Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Indie arts - SAF, Pecha Kucha, START

7. December 2006 • Murph
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A roundup of recent and upcoming arts:

This past weekend’s Winter Shadow Art Fair drew everyone from scenesters to evil Santas to the Mayor of Ypsilanti. Co-organizer Mark Maynard gives very rough estimates of attendance of around 1,800, and artist-vendors averaging $500 in sales apiece, and rumor has it that the addition of live music (and pictures with Santa) proved enough of a draw on Friday night that the brewery reached capacity and had to turn people away at the door. Where were you?

To atone for your absence, you may try visiting next Thursday’s (Dec 14) Pecha Kucha, at the Bluish Barn. Presenter signup deadline is this Friday, to Zack Denfeld (zcd@umich.edu), who was previously seen serving coffee and soup to passerby on State Street. What is Pecha Kucha? “Sort of a glorified, hipsterized-but-still-somewhat-geeky Show and Tell.”

as we all know, give a mic to a designer (especially an architect) and you’ll be trapped for hours. The key to Pecha Kucha Night is its patented[?] system for avoiding this fate. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show.

Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for the sound of conversation) has tapped into a demand for a forum in which creative work can be easily and informally shown, without having to rent a gallery or chat up a magazine editor. This is a demand that seems to be global – as Pecha Kucha Night, without any pushing, has spread virally to over a dozen cities across the world. Find a location and join the conversation.

Finally, the Street Theater Art (START) Project will hold an informational kickoff event on Friday, December 8th at 5:30 at the Downtown Library:

The Project, which is a collaboration between a University of Michigan “Art in Public Spaces” course, University student groups, high school students and adults from throughout the community, plans to bring people together to create a presentation of large scale street puppets. These artistic pieces will make their debut during the “Fools Parade” on Main St., slated for April 1st 2007.

START Project staff hope to recruit interested volunteers during the December 8th information meeting. Attendees will learn about the Project’s vision and timeline, as well as the various ways that community members will be able to participate. Anyone with an interest in the arts, painting, sculpting, costumes, choreography, performance, and community building is encouraged to attend.

After the meeting START staff and interested participants will take a few pre-made puppets up East Liberty St. to the Michigan Theater where GROOVE, a collaborating student group, will be performing at 7:00 p.m.



  1. What cool projects/events! I just wish I had some artistic talent :)


       —TeacherPatti    Dec. 7 '06 - 04:15AM    #
  2. The Groove performance at the Michigan begins at 8:00. Their website is here.


       —Laura    Dec. 7 '06 - 04:39PM    #
  3. Ok, here: http://www.umich.edu/~uac/groove/index.html


       —Laura    Dec. 7 '06 - 04:40PM    #