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Mark your calendars for the next Empire Area Community Emergency Fund Concert on Sunday, March 29, from 4-6 p.m. at Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor. This will be a very special performance by featured artists Sue and Bill Dungjen.

Glen Arbor and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore area enjoyed an economic and tourism boom in the mid-1990s, and now the businesses borne of that boom are coming of age. Brad Anderson was a youthful 27 years old when he bought Steffens IGA in 1994 from Bill and Jan Heston and renamed it Anderson’s Market. Bit by bit he updated the interior and modernized the inventory, but not until this year did the grocery store in the heart of Glen Arbor get a complete facelift.

Gerry Shiffman, president of the Empire Area Community Center, reports that last Sunday’s Empire Area Emergency Fund Concert was a blast — and marked the two-year anniversary of the unique, community supported effort. The performers at Art’s Tavern were folksinger Jim Crockett along with Chris Skellenger, Patrick Niemisto and the gifted Beach Bards including Norm Wheeler, Bronwyn Jones and Joe Vandermeulen, who played to a full house. The impromptu appearance of Louan Lechler, Sandy Blumenfeld and the Leelanau School’s budding musicians was icing on the cake.

The next Empire Area Community Emergency Fund Concert will be held on Sunday, April 27, from 4-6 p.m. at Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor. The featured performers include the legendary “Jim Crockett and the Beach Bards” . Come out and celebrate the second anniversary of the Empire Area Community Emergency Fund Program.

The Empire Area Community Emergency Fund’s next monthly concert will be held on Sunday, March 30, from 4-6 p.m. at Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor, and feature the amazing talent of Robin Lee Berry and Glenn Wolff. As always, these fine performers are donating their time and talent to support the relief efforts of the Empire Area Community Emergency Fund. Every dime that is collected from your free-will donation is used to assist people of need within our community.

Singer-songwriter Blake Elliott makes some of her signature music at the Glen Arbor Art Association’s next “Talk About Art” interview. This versatile musician writes the music — a rich fusion of funk/blues/indie folk — and the lyrics she sings. Elliott, a Traverse City resident, creates music inspired by the natural beauty of her home and “this big adventure called ‘Life.’” Her instrument of choice is the guitar, and she and Talk About Art host Sarah Bearup-Neal will talk about how it’s helping her make her way through a maze of concert dates and the brave new world of recorded music.

The next Empire Area Community Emergency Fund Concert will be held on Sunday, March 2, from 4-6 p.m. at Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor with a featured performance by “Good Boy”. Learn more about how the Empire Area Emergency Fund is helping anonymous local individuals in need.

The Empire Area Emergency Fund will hold the next of its monthly concerts on Sunday, Jan. 26 from 4-6 p.m. at Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor. The Awesome Uncle “Z” Band will perform a free live concert. Organizers will pass the bucket to collect free will donations to support the efforts of the Emergency Fund.

It’s cold and dark in the north country, and the cheery onslaught of tourists is many months away. But those of us who stick around through the winter still deserve to eat, and eat well. Thanks to a bevy of deals and discounts offered at local restaurants, we shall not starve.

Art’s Tavern Tim Barr reports that “Art’s will be closed from Monday night, Dec. 23, at 10 p.m. until breakfast at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 26, for re-varnishing the bar and other maintenance tasks. “Merry Christmas to all!” he says.