A fundraising event is planned for long-time local non-profit Row-by-Row (formerly Buckets of Rain) at Broomstack Kitchen & Taphouse in Maple City on Sunday, Sept. 24. Festivities run from 3 to 6 pm and include food, a silent auction, live music by the Dune Brothers and a tribute to the music of Gordon Lightfoot by Paul Koss, Patrick Niemisto and Chris Skellenger. Row-by-Row has been involved in food security in northern Michigan, Detroit, Guatemala, and several parts of Africa since 2007. The majority of their efforts in recent years focus on providing fresh, locally grown vegetables to area pantries and shelters via Northern Michigan Food Rescue.

Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor hosts music and poetry with singer-songwriters Jim Crockett, Patrick Niemisto, John Kumjian, and The Beach Bards poetry and storytelling troupe on Sunday, April 30, from 4-6 p.m. Admission is free. Patrons are encouraged to make a good will offering to the Empire Area Community Center for those in the community who have fallen on hard times. The EACC is a 501(c)3 public charity.

The first annual LivelyLands is about to kick off, Aug. 25-27, at the 5-acre Lively farm off Bow Road, just one mile south of Big Glen Lake. Headlining acts include Austin favorite The Deer and northern Michigan songster Seth Bernard.

“You’ve got to do what you dig, / Dig what you do / On this rock spinning through the sky …” So sings Patrick Niemisto in one of his original songs that you can hear on the summer sundeck at Boonedocks in Glen Arbor, or on the CD N3C by the local power folk trio New Third Coast. That’s just one of the bands and venues frequented by Niemisto, the busiest man in local show business. Besides gigging every day all summer (sometimes twice, for years), Patrick produces other’s CDs in the Holy Wah sound studio in his basement, provides gear and/or sound for countless gigs and musicians, arranges for the seven-nights-a-week summer of music on the Boonedocks deck, teaches private lessons, champions the next generation of up-and-coming musical stars, teaches audio tech at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, and presides over the spiritual epicenter of the local folk music scene at his home in the woods in Leelanau County with his wife, Mary Kay.

Singer-songwriter-instrumentalist John Kumjian’s new CD, “Vulnerable,” is particularly poignant in light of his recent health scare. The popular “Mr. K,” as he’s known to hundreds of kids he taught at Glen Lake School, nearly died on the operating table two years ago.

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.

Among the many Fourth of July celebrations in Leelanau County, one of the longest running may be the Flag Raising Ceremony held at the century-plus Old Settlers Picnic Grounds in Burdickville. Sponsored by the Glen Lake Women’s Club, chairwoman Josephine Zara promises “an old-fashioned, country flag-raising,” beginning at 10 o’clock with services by local Cub Scout Pack #111. Retired United States Navy officer Peter Van Nort of Glen Arbor, who served with Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, will give the address, “We Are the People.” Soprano Susan Pocklington of Empire will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner,” accompanied by Maple City’s Patrick Niemisto on keyboard, Amy Peterson on flute, and David Watt on drum, both of Glen Arbor. A community sing-along, free flags for the children, cookies and lemonade will conclude the event.

If 2011 continues to be as full of excitement, exhilaration, and adulation as its first weekend, Emma Cook is headed for quite a year. On the evening of Sunday, Jan. 2, Emma packed The Loading Dock restaurant/bar in Traverse City with almost 200 of her closest friends for the release party of her new CD, “Days of Wonder”. The fruit of a semester off from the University of Vermont, and an autumn of intense work with Patrick Niemisto at the Holy Wah Studio near Maple City, Days of Wonder is a harvest of Emma’s crystalline voice and emerging songwriting skills.