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Holiday Fun in December at Detroit Institute of Arts: Puppet shows, art-making, storytelling and more

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

(Detroit)—Puppet shows, storytelling and special holiday fun is on tap in December at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). Exhibitions on view are Faberge: The Rise and Fall, The Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Picasso and Matisse: The DIA’s Prints and Drawings; and Hidden Treasures: An Experiment. Opening Dec. 14 is Motor City Muse: Detroit Photographs, Then and Now.


Programs are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted. For more information, call (313) 833-7900 or visit




Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 24 and 25

Tuesday, Jan. 1


Saturday, Dec. 1, Noel Night, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday Dec. 26 and 27, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28, 9 a.m.–10 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 29 and 30, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 31, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.


Guided Tours: Wednesdays–Thursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1 p.m.; Saturdays–Sundays, 1 & 3 p.m.


Detroit City Chess Club: Fridays, 4–8 p.m.

The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members have won state, regional and national competitions. People wanting to learn how to play chess should show up between 4 and 6 p.m. There will be no teaching between 6 and 8 p.m., but visitors can play chess.


Drawing in the Galleries (for all ages): Fridays, 69 p.m. Sundays, noon4 p.m.


Drop-In Workshops (for all ages)

Fridays, December 7, 14, 21 & 28

Noon–4 p.m., The Artable Egg: Transform “egg”-shaped materials into miniature works of art using beads, baubles and bling.

6–9 p.m., Puppets

Saturday, December 1, 5–9 p.m., Gingerbread Puppets

Saturdays, December 1, 8, 15, 22, Noon–4 p.m., Printmaking: Notecards

Saturday, December 29, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Puppets

Sundays, December 2, 9, 16, 23, Noon–4 p.m., Envelopes and Boxes

Sunday, December 30, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Puppets


Special Holiday Weekend Drop-In Workshops

Wednesday and Thursday, December 26 and 27, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Puppets

Monday, December 31, Noon–4 p.m., Luminaries


Saturday, December 1

Detroit Film Theatre: Neighboring Sounds: 7 p.m.

Neighboring Sounds peers into the lives of a group of middle-class families residing on a quiet street in Recife, Brazil. The viewer is never quite sure where things are headed, even as the film builds toward its knockout payoff. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students, $6.50.


Detroit Film Theatre: Kumaré: 9:45 p.m.

Sri Kumaré is a guru from the East who comes to America, where he finds devoted students who embrace him as a true spiritual force. But Kumaré is actually a filmmaker from New Jersey named Vikram Gandhi who wanted to see if he could pull off this deception. Vikram discovers that he cares for his followers, and his growing sense of responsibility toward them forces him to look inward as he contemplates the risks and rewards of revealing his “true self.” Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students, $6.50.


Family Sunday, December 2

Sunday Music Bar: Vanguard Chorale: 1 p.m.

Led by Director G. Kevin Dewey, the Vanguard Chorale performs choral repertoire, ranging in music from the Renaissance period to the 20th century. For this performance, the Vanguard Chorale will perform a program of holiday music, including music from Handel’s Messiah.


Storytelling: Hanukkah Stories: 2 p.m.

Judy Sima lights up the holiday season with Hanukkah stories of miracles, menorahs and magic dreidels.


Detroit Film Theatre: Neighboring Sounds: 2 p.m.

(See Dec. 1 for details)


Detroit Film Theatre: Kumaré: 4:45 p.m.

(See Dec. 1 for details)


Friday Night Live, December 7

Music: TBA: 7 & 8:30 pm


Saturday, December 8

Lecture: Dining with the Tsars: 2 p.m.

Peter the Great introduced European cuisine into Russia as part of his18th-century reforms, and by the time of Catherine the Great (172996), the Russian aristocracy was infatuated with all things French. Culinary historian Darra Goldstein, Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century Professor of Russian, Williams College, Williamstown, MA and founding editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, discusses 200 years of Russian haute cuisine from its start in the 1700s to its demise in the early 1900s. Sponsored by the Bernard J. Reilly Fund


Ford Second Sunday, December 9

Sunday Music Bar: Kathy Kosins To the Ladies of Cool: 1 & 3 p.m.

