The Art of Storytelling

[mags]The next time you meet a journalism student or your friend tells you they’re thinking about a career in writing or editing, please don’t tell them print is dying. We’ve all heard that song. We’re sick of it, and obviously we don’t buy it.
Journalism students are hopefuls who think it’s important to give voice to those who are silenced and analyze the voices of those we hear everyday. We like to create a dialogue and be engaged in society. As Jason Mark, editor-in-chief of Earth Island Journal, puts it, “Journalism is a more sophisticated take on ancient storytelling.”
Jessica Sipperley, editor-in-chief of The Big Green, Kim Bale, managing editor, and I had the extreme pleasure to be enveloped in a room crawling with modern day storytellers during Campus Progress and The Nation‘s West Coast Youth Journalism Conference on Jan. 26 at UCLA. Being in the company of iconic alternative and independent journalists such as Naomi Klein, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Andrew Lam and Marc Cooper was nothing short of exhilarating as we all near graduation and prepare ourselves for what we hope will be careers that even remotely resemble those in attendance.
The conference was possible thanks to Campus Progress, a branch of the Center for American Progress that promotes the rising and strengthening of progressive voices on college and university campuses around the country. More specifically, they have been the most life-giving financial supporter of The Big Green this year, allowing us to publish our second print issue at the end of this semester. TBG has struggled to gain ground on MSU’s campus as a progressive media outlet, but with the encouragement and assistance of Campus Progress, we have been able to gain resources to use journalism for change.
The conference brought us face-to-face with our peers and allies, those who are promoting the type of analysis and thoughtful journalism that TBG advocates for. Audience chairs were packed with eager-to-succeed students hanging on the words of the greats. The room was filled with young progressive-minded folks who no doubt think that with smooth strokes of their pen they can bring about justice for a battered woman, promote environmental sustainability or bring to light a damning political scandal. We’re young, and, as goes with the territory, our eyes are generally a little wider, our hearts are a little more open, and our plans are a little more ambitious. The refreshing fact was that nearly every professional who addressed us encouraged our youthful, if not over-reaching, plans. “Never forget that idealism is a form of resistance,” vanden Huevel said in her welcoming remark.[panel9]
She started the conference off on the right foot. We nestled into our seats, opened our ears and tried to digest as much advice as possible within the hours that followed. Nearly all advice was taken to heart: “Reporting and investigating is getting your ass out there,” Richard Reeves, author and syndicated columnist said. “You can’t frame a story until you experience a story,” Andrew Lam, writer and editor with New America Media, said. “You’ll need to balance a skeptical eye with a hopeful heart,” Jason Mark said. “Get involved. Change the equation. Know what you’re talking about,” Tom Hayden, author, activist and former California state legislator said. Sage advice backed by innumerable personal anecdotes from the field flooded the room as we all tried to scribble down the rush of enlightening information.
[naomi3]Arguably the most anticipated speaker, Naomi Klein, delivered what I consider to be one of the most intriguing speeches I have ever attended. Klein is a Canadian journalist, activist and bestselling author of No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (2000) and The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007). Although she likely had a broader knowledge base than anyone in the room, her charming demeanor put everyone at ease as she looked all of us in the eye with complete confidence that we would thrive in the journalism world. If there is only one thing I will take from her speech, it is her idea of what she calls “body knowledge.” She claims that while everyone can have intellectual knowledge, it takes more to have deep body knowledge of an issue; this is something she believes has been the reason for her success. “It’s really easy for progressives to be called hysterics,” she said. “Deep body knowledge is the only thing I’ve found to counter that and become a more credible voice.” The moment she said that, I wanted to get out of my seat, graduate, become a journalist and grasp her meaning of having body knowledge of a story so important your body can feel it.
But that will happen soon enough. Jessica, Kim and I will all graduate in May. While Kim has a jealousy-invoking plan to spend seven months traveling around the world, Jessica and I are a bit more undecided. If nothing else, this conference got me geared up to join the band of alternative journalists who are using their independent voices to produce the most solid and reliable journalism available.
Print isn’t dying. Anyone who thinks it is needs to meet the alternative press.

