About The Ark
Four churches in Ann Arbor, Michigan, pooled their resources in 1965 and launched The Ark as a “coffeehouse ministry” to attract young people for discussion and entertainment. Church leaders encouraged folk music performances from the start as a way to distinguish their ministry from other community youth services in town. When the founders sought a residential manager to handle bookings and supervise the space during performances, they offered the job to local musician Dave Siglin and his wife Linda, who moved into The Ark in November 1968. Through to their retirement in 2008, the Siglins lent The Ark their distinctive personal vision, which encompassed emphasizing local and regional musicians and generally eschewing big name acts and the “almost famous” in favor of creating an intimate and transcendent musical exchange between performer and audience. The setting of the original Ark on Hill Street (1965-1984) was a combination of folk music coffeehouse, community center, and private home. The Ark continues today in its third location, in downtown Ann Arbor, as one of the country’s premier listening room.