prestigious, 100-year-old Poetry magazine, the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. At a time when there is a nationwide resurgence in poetry, the new Poetry Foundation headquarters will be one of the few public spaces in the country built exclusively for the advancement of poetry. Dearborn and Superior streets.

Get a Backstage Pass to the City’s Diverse Neighborhoods During openhousechicago

October 14-16
Get an insiders’ look at Chicago’s architecture, culture, economy, and history during the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s first annual openhousechicago. This in-depth weekend of events features free admission to more than 100 of the city’s more significant but often restricted places and spaces in the Loop, and the South, Southwest, West and North side neighborhoods. Explore a wide variety of locations in diverse communities including factories, office towers, restaurants, sporting facilities, cultural institutions, schools, infrastructure installations, private businesses and other special places where invitations are required. Various locations.

New National Hellenic Museum Showcases Art, Culture and History of the Greek People

Late Fall 2011
Located in the heart of the historic Greektown neighborhood, the new National Hellenic Museum, “the newest thing in ancient history,” will be the only one of its kind in the U.S. showcasing the art, culture and history of the Greek people. The Museum will immerse visitors in the story of Greek history from ancient times to today in a state-of-the-art, $15 million building. 333 S. Halsted St.

Michelin Guide Expands to Include Chicago
After two years of rigorous research by its team of anonymous American inspectors, Michelin expanded its exclusive hotel and restaurant guide series in North America to include Chicago.The MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2011 showcases the finest restaurants and hotels in the city including 3 star restaurants Alinea and L20. Chicago joins New York and San Francisco as the only American cities with an annual MICHELIN Guide.

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Brings a Little Bit of Paradise to Navy Pier

Spring 2011
Inspired by Buffett’s many songs and travels, Margaritaville will be a vacation in itself, complete with island party music and Navy Pier’s charming dockside atmosphere. The restaurant will feature nightly entertainment and live music as well as classic American and island-inspired dishes including seafood, steaks, fajitas, regional favorites, and of course Margaritas and the signature “Cheeseburger in Paradise”. 600 E. Grand Ave.


Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust Opens New Location in Downtown Chicago

December 2010
The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust has opened its newest location in the ground-floor lobby of The Rookery, a National Historic Landmark on LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago. In early 2011, the Trust will open a “ShopWright” gift store and offer free tours of The Rookery, an icon of architecture set in the heart of the Midwest’s central financial district. The Preservation Trust currently operates two historic house museums in the Chicago area—Wright’s Oak Park Home and Studio, and the Robie House on the campus of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park. 209 S. LaSalle St.

Chicago Cultural Center Exhibition Portrays Life, Writings and Architecture of Louis Sullivan, One of Chicago’s Most Famous Architects

Through May 2
In Louis Sullivan’s Idea, Chicago artist Chris Ware and cultural historian Tim Samuelson present an installation of photographs, drawings, documents, and artifacts which portray the life, writings, and architectural works of Louis Sullivan, one of Chicago's most famous but misunderstood architects.
77 E. Randolph St.

Glessner House: An Architectural Treasure Celebrates 125th Anniversary

June 1, 2011 – December 1, 2012
The Glessner House Museum, designed by Henry Hobson Richardson, will commemorate its 125th anniversary with 18 months of events. This celebration mirrors the 18 month period in 1886-1887, from groundbreaking to occupancy, of this National Historic Landmark in the Prairie Avenue Historic District that served as an inspiration for Frank Lloyd Wright. 1800 S. Prairie Ave.

175th Birthday of Chicago’s Oldest House

Late September and Early October 2011
Built in 1836, Chicago’s oldest house, the Clarke House Museum, will celebrate its 175th anniversary. This gracious Greek Revival style house located in the Prairie Avenue Historic District shows what life was like during the city’s formative years before the Civil War. 1827 S Indiana Ave.


