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Novel concept

January 7, 2008 - Diane Speer
Welcome to my new blog that is devoted to the arts in and around the Alpena area. Art in all its varied forms is a subject that in the past hasn’t had too much of a presence on our Alpena News website. As you’ve likely noticed, we’ve done a whole new redesign of our site. Now, between this blog and added content from the newspaper’s Lifestyles page, that previous lack of arts presence should be changing. In this inaugural blog entry, I just have to make a big deal about Alpena’s participation in The Great Michigan Read. Like the rest of the state, residents here are being encouraged to read Ernest Hemingway’s “The Nick Adams Stories,” and then take part in about a dozen different related activities that include everything from a panel discussion of local experts to viewing old Hemingway movies to seeing a traveling Hemingway museum exhibit. It’s a novel concept in more ways than one, and was developed by the Michigan Humanities Council to inspire everyone to read or rekindle their love for literature. As a former English major in college, I know I’m certainly enthused about revisiting an author who I haven’t read or studied in years. Later this week, I’ll give you my take on “The Nick Adams Stories,” which I’m just finishing up. In the meantime, for a full listing of local related Hemingway activities, go to To find out more about the statewide initiative, go to By the way, I do welcome and encourage feedback. Please just try to keep it fairly positive. Obviously, we are not New York or Chicago, but for a community of our size, we are quite fortunate to have all of the cultural or arts offerings that we do, plus all of the many talented artists, musicians, educators and performers who are right here in our own backyard. That’s exactly what and who I hope to celebrate through this new ongoing blog.


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