Join us in a year-long celebration and a walk down memory lane with Little Artshram, aka Greater Lansing ARTSPACE, aka North Town Art Center—as we celebrate our 20th year of service as a Michigan based non-profit organization through ART—MUSIC—-PUPPETS—-COMMUNITY & NEIGHBORHOOD GARDENS—THE EARTH DAY PARADE—–PIE SOCIALS & SQUARE DANCES——PERMACULTURE——and a few hundred other creative, culture-making, community and family friendly adventures!

Want to get involved and help plan a 20 year Reunion in 2014?  Contact us at


Happy Birthday Little Artshram aka Greater Lansing ARTSPACE…

Make a Local, Regional and State-wide Difference:


November 1-3, 2013

November 1st-3rd, marks the dates of the Inaugural Michigan Permaculture Convergence, with an invitation to people of all ages and interest levels are invited to come together in a weekend gathering that will take place at Camp Talahi, in South Eastern Michigan.

The convergence is seeking healthy, organic food donations or financial sponsorship to contribute to expenses and scholarship for those in need.  We have 60+ registrations and the numbers are climbing with support requests and need for us to nourish ALL who are in attendance for this weekend event.  We would love to include perennial fruit, nuts and vegetables in our menu and sharing of food.

As you may know, Permaculture is a practical way to apply ecological design principles to food, housing, and energy systems; making growing fruits, vegetables and livestock easier and more sustainable.

Permaculture is also a vision of consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature. It is a positivist response to a shared perception that we are reaching a fossil fuel-supported energy peak and will soon descend into a low energy future (if we haven’t already begun the descent).

“Positivist” means permaculture is “about what we want to do and can do, rather than what we oppose and want others to change. This response is both ethical and pragmatic, philosophical and technical.

Permaculture is an integrated and integrative design science which applies the use of systems thinking and design principles that provide the organizing framework for implementing the above vision. It draws together the diverse ideas, skills, and ways of living which need to be rediscovered and developed…to empower us to move from being dependent consumers to becoming responsible and productive citizens. Permaculture is holistic, not reductionist science. It aims to reintegrate us into the natural world, not separate us from it further.

In this inaugural year, sponsorship of the convergence will create a stable platform for a permaculturally designed annual event to bring together people from Michigan and Great Lakes bio-region who are interested in sharing knowledge and information about permaculture design, principles, and practice.  The outreach of the convergence is indeed far-reaching.  Michigan “officially” joins a worldwide permaculture network of individuals and groups working in both rich and poor countries on all continents to develop, demonstrate and spread permaculture design solutions.

Little Artshram is pleased to be among the inaugural sponsors of this event!

Here is the 2013 MPC Sponsor and Donation letter/form:

Here is the 2013 MPC  press/media kit:

Thank you very much for your consideration and contribution to this first-time event!

Preview of “MI PERM CONVERGE 2013 logo”

Join Little Artshram and become an Inaugural Sponsor of the Michigan Permaculture Convergence!

Early registration is ending soon – join us at the First Annual Michigan Permaculture Convergence, Nov. 1-3, REGISTER today!

“And that is the secret of success: assembling sufficient commonsense people in one area. If we are one isolated biodynamic gardener in a district of contract vegetable growers or graziers trained in chemical agriculture, we find both the practice and infrastructure support of the isolated system difficult; there may be no one to talk to, let alone share resources with. On the other hand, as land titles in a region are brought out and occupied by any group who share ethical philosophy, so the shops, markets, processing centres, equipment, and support services for the new economy become worthwhile and available” – Bill Mollison, Permaculture; A designers manual p. 514


Preview of “MI PERM CONVERGE 2013.1 Flyer”

