January 25, 2018 (Originally sent January 9, 2018) (Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will stay open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 to kick off Black History Month with special programs beginning at noon that include a reading by U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, artist demonstrations and live music by Mahogany Jones. Other Black History Month activities are offered throughout February. Black History Month programs are made possible by the generous support of Arn and Nancy Tellem.

“We have a dynamic array of Black History Month activities this February, made possible by the generosity of Arn and Nancy Tellem,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA director. “Their support of Black History Month began in 2017 and this year has enabled us engage with members of the community to collaboratively develop more relevant programming. I am grateful to everyone for this wonderful effort.”

Public Tours: African American Art Collection Tuesdays–Thursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1 and 6 p.m.; Saturdays–Sundays, 1 & 3 p.m.

The DIA has an outstanding collection of works by African American artists that can be seen in galleries in the contemporary art area and in a gallery in the American wing devoted to artists working in the 19th century.

Self-Guided Tours

A brochure is available for visitors to take a self-guided tour of a selection of works by African American artists.

Friday, Feb. 2

Black History Month Kick-Off: 17 Hours Celebrating Black Creativity Noon–2 a.m.

The DIA honors African American creative and social movements in Detroit’s African American community.

Detroit Artist Demonstrations Noon–2 p.m., 3–5 p.m., 6–8 p.m., 9–11 p.m.

Detroit Artists Discussion 4–6 p.m.

Emerging, mid-career and veteran artists talk about the history and future of African American art in Detroit.

Collection Tours by Artists, Historians and Community Leaders 2–3 p.m., 5–6 p.m., 11 p.m.–midnight

Talk and Reading: U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith 7 p.m.

Tracy Smith, named U.S. Poet Laureate in June 2017, is the author of three award-winning books of poetry, and her memoir, “Ordinary Light” (2015), was a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction. After the event, she will sign copies of her books “Life on Mars” (2011), which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and “Ordinary Light.” Both are available in the DIA’s Museum Shop.

Presented in collaboration with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance. There is a limit of 4 tickets per customer. Tickets will be released if not claimed by 10 minutes before show time. To reserve tickets, go to http://bit.ly/DIATSmith

Friday Night Live!: Mahogany Jones 9 p.m.

Mahogany Jones is the four-time, undefeated champion of BET's “106 & Park” Freestyle Friday rap battle. She has shared stages with KEM, Les Nubians, The Roots, Moonchild, the late Gil Scott Heron, Lecrae and many others. Jones uses her latest release, "PURE," to launch a PURE movement in conjunction with Get Jayne and What’s the Irony productions to wage her war against the mistreatment of women.

Drop in Art-Making: Prints 9–11 p.m.

Use foam printing plates, water-based inks and a wooden stylus to create a print on paper.

Late Night Dance Party 11 p.m.–1:30 a.m.

Detroiter Nick Speed DJs this late-night party that includes a performance from Hard Core Detroit.

Saturday, Feb. 3

Puppet Performance: “Can You Spell Harlem?” 2 p.m.

Schroeder Cherry explores stories of the Harlem Renaissance with lively characters that draw on the art, music and stories of historical personalities, such as writer Zora Neale Hurston, musician Eubie Blake, artist Aaron Douglas and photographer James Van Der Zee.

Detroit Film Theatre: “Sammy Davis Jr.: “I’ve Gotta Be Me” 7:30 p.m.

Legendary singer, dancer and actor Sammy Davis Jr. broke racial barriers by defying society’s attitudes toward interracial romance, religion and politics. Through rare archival footage and interviews, longtime Spike Lee collaborator Sam Pollard has captured the brilliance, complexity and tension that comprised Sammy Davis Jr.’s life. Tickets: $9.50 general; $7.50 seniors, students and DIA members.

Sunday, Feb. 4

Special Appearance by Detroit Pistons’ Mascot Hooper 1:30–2 p.m.

Detroit Pistons’ mascot Hooper will be available to take photos with visitors in Rivera Court prior to the 2 p.m. puppet show “Can You Spell Harlem?”

Puppet Performance: “Can You Spell Harlem?” 2 p.m.

(see Feb. 3 for description)

26th Annual Alain Locke Award: “Willie Cole: Transformer of Everyday Objects” 2 p.m.

Sculptor and graphic artist Willie Cole receives this year’s Alain Locke Award, given by the DIA’s Friends of African and African American Art to honor those dedicated to promoting the understanding of African American culture. Cole discusses his career and the process of