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DIA interior
DIA interior

December Programs at Detroit Institute of Arts - Live music, World Opera in Cinema, fashion show, holiday activities part of festive fun

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009 (Detroit)—Holiday cheer is in the air and the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is celebrating with a variety of fun activities. Kwanzaa, Hanukah and Christmas stories, plus Wild Swan Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk will delight kids of all ages. World renowned musicians Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, known as Cluster, return to the museum as part of a tour for their first new CD in more than 10 years.

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

For Detroit Film Theatre movie listings call (313) 833-4686, or visit

Photography- The First 100 Years: A Survey from the DIA’s Collection, through Jan. 3
Action/Reaction: Video Installations, through Jan. 3
Avedon Fashion Photographs 1944-2000, through Jan. 17
Government Support for the Arts: WPA Prints from the 1930s, through March 21, 2010

Guided Tours: Wednesdays–Thursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1, 6 & 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays–Sundays, 1 & 3 p.m.

Chess Practice: Detroit City Chess Club: Fridays, 5–9 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 5–7 p.m. There will be no teaching between 7 and 9 p.m., but visitors can play chess.

Drawing in the Galleries (for all ages): Fridays, 6–9 p.m. Sundays, Noon–4 p.m.

Drop-In Workshops
Winter Counts: Fridays, December 4, 11, & 18; 6–9 p.m.
Winter Counts were used by Native American communities of the northern Great Plains to record their histories and to keep track of the passage of years. Learn more about this tradition and create a Winter Count of your own.

Snow Snakes: Saturdays, December 5, 12, & 19; Noon–4 p.m.
Snow snakes are part of a Native American game played during the winter, usually after the return from the annual hunt. Use wood and other materials to create one of your own.

Luminaries: Sundays, December 6, 13, & 20; Noon–4 p.m.
Explore infinite patterns and colors using tissue paper on a simple glass jar that you can illuminate at home with a small candle, like a tea light.

Special Holiday Drop-In Workshops:
Saturday–Thursday, December 26–31, Noon–4 p.m.
Have fun creating a different type of puppet each day.

Thursday, December 3
Lecture: A Revolution in Taste: Chinese Blue-and-White Porcelains of the Yuan (1279-1368) and Ming (1368-1644) Dynasties:
6:30 p.m.
Robert Mowry, curator of Chinese art at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University will show how early Ming patronage of porcelain production elevated blue-and-white wares to the luxury status that made them globally desirable. In addition, he will explore similarities between Yuan and Ming porcelains, lacquers, metalwork, and woodblock-printed books.

Friday Night Live, December 4
Music: Janaki String Trio:
7 & 8:30 p.m.
The Janaki String Trio is the only string trio to win the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in the guild’s 60-year history. Featuring Serena McKinney (violin), Katie Kadarauch (viola), and Arnold Choi (cello), the ensemble plays music from the standard string trio repertoire, rarely heard masterworks and challenging contemporary pieces written by master composers.

Saturday, December 5
Lecture: Fit for a King: 18th-Century Furniture and Porcelain from Louis XIV to Louis XVI:
2 p.m.
Join Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, for a discussion of the exquisite pieces of court furniture and furnishings produced in 18th-century France. The proliferation of mechanical tables and luxury porcelain testifies to the insatiable desire to glorify the French monarchy in the eras of Louis XIV, XV and XVI.

Noel Night: 5–9:30 p.m.
Warm up strolling through our newly reinstalled galleries, shop for holiday gifts in the Museum Shop, and dine in CafeDIA. Free museum admission after 5 p.m. Visitors can get their picture with Santa, make a gingerbread puppet in a drop-in workshop, and enjoy a variety of musical performances throughout the evening. For a full schedule, go to

Target Family Sunday, December 6
Storytelling: "Kwanzaa Stories":
2 p.m.
Discover the real reasons behind Kwanzaa's seven principles through stories filled with fun, excitement and humor by Tonya Dallas. There will be book giveaways following the performance.

Wednesday, December 9
Lecture: Cranes, Dragons, and Geishas: A Brass Menagerie—Metalwork of the Aesthetic Movement:
6:30 p.m.
During the 1880’s, no fashionable American interior was complete without hardware, accessories, lighting, or furniture made of “artistic bronze” or “art brass,” often with exotic motifs. In her talk, Anna D’Ambrosio, a historian of American Aesthetic Movement metalwork and curator of decorative arts at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY, will discuss this fascinating episode.

Friday Night Live, December 11
Music: Cluster:
7 & 8:30 p.m.
German musicians Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius have been creating consistently surprising, exciting and influential music since they teamed up as Cluster in 1971. Their influence has been felt in many areas and can be glimpsed in Detroit’s Techno movement, Brian Eno’s ambient explorations, and Industrial rock bands like Throbbing Grissle and Cabaret Voltaire. This performance is part of a tour supporting Qua, their first CD release in more than 10 years.

DIA Moment: Fashion Show: 8 p.m.
Detroit-based designer Sarah Lapinski and partner Brittany Moore present menswear and women’s clothing from the Wound Menswear line in conjunction with the Avedon Fashion Photographs 1944-2000 exhibition. Wound arose to satisfy the desire for a creative, clever and fresh alternative to current available menswear. Despite the negative connotations of the word “wound,” it is the philosophy of Wound Menswear that wounds and heartbreaks shape identity. Aligned with the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of wabi-sabi, beauty is found in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Each garment incorporates a small detail known only to the wearer to distinguish it and its makers as humble within nature. Lapinski and Moore reveal the collection with models strutting down the runway in an electric fashion show.