Here are some independent publications to check out:
Mother Jones
The Nation
Utne Reader
Ms.
Bitch
make/shift
ColorLines
Adbusters
The Sun
Wilson Quarterly
n+1
Arabia Felix
Geist
Maisonneuve
The Walrus
Virginia Quarterly Review
Tin House
Hip Mama
ReadyMade
High Desert Journal
meatpaper
Bear Deluxe
POZ
Brain, Child
OnEarth
GOOD Magazine
The Christian Science Monitor
Kyoto Journal
Polite
Bidoun
Theme
The Believer
Raw Vision
The American Prospect
Reason
Indian Country Today
Gastronomica
Guilt & Pleasure
The Next American City

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Scene and Heard

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Ansel Adams
The Detroit Institute of Arts will be exhibiting this iconic American photographer\’s work through May 27. Call (313)833-4005for tickets.
Circus: The Art of the Strange and the Curious
Kresge Art Museum will be showing a selection of historic \”sideshow wonders\” posters from May 5-June 27.
Motion
(Scene)Metrospace is holding its first show in their new location. Motion will be held from May 11-June 17 at 110 Charles St. to kick off the new (Scene)Metrospace.
The All Night Strut
BoarsHead Theatre is bringing back the huge hit from the summer of 2006…with the same cast and director. The musical takes place in the 1930s swing era and will be performed June 20-July 8. Call (517)484-7805 for more information.
Festival of the Sun
Old Town presents its beloved wine and beer tasting festival on June 23 this year. Read more about it in Nicole Ngyuen\’s story on Michigan wine.
Moonlight Film Festival
Take a folding chair to Valley Court Park on all Fridays in July and August to watch a movie outside. All movies begin at 9:30 p.m.

HEARD

Great Lakes Myth Society
The Lansing favorite will be at Mac\’s Bar on May 4 at 10:30 p.m.
El Boxeo
El Boxeo will perform on May 18 at 9 p.m. at Mac\’s Bar. Check out this month\’s Best You\’ve Never Heard to learn more about this local band.
Mason Proper
Mason Proper will be at Mac\’s Bar on May 21 at 8 p.m.
Colors of Salsa
The Capital Foundation for Arts and Culture will present Colors of Salsa in Old Town on June 2. The festival will include lots of music and food. \”Come dance in the street and taste the heat!\”
Summer Solstice Jazz Fest
East Lansing will host the festival on June 15 and 16 in the downtown area featuring jazz artists from all over Michigan.
Comerica Taste Fest
The Taste Fest is consistently one of Detroit\’s largest and most successful festivals. This year, it will be from July 4-8. It will include cuisine from major Detroit restaurants and musicians such as Spoon, The Wailers, Hot Club of Detroit, Lupe Fiasco and The Hard Lessons.
Great Lakes Folk Festival
Lansing has become famous for the summer folk festival. This year it will take place August 10-12 featuring artists such as Los Texmaniacs, Eddie Bo, Cedric Watson and Wayne Hancock, among others.

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Scene and Heard

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Jesus Camp
Jesus Camp, an Academy Award nominee, will be playing at Magdalena\’s Tea House on April 10 at 7 p.m. The film documents a summer camp in North Dakota where children are encouraged to become dedicated Christians.

MSU Department of Art and Art History Undergraduate Exhibition
Kresge Art Museum will be exhibiting student work in their annual undergraduate art show. The opening reception is on April 13 from 7-9 p.m. and will include photography, ceramics, drawing, and graphic design. Read Nicole Nguyen\’s story for more information.

Menage a Shaw
BoarsHead Theatre will be holding a fundraiser for Lansing Community College Performing Arts, Riverwalk Theatre and BoarsHead Theatre on April 15 at 3 p.m. There will be a reading of George Bernard Shaw\’s The Doctor\’s Dilemma with an English tea reception to follow.

She Loves Me
MSU\’s Department of Theatre presents She Loves Me written by Bock and Harnick and directed by Rob Roznowski. This musical takes place in 1890s Paris and is reminiscent of You\’ve Got Mail. The romantic comedy fits in perfectly with this year\’s theme of \”discovering love.\” It will be performed at The Fairchild Theatre on April 19,26 at 7:30 p.m., April 20,21,27,28 at 8 p.m. and April 22,29 at 2 p.m.

HEARD

The Pop Project, Great Lakes Myth Society and The Mighty Narwhale
The three bands will take stage at The Lager House in Detroit on April 7 at 9 p.m.

The Silent Years and The Hard Lessons
The two Michigan favorites will be performing at St. Andrew\’s Hall on April 21 at 7 p.m.

Matt Jones, Chris Bathgate and Misty Lyn
They will be playing on April 29 at Kraftbrau in Kalamazoo. Show begins at 9 p.m.

Mason Proper
This month\’s Best You\’ve Never Heard will be at the International Center on April 27 at 12 a.m.

Rescue
Rescue will be playing their final show on April 28 at 8 p.m. at The Magic Stick.