JW Marriott Chicago: Restoration of Daniel Burnham’s Historic Landmark

Opened November, 2010
Located in the former Continental & Commercial National Bank building designed by Daniel Burnham in 1914, this 610-room hotel features exquisite architecture and elegant décor. The $396 million restoration of an historic landmark blends Burnham's distinctive style with 21st century sensibility, providing downtown Chicago with a hotel of distinctive pedigree. 151 W. Adams St.

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Opens in Celebrated Skyscraper

Fall 2011
Radisson is set to open the first U.S. location of its European chain, Radisson Blu, on 18 floors of the new Aqua building near Millennium Park. The Aqua building won the 2009 Skyscraper of the Year award for its fascinating shape. 225 N. Columbus Dr.


Art Institute of Chicago’s Beloved Chagall Windows Return

Opened November, 2010
After a five-year absence, the Art Institute welcomes the much-anticipated return of one of the most beloved treasures in its vast collection, Marc Chagall’s America Windows. First debuting at the Art Institute in 1977 and made forever famous less than ten years later by an appearance in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the “Chagall Windows,” as they are more popularly known, hold a special place in the hearts of Chicagoans. Following an intensive period of conservation treatment and archival research, the windows return as the stunning centerpiece of a new presentation at the east end of the museum’s Arthur Rubloff building. 111 S. Michigan Ave.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Features Work of Chicago Imagist

220 E. Chicago Ave
• Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character. A retrospective of Jim Nutt’s work undoubtedly inspired by 20th century pop culture, emphasizing female heads in spare line drawings and rich, detailed paintings. January 29 - May 29.
• Seeing Is a Kind of Thinking: A Jim Nutt Companion. This companion exhibition takes a deeper look into Nutt’s work, delving into the broader inspirations of visual and cultural material that influence contemporary artists today. January 29 – May 29.

Find Gold at The Field Museum

1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Gold. Focusing on the fascinating story of the world’s most desired metal, this exhibition explores its natural beauty, scientific value, and its power to shape history. More than 550 objects including enormous nuggets, gold bullion, coins from shipwrecks, gold bars, exquisite jewelry, and contemporary objects such as Gold records and Oscar® statues, and the Chicago White Sox World Series Championship trophy, illustrate the many ways in which gold has captivated the imagination of generations past and present. Through March 6.


Tony Award Winning Theaters Call Chicago Home
Four Chicago theaters, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Victory Gardens Theater, have all received the prestigious Regional Tony Award, more than any other city in the nation. Highlights at these theaters include:

Goodman Theatre

170 N. Dearborn St.
• Stage Kiss, a world premiere comedy commissioned for the Goodman Theatre by MacArthur “Genius” Grant winner Sarah Ruhl. April 30 – June 5.
• Chinglish, Tony Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist David Henry Hwang’s new comedy. June 18 – July 24.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

800 E. Grand Ave.
• Funk It Up About Nothin’, an exuberant "hip-hoptation" of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. January 21- February 13.
• The Madness of King George, this sharply witty, surprisingly heartfelt story by Alan Bennett chronicles the palace intrigue surrounding King George III's struggle to maintain political power, aided by the love of his devoted queen. April 13 – June 12.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

1650 N. Halsted St.
• Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Starring Tracy Letts, Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member who as a playwright received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for “August: Osage County”, and Amy Morton as George and Martha. Through February 13.
• The Hot L Baltimore, this acclaimed play by Lanford Wilson reveals the private lives of an unconventional community about to be turned inside out. March 24 - May 29.

Victory Gardens Theatre

2433 N. Lincoln Ave.
• The Boys Room, world premiere of Joel Drake Johnson’s play about two middle aged brothers who
try to escape their responsibilities and race each other back to their boyhood bedroom - that sanctuary where they can dream and scheme without the pressure of the outside world. January 21-February 20. 

• Tree, Chicago premiere of Julie Hébert’s story of three generations divided by race, culture and time who connect when a white Southern woman discovers old love letters leading her to an African American half-brother. April 1 to May 1.

Broadway Comes to Chicago

Highlights of the Broadway in Chicago season in the historic Downtown Theater District include:

• WICKED became Chicago’s longest-running Broadway musical after a record-breaking 3 1/2 year run of over 1,500 performances. Now the witches of Oz are back by “popular” demand for the holiday season. WICKED tells the story of two girls who meet in the land of Oz. Cadillac Place Theatre, through January 23. 151 W. Randolph St.