Kathy Kosins performs her love letter To The Ladies of Cool, who are Anita O’Day, June Christy, Julie London and Chris Connor. Kosins tells the stories and sings the songs associated with these ladies from the 1940s and ’50s west-coast jazz scene. Joining Kousins are Cliff Monear (piano), Marion Hayden (bass) and Sean Dobbins (drums).


Storytelling: Cozy Christmas Stories: 2 p.m.

Sit a spell with jolly interactive stories for children and cozy tales for adults from the European Christmas tradition performed by award-winning storyteller Yvonne Healy.


Lecture: Zé Diabo, Mimito and Detinha de Xangô: Three Religious Artists in Bahia, Brazil: 2 p.m.

Charles Daniel Dawson, independent scholar, photographer and filmmaker celebrates the vitality and vision of three African Brazilian artists—Zé Diabo (José Adariao dos Santos), Mimito (Clodomir Menezes da Silva), and Detinha de Xangô (Valdete Ribeiro da Silva)—whose contemporary creations reflect inspiration from Yoruba, Congo-Angola, Fon, and other indigenous African religions and technologies. Sponsored by Friends of African and African American Art


Wednesday, December 12

Lecture: Winslow Homer as Illustrator and Artist: 2 p.m.

As a young man, Winslow Homer was a successful designer of illustrations for the equally young pictorial press of the 1860s. Michael Leja, professor of art history and director of the visual studies program, University of Pennsylvania, discusses the ways Homer’s early experiences as a draftsman shaped his mature work as a painter. Sponsored by Associates of the American Wing


Friday Night Live, December 14

Music: TBA: 7 & 8:30 pm


Saturday, December 15

Meet Me at the DIA: A Program for People with Early-Stage Dementia and Their Caregivers: 10:30 a.m.–noon

People with early-stage dementia (including Alzheimer’s) and their caregivers can participate in gallery discussions about art led by DIA staff and volunteers with expertise in this area. Participants are made to feel welcome and comfortable, and discussions are based on the observations and connections made by the group. The program provides opportunities for social engagement and intellectual stimulation in a safe, inspiring environment. Participants are given small prints of DIA artworks to take home so conversations can be continued. Members $17 per couple, nonmembers $20 per couple. To register, go to Sponsored by HealthPlus of Michigan


Family Sunday, December 16

Brunch with Bach: Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring: 11 a.m. &1:30 p.m.

Pianists Aebersold and Neiweem are master performers of music for two pianos and one piano, four hands. They play their arrangement of Igor Stravinsky’s groundbreaking ballet The Rite of Spring and other compositions by the composer. Tickets: brunch and concert, 1:30 p.m. performance only, $35; continental breakfast and concert, 11 a.m. performance only, $20; concert only: $15. Call 313-833-4005.


Storytelling: Kwanzaa Stories: 2 p.m.

LaRon Williams tells folk tales exploring Kwanzaa themes and traditions.


Friday Night Live, December 21

Music: TBA: 7 & 8:30 pm


Family Sunday, December 23

Sunday Music Bar: NO CONCERT



Wednesday and Thursday, December 26 & 27: 2 & 4 p.m.

Puppet Performance: microScope Toy Theater presents A Real Elephant (ages 4 and up with adult):

A Real Elephant is based on the children’s novel by Russian author Alexander Kuprin. Promoted as “one of the best family events in Moscow” in 2011, this toy theater performance is about Nadia, a little girl who has lost her passion for life until she is inspired by a dream and wishes for a real elephant to visit her.


Friday and Saturday, December 28 and 29

Puppet Performance: Hobey Ford’s Migration: 2 and 4 p.m.

In this sequel to Animalia, Hobey Ford returns to the natural world of animals to explore the wonders of migration through the story of a Mexican girl named Beatriz and her own migration to the United States. The story of Beatriz’s journey is compared to the stories of other animals that migrate, including Monarch butterflies, polar bears, Godwit birds and the Sperm whale.


Sunday, December 30,

Puppet Performance: Hobey Ford’s Migration: 2 p.m.

(see Dec. 28 and 29 for description)


Friday Night Live, December 28

Music: TBD: 7 & 8:30 pm


Sunday, December 30

Sunday Music Bar: NO CONCERT


Hours and Admission

Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and DIA members. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.




The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.


Programs are made possible with support from the City of Detroit and residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Contact:    Pamela Marcil      (313) 833-7899