Museum InfoMedia Room

DIA exterior at night
DIA exterior at night

May Programs at the Detroit Institute of Arts - Activities include live music, storytelling and puppet performances

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

(Detroit)—The 75th Annual  Detroit Public Schools Student Exhibition is on view in May. Once Upon a Time: Prints and Drawings that Tell Stories ends May 13.

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

Guided Tours: WednesdaysThursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1, 6 & 7:30 p.m.; SaturdaysSundays, 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, 6–9 p.m. Scrolls: Scrolls used in ancient eastern Mediterranean and Egyptian civilizations were the first form of record keeping. Use paper, wooden dowels and markers to create your own version.
Saturdays, Noon–4 p.m. – Papel Picado: Try the Mexican art of cutting designs into paper.
Sundays, Noon–4 p.m. – Shibori: Shibori is the Japanese word for patterning fabric by shaping the cloth and securing it before dying. Learn more about this ancient craft as you fold, tie and twist your fabric before adding color to your cloth.

Friday Night Live, May 4
Music: Music from Mexico: (See for details)

Ford Free Sunday, May 6
Sunday Music Bar: Xiao Dong Wei and Yuki Mack: 1 & 3 p.m.
Xiao Dong Wei, a recent transplant to Detroit from her native Beijing, is a classically trained musician who sings and plays an eclectic range of instruments. She teams up with Yuki Mack, one half of the Mack Sisters piano duo, to play music from classical Asian and Western repertoires.

Puppet Performance: The Circus by Marionetas de la Esquina: 2 p.m.
An old covered cart rolls into town, bringing the acrobats, jugglers and lion tamers that make up this colorful puppet show. Performed by Mexican troupe Marionetas de la Esquina, The Circus evokes the magic, music and energy that occur under the big top as we take a trip to an old-fashioned circus performance. Sponsored by Founders Junior Council

Friday Night Live, May 11
Music: TBA: (See for details)

Saturday, May 12
Puppet Performance: A Kite’s Tale by Blair Thomas & Company: 2 p.m.
This spectacular performance features bunraku-style puppets of little girls, tricksters and 6’ tall waltzing rabbits, set to the music of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition performed live on piano by Kathryn Goodson. Blair Thomas & Company has twice received the Union Internationale de la Marionnette award for excellence in puppetry, and Thomas was the first artist to be awarded the Jim Henson Artist-In-Residence position at the University of Maryland. Appropriate for ages four through 12. Sponsored by Founders Junior Council

Lecture: Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 18511939: 2 p.m.
Jason T. Busch will talk about objects shown at World’s Fairs from London’s Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in 1851 to the New York World’s Fair in 1939. These fairs and exhibitions demonstrated how innovative design could positively affect modern living. Sponsored by Visiting Committee for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Family Sunday, May 13
Brunch with Bach: The Mack Sisters: 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Detroit piano duo Yuki and Tomoko Mack have been delighting audiences since they combined their talents as soloists into an award-winning piano duo/2-piano team. They will perform William Bolcom’s Serpent’s Kiss (Fantasy in Rag), music by Franz Liszt and Samuel Barber. 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 or visit

Puppet Performance: A Kite’s Tale by Blair Thomas & Company: 2 p.m.
See May 12 for description.

Thursday, May 17
Class:  Meet Me at the DIA: A Program for People with Early Stage Dementia and Their Caregivers: 10–11:30 a.m.
People with early stage dementia (including Alzheimer’s) and their caregivers are invited to participate in gallery discussions about art led by DIA staff and volunteers with expertise in this area. This program provides a safe, inspiring environment for social engagement and intellectual stimulation, where participants will feel welcome and comfortable. All participants, including caregivers, are encouraged to contribute to the discussions, which are based on the observations and connections made by the group. Each person will receive a small print of a DIA artwork so conversations can be continued after leaving the museum. Similar programs have been shown to increase the mood and self-esteem of dementia patients and their caregivers immediately following their visit and for days afterward. The program is sponsored by HealthPlus of Michigan. Cost: DIA members $17 per couple, Nonmembers $20 per couple. To register, call 313-833-4005 or Register Online.

Friday Night Live, May 18

Family Sunday, May 20
Sunday Music Bar: Ashley/Story: 1 & 3 p.m.
Dwight Ashley and Tim Story have been making atmospheric, haunting electronic music together and individually since the early 1990s. Their music is beautifully melodic, bringing to mind the textures in the music of Erik Satie and Claude Debussy.

Storytelling Performance: Ming Louie: 2 p.m.
Ming Louie takes the audience to the exotic world of China through traditional Asian folk tales. Louie recounts stories of monumental journeys, legendary philosophers, notable explorers, mystery and magic during this family performance. Sponsored by Founders Junior Council

Lecture: Motivated by the Challenge to Live and Create Authentically: 2 p.m.
Visual and performing artist Joyce Scott discusses her work, which includes more than three decades of creating objects of exceptional skill and beauty. Much of her art is politically or socially oriented, as in beaded figurative sculptures that focus on issues of racism, domestic violence and cultural imperialism. In other work, she pursues aesthetic satisfaction, the joy of experimentation and growth in creativity. Sponsored by Friends of African and African American Art

Friday Night Live, May 25
Music: TBA (See for details)

Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 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 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.