Feb. 1st – Feb. 28th: Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center in Lansing, MI
Current Art Exhibition: Sorry, I'm Not Leaving | Britta Urness
Feb. 1st: Mid-Winter Singing & Folk Festival Workshop
1:40pm – 2:40pm at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing, MI
Featuring Sarah Wallace.
Feb. 1st: Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center in Lansing, MI
Noon – 2pm: Adult Workshop - Intro to Color Pencil Drawing with Miranda Sue Hartman
Feb. 2nd: Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center in Lansing, MI
11am – 3pm: Open Art House - Space to work on an art project, bring your own materials.
Feb 6th: Opportunity Arts presents Another Artists’ Networking Event
7pm – 9pm at Henry’s Place in Okemos, MI
Feb 7th: Davalois Fearon Dance Master Class
10:30am – Noon at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) in Brooklyn, NY
Featuring Davalois Fearon
Feb. 8th: Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center in Lansing, MI
Noon – 2pm: Adult Workshop: Tapestry Making with Carrie Byington-Oei (Sold Out)
Feb. 9th: Burning Desires: An Afternoon of Love Poetry
2pm – 4pm at UrbanBeat in Lansing, MI
Featuring Sarah Wallace & Liudmila Bondar
Feb. 9th: The Poetry Room: Family Room – MSU CUPSI Fundraiser
6:30pm at Henry’s Place in Okemos, MI
Feb. 11th: The Poetry Room: Family Business featuring Amy Love
7pm at The Robin Theatre in Lansing, MI
Featuring Isabella J. Mansfield, Sarah Vedolich, & Morgan Madden
Feb. 12th: The Artist's Umbrella Presents "A Chance of Showers" Open Mic
Noon – 2pm at Reputation Beverage in Lansing, MI
Feb. 13th: Downtown Traffic Jam
4:30pm – 6pm at the Knapp’s Building in Lansing, MI
Featuring the Artists Umbrella
Feb. 14th: Davalois Fearon Dance Master Class
10:30am – Noon at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) in Brooklyn, NY
Featuring Davalois Fearon
Feb. 18th: City of Lansing Listening Session for Artists & Creatives
5:30pm – 7pm at the Lansing Public Media Center in Lansing, MI
Feb. 21st: Davalois Fearon Dance Master Class
10:30am – Noon at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) in Brooklyn, NY
Featuring Davalois Fearon
Feb. 25th - March 1: Talent Inc. Conference
B Resort & Spa in Orlando, FL.
Featuring Stephano Andreotti
Feb. 26th: The Artist’s Umbrella Vol. IX featuring Scorpion
6pm at The Loft in Lansing, MI
Featuring Grace Carras & Lithic Creations
Sarah Elizabeth Wallace best known for her vocal performances of opera, musical theatre, and jazz, is also a multi-faceted artist who expresses herself through numerous art forms, including, music, dance, acting, poetry, arts education, and multi-media art forms. Hailing from Lansing, MI, Sarah studied Architectural Technology and Design at Lansing Community College before going on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Vocal Performance) with a Minor in Spanish Business from Oral Robert's University in Tulsa, OK. Sarah is also a member of the professional Actors’ Equity Association.
Coming from a family of professional artists, Sarah has presented her art at numerous theatres and venues throughout Michigan and other states. She started her professional singing career at the age of 5 as Caroline Kennedy in Accidentally Exalted for the Kenneth Robbins Opera Company in St. Paul, MN and performed in her first professional tour as an 8 year old as part of Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol with Bill Fegan Attractions out of Dallas, TX. As an adult, Sarah’s work has been presented at Katalyst Gallery, Absolute Gallery, and the Turner Dodge House & Heritage Center in Old Town Lansing, Boarshead Professional Theatre of Lansing, MI, Silver Bells In The City, Okemos Barn Theatre, Civic Players, as a guest choreographer for DANCE Lansing, and as a guest choreographer & vocal performer for Lansing Community College, and numerous events in Wayne, NJ including the Broadway Young Artists’ Program. She has performed at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, Knox County Memorial Theatre in Mount Vernon, OH, and has performed with the Opera Grand Rapids. In 2018, Sarah performed in New York City at Carnegie Hall as part of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus with the Grand Rapids Symphony.