• Les Miserables, a brand new 25th anniversary production of the legendary musical with glorious new staging and spectacular re-imagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. Cadillac Palace Theatre, February 2 – 27. 151 W. Randolph St.

• Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, a multi-media, multi-dimensional experience follows the group from their earliest beginnings through the psychedelic late 60s and their long-haired hippie, hard-rocking days. Ford Center/Oriental Theatre, February 8 – 13. 24 W. Randolph St.

• Working, a vital new musical based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Chicago’s own Studs Terkel. This musical exploration of 26 people from all walks of life, with songs by all-star composers, celebrates everyday people and is the perfect musical for anyone who has ever worked a day in their lives. Broadway Playhouse, February 15 - May 8. 175 E. Chesnut St.

• Hair, this exuberant musical about a group of young Americans searching for peace and love in a turbulent time features an extraordinary cast and unforgettable songs, including “Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” “Good Morning, Starshine” and “Easy To Be Hard.” Ford Center/Oriental Theatre, March 8 - March 20. 24 W. Randolph St.

• The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s tragicomedy starring Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham as Shylock. In this riveting update, religion, race, and sexuality collide with love, family, and justice. Bank of America Theatre, March 15 – 27. 18 W. Monroe St.

• Next To Normal, an emotional powerhouse of a musical with a thrilling contemporary score about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and three 2009 Tony Awards including Best Score. Alice Ripley, who received the 2009 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, will reprise her acclaimed performance. Bank of America Theatre, April 26 - May 8. 18 W. Monroe St.

• Spring Awakening, a landmark musical that explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood with poignancy and passion through an electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality and rock & roll. Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical. Ford Center/Oriental Theatre, May 3 - May 8. 24 W. Randolph St.

• Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher’s autobiographical solo show weaves an incredible tale including her movie roles, addiction, and depression. Bank of America Theatre, October 4-16. 18 W. Monroe St.

The League of Chicago Theatres provides information about discounted tickets at its new website, www.chicagoplays.com. Visit Hot Tix (at Chicago Tourism Center, 72 E. Randolph St. and Chicago Waterworks Visitor Center, 163 E. Pearson, or online at www.hottix.org) for a large selection of half-priced tickets ranging from Broadway shows to productions in neighborhoods throughout the city.

New Half-Day Bus Tours Explore Chicago Many Diverse Neighborhoods
Tours Begin at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St.
Discover Chicago’s diverse communities with these new half-day bus excursions that highlight the history, traditions and people of Chicago. The following are new tours for 2011:

• Anderson & Edgewater. Experience the Swedish American Museum where the heritage of Andersonville’s Swedish founders comes to life. Explore one-of-a-kind shops along Clark Street and then head to Edgewater, where the Art Deco and Tudor Revival architecture of the Bryn Mawr Historic District and stately lakefront homes await. May 7, November 19

• Avondale, Old Irving & The Villa. The heart of Chicago’s Polish community beats strongly in Avondale, where magnificent St. Hyacinth Basilica is home to one of the city’s oldest Polish parishes. Then experience early 20th century architectural gems in Old Irving and The Villa neighborhoods. May 14, July 9, October 15

• Back of the Yards & Bridgeport. An imposing gate is all that remains of the sprawling Union Stock Yards from Chicago’s legendary meatpacking past in Back of the Yards. Head to nearby Bridgeport where an experimental cultural center, the Co-Prosperity Sphere, characterizes the vibrant arts scene taking root in this historically blue-collar community. Complete your visit with a photo-op outside U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. April 9, July 30, November 5

• Bronzeville, South Loop & IIT Campus. Bronzeville is a living monument to the Great Migration and the generations of African Americans since that made it a thriving community. Stroll through the Illinois Institute of Technology’s (IIT) campus, home to the largest number of Mies van der Rohe-designed buildings in the world, and Rem Koolhaas’ distinctive Campus Center. Swing by the Douglas Memorial, which honors a famous Lincoln-era politician, before stopping by the South Loop’s architecturally stunning Second Presbyterian Church. May 7, October 1