Early Registration NOW….for the Michigan Permaculture
“People and Permaculture” and identifying the connecting web that has been cast over Little Artshram’s home-place and our Great Lake State of Michigan is a fitting theme for us, as we celebrate our 20th birthday year.
We are pleased to begin a “forward-back-paddle” and spend a little time sharing tidbits about the connections that have created fertile ground for Little Artshram and ARTSPACE’s birth in Michigan and the people that inspire our projects and work which emerge along with our home-places.
Here’s a little back-paddling:  Little Artshram began in Lansing, Michigan, on Turner Street, as The Greater Lansing ARTSPACE, in 1993.  (We actually began a few years earlier than that and called ourselves North Town Art Center, before taking on our .org/501c3 status.) In this historic district of North Lansing, we had ten years of joyous, creative mayhem taking place in what would become known as Old Town. One of our dearest of dear friends, Robert Busby hosted us in a century old store-front across from his Creole Gallery always supporting and sometimes participating in our family friendly projects and events. This coming weekend, September 15th, sixteen years after this photo of Robert holding a Tree Spirit mask was taken, we’ll be planting trees in Burchard Park around a memorial sculpture an in his honor.
Robert and the Tree Spirit Mask, 1997
In 1998 ARTSPACE closed up shop in Old Town and moved to Northern Michigan, as far as the BIG Lake Michigan lake-shore, first settling in the Leelanau County area.  Shortly afterwards, in 2000 is when The Neahtawanta Center asked for support in building puppets and masks for the annual Earth Day and All-Species Parade, and when we met Bob Russell, Sally Van Vleck and a good crew of Northern Michigan environmentalists. 
Last weekend, our beloved Otter Water Goddess puppet, made by artists and students from the Leelanau School and Glen Lake High School attended the memorial service for Bob Russell honoring our gratefulness and our connections for his life and service.
Otter Water Goddess, 2000
Another remembering and grateful strand in the Little Artshram and ARTSPACE web is that of a fierce and loving mentor, Jayne Walker of The Eco-Learning Center
Our relationship with Jayne continues through the work of Little Artshram and O’k CSA and the LLOOF program with others. Jayne encouraged, approved and supported our growing and learning through a chosen path of permaculture—-although she mentioned a few times that she’d like us to study up in a more formal way on Biodynamics.  She supported and encouraged our endeavors through Little Artshram to expand our experience as cultural creatives and educators, and to work with children, teens and college aged youth learning alongside of them, where our food came from and how to grow food without pillaging the Earth.
Jayne Walker, on her land.

As this forward-back-paddling with Little Artshram and ARTSPACE continues, a little reflection now in this place for our “little” non-profit organization that is so abundantly connected, from Lansing to Traverse City and a few dozen other places we’ve parked our creative, art, community gardening and environmental education cart.

We now, honor this web and many folks with strong, shining spirits, through our support for the collaborative work of The Michigan Permaculture Convergence .

Beginning in December 2012, Little Artshram and an expansive group of permaculture-minded individuals and enthusiasts have been meeting and organizing a state-wide gathering.  The Michigan Permaculture Convergence  will be held at Camp Talahi, in Howell, Michigan, on November 1-3, 2013. This first annual Michigan permaculture event is also the dream seeding of the Great Lakes Bio-Region Permaculture Convergence.

We are remembering and grateful for the continued inspiration that Robert, Jayne and Bob provide and for their nourishment that supported and encouraged Little Artshram and ARTSPACE to keep on keeping on. 



Remembering, Grateful and A Great Fall Gathering…People and

Sun and Rock poster image

Little Artshram and

O’k Puppet Theater and the Pretty Good Players


“Sun and Rock: Stories from Byrd Baylor”

TODAY, August 2, 2012  @ 11:00 am, @ the TCFF Kids Fest, Central Grade School, at the corner of Seventh & Wadsworth , Traverse City, Michigan!

Our 2013 summer puppet theater features Byrd Baylor, author of over 30 well-loved children’s books. Our musical story takes place in two wonderful and powerful places: Arizona and Northern Michigan, near our lovely Grand Traverse Bay.  Accompanying Byrd on this journey is a fourth generation Monarch Butterfly,

a Songbird and a Rabbit.


Monarch Butterfly arrives in Arivaca, Arizona en route to Grand Traverse Bay after wintering in Michoacan, Mexico. There he meets the author Byrd Baylor and her friends, Songbird Girl and Rabb-It. The group joins together in reading Byrd’s book, The Way To Start a Day.

“Zuni Melody” Traditional

“Daylight” Adam Levine, etal

“Here Comes the Sun” George Harrison

“House of the Rising Sun” Traditional

“Sunny” Bobby Hebb

In Between: “You are the Sunshine of my Life” Stevie Wonder


Leaving the desert, the group is now in Northern Michigan, at the edge of the Great Lake. Attuned to the power of Nature, the group shares the ten rules of finding a rock, from Byrd’s book, Everybody Needs A Rock.

“A Boy and His Rock” Alaric Jans

“Rock Around the Clock Tonight”

Max C. Freedman and Jimmy DeKnight

Our 2013 O’k and Pretty Good Cast and Crew….

Monarch Butterfly: Mike Nunn

Byrd Coyote Baylor: Kenny Perry

Songbird Girl:  Addie Eldridge

Rebel Rabb-It: Emma Burns

Music Director:  Rokko Jans, on Keyboard

Violin: Kerry Alspaugh

TC Sing(ers):  Heather Kingham, Lee Edwards

O’k Puppet Directress:  Penny Krebiehl

Set design and script, inspired by Byrd Baylor and collectively created by the 2013 O’k and Pretty Good Players.

More puppet workshop and performance info:




August 1st, Musical Puppet Show, 11:00 am, TCFF Kids