Sarah has won numerous awards including a collegiate Outstanding Music Award, 1st Place for ''O mio babbino caro'' (Giacomo Puccini), with Takis Pizanis--Accompanist" for the Third Annual Lawyers Got Talent in 2013, and Dinner with Jerome Hines - Metropolitan Opera New York Basso Profundo. She recorded with other professional artists including Peter Kaukonen, the lead guitarist for Jefferson Starship, in a collaboration called JL Hannah's Sum Voices - of Autumn and Insight. Sarah is a published arts writer and has been featured on numerous publications and media outlets including an interview & performance with her mother for Fox 47 regarding their performance at the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame. She has been featured in Lansing City Pulse, and the Lansing State Journal on numerous occasions for her work as a choreographer and professional singer. Sarah has also done professional voice over work for Detroit Metropolitan area TV commercials and product promotions in Detroit, New Jersey and New York City including for L’Oreal, Vogue Magazine, BBMAK Tour, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Teen People and ABC Daytime Soapstars.
When not engaging in her artistic talents, Sarah loves participating in sports, including community outreach events that include 5Ks, half-marathons, marathons and triathlons, such as the Race for the Cure - Susan Komen Foundation, Bark in the Dark in Grand Rapids, MI, and Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, MI. Sarah has a great love of learning foreign languages and understanding different cultures. She loves the outdoors and loves animals, including her cat.
For more information on Sarah and her work visit:
Album Release Party & Concert
Saturday, January 11th, 2020 at 7:30pm
1213 Turner St. Lansing, MI 48906
(Lansing, MI) –Matt Bliton, and the Matt Bliton Band are proud to announce the release of their 3rd Album entitled “Out of the Woods”. A concert and release party for the album will take place on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 7:30pm at one of Lansing’s most prestigious music venues, UrbanBeat in Old Town. Tickets for the event are $10.00 in advance, and $15.00 at the door. To purchase tickets visit www.urbanbeatevents.com.
Matt Bliton Band is a Mid-Michigan based Folk-Rock & Blues jam band fronted by internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter Matt Bliton. The band draws influence from acts such as James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and The Eagles. The band released their first album, “Solid Ground, Endless Sky” in 2013, and followed that up with the release of their second album “New Morning” in 2015. This third album, “Out of the Woods”, is mix of blues rock, rock and roll, jam band, basso nova, Latin and folk rock. It is filled with incredible instrumentation, thoughtful songwriting, and tight harmonies. The album, which was recorded with Ryan Wert at Elm Street Recording, will also features Rick Seguin on harmonies, Mark Thompson on trumpet, Gary Clavette on sax, Mark Kieme on flute and sax, Joshua Dunigan and Ty Forquer on percussion. “We are always excited to get a chance to play our music for our families, friends, and fans,” says Bliton. We are really looking forward to the release of our third album, and hope everyone has as much fun listening to it, as we did making it.”
Matt Bliton Band has performed at local live music venues throughout Mid-Michigan including The Robin Theatre, (SCENE) Metrospace, The Loft, EagleMonk Pub & Brewery, and The Avenue. The band has been featured in the Lansing City Pulse, and on Michigan State University’s WKAR. They have also been featured at local music & performance festivals including BluesFest, Renegade Theatre Festival, and Pumpstock Festival of American Roots Music. The Band’s Single “Bus Called America” received a 2018 international songwriting award.
The band has been performing for the past decade. In that time, band members have included Matt Bliton (Vocals, Guitar, & Harmonica), Jim Green (Vocals, Guitar), Tersa Goforth (Vocals), Nate Bliton (Keyboard, Strings), Steve Springer (Drums), Chuck Page (Bass), Robby Richardson (Keyboard, Vocals), Pat Hudson (Bass), Rick Seguin (Vocals), & Jon Ritz (Bass, Percussion)
For more information on Matt Bliton, the Matt Bliton Band, and their work visit:
Direct Link to purchase tickets to the Concert & Release Party at UrbanBeat visit:
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Sarah Vedolich is an emerging artist, writer, spoken word artist, poet, and singer/songwriter, originally from Imlay City, MI, and now residing in Lansing. Sarah is in pre-production on her first book, which should be available to the public the first part of 2020.