• Columbus Park & Garfield Park. Behold famed landscape architect Jens Jensen’s legacy at two of his greatest masterpiece parks. Stroll through Columbus Park’s hills, woodlands, and lagoons inspired by the original terrain. More natural wonders await at the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the nation’s oldest and largest conservatories exhibiting thousands of plant species. Have your camera ready at Garfield Park’s magnificent fieldhouse, a Spanish Baroque revival beauty capped by a stunning gold dome. July 28, August 18

• Lincoln Park, Lakeview & Wrigleyville. ”Hip and happening” aptly describe the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. Amid Lakeview’s restaurants and boutiques are architectural gems such as the Elks Veterans Memorial which features a massive dome and intricate architectural details. Travel through Wrigleyville, one of Lakeview’s most popular districts and home to Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs baseball team, for great photo-ops. June 30, July 21, August 11

• Uptown & Argyle Street. Chicago’s rich architectural history and ethnic diversity intersect in the Uptown neighborhood. Stroll along Hutchinson Street and behold one of the country’s largest treasure troves of Prairie-style mansions by architect George W. Maher. Check out the gleaming beaux-arts building at Broadway and Lawrence Avenue, formerly the Uptown Bank. Take a walk through Southeast Asia as you peruse the shops and eateries along Argyle Street. April 9, October 8

Chicago Architecture Foundation Adds New Bus And Walking Tours

Known for its architecture river cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady, The Chicago Architecture Foundation has added new bus and walking tours that give locals and travelers a chance to get to know the city better in a shorter period of time. All tours are provided by Chicago Architecture Foundation docents. A free exhibition, Chicago Model City, includes a highly detailed scale model of Chicago, where people can retrace the steps of their tours. 224 S. Michigan Ave.

• Razzle Dazzle: Architecture Tour of Theater District. The bright lights of Chicago are the focus of a Loop theater district walking tour which includes a look at four theaters along with stories about the history of public entertainment in Chicago---from the frontier days to vaudeville to legitimate theater.

• Skyscraper Walk Through Time. Gain insights into typical skyscrapers characteristic of their era, from early masonry buildings through 21st century super-tall high rises, on a quick walk through the Loop.

• Early Riser. An energetic walk through the Loop includes the Marquette Building, the Rookery, Mies van der Rohe’s Federal Center, the Willis Tower, and the Trump Tower and Millennium Park. Tour is available spring through summer.

• Inland Steel Building. A 45-minute lunchtime tour explores this iconic modern skyscraper that has to come to symbolize Chicago’s emergence as a center for cutting-edge design in the 20th century.

• Skyscraper Express Bus. Stops with excellent views of the city such as Wolf Point, the Museum Campus, and East Wacker Drive make this the perfect tour for people who love to get great photos from special vantage points.

• Rolling Along the Lakefront. Enjoy Chicago’s beautiful lakefront by bike or Segway and see the city from a whole new perspective.

• Elevated Architecture: Chicago's Loop by 'L'. This train tour, which explores downtown Chicago from the unique perspective of its famous elevated train system, includes a discussion of how the 'L' system developed and the opportunity to see some of the Loop neighborhoods it passes through.

Office of Tourism’s New Partnership With SCVNGR, The Location-Based Social Game
The Chicago Office of Tourism and SCVNGR, the free location-based social game all about going places, completing challenges, earning points, and unlocking rewards, announced four new Chicago-specific treks built on the SCVNGR game layer. Now residents and visitors of Chicago can play four new awesome treks and explore neighborhoods all over the city on SCVNGR: Explore Chicago Music Trek, Taco Trek, Millennium Park Trek, and Bike the Boulevards Trek. SCVNGR is free – just download the iPhone or Android app and start playing. Information on all of the Explore Chicago treks on SCVNGR, including maps that highlight the locations and challenges included, is available at http://explorechicago.scvngr.com/.


