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Estate sale at Motown Mansion presents opportunity to buy rare Motown memorabilia

If you're a superfan of Motown music, you might have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to own a part of music history. On Oct. 12, an estate sale and global auction will take place at the so-called Motown Mansion, the former home of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. 

"This home is an important part of the fabric of the city of Detroit, and the sale will allow Motown fans from Detroit to Dubai to add a permanent piece to their own collection," said Cynthia F. Reaves, owner of the Motown Mansion, in a press release. "The scope of the collection includes small items as well as impressive collection pieces. I wanted to make this an event that is available to the entire community."

Those pieces include Gordy's old Steinway piano, home movies and slides, original pressings of Motown singles and 45s, antiques, as well as oddities like "an engraved goblet from Hazel Joy and Jermaine Jackson's wedding." The global auction will be open to international bidders to acquire "exclusive high-end antiques, historical Detroit objects, and Motown memorabilia."

There will also be appearances by Motown artists and other special guests, like Duke Fakir of The Four Tops, Kim Weston, and members of legendary Motown backing band The Funk Brothers.

The Motown Mansion is a 10,500 square-foot home in Detroit's Boston Edison neighborhood where Barry lived until 1969. The event is put on by Aaron's Estate Sales.

The three-day estate sale will run daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., October 12 to 14. There is a $5 fee to attend the sale. For more information, go here.

BLAC Magazine lists best ways to celebrate Black History Month in Metro Detroit

Looking for ways to observe Black History Month in Detroit? Well, BLAC Magazine has compiled a helpful list of eight venues and events happening in February around Metro Detroit.

Included in the list are expected institutions like museums, libraries, and universities. For example, The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn is will, for 20 days, "explore different aspects of Black history, from the northern migration and the civil rights era, all the way to present-day issues. Activities will take place throughout the museum, including in the Michigan Café, which will feature African-American-inspired recipes."

A surprising and intriguing inclusion on the list is the downtown PuppetART Detroit Puppet Theater, which is performing "Oh Ananse!", "PuppetART's popular annual hip-hop-flavored take on a West African story."

Click here for the full list with dates and times.

Living Arts commemorates Mexican tradition with month-long series of events

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a holiday of Mexican origins that takes place on November 1 and is dedicated to the memory of relatives and loved-ones who have died. Living Arts, an organization that supports youth arts programming and does a lot of work with Southwest Detroit's Mexican-American community, will be holding an event on October 29 to commemorate the holiday.

Beginning with a procession across the Bagley Street pedestrian bridge, "Teatro Chico—Dia de los Muertos: Nuestras Historias, Our Histories" will culminate with a community meal, music and dance performances, and an exhibition of ofrendas (altars) at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center.

The performances will be given by some esteemed dance and mariachi groups, including Living Arts' own youth dance ensemble.

"Living Arts is proud to be able to contribute to this important conversation about Dia de Los Muertos among all the other wonderful contributions taking place in the Southwest Detroit Community as well as in the greater Detroit area and in Southeast Michigan," stated Erika Villarreal Bunce, Living Arts' director of programs, in a press release. "Through this project we hope to help uplift the ancient roots of Dia de Los Muertos through examining its long history and acknowledging its future. We hope to reconnect with the significance of the tradition as well as help others to learn about and engage on a deeper level with Day of the Dead."

Throughout the month of October Living Arts will also offer art workshops on papermaking, pottery, along with other traditional crafts, using those art objects to create a Dia de Los Muertos Ofrenda. All activities will take place at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center.

The project is sponsored in part by Michigan Humanities Council, the Ford Motor Company Fund, and the Ideal Group.

Teatro Chico: Dia de los Muertos takes place on Saturday, October 29 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. beginning at the Bagley Street pedestrian bridge and moving to the Ford Resource and Engagement Center. The event is free of charge, but donations are encouraged. For more information about the event or workshops, visit the Living Arts event page.

Keegan-Michael Key to invest, spend more time in Detroit

Comedian and Detroit-native Keegan-Michael Key says he's going to invest more in his hometown.

According to an article in The Detroit News, "[Key] makes several trips a year to Detroit and is planning on spending even more time in the city." Part of that plan entails purchasing property here.

Key, most well-known for the groundbreaking comedy show, "Key and Peele" which he wrote with co-star Jordan Peele, has already engaged quite a bit with Detroit: he was one of the co-founders of Hamtramck's Planet Ant Theater and a member of Second City Detroit's mainstage cast (see Model D's article on the local improv scene). He recently filmed for a role in the upcoming Detroit-based comedy television series, "Detroiters."

Model D interviewed Key before his show at the Detroit Film Theater supporting the Detroit Creativity Project last year.