Sarah’s passion for the art of the spoken word developed while she was a student at Michigan State University. She has performed the art form at a variety of venues over the past decade including at The Poetry Room at the Robin Theatre, The Artist’s Umbrella at the Loft, The Creative Collective, and at the State Capitol Building on multiple occasions. You can also see Sarah at many of the local open mics, where she combines her spoken word, and musical talent.
One of Sarah’s greatest passions is utilizing her artistic talents to connect with others through spoken word, writing, music, and story-telling. She enjoys sharing her talents with others, and collaborating to hone her craft. She continually explores ways in which she can share her art with others, and is excited to be a part of the Greater Lansing Artistic Community.
For more information on Sarah & her work visit:
Seizing the Opportunity: The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center Becomes an Opportunity Arts Affiliate.
A staple of the Lansing Arts Community for the better part of a century, The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center has provided public awareness, education, and enjoyment of the visual arts by promoting the works of Michigan artists, while enhancing the quality of life and cultural well-being of the community. Established as Lansing first permanent art gallery in 1965, the organization provides a permanent cultural facility & outreach initiatives to fulfill its mission, ensuring that exhibits, educational programs and opportunities to purchase Michigan art are available to the public. Supported in part by memberships, individual donors, sponsors, and grantors, the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center features the works of over 100 Michigan artists. From fine art to fine craft, the organization boasts a large collection of exceptional Michigan-made jewelry, glass, sculpture, paintings, pottery, and wearable art for viewing & for sale.
The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center serves as one of Michigan’s key cultural resources, presenting annual art exhibits including the Michigan Made: Holiday Art Exhibit, and ArtPath: Public Art on the Lansing River Trail. The organization also presents annual arts education initiatives including Art Scholarship Alert, workshops, and youth camps. The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center has provided more than 500 free art exhibitions and granted over $100,000 in awards for students. Now located in the heart of downtown Lansing at 119 North Washington Square, the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 11a.m. to 6p.m, on Saturdays from 11a.m. to 3p.m, and on the 1st Sunday of the Month from 11a.m. to 3p.m. Admission is FREE and everyone is welcome!
For More Information on the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center Visit:
Bianca Green is a dancer, choreographer, model, and actor with over a decade and a half of experience in the industry. Originally from Chicago, IL, she has performed throughout the Midwest at fashion shows & special events. While living in Chicago, she was a member of RH School of Performing Arts Next Level, and the Domino Effect dance group. Bianca recently relocated to Lansing, MI, and brought her dance & modeling studio, 24 Karat Talent to Michigan’s Capital City.
At 24 Karat Talent, Bianca teaches a variety of classes & workshops including Beginner & Intermediate Modeling, Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern, & Contemporary. Her goal with these classes is to help aspiring young Mid-Michigan based dancers & models gain access to the same opportunities she was afforded in the big city. Bianca also teaches a Wine & Heels Class where attendees can kick back and let off steam, as well as a Female Empowerment Heels Class that focuses on building self-esteem & confidence.
A devoted wife & mother, Bianca studied Drama & Theatre at Prairie State College before embarking on her career. As a dancer, she has performed with Missy Elliott at the BET Hip Hop Awards, as a background dancer for Rapper, Singer & Songwriter Tink, and was featured in the Bud Billiken Parade, the largest African-American Parade in the United States. Her modeling credits include being a part of the American Beauty Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Pro Beauty Hair Show in Atlanta, as a painted statue at the Arts Institute in Chicago, for the Black Women’s Expo, and was featured in Blackhair Magazine as a model for Avlon. As an actor, she has been on such notable shows as NBC’s trifecta of Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, and as a patient on Chicago Med. She also appeared as a background singer, dancer, and stand-in on 3 seasons of Fox’s hit show Empire.