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Old Town On Ice
On March 4, Old Town Commercial Association will be hosting a food sampler event so that you can get to know the restaurants of Old Town.
Voices of Good Hope
BoarsHead Theatre will be presenting Voices of Good Hope from March 14-April 8. The play tells the story of Barbara Charline Jordan, the first black woman in the U.S. House of Representatives. Performances are on Wed. and Thurs. at 7 p.m. and Fri. and Sat. at 7 p.m.
East Lansing Film Festival
Wells Hall, Hannah Community Center and Celebration Cinema will host ELFF. Films will be screened March 21-29. Visit http://www.elff.com/index for complete details.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Peppermint Creek Theatre will perform this adult musical about a transexual rock star on March 23-25 and 29-31 at Hannah Community Center. Read Laura Martin\’s story behind the production in this month\’s Arts and Culture section.
MSU Book Collecting Competition
All entries for MSU\’s Book Collecting competition will be due at 5 p.m. on March 30. Read Nicole Nguyen\’s story for more information.

HEARD

Flatfoot
This East Lansing classic will be having a cd release party on March 3 at Mac\’s Bar. Doors will be at 9 p.m.
Breathe Owl Breathe and A Story Told
These two bands will take the stage at Magdalena\’s Tea House on March 3 at 8 p.m.
NOMO
This Afro-pop band hailing from Ann Arbor will be performing at Mac\’s Bar on March 9 at 9 p.m.
Great Lakes Myth Society
This month\’s Best You\’ve Never Heard will be playing at The Blind Pig on March 10 at 9:30 p.m.
The Lash
Mixing rock with traditional Irish folk, The Lash is the perfect St. Patrick\’s Day band. They will be traveling throughout the area on March 17. They can be found at Dublin Square from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., The Claddagh Irish Pub from 5 p.m.-7 p.m., and Mac\’s Bar from 10 p.m.-1 a.m.

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Scene and Heard

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Inherit the Wind
The main library will show this film, directed by Stanley Kramer, as part of the Friday Night Film Series. Inherit the Wind studies evolutionism vs. creationism and will be showing at 7 p.m. on Feb. 2.
Two or Three Things I Know About Her
The Detroit Film Theatre will be showing this French film from Feb. 15-17. Directed by Jean-Luc Godard, this is a biographical piece on Juliette Janson, a housewife in the 1960s who is a prostitute.
Comedy Clash
Magdalena\’s Tea House will be welcoming some of Michigan\’s best amatuer comedians to perform on Feb. 17 at 8 p.m.
Children\’s Film Festival
East Lansing will be featuring some of the world\’s best in children\’s cinema on Feb. 23. South Kedzie hall, Hannah Community Center and NCG Eastwood will be holding the festival for all ages.

HEARD

Great Lakes Myth Society and Mason Proper
Both bands will be in Ferndale at The Magic Bag on Feb. 2 at 8 p.m.
Steppin\’ In It
The local folk band will be performing at The Green Door on Feb. 19 at 9:30 p.m.
Chris Bathgate
The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor will welcome Chris Bathgate on Feb. 23 at 9:30 p.m.
Jen Sygit
The Lansing native will be playing at Leroy\’s in Lansing on Feb. 28 at 9 p.m. See Best You\’ve Never Heard: Jen Sygit by Lauren Gant for more information on the artist.

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Yousuf Karsh Photographs
Kresge Art Museum has Yousuf Karsh\’s photos on loan from the DIA from Jan. 8 until March 18. Karsh called his work \”contemporary historical documents,\” capturing such icons as Winston Churchill.
Juxtaposition: A Photography Series
Trixie Coffee in Roseville will be showcasing McKenna Holman\’s artwork with the opening to be held on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.
Robert Fanning
Esteemed author and poet, Robert Fanning, will be visiting the MSU Main Library on Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free of charge.
Redwork: A Textile Tradition in America
The MSU Museum will be exhibiting several redwork designs, a style of needlework dating back to the late 1800s. The opening of this unique exhibit is on Jan. 28.

HEARD

Jen Sygit
Jen Sygit will be playing at Woldumar Nature Center in Lansing on Jan. 3 at 8 p.m.
Neil Young Tribute Album release party
At Lager House in the Corktown area of Detroit, The Pop Project, New Grenada and Syscrusher will join others to release the album on Jan. 13.
The Hard Lessons
The Detroit favorite will be at The Blind Pig on Jan. 20 at 9:30 p.m.
Ann Arbor Folk Fest
A fundraiser for Ann Arbor\’s venue, The Ark, several folk musicians come together for two nights at the Hill Auditorium on the University of Michigan campus. This year\’s guests include Jackie Greene, Rufus Wainwright, John Prine and Daisy May. The festival will be on Jan. 26 and 27.
Electric Six
Electric Six will be at the Blind Pig on Jan. 27. Doors at 9:30 p.m.

