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Best of 2011: Notable community events


Published January 4, 2012


Mark’s Carts cook-off: “Most notable Ann Arbor competition between meals — on wheels”

In early October, the Daily covered a cook-off event at Mark’s Carts on West Washington Street, which opened in May 2011. Ranging from discussing Indian food to pickles, this article describes a relatively new eatery in the Ann Arbor community that received a lot of exposure this fall. The piece captured the good vibes shared by throngs of students, Ann Arbor locals, and other food cart patrons who enjoyed the live music at the cook-off and the new dishes served throughout the competition. A video accompanying the article can also be found on the Daily’s website, but be careful: If you’re not hungry before you watch it, you will be by the end. Close-ups of tasty lunches and snacks will make you long for both a sunny fall day and some original food-cart food.

Spectrum Center: “Most notable 40th birthday party of the year”

Forty years ago, the first-ever collegiate gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation resource center opened its doors right here in Ann Arbor. Ever since, the Spectrum Center has helped students with their questions about sexuality and gender. To celebrate the work put into the center over the last 40 years, the Spectrum Center held the “Broadway Comes Home” Pink Carpet Gala Event on Nov. 17. There were performances by Broadway stars and alumni Gavin Creel, David Burtka and Celia Keenan-Bolger, as well as a special piece written by Laura Karpman, an Emmy Award-winning composer. The weekend was dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Spectrum Center, but that night was special for the alumni and co-founders Jackie Simpson and Jim Toy. Former Michigan Student Assembly President Chris Armstrong also revealed his new scholarship for victims of bullying. The night was unforgettable for the LBGT community and the University.


UMS: “Most notable University Presenting Organization”

2011 may have been the year the School of Music, Theatre & Dance gave us theatrical treats like “Suddenly Last Summer,” and MUSKET reminded us why “life is a cabaret,” but it was the University Musical Society that brought the Gate Theatre Dublin to the Power Center in October for performances of Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame” and “Watt.” In October, UMS hosted acclaimed actor John Malkovich in Hill Auditorium. He portrayed serial killer Jack Unterweger in a “theatrical opera” accompanied by the music of Vivaldi, Mozart and Beethoven! Sophisticated, educational theater? Check. Star power coupled with the rock stars of classical music? Check. Founded over 100 years ago, UMS continues to prove that old school dominates.


“Paradise Lost” reading: “Most notable 10 hour endurance reading of 17th-century poetry”

Ann Arbor may be home to a thriving poetry community, but this year, English professors Linda Gregerson and Doug Trevor decided to once again take their love of the spoken word to truly epic proportions. Their second annual reading of John Milton’s blank verse poem “Paradise Lost” consisted of nearly 10 hours of round-robin participation, giving students, staff and any passerby with a love of literature the chance to speak their favorite verses aloud.

Snacks were provided — including apples during Eve’s own fateful snack — in order to help sustain the reading’s most dedicated members, who showed up at 8 a.m. that Saturday morning.