And there's more. "He also wants to tell Detroit stories; he says he's in the early stages of putting together a project that dramatizes Detroit's bankruptcy," writes Adam Graham.

Summer program at downtown YMCA teaches teens about media arts

Y Arts, which does arts programming for the downtown Boll YMCA, is offering a summer program for teens interested in the media arts. The Y Media Works Summer Institute gives campers the opportunity to learn from local media talent and "produce their own film ideas, photography projects, stop motion animation, and digital music compositions," according to promotional materials.

The program, now in its 9th year, is run by Y Arts executive director Margaret Edwartowski, who's had a lengthy career in theater as a writer, director, actor, and improvisor. The team, which is rounded out by other artists with expertise in media, will provide daily instruction and take the campers on field trips to production houses, museums, and studios.

The camp runs from Monday, July 11 to Thursday, August 11, with camp days being Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Every campers' final film will be shown on Saturday, August 20 at the YMCA's Marlene Boll Theatre. 

"We hope that our campers gain experience in photography, digital film production, and visual storytelling working alongside local artists," said Edwartowski by email. "But most of all we seek to provide a fun and creative experience where youth explore and celebrate downtown Detroit."

The camp costs $500, but full and partial scholarships are offered. 

The Y Media Works Summer Institute begins July 11. To apply or learn more, contact Margaret Edwartowski at medwartowski@ymca.org.

Detroit's SXSW? Corktown Strut festival has bold ambitions


Last week, Brian McCollum of the Detroit Free Press reported that a large-scale music festival is coming to Corktown in July. Organizers have dubbed it Corktown Strut, saying that it will feature an eclectic range of performers spanning a wide variety of genres.

Corktown Strut, which is scheduled for July 1-3, will join a number of other large-scale music festivals that take place during the summer in Detroit, including Movement, the Hoedown, and Jazz Fest. It will differ, however, in that its musical acts will represent a variety of genres and that it will place a greater emphasis local food and drink, specifically the restaurants and bars of Corktown.

Organizers hope that Corktown Strut will fill the void left by City Fest (formerly Taste Fest), an annual summer festival that featured a variety of musical acts and local food businesses before it was discontinued in 2009.

Forward Arts, an organization that creates programming to promote Detroit's arts community, is putting on the event in collaboration with a variety of local bookers and event producers, who are curating a musical lineup that will be announced in mid-March.

"We're taking the overall model of [City Fest] and some of the model of (Austin's) South By Southwest, and fitting it to the Corktown neighborhood and our arts community," Dominic Arellano told the Detroit Free Press.

For more information, visit http://www.corktownstrut.com/.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Get down with Banglatown at Oct. 3 block party

 
In recent years, Detroit's Banglatown neighborhood (located just north of Hamtramck) has become known as much for resident artists and community-based art projects as its sizeable Bangladeshi population. Community arts organization Power House Productions, performance art group The Hinterlands, the Bangla School of Music, and winners of Write a House (a permanent artist residency giving away homes to writers) all call Banglatown home, resulting in a neighborhood with many cultural assets.
 
That cultural richness will be on display on Saturday, Oct. 3, during the Banglatown Block Party. According to its Facebook event page, the party will feature arts and culture programming the showcases various project sites Power House Productions has been working on over the past 5 years. Events and activities are planned for houses on Moran, Lawley and Klinger streets, including a workshop with The Hinterlands, music by Bangla School of Music, screenprinting with One Custom City, badminton matches at Sqaush House, and exhibitions by poet Casey Rocheteau and photographer Corine Vermeulen. Later in the day, hip hop duo Passalacqua will emcee a neighborhood talent show and food will be available at Ride It Sculpture Park.
 
Learn more: Facebook

70 Knight Arts Challenge finalists anounced


On June 15, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced the 70 finalists it is considering for 2015 Knight Arts Challenge grants in Detroit. Over 1,000 ideas were submitted to the challenge.

The Knight Arts Challenge first launched in Detroit in 2013. According to its website, the Detroit program "is a $9 million initiative [designed] to draw the best and most innovative ideas out of local organizations and individuals seeking to engage and enrich the community through the arts."

Winners of the 2015 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit will be announced on Oct. 27, "once the finalists’ detailed proposals are reviewed by a panel of local artists and arts advocates."

To learn more about this year's 70 Knight Arts Challenge finalists, click here.

New Center Park's summer series returns with movies, music, 'Macbeth,' and more

Since it opened in 2010, New Center Park has hosted free events every summer, from free concerts to movie screenings. This year is no exception. The summer season kicks off on Wednesday, June 3, with a screening of local film "Detroit Unleaded" in conjunction with the Cinetopia International Film Festival.

This year's movie series, which traditionally took place on Wednesday evenings, has been expanded to two nights. Films for adults will play on Wednesdays and Films for families will play on Fridays.