Visitors and Chicagoans planning to entertain out-of-town guests can receive trip-planning assistance and information by visiting www.ExploreChicago.org or calling 877.CHICAGO (877.244.2246). The TTY number for the hearing impaired is 312-744-2947 or 866-710-0294.

Brochures and information on Chicago’s exciting events and activities are also available at the Visitor Information Centers. Friendly Visitor Representatives can answer questions and assist in planning an unforgettable itinerary. The visitor centers are located in two of the city’s most popular areas: across from Millennium Park in the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph Street; and at the historic Water Works pumping station, 163 E. Pearson Street at Michigan Avenue.

For daily alerts about fun and free things to do in Chicago, follow ExploreChicago on twitter at www.Twitter.com/ExploreChicago. Receive answers to your Chicago questions on the go, and tips on the latest citywide events and activities, via the FREE Twitter Concierge Service (@explorechicago) available daily.

The Chicago Office of Tourism, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is the official City agency dedicated to promoting Chicago to domestic and international visitors and to providing innovative visitor programs and resources. For more information please visit www.ExploreChicago.org, or call 877-CHICAGO.

Bald eagle shot near Ravinia, South Dakota; reward offered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Department are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for the shooting of an adult bald eagle two miles south and one-half mile west of Ravinia, South Dakota, in Charles Mix County. The eagle was shot and wounded prior to December 18, 2010.

The eagle has been transported to a veterinarian and will require surgery to repair a broken wing. Bald eagles are protected by both federal and state law. Bald eagles are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Callers with information may remain anonymous. Please contact one of the following individuals.

Special Agent Ken Dulik, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 605.885.6403

South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks TIPS Hotline - 1-888 OVERBAG.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov

Federal, state officials urge caution as Michigan motorists are hitting bald eagles

LANSING, Michigan – The U.S. Fish and WildlifeService and Michigan DNRE urge drivers to use caution this travel season as bald eagles may be present on or near roadways. Bald eagle mortality rates due to vehicular collisions in Michigan have risen in the last six years, accounting for 222 out of 774, or 29 percent, of recorded eagle mortalities between 1987 and 2008.

“Michigan drivers, especially in the northern part of the state, should be aware that eagles are often along our roadsides and can help out by taking necessary steps to help reduce eagle mortality,” said DNRE Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “Slowing your vehicle if you happen to spot an eagle near road kill is a good start.”

“A recent analysis of data from Michigan indicates that collisions with vehicles are a significant cause of eagle mortality,” said Jack Dingledine, Deputy Field Supervisor of the East Lansing Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The bald eagle tells one of our nation’s most revered conservation success stories, and although this species has recovered to sustainable levels, we must keep in mind that as numbers rise, so does the risk for mortality due to human interactions.”

In addition to catching and eating fish, eagles commonly feed on dead animals. Road corridors often attract eagles, which will scavenge on large road-kill such as deer, coyote, fox or raccoon. Scavenging behavior tends to increase during the winter months when ice develops on lakes and rivers, making foraging for fish more difficult.

“There is no one solution that will completely eliminate vehicle-caused mortality in Michigan,” said Dingledine. “But efforts from all sides, including help from the driving public, can reduce vehicle-caused eagle mortality.”

Eagles that appear to be outside of a vehicle’s path may feel threatened by the approach of an oncoming vehicle and may attempt to escape, often leading the bird to cross the roadway, in front of oncoming traffic. Drivers who do not anticipate this reaction by the eagle put themselves, the eagle, and their vehicle at risk. If a driver observes an eagle on or near a roadway, and if it is safe to do so, vehicle speed should be reduced immediately to give the driver and the eagle more time to react.

To report a live or dead eagle (or eagles) on the ground or scavenging on road-kill near a roadway in Michigan, please submit your observation at the following Web address: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/eastlansing/eagleform.htm. This information will help biologists determine where management actions are most needed and the appropriate steps to reduce future collisions in these areas.