Target Family Sunday, December 13
Lecture: The Artist as Cultural and Social Revolutionary: 2 p.m.
By the mid-1960s, artist Wadsworth Jarrell had become one of the founders of the artist collective known as AFRI-COBRA, which was dedicated to creating an African American aesthetic. Jarrell’s art reflects the tenets of the group through his use of African American imagery, narrative subject matter, vibrant colors, improvisation, and rhythmic designs.

Storytelling: "Christmas Stories": 2 p.m.
Cozy up with Christmas stories performed by the dynamic Yvonne Healy.

Thursday, December 17
World Opera in Cinema: La Traviata
by Verdi: 6 p.m.
The DIA’s Detroit Film Theatre presents an extraordinary series of new opera performances from around the world, including such storied locations as La Scala, presented uncut in high-definition projection with English subtitles.

Giuseppi Verdi’s La Traviata, presented from the stage of Teatro alla Scala, the world’s most famous opera house, was inspired by Alexandre Dumas’ The Lady of the Camelias; the opera’s title means literally “The Woman Who Strayed.” Courtesan Violetta Valéry (Angela Gheorghiu in her highly anticipated La Scala debut) meets a new admirer, Alfredo Germont (Ramón Vargas), who confesses his love. Trouble intrudes with Alfredo's father who demands she renounce his son, since the scandal of Alfredo's affair with her has threatened his daughter's engagement. Staged for la Scala by Liliana Cavani (The Night Porter, Ripley’s Game), conducted by Lorin Maazel, and featuring Natascha Petrinsky and Tiziana Tramonti. Tickets are $20, and $18 for DIA members, students and seniors. For more information, visit

Friday Night Live, December 18
Music: Rachel Grimes:
7 & 8:30 p.m.
Rachel Grimes is a member of the Kentucky-based chamber-pop group The Rachels. The music of the Rachels straddles the worlds of classical chamber music and innovative art-rock music, in the tradition of icons Philip Glass, the Kronos Quartet, and Laurie Anderson. This performance will be a rare opportunity to hear Rachel Grimes in an intimate performance of material from her new solo piano album, Book of Leaves, along with performances of music by the iconoclast extraordinaire, French composer Erik Satie.

Saturday, December 19
World Opera in Cinema: La Traviata by Verdi:
1 p.m. (see Dec. 17 for details)

Target Family Sunday, December 20
Brunch with Bach: Aaron Berofsky and Edward Parmentier:
10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Violinist Aaron Berofsky has toured extensively throughout the US and abroad, gaining wide recognition as a soloist and chamber musician. As a soloist, he has performed with orchestras in the US, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Canada. Parmentier is internationally renowned for his brilliant performances of early keyboard music, and is a specialist in the harpsichord music of Bach and his English and French contemporaries. Berofsky and Parmentier will perform music of Bach, Girolamo Frescobaldi, François Couperin, G. F. Handel, and Arcangelo Corelli.

Storytelling: “Hanukah Stories”: 2 p.m.
Join Judy Sima as she lights up the holiday season with Hanukah stories of miracles, menorahs, and magic dreidels.

Saturday–Thursday, December 26–31
Holiday Drop-In Workshops: Puppets:
Noon–4 p.m.
Create a different type of puppet each day.

Holiday Weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, December 26, 27 & 28
Holiday Performance: “Bathtub Pirates”:
2 p.m.
Some of the best times in a child's life are spent playing in the bathtub, surrounded by aquatic toys and a sea of bubbles. Follow the antics of Blackbeard and his crew as they commandeer a child’s bathtub to carry out their daring plan. It’s good clean fun for the whole family.

Sunday, December 27
World Opera in Cinema: The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky:
2 p.m.
The DIA’s Detroit Film Theatre presents an extraordinary series of new opera performances from around the world, including such storied locations as La Scala, presented uncut in high-definition projection with English subtitles.

A very special holiday event is The Nutcracker, the famed Kirov Ballet’s unique 2007 production of Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet, filmed at Russia’s Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, The Nutcracker’s original stage when it debuted in 1892. Mikhail Shemiakin, Russian émigré and world-renowned avant-garde artist and sculptor, has boldly reinterpreted the historical ballet to delight and surprise a contemporary audience. Sophisticated and witty, Shemiakin’s original and wondrously unconventional interpretation differs in many ways from the traditional versions popular at Christmastime, but is no less enchanting. Tickets are $20, and $18 for DIA members, students and seniors. For more information, visit

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, December 29, 30, and 31
Holiday Performance: “Jack and the Beanstalk”:
2 p.m.
Wild Swan Theater creates an original version of this traditional tale sure to please children ages three through eight. Lorrie Gunn brings magic to the production on her harp, violin, and various percussion instruments.

Jack and his mother have fallen on hard times, following the mysterious disappearance of Jack’s father. With no money under the mattress and no food in the larder, Jack must sell the family cow, Milky White. His adventures begin when a mysterious stranger convinces him to sell the cow for five magic beans. When Jack’s mother, in despair, throws the beans out the window, their life changes abruptly as a huge beanstalk begins to grow by leaps and bounds outside their cottage window. In Wild Swan’s version Jack’s excursions up the fantastical beanstalk not only lead to his well-known encounters with a very silly giant, but to the rescue of his long lost father as well. 

Hours and admission
Regular museum hours are10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays–Thursdays, 10 a.m. –10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m. –5 p.m. Saturdays–Sundays. NOTE special holiday hours above. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for ages 62+, and $4 for ages 6-17. DIA members are admitted free. For more information, call (313) 833-7900 or visit


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA),located at 5200 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, is one of the premier art museums in the United States and 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.

Programs are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.

Contact: Pamela Marcil (313) 833-7899