16-19 WED-SAT • FUN FOR ALL Ann Arbor Art Fair — It’s easy to be enchanted by Ann Arbor. With its strong sense of community, turnstile of cultural events and welcoming ambience, a day spent in A2 is good for the soul. So after 33 years, it is no surprise that the annual Ann Arbor Art Fair is still alive, kicking and bigger than ever. More than 1,200 artists play host to an estimated half-million annual visitors. This is actually four individually juried fairs, with works running the gamut of prices and media; there is bound to be something for everyone. Flanked by Ann Arbor’s famous selection of restaurants, bars and indoor-outdoor music venues, the number of goings-on boggles the mind. Call 734-662-3382 or visit michiganguild.org/summerartfair.htm for more information.
17-19 THU-SAT • MUSIC Birmingham Jazz Festival — Attention shoppers and strollers — downtown Birmingham’s Shain Park will play host to a veritable blue light special of jazz this week. This free event, which highlights the talents of mainly Detroit and former Detroit jazzheads is the perfect family outing or romantic date spot, so swing by and feel the groove 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and 11 a.m-9:30 p.m. Saturday. Performers include Sheila Landis & Brazilian Love Affair and Alexander Zonjic (Thursday); the James Carter Organ Trio and Gato Barbieri (Friday); and the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra directed by Marcus Belgrave, with Thornetta Davis, Kenny Garrett and David Benoit (Saturday). Call 248-644-1700 for further information.
17 THU • MUSIC Family Funfest
featuring Spongebob Squarepants — So school’s out for summer, and the kids are already bored. What to do, what to do? Why not bring the tykes to the Meadow Brook Music Festival’s Family Funfest? Touting an assortment of entertainment for young and old on the pavilion stage (including trapeze artists, a kiddie train and moon walk), the true highlight of the day’s events is sure to be the appearance of one of the most lovable invertebrates of our time — Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants. Spongebob’s fans will be able to give bear hugs and take photographs with their funny pal. At Meadow Brook Theatre at Oakland University in Rochester. Call 248-645-6666 for tickets.
17 THU • MUSIC Fundraiser for the Furnace — Detroit-based literary journal the Furnace has fast become an important addition to the local scene. And on the tails of their highly successful first issue, this quarterly will be hosting celebration-fundraiser No. 2 in conjunction with the release of their issue No. 2. Food will be provided by Jacoby’s, Salvador Deli, Traffic Jam and Eph McNally’s Deli. Performers include the Singles, Mod Orange, Blair and DJ Brad Hales. At Alvin’s (5756 Cass Ave., Detroit). Call 313-831-4577 for more information.
18FRI • ART Gwen Joy — The word “unique” is forever being overused. But in the case of raven-haired artist Gwen Joy “unique” is absolutely appropriate. From her imaginative obsession with elves to her penchant for junk art to her childlike (though somehow sophisticated) drawings, Joy will leave you scratching your head and grinning for days. Listen to singer-songwriter Audra Kubat and partake of the English tea and biscuit from 2-4 p.m. at the opening at Small World Café (111 E. Kirby, Detroit). Call 313-874-2233 for further details.