Reporting road kill to your local transportation agency can prevent eagle-vehicular collisions. Road kill removal requires proper authority, safety equipment and training, and drivers should not independently attempt to remove road kill.

To report road-kill both on and off the pavement or shoulder of a road:
– Drivers on state highways should call their regional MDOT Transportation Service Center – Visit www.michigan.gov/mdot/ for contact information (click on ‘About MDOT’).
– Drivers on county roads should call their local county road commission maintenance garage (See the government section of your local phone book for contact information).

Following the ban on many chlorinated pesticides in the 1970s and the protections offered by the Federally Threatened and Endangered Species List, bald eagle populations have stabilized and begun to recover in many regions of the country. In Michigan, populations have increased from 52 breeding pairs in 1961 to 630 breeding pairs in 2010. The conservation community celebrated the de-listing of the bald eagle from the Endangered Species List in 2007.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen visit www.fws.gov.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment is committed to conserve, manage, protect, and promote accessible use and enjoyment of the state's environmental, natural resource, and related economic interests for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnre.

ARVC Michigan seeking Executive Director

The following information was posted on the ARVC Michigan Facebook page on Dec. 13:

The selection committee for the position of Executive Director of ARVC Michigan will be looking for the following qualifications.

- Bachelors Degree (preferred).
- 5 years experience within any one or combination of the following; association management, travel, tourism, hospitality, recreation industries.
-Strong leader who is self motivated with ability to plan and organize.
- Knowledgeable in advertising, marketing and social media
- Previous involvement in producing newsletters & directories both electronically & printed. Includes brainstorming content, composing text & editing.
- Skillful in the use of Windows, online QuickBooks financial software, MS Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), E-mail and desktop publishing programs.
- Exceptional communication skills, including experience addressing large and small groups for seminars and training sessions, as well as the media.
- Willingness to travel in-state and nation wide.
- Develops and operates within a budget.
- Ability to work well with an involved board of directors.
- Set-up and execute state conventions with exhibitors.
- Ability to maintain positive relationships with existing membership, and recruit new members.

Send cover letter, resume and salary requirements by January 12, 2011 to:
ARVC Selection Committee
1339 Weiss St.
Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Email: jobs@michcampgrounds.com

Weekly Activities at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Kwanzaa Celebration - Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
Tuesday 12/28 from 12 - 7 pm
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History hosts the third day of Kwanzaa - join us as we celebrate with friends and family and pay tribute to our rich cultural heritage. The day's schedule includes a Family Fun Fest w/crafts, storytelling and marketplace from 12 - 7 pm; screening of "The Black Candle," a Kwanzaa celebration film by M.K. Asante, Jr. featuring Chuck D., Dead Prez, Maya Angelou and more at 3:30 pm; and Kwanzaa Ceremony at 5 pm. These family-friendly events are FREE and open to the public. Sponsored by Comerica.

Art of the Masters Gallery Talk
Tuesday 12/28 @ 2 pm in the exhibit
Experience the exhibit, Art of the Masters: A Survey of African American Images, 1980 - 2000, with artist Darryl Smith. This gallery talk will focus on the patterns & symbols in the works of Benny Andrews, Samella Lewis, David Driskell, Bettye Saar, Calvin Jones and Evangeline Montgomery. Free with museum admission.

Music from the Apollo Theater (listening session)
Tuesday 12/28 @ 6:30 pm in the Classrooms
Don't miss our FINAL listening session, featuring Bobby Rodgers (The Miracles), Martha Reeves (Martha Reeves & The Vandellas), Motown Consultant Maxine Powell and former Temptations Music Director Al McKenzie listening to great music performed at the Apollo Theater. These and other Apollo legends will share entertaining stories and their favorite songs; if the music moves you, by all means – get up and DANCE! Sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 

30 Days To Lose It! workout (recurring weekly - $)
Tuesday 12/28 @ 7:30 pm in the Multi-Purpose Room
Featuring a 5k walking workout by FitnessWorks; also, a special massage therapy will be provided by Carrie L. Hendricks of "Just Like Grandma's Hands" for an additional fee. Free for members, $5 for non-members. Purchase 8 sessions and receive a complimentary museum membership, making your next 12 months FREE! Whether you want to lose weight, get fit, compete, or just stay in shape, come dressed to sweat (with an exercise mat or beach towel) and join this safe, fun fitness program for women. For more information please call (313) 494-5817 or email 30days@chwmuseum.org. 

