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February Features Black History Month Celebration at Detroit Institute of Arts - Activities include storytelling, talks, an artist demonstration, musical performances

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

December 1, 2009 (Detroit)—Black History Month comes alive at the DIA with talks, storytelling, musical performances and an artist demonstration. Don’t miss the exhibition on Government Support for the Arts: WPA Prints from the 1930s. Activities are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted. For more information call (313) 833-7900 or visit www.dia.org.

For Detroit Film Theatre movie listings call (313) 833-4686, or visit www.dia.org/dft/schedule.asp.

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:

Fridays, 6–9 p.m.
Patterns, Symbols & Designs
Textiles are often decorated with symbols that are culturally, historically or religiously meaningful. Find your own personal meaning as you use stamps and fabric markers to decorate a piece of silk.

Saturdays, Noon–4 p.m.
Celebration Masks
Create a colorful and expressive carnival mask using feathers, ribbon, glitter and other materials.

Sundays, Noon–4 p.m.
Musical Instruments: Kalimbas 
Make a simple version of this West African instrument using tongue depressors, scrap wood and markers.

Wednesday, February 3
Lectures: Thomas Eakins, The Gross Clinic, and Grand Manner Portraiture:
6:30 p.m.
Many art historians consider Thomas Eakins’ The Gross Clinic to be the greatest of all 19th-century American paintings. Kathleen A. Foster, Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Senior Curator of American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will argue that although Eakins is often taken to be a realist, in his large, full-length portraits he was in fact challenging and the conventions of grand manner portraiture.

Friday Night Live, February 5
Music: Fats Waller Revue:
7 & 8:30 p.m.
The Fats Waller Revue is a project conceived by pianist Alvin Waddles and features Detroit jazz luminaries Marion Hayden on bass, Charlie Gabriel on saxophone and clarinet, and Alex Trajano on drums. They will perform compositions by Thomas “Fats” Waller, including the classics Ain't Misbehavin', Two Sleepy People and Your Feet's Too Big. This program is presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Target Family Sunday, February 7
Family Performance: "A World of Music and Stories":
2 p.m.
Audrey and Bob Allison will present an upbeat program that includes audience participation, hands-on fun, humorous interactive stories, beautiful music and musical instruments from all over the world. This program is presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Friday Night Live, February 12
Music: Harlem Quartet:
7 & 8:30 p.m.
The Harlem Quartet comprises first place Laureates of the Sphinx Competition, and made its acclaimed debut in the fall of 2006 at the Sphinx Organization’s Gala Concert at Carnegie Hall, earning rave reviews from The New York Times. In addition to being avid chamber musicians, each member is a seasoned solo artist, having appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Sinaloa de las Artes (Mexico) and Baltimore symphonies and the Boston Pops, among others. This program is presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Target Family Sunday, February 14
Brunch with Bach: Harlem Quartet:
10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.
The amazing Harlem Quartet, featuring Sphinx Competition first-place laureates, made an acclaimed debut in the fall of 2006 at Carnegie Hall, earning rave reviews from the New York Times. In addition to being avid chamber musicians, each member is a seasoned solo artist, having appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Sinaloa de las Artes (Mexico) and Baltimore symphonies and the Boston Pops, among others. Brunch & Concert ticket, $35; Concert-Only ticket, $15. This program is presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Family Performance: “Oh Ananse!": 2 p.m.
“In the beginning, long, long ago, when the Earth was set down and the Sky was lifted up, all folktales were owned by the Sky God, Nyame. But Kwaku Ananse, the Spider Man, he loved to talk; he loved to hear and tell stories. He wanted to own all the stories in the world so he could share them with all of you, his friends.” Two friends/puppeteers, with tabletop puppets and rap music, tell how Ananse got to own all the stories in the world. This program is presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Friday Night Live, February 19
Music: Jade Simmons: Hearing Color, Seeing Sound:
7 & 8:30pm
This innovative project explores links between the visual and aural worlds using Alexander Scriabin’s Preludes, op. 11 and images by Wassily Kandinsky. At the time of his death, Scriabin was working on Mysterium, a large-scale multi-media work developed from his ideas about using melody and tonality in response to color stimulus. Likewise, Kandinsky wrote of his dream for “a theater of the future, synthesizing music, color and movement.” Though these visions were not realized in their lifetimes, Simmons has created a 21st-century interpretation of their ideas.

Saturday, February 20
Lecture: Eating the Enlightenment: European Dining in the 18th Century:
2 p.m.
Renowned food historian Ivan Day will discuss the food, table ornament and dining customs of 18th-century Europe. He will a provide a glimpse into period kitchens through illustrations of re-created food, including princely dishes originally made for the Archbishop of Salzburg, and sugar sculptures made with original molds from the pastry room of the Princesse de Lamballe, confidante to Queen Marie Antoinette.

Target Family Sunday, February 21
Storytelling: “Slave Narratives”:
2 p.m.
Tonya "Touchdown" Dallas delivers a powerful re-enactment of the lives of various slaves. It is a riveting, educational performance for the entire family. This program is presented in celebration of Black History Month.

18th Annual Alain Locke Awards: Ashé to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery: 2 p.m.
Leslie King-Hammond, Ph.D., graduate dean emeritus and founding director of the Center for Race and Culture, Maryland Institute College of Art is the 2010 Alain Locke International Award recipient for her contributions as an artist, scholar and curator. She will give a talk focusing on biblical imagery and the African American experience. This program is presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Friday Night Live, February 26
Music: Reginald Robinson:
7 & 8:30pm
Ragtime pianist and composer Reginald Robinson will perform his compositions for solo piano. Robinson received a 2004 grant from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for his innovation in Ragtime music. His compositions have been arranged for chamber ensembles and full orchestra, including Concerto for a Genius, which was performed by the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Orbert Davis in 2007. This program is presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Target Family Sunday, February 28
Artist Demonstration: Richard Lewis:
Noon–4 p.m.
Artist Richard Lewis is a realist painter known for his portraits and is influenced by European, African, Asian, and Islamic art as well as by jazz, old movies and African American history. Lewis is a graduate of Cass Technical High School, Center for Creative Studies and Yale School of Art. This program is presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Lecture: Music Unheard: Erasing the African American Presence in Mount’s The Banjo Player: 6:30 p.m.
William Sidney Mount was the most influential painter of American rural life in the 1840s and 1850s. Many of his paintings depict African Americans making music. But in The Banjo Player, the most important work by Mount at the DIA, the lone figure is white. Bruce Robertson, P\professor of art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will explore the expressive absences in The Banjo Player. This program is presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Hours and admission
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 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 www.dia.org.

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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 pmarcil@dia.org