For more information on Bianca & her work visit:
Allison Spooner is an accomplished writer and author from Lansing, MI. Her first book, Flash in the Dark: A Collection of Flash Fiction was released in 2018, and her second book, The Problem With Humans: And Other Stories was released in September of 2019. Allison specializes in flash fiction (stories told in less than 1,000 words) and bringing worlds, characters, and stories to life in as few words as possible. Aside from her books, Allison’s work has also been featured in the science fiction anthology, Future Visions. Allison has integrated writing in almost every aspect of her life, from work, to fun, and even in her sleep, as many of her story ideas come from her dreams.
Allison holds a degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University, and gives presentations & workshops on how to use Flash Fiction to break through writer’s block. For the past decade, Allison has also been using her passion for words and writing to tell the stories of businesses across Michigan. She has written for various publications including, Capital Gains, Greater Lansing Business Monthly, Startup Lansing, and Rapid Growth.
Allison uses her words to connect with others the way she felt connected to books and stories as a child. She is the co-founder and co-host of The Creative Collective in Mason, MI, an open-mic designed to motivate & inspire writers to achieve their goals. Some of her personal goals are to be featured on future book tours, getting her stories adapted to television & film, and to create a Mid-Michigan writers room for the next generation of writers.
Allison has a passion for helping others feel their best and thrive even at their worst. She is the creator of the Three to Thrive Fulfillment Theory: the idea is that there are three things about you, three core things that you need to take care of, nourish, and keep in alignment, in order to truly thrive. When she isn’t writing, Allison loves doing yoga, watching movies, spending time with her family, and spoiling her baby, a miniature schnauzer named Luna.
For more information on Allison & her work visit:
Morgan Madden is a spoken word artist, poet, lyricist, and founder of Mad Man Poetics. Born and raised in Mason, MI, Morgan is a second generation artist, and seventh generation Lansing resident. He released his first album “Qualifiers” in June of 2018. The album features Morgan’s poem “An Ode to the 517”, which has become an anthem for residents of Mid-Michigan.
Morgan has collaborated with multiple local & national musical artists including “The Devil’s Cut”. He has also been featured on the Lansing Public Media Center’s City TV. Morgan has performed throughout the Capital City at venues such as REO Town Art Attack, The Poetry Room at The Robin Theatre, The Artist’s Umbrella at The Loft, the grand opening of The Fledge in Lansing, and at Lansing Brewing Company’s 2018 New Year’s Party.
In 2019, Morgan got the opportunity to perform at the State Capital Building, the most recognizable symbol of the city he loves. Morgan is proud of his Lansing lineage, and of the contributions his family & ancestors have made on the city & the region. Through his art and creativity, Morgan is leaving his own indelible mark on Michigan’s Capital City, and The 517 as a whole.
For more information on Morgan & his work visit:
Since its inception in 2017, The Poetry Room has been a home for poets and songwriters to hone their skills and a platform to showcase them. Founded by host, Masaki Takahashi under the guidance of Dylan Rogers, The Poetry Room open mic is fast paced, easily accessible, entertaining, and is unlike any other poetry open mic you may attend. Included into the mix is Masaki’s long-time friend, Kevin Nguyen who takes amazing, professional quality photos of the events and sets the music used for transitions between acts. Together, they have found a formula to reach the masses, build community, and give voice to a diverse group of blossoming poets and musicians while becoming Lansing’s mecca for major talent.
Save June & July, The Poetry Room takes place on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at the Robin Theatre in Lansing, MI’s REO Town Neighborhood. There is a line to sign up to perform that starts forming about a quarter to 7:00pm, the doors open at 7:00pm sharp, and the list to perform is usually full by 7:05pm. If you are not there by 7:30pm, it will be very difficult to find a seat. The show starts at 7:45pm.
The Poetry Room, which was recently featured on a billboard created by the City of Lansing, is free to attend, though there is a suggested donation of $5-$10. Each event has a loose theme that guests, and participants are encouraged, but not required, to consider. The Lansing based poetry & music talent performing at The Poetry Room shows the immense artistic talent that Michigan’s Capital City possesses, or as Masaki puts it, “all killers, no fillers”.