Kwanzaa Celebration - Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
Wednesday 12/29 from 12 - 7 pm
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History hosts the fourth day of Kwanzaa - join us as we celebrate with friends and family and pay tribute to our rich cultural heritage. The day's schedule includes a Family Fun Fest w/crafts, storytelling and marketplace from 12 - 7 pm; screening of "The Black Candle," a Kwanzaa celebration film by M.K. Asante, Jr. featuring Chuck D., Dead Prez, Maya Angelou and more at 3:30 pm; and Kwanzaa Ceremony led by Khary Frazier at 5 pm. These family-friendly events are FREE and open to the public. Sponsored by Comerica.

Kwanzaa Celebration - Nia (Purpose)
Thursday 12/30 from 12 - 7 pm
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History hosts the fifth day of Kwanzaa - join us as we celebrate with friends and family and pay tribute to our rich cultural heritage. The day's schedule includes a Family Fun Fest w/crafts, storytelling and marketplace from 12 - 7 pm; screening of "The Black Candle," a Kwanzaa celebration film by M.K. Asante, Jr. featuring Chuck D., Dead Prez, Maya Angelou and more at 3:30 pm; and Kwanzaa Ceremony led by UNIA & ACL Division 407 at 5 pm. These family-friendly events are FREE and open to the public. Sponsored by Comerica.

Saturday, January 1 - MUSEUM CLOSED

ATTENTION HUNGRY MEMBERS: show your museum membership card and get 20% off dine-in meals and carryout orders (mention this offer when ordering over the phone), and 15% off all box lunch orders, from Union Street, located at 4145 Woodward Avenue in Detroit's midtown. Please call (313) 831-3965 or visit www.unionstreetdetroit.com for more information. It's just another great reason to be a member!

Traverse City announces new Winter/Spring 'TC Escape Packages'

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – Whether it’s a winter ski holiday, a spring wildflower hike or a relaxing weekend of wine tasting, casino gaming and shopping, the many pleasures of Michigan’s delightful Grand Traverse region just became even more affordable.

Starting Jan. 1, the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau will offer a special Winter/Spring “TC Escape” package – good until May 19 – that combines special low rates at 28 participating hotels and resorts with a wide range of discounts on winter recreation, shopping, dining and entertainment.

For winter sports enthusiasts, the packages include deep discounts on lift tickets, ski lessons and equipment, trail passes and snowmobile rentals. There are also great deals at some of the area’s best restaurants and special discounts on shopping, spa treatments, movies, wine tastings and other entertainment – and each adult guest receives $10 in free play at either of the area’s two casinos.

It’s not too early to make reservations and cash in on those great rates, either. Pricing and other details for the new winter packages can be found on the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau website at www.TraverseCity.com or call (800) 940-1120.

Michigan ElvisFest 2011 is alive and well

YPSILANTI (Mich.) - For those of you who have been wondering if there is going to be a 12th Annual Michigan ElvisFest in Ypsilanti this year, the answer is YES! Riverside Park will once again be the home for this unique live music event, scheduled for July 8-9, 2011. Tickets will be on sale on the website (www.mielvisfest.org) starting Jan. 1, 2011.

Organizers are already working on the format and the entertainment, and plan on having the most talented Elvis Tribute Artists from all over the country, as well as other artists and some new events to mix it up.

The Michigan ElvisFest became its own corporation earlier this year, but other than that, there are few changes to the structure of this one-of-a-kind summer festival. Organizers who have worked the event since its inception in 2000 will, for the most part, be the same organizers working on the 2011 festival. The Michigan ElvisFest is always looking for sponsors who would like to be a part of this wonderful family-friendly event - drawing people from all over Michigan, Canada, and the tri-state area.