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Check out \”Art by State\” by Petra Canan for a good sampling of art exhibits around the state.
Studio Art Faculty Biennial Exhibition
Running from now until Dec. 15, Kresge Art Museum honors faculty members as they display their work. This exhibit celebrates 75 years for the Department of Art History and Art.
The Eames Lounge Chair
The Grand Rapids Art Museum will be holding an exhibition until Dec. 31. The museum is housing roughly 100 chairs from Germany.
Annie Liebovitz
The DIA will be displaying Annie Liebovit\’s photography until Jan 7. This is the last full month that the iconic photographer\’s work will be in Detroit.
The Rouge: Photographs
The University of Michigan Museum of Art is holding an exhibit of Michael Kenna\’s photographs now through Jan. 14. Kenna\’s photographs are of the Rouge Automotive Plant in Dearborn.

HEARD

Vega
Vega will be holding a CD release party at Mac\’s Bar on Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. 18+ welcome.
Frontier Ruckus and Chris Bathgate
The two will be playing together at Scene Metrospace on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.
Jen Sygit
Local folk singer, Jen Sygit, will be playing at Scene Metrospace on Dec. 14 at 8 p.m.
Gore Gore Girls
The Gore Gore Girls will be at The Blind Pig on Dec. 16 at 9:30 p.m. 21+ welcome.
La Famiglia
The local favorite will be playing in Kalamazoo at The Intersection on Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. 18+ welcome.

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Scene and Heard

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The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter
A documentary about American home life for women in WWII. Showing at 7 pm on Nov. 2 and 2 pm on Nov. 5 at Kresge Art Museum.
Film Shorts in Eight Shots
Presented by the MSU Filmmaker\’s Club at Magdalena\’s Tea House on Nov. 7 at 8:10.
Blue Eyes of Yonta
A film about the struggle for independence in Africa, directed by Flora Gomes. Playing as part of the Friday Night Film Series on Nov. 10 at 7 pm in the Main Library.

HEARD

Drum Circle and Open Mic
On Nov. 3 at 7 pm, Magdalena\’s Tea House will open their stage.
Electric Six
Playing with the Blue Van at St. Andrew\’s Hall in Detroit on Nov. 4. Doors at 7 pm.
Child Bite
At Lager House in Detroit on Nov. 22 at 9 pm.
Mason Proper
The local favorite will be playing in Grand Rapids at The Intersection on Nov. 30 at 7 pm.

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The Pillowman- Peppermint Creek Theatre Company will be putting on Martin Donagh\’s award winning play about a fiction writer. Directed by Chad Badgero, the play will be performed at the Hannah Community Center on Oct. 5-8, 12-14. Show times are 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. and 2 p.m. on Sun.

Romeo and Juliet- MSU\’s theatre department will be putting on the Shakespearean favorite at Pasant Theatre Oct. 5-15.

Oldtown Oktoberfest- For those of us who can\’t travel to Germany for the real Oktoberfest, we can go to the corner of Grand River and Turner St. for dancing, knackwurst and beer. It is on Oct. 14 from 2-10 p.m.

Eyes Without a Face- The main library will be showing the French classic by Gerorges Franju on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.

HEARD

Tone and Niche- On Oct. 7, they will be playing all of their new music at Buzz Bar in Detroit. Doors at 9:30 p.m.

The Peddlers and Flatfoot- On Oct. 13 at Mac\’s Bar. Doors at 9 p.m.

We Rock-You Decide- See some of East Lansing and Lansing\’s biggest bands including The Boxcutters, Frontier Ruckus and The Gentlemen Callers at Oades Hidden Camel and The Cadillac Club on Oct. 20. Free.

A Story Told- Playing on Oct. 21 at Magdalena\’s Tea House. Doors at 8 p.m.

The Hard Lessons- The local favorite will be playing at The Underground in Kalamazoo on Oct. 27. Doors at 9 p.m.

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Scene and Heard

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Rembrandt and Friends- The exhibit will include prints by Rembrandt, his influences and his predecessors. Kresge Art Museum, along with museums all over the world, is celebrating Rembrandt\’s 400th year from Sept. 9-Nov. 5.

The War Tapes- A documentary featuring actual footage of the Iraq War through the eyes of three members of the U.S. Army will be playing at the Detroit Film Theatre Sept. 22-24.

Annie Liebovitz: American Music- The DIA will be exhibiting 70 portraits from one of the most esteemed photographers in the country. The exhibit will run from Sept. 24-Jan. 7 and focus mainly on Leibovitz\’s work with musical icons.

HEARD

Anathallo- will play on Sept. 23 at the Magic Stick in Detroit. Doors at 8 p.m.

Tally Hall- will play on Sept. 24 at The Temple Club with guests Danger Will and Scott Barnes.

The Plurals- will play at Mac\’s Bar on Sept.28. The show is 18+ and begins at 9 p.m.

Alias and Tarsier- will play with Astronautalis on Sept. 30 at The Temple Club.

Chris Bathgate- will play on Sept. 30 at Magdalena\’s Tea House. The show begins at 8 p.m.

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