Masaki Takahashi is the host and founder of The Poetry Room. Heavily influenced by hip hop and the elements of improvisation, he brings his skills to engage the crowd to have high powered events, which attracts the freshest talents from the surrounding areas. Masaki has been a featured poet for the Lansing 5:01 DamJam, the Lansing Poetry Club, Reo Town Readings, the 55th Annual East Lansing Art Festival, The Artist’s Umbrella, and Williamston Art Fest. He has been featured on HOMTV, The Mike Bass Podcast, LCC Radio “Lansing Loud & Local”, Michigan Business Network, The State News, The Citizen Press, and The City Pulse.
Masaki has participated in Freestyle battles at Freestyle Monday in NYC, and the UAB Freestyle Rap Competition. He is the winner of Scratch Pilot, MC competition at Green Door in Lansing, Michigan, and a finalist in the Michigan State University Poetry Slam Competition in 2012. He has been an opener for Detroit based rapper Invincible, and national touring poet Neil Hilborn. His work also allows him to run educational workshops in Everett New Tech High for programming, and another in poetry. By focusing on one school, he believes he can harness a better relationship with the school and students. Masaki holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Arts and Technology from Michigan State University, and another Bachelor of Science from Davenport University in Computer Science.
For more information on Masaki & The Poetry Room visit:
Thursday, Sept. 5th –Saturday, Sept. 7th, 2019
REO Town - Lansing
(Lansing, MI) – The 2019 Threadbare Mitten Film Festival, aptly titled “Bright Lights, Big City”, will be the first time the festival will be within the city limits of Lansing. The festival, which started in Charlotte, MI in 2017, will be taking place in Lansing’s REO Town neighborhood Thursday, September 5th – Saturday, September 7th, and will feature sixty two selections from thirteen different countries, however a third of the selections will be films from Michigan. The festival will also feature two free community screening events, four feature films, and a multitude of Michigan, U.S., and World Premiers. Participating venues for the festival will be REO Town staples Blue Owl Coffee, Reo Town Pub, and The Robin Theatre. Limited Festival Passes are available for $25.00. For more information, & to purchase tickets, visit www.threadbarefilmfest.com.
The Threadbare Mitten Film Festival (TMFF) was created to fill the perceived gap in the Michigan festival circuit between traditional "independent" film festivals and horror/sci-fi "genre" festivals. “I wanted to create a home for the odd and eccentric films that were slipping through the cracks, yet still deserved an appreciative audience,” said Dan Kofoed, the festival’s founder and director. A celebration of genre cinema, the TMFF has been described as a grassroots, anti-genre, but all-genre film festival. The festival’s films can play straight to their genre, blend between genres, or fall entirely into the gap between. The festival prides itself on featuring films crafted with pure artistry. “I don't mind if an independent film is occasionally a little 'threadbare' and shows the seams of its budget,” says Kofoed. TMFF also has a dedication to featuring films made in Michigan, or films that are created by Michigan filmmakers.
Other than the films themselves, another thing that sets the Threadbare Mitten Film Festival apart is their thematic programming. “We offer both a selection of films, and presentation of those films that is distinct and coherent,” said Kofoed. “We program our festival so that the audience knows what they are buying a ticket to.” The festival is broken up into different program blocks, including Michigan Student Films, Documentaries, Short Comedies, Michigan Feature Films, and Surreal Short Films. Each program block is of a piece, telling a larger story through the films within it.
The move to REO Town for the third year was partly from neighborhood pride, and partly in search of the larger local audience that Kofoed feels these films deserve. “REO Town lets us recreate the ‘small town’ atmosphere we are known for, while providing all the amenities that being in Lansing has to offer.” The Threadbare Mitten Film Festival has a few traditions that they are bringing with them to REO Town which include free public screenings, jury and audience awards featuring local handcrafted trophies, and the Friday night Film.Craft.Beer Party.
For a full list of films, directors, programs, and the entire 2019 Threadbare Mitten Film Festival Schedule visit: www.threadbarefilmfest.com/2019tmff
News about Opportunity Arts and it's Affiliates.
Seizing the Opportunity:
The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center Becomes an Opportunity Arts Affiliate.
Seizing the Opportunity:
The Poetry Room with
Masaki Takahashi becomes
Opportunity Arts Affiliates.