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Tiny TOPs

Summer concerts stretch the season

by Jan Schlain

From the April, 2021 issue

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has again canceled both its signature ticketed events at Power Center and free Top of the Park entertainment. But thanks to support from individuals, foundation grants, corporate giving, and local partners, "We're doing all right," says executive director Michael Michelon. "We've been able to keep our entire team employed and working and creating, which is good."

With little chance that crowds can gather safely by June, they're stretching a season across space and time, starting with a ticketed virtual show by illusionist Scott Silven in January. In June and July, they'll be delivering TOP-like events to order.

"The two primary programs, certainly by volume, are Tiny TOPs and Live Here Now," says Michelon. Tiny TOPs are "private music concerts [where] the musical artists will receive 100 percent of the fee." Live Here Now will offer free pop-up performances in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti neighborhoods. "Even if we're six feet apart, wearing masks," says Michelon, "it'll feel good to be with other people."

Michelon and his wife Rachelle, a UMS fundraiser, have a pandemic year creative collaboration to celebrate at home, too: their son, Louis, was born in October.     (end of article)

[Originally published in April, 2021.]


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