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March 31, 1977 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-03-31

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Page Five

inursoay, Iv~Orcn z~r, r~rrTH~MICH1GAN DAILY'

P~e Five

David and Linda Siglin

The Ark: Unfettered ol
WALKING EASTWARD on Hill Street, just past Olivia, you will
find on your left number 1421.
Across the lawn, by a small cluster of pine trees taller than
the house itself, up three steps, and past a solid hardwood door is
a little foyer. Photographs and posters cover the entrance way,
serving as memories of the many people whose music has pleased
the minds of others and resounded cheerfully to the very rafters
of the three-story building.
This is the Ark, Ann Arbor's folk music haven since the early
T ALL BEGAN when several members of the First Presbyterian
Church of Ann Arbor decided that the town needed a folk music
coffee house, As the church already owned a large house good for
the purpose, all they needed were a few additional sponsors.
Without much trouble, they recruited the Northside Presbyterian
Church, the Calvary Church, the Campus Chapel, and Canterbury
House for this purpose. The project was underway, with Ann and
Jim Fieker, two missionaries, at the helm.
At first, the program was limited to local professionals, semi-
professionals, and amateur folk artists. A number of the perform-
ers were University students, including one named David Siglin.
In 1969, the Ark took a turn for the better, when the Fiekers
asked David and his wife Linda if they would like to become the
tnew managers of the coffee house.
"'WE SAID, 'Sure, why not? We've never done that sort of
thing before'." reminisce David and Linda eight years later.
Immediately, the pair began to revitalize and expand the
Ark's programs. First, they started bringing in performers from
outside the Ann Arbor area. By asking each artist to recommend
another one, they soon built a large group of friends and perform-
ers throughout the nationwide folk community. As Friday and
Saturday evenings came to be dominated by outside artists, Wed-
nesday nights were set aside for hootenannies, and Thursday be-
came local night.
Workshops, children's concerts, rap sessions, Sunday evening
Spcred Harp religious performances, and community dinners also
became part of the bill of fare. In addition, they offered the Ark
as space for community o:ganizations, such as Ozone House and
Community Switchboard, in need of a place to raise money and
holk other events.
AS YOU STEP out of the foyer and into the Ark itself, you
will encounter smiling Linda or the more serious David eagerly A seasoned folk fa
awaiting the admission fees that help keep the Ark going. You'll
be informed, "There's coffee
and tea back there-just make
yourself comfortable."
After choosing between tea
and coffee, your next decision
will be where to sit. Close to the
performers are rows of flowery
upholstered floor cushions; far-
ther back in two cozy side rooms
are old, but sturdy wooden'
While shoes are removed and
folk-lovers settle into their seats,
nine-year-old Anya Siglin skips
around near the staircase and
the grey six-toed cat acquaints
itself with the evening's patrons.
Upon query, Fleetamay, the
large, bristle-faced dog can be
heard remarking, "We just love
folk music, not to mention the
popcorn left over from'intermis-
PROMPTLY at nine o'clock,
Linda, dressed in one of her H
many colorful outfits, will wade
through the sea of eager listen-
ers to announce who the night
will bring. Without delay, she
will be replaced by the perform-
er, who will engulf The crowd in
music for a first set that usually
lasts about an hour.
Immediately after the set
ends, Linda's voice is heard in
the back proclaiming, "There's
tea, coffee, and doughnuts, and
popcorn will be out in a minute.
Enjoy yourself!" Intermissions
at the Ark are almost as much
fun as the concert itself. The
music of upcoming artists filters
softly from the speakers as reg- Ark favorite Dlid Bromberx
ulars and newcomers mingle, 2
talking, joking, and spilling tea
and popcorn. Frequently, the
performer uses this break to
See THE, Page 6
Photos by

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Local musician Bob Schetter

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