Category Archives: Arts and Culture

Scholar to discuss Native American’s effect on pop culture

Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan.

Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan.

In most areas of America, Native American Indian tribes were the first settlers, and to this day, Natives remain central to the American identity.

Scholar Philip Deloria is scheduled to visit the Alma College campus to discuss, “American Indians in the American Popular Imagination. He is a professor with the American Studies department at the University of Michigan.

Kristin Olbertson, an Associate Professor of History at Alma College, said Deloria will be able to trigger his audience in a way that others cannot.

“He’s going to take the familiar and make it unfamiliar to us,” she said. “I think that’s really the mark of a great speaker and a great scholar who can make what we think we know and think what we understand, and show us that there is more to understand and more to think about.”

One of Deloria’s books, Playing Indian, uses several modern examples of how Indian culture influences American culture today. Those include the Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls.

“White people, white Americans or people who identify themselves as white would dress as indians,” Olbertson said. “That’s what he means by ‘Playing Indian,’ sort of adopting elements of Indian appearance, culture or character for really specific and political purposes. Not all of which, even the people adopting these disguises, totally understand.”

Olbertson said that Deloria uses those instances to question why society attempts to replicate Native American culture.

The presentation is scheduled for Thu., Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Swanson Academic Center on the Alma College campus.

Admission is free and open to the public.

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CMU Professor discusses influences, looks to future

berkDr. Ari Berk is an award-winning author, and is a professor at Central Michigan University. He recently sat down with “The Children’s Bookshelf’s” Dr. Sue Ann Martin to discuss his influences, and to give a preview of his future projects.
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CMU Professor discusses “William Shakespeare: His Life and Times”

ShakespeareCentral Michigan University professor Dr. Ari Berk is an award-winning author of numerous books for adults and children. He recently sat down with the Dr. Sue Ann Martin of “The Children’s Bookshelf” to discuss his popular book, “William Shakespeare: His Life and Times.”
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Opera “Silent Night” to be aired on PBS

Composer Kevin Puts photographed by Gregory Downer of the Opera News.

Composer Kevin Puts photographed by Gregory Downer of the Opera News.

Tis the season for holiday cheer, and what better way to celebrate than with the family and a holiday tale.

Tonight, an opera created by a Michigan native will be aired on CMU Public TV.

The opera is titled Silent Night, and it’s about a Christmas Eve truce during World War One between the French, Germans and the Scots.
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Speak Up, Speak Out hosts event Global Encounters


Since the world’s globalization, cultural awareness has become increasingly important. Central Michigan University hosted an event Tuesday focusing on cultural diversity and how studying abroad can provide a better experience for students on a global scale. Read more

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Petoskey celebrates the 11th Annual C.S. Lewis Festival

Courtesy of the C.S. Lewis Festival's Facebook.

Courtesy of the C.S. Lewis Festival’s Facebook.

As it’s done every year for over a decade, the city of Petoskey is celebrating the man who invented Narnia.
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515 Art Gallery connects students with professional artists

515 Art Gallery in downtown Clare. Photo by Rick Westover.

515 Art Gallery in downtown Clare. Photo by Rick Westover.

It’s a misty, gray afternoon out front of the 515 Gallery, but for Kim Kleinhardt and her students the smiles are genuine as they set up for their latest exhibit, Tree-scape.
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Solar art exhibit coming to Great Lakes Bay Region


The Great Lakes Bay region will soon be home to, what organizers say is, the world’s first major solar art exhibition.

Diana Tomlin is the Director of Fall In Art and Sol, which is placing solar powered art work at various locations in Bay, Saginaw, Midland and Isabella counties during the month of October.

She said the solar art exhibit will be a great way to promote what’s going on in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

“I think we’re really looking into revitalizing this space and show people this is a space where lots of fun can happen, where art can happen. It can be a bright and beautiful space. It really will be lit up with lights all over the place with the solar art,” Tomlin said.

The “Art” portion of the exhibition encompasses more than 60 organizations showcasing performing and visual arts, family activities and workshops.

The art and 107 events will be active for an entire month, beginning September 28th.

More information can be found at

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CMU events raise awareness during Banned Book Week


Central Michigan University is taking part in a world wide event known as Banned Book week.

Organizers said this week’s events are meant to celebrate the freedom to read, and all over the world people are gathering to read out loud from banned books.

Elizabeth Richard is the Program Director for the Riecker Literary Series at CMU.

She said some of the most common reasons books get banned is because people find the content subversive or inappropriate.

“ I don’t know that censoring books is a really a way to deal with subject matter that people find inappropriate. And it’s usually a group of people that for some reason feel it’s inappropriate and banned together and say we don’t want this book on bookshelves. And so libraries traditionally like the CMU libraries have become places where they have to draw the line and say no we have a freedom of information act and we believe in freedom of speech and books need to stay on the shelves,” Richard said.

Richard said, in the 1930s the Wizard of Oz was banned because people thought it was bad literature for children.

At one point, she said, the dictionary was also banned.

CMU is holding events for Banned Books week throughout campus.


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First read-a-thon to be held at Alpena library


For the first time ever, book lovers in Alpena will gather for a 24-hour reading spree, in an effort to raise money for cancer research.

The Alpena Public Library will host a “Read-a-Thon” on Saturday the 14th through the following morning.

Eric Magness-Eubank is the Director of the Library.

“If we just get a hand-full of people turn out, well then, the cause is furthered than what it was before, and we learned something in the process. And if hundreds of people turned out, well then, that might surprise us a bit, but it would be very gratifying,” said Magness-Eubank.

Magness-Eubank said there is no fee, but he encourages donations of one dollar per hour read.

Proceeds will benefit the Relay for Life foundation.

More information is at


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