Thompsonville - Social distancing practices have changed the way Michiganders do everything, including bird watching. At 10 a.m. Saturday, May 9, Michigan Legacy Art Park and Here:Say Storytelling, join artists, musicians, and writers for an online celebration of winged wonders.

This event is free and will be streamed on Zoom Video and Facebook Live. Viewers just login and watch and do not appear on screen.

Follow along as birding expert Nate Crane of Rare Bird Brewpub hosts live bird watching and listening segments from Michigan Legacy Art Park at Crystal Mountain, part of the Sleeping Bear Birding Trail. The park has recorded more than 25 species of native and migratory birds within the 30-acre nature preserve and outdoor gallery.

Intercut with Crane’s search for the birds, producers Karen Stein of Here:Say Storytelling, Ben Whiting, and Joe Beyer of Michigan Legacy Art Park host Micah Mabey reading a traditional Lakota folktale, Beth Milligan reading from Mary Oliver, Jennifer Loup sharing a true story, Jack Senff performing “Red Bird”, and Nick Loud from The Boardman Review reading from J.A. Baker’s “The Peregrine.”

Special Guest Joyce Bahle will read poetry by her late friend, colleague, fellow bird lover, writer Jim Harrison.

Voluntary donations will be solicited for the Crosshatch Artist Emergency Fund – helping local creators in the five-county Northern Michigan area, impacted by the health crisis.

 

About Michigan Legacy Art Park

The nonprofit Michigan Legacy Art Park located in Thompsonville, in the northwest lower peninsula, is totally unique among public art projects and spaces in the state. Created by a group of artists and community volunteers in 1995, the Art Park now hosts tens of thousands of visitors and students each season to a 30-acre outdoor experience that celebrates our state’s history, culture and environment through the fascinating medium of sculpture.

The Art Park, located at 12500 Crystal Mountain Drive, remains open to the public amid the current health crisis. To learn more, visit michlegacyartpark.org.

 

About the performers:

Here:Say is a live, monthly storytelling event in Traverse City. Each month, performers take the stage to tell true, first-person stories from their own lives as they relate to the month’s theme. Karen Stein, founder and creative director of Here:Say, developed her love for language as a child through playing word games with her family at the dinner table.

As someone who tells her most humbling stories to anyone who will listen and believes that everyone has a story to tell, Stein began Here:Say to open up a community space where people are encouraged to perform their own stories and listen to each other’s.

She believes that our collective stories–be they sad or happy, inspirational or everyday - teach us life’s many truths and connect us to one another. She relishes in the glory of story and the people who tell them so well.

About Nate Crane of  Rare Bird Brewpub is a Traverse City native son, born and raised. He spent his youth tromping around the north woods catching fish, chasing reptiles and watching birds. His infatuation with birds didn’t die down when he went off to school at Michigan State for his business degree. Crane returned home after college determined to make Northern Michigan his permanent home. His birding status grew and he became a force in the birding community, eventually becoming known as “Bird Man” to some. After a few years of working in the corporate world, he threw caution to the wind and began his quest to open his own brewery.

Launched in 2013, Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Birding Trail spans an exceptional migratory flyway and thousands of public acres along the Lake Michigan coastline. The trail is home to the Piping Plover, an endangered shorebird that needs vast stretches of undisturbed beach. Anchored by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a National Park and an Important Bird Area with 71,000 acres of public land and 35 miles of beaches. The length of the trail covers all 123 miles of Michigan Highway M-22 which runs from Manistee on the southern end to Traverse City at the north terminus. Michigan Audubon’s Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary is the southern terminus. The diverse habitat, significant public access, and many miles of shoreline make the trail a birder’s paradise.

The Boardman Review is a quarterly publication founded by brothers Nick and Chris Loud as a print and digital magazine including travelogues, lifestyle profiles, literature, music and documentaries that all showcase the young and established creatives whose work and lives form the greater community in Northern Michigan. The magazine publishes several articles in each issue and includes multimedia elements with each piece. The Boardman Review also hosts live-events throughout the year, including launch parties for their issues and collaborations with local arts and recreation partners.