A series of special events are also scheduled for New Center Park this summer, ranging from a performance of "Macbeth" by Shakespeare in Detroit to musical performances by local artists like Thornetta Davis to a celebration of Motor City Brew Works' 20th anniversary.

For a full schedule of New Center Park's summer series, click here.

Knight Arts Challenge launches for third year


What's your best idea for the arts in Detroit?
 
It's a simple question, and your simple answer could land you some money to help make your idea a reality.



On March 16, the application period for the third annual Knight Arts Challenge opened. In this round of the challenge, Detroiters have until April 13 to apply for a share of $3 million. To date, the Knight Arts Challenge has award 114 winners in Detroit about $5 million.
 
Knight Foundation will host a launch party and a series of community Q&A sessions throughout Detroit to answer applicants' questions. The launch party will be held at Bert’s Marketplace in Eastern Market on Tuesday, March 24 at 6 p.m. At the launch event, applicants can get to know Knight staff and past winners. The community Q&As will offer tips to applicants on creating standout applications and provide information on the challenge timeline and more.
 
The following are the dates and times of upcoming community Q&A sessions:
 
-March 23, 6 p.m. at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn
-March 24, noon at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (light lunch provided)
-March 25, 6 p.m. at the Mexicantown Mercado in Southwest Detroit
 
For more information about the Knight Arts Challenge in Detroit, click here.

Celebrate Detroit's world-class Hackley Collection at 71st annual concert


One of the lesser-heralded treasures of the city of Detroit is the E. Azalia Hackley Collection at the Detroit Public Library. Established in 1943, the collection features items related to the history of African Americans in the performing arts, including "many rare books, manuscripts and archives of performing artists," as well as a wealth of photographic and print materials.
 
On Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 7:00 p.m., the Hackley Collection will host its 71st annual concert at the Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library, which is located at 5201 Woodward Ave. in Midtown across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts.
 
The concert, "an evening inspired by the collection," will feature performances by Alvin Hill, a technology-based artist; Masters of Harmony featuring Mr. Kelly Thomas, Detroit's oldest performing musician who was born in Alabama in 1913; and Pamela Wise featuring Wendell Harrison.
 
The event is free and open to the public.
 
For more information, visit the event's Facebook page or call 313-481-1339. 

Marche du Nain Rouge seeks neighborhood floats


On March 22, the fifth-annual Marche du Naine Rouge will wend its way through the Cass Corridor, chasing a little red dwarf, the harbinger of destruction in Detroit folklore, out of the city before he can do any harm.
 
Will the Nain appear again this year to try to wreak havoc on our city? We can only hope not. But if he does, Marche du Nain Rouge organizers hope that he will be met with displays of pride from communities all across town.
 
That's why they asking groups from all neighborhoods — representing the heart and soul of the city — to band together to build floats and processions for the Marche.
 
To help community groups bring out their best game, Caribbean Mardi Gras Productions is offering two free Neighborhood Float-Building Workshops in partnership with OmniCorp Detroit. These workshops will offer tips, ideas, and brainstorming sessions to help participants be Marche-ready by March 22.
 
“We will show folks how easy it can be to express themselves creatively,” says Ralph Taylor, President of Caribbean Mardi Gras Productions. “You can make a stunning visual display with simple materials and a little know-how.”
 
Got an idea for a float that might help fend off the evil dwarf? For the love of all that is good, please make it happen! The free float-building workshops will be held:
  • 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 at the Caribbean Mardi Gras Productions studio, 6911 East Lafayette on the Eastside.
  • 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, at OmniCorp Detroit,1501 Division St. in Eastern Market.

Detroit happenings: Three things to do on Saturday, Jan. 31


There's a lot more going on this weekend other than the Super Bowl. Here are three of our favorite Detroit happenings taking places this Saturday, Jan. 31:
 
Detroit Area Rambling Society's weekend ramble
When: Saturday, Jan. 31, 1-6 p.m.
Where: Departs from Public Pool (3309 Caniff, Hamtramck) at 2 p.m.
 
Detroit may not be known as a 'walkable' town, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good place for a ramble. The Detroit Area Rambling Society, a group established in 2011, "aims to reassure us how safely, usefully, and delightfully walkable our city is, and how it will become more so with every step." The group coordinates occasional long walks, or rambles, through different parts of Detroit. This week, ramblers will set out to explore the I-94 Industrial Renaissance Zone, a nearly 290-acre area on Detroit's east side that was assembled and cleared by the city of Detroit for an industrial park that never came to be and has since reverted rapidly to a natural landscape. Participants should expect a five- to six-mile ramble and dress accordingly.
 
The group will depart for its destination on Saturday at 2 p.m. from the Public Pool Art Gallery in Hamtramck (3309 Caniff). For more information on this and future rambles, visit the Detroit Area Rambling Society's website.
 
Palmer Park Winter Fest
When: Saturday, Jan. 31, 1-4 p.m.
Where: Palmer Park, around Lake Francis and near the Log Cabin, Merrill Plaisance, west of Woodward between 6 & 7 Mile Roads, Detroit
 
Palmer Park is one of the jewels of Detroit's park system, and it's magnificent year-round, even in the dead of winter. On Saturday between 1 and 4 p.m., People for Palmer Park is hosting Winter Fest in the heart of the park located on the west side of Woodward Avenue between McNichols and Seven Mile Road. Planned activities (weather permitting) include ice skating on Lake Frances, snow showing, cross country skiing, horse and carriage rides, and guided hikes through the park's trail network.
 
Food vendors including Delectabowl Food Truck, Mystic Kettle Gourmet Popcorn, Belinda’s Hot Dog Cart, and Good Cakes and Bakes will be on hand.
 
You're also invited to bring your dog to participate in a doggie fashion parade around Lake Frances.
 
For more details, visit People for Palmer Park's website.
 
Jam Handy Fest
When: Saturday, Jan. 31, 5-11 p.m.
Where: 2900 E. Grand Blvd.
 
The Jam Handy Building, which was built to house the studios of legendary Detroit film producer Jam Handy and is the current home of Detroit SOUP, is a unique historic space in Detroit's North End neighborhood. This weekend is a great opportunity to check it out while getting to see some local bands and performers during the first annual Jam Handy Fest.
 
The lineup includes a skate jam by the Rosa Parks boys between 6 and 8 p.m., followed by live music by Mexican Knives, Real Ghosts, Mountain and Rainbows, and HighRing. The all-ages event will feature food and drinks from local vendors. All proceeds will benefit youth programming at Clark Park in Southwest Detroit.
 
More details here.

Porous Borders Festival seeks artists to engage with the Detroit/Hamtramck border


Over the weekend of May 16-17, a unique, inter-jurisdictional performing arts festival will take place along every segment of the border that separates the cities of Detroit and Hamtramck, as well as the sliver of border that separates Highland Park and Hamtramck. The event is called the Porous Borders Festival and is being curated by Detroit dance ensemble The Hinterlands, who are currently accepting proposals for art installations and happenings that will take place along the border during the festival.
 
According to a press release, The Hinterlands is seeking "creative pieces and projects that a) reflect and engage the diverse experiences of those living along the HAM/DET border, b) address the geographic reality of the HAM/DET border, and c) examine the nature of borders themselves…Each piece should be created for a specific part of the border."
 
The curators are open-minded when it comes to the type of proposals they will accept, saying, "It does not need to be an installation, but could be a walking tour, a performance, a party, a dinner, an automobile ballet, a story share – we’re excited to hear your ideas!"
 
Applicants must submit a one-page description of their project that includes:
 
 – What the project will be
 – Which segment of the border it is designed for
 – How the project relates to that segment
 – The duration of the project (i.e. one day, two hours, the whole festival, etc.)
 – A basic materials budget
 – Optional: short CV or bio
 
These materials can be sent digitally to pbf@thehinterlandsensemble.org or by mail to Porous Borders Festival, 3346 Lawley St, Detroit, MI 48212
 
Applications are due Jan. 31.
 
For more information, visit http://thehinterlandsensemble.org/project/porous-borders-festival/

Meet funk pioneer George Clinton at book signing on Dec. 20 at United Sound Systems in Midtown

That's right, George mutha funkin' Clinton will be in Detroit on Dec. 20 for a meet-and-greet/book signing at the legendary United Sound Systems Recording Studios (5840 Second Ave.).

Clinton is promoting his new book entitled "Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir." Tickets to the event are $40 and can be purchased via Eventbrite.

Clinton has deep ties to Detroit, where he spent much of the 1960s as a songwriter and producer for various Detroit soul record labels, including Motown. He recorded several records with his band Funkadelic at Detroit's United Sound Systems, including notable albums like "Free Your Mind...and Your Ass Will Follow" (1970), "Maggot Brain" (1971), and "One Nation Under a Groove" (1978).

According to the United Sound's Eventbrite page, "United Sound Systems Recording Studios (USSRS) was established in 1933, making USSRS the first independent major recording studio in the nation.  The studio gave artists, musicians, writers, and producers a place where they could cut a record and get it played on the radio without being signed to a major label. Today, the Studio is under new ownership and is striving to preserve the history. United Sound houses three functional recording studios and offers guided tours of the facility to the public. In addition, the facility is utilized for Venue Rental to host special events, birthday parties, lectures, and seminars."

Can you get to that?

169 Performing Arts Articles | Page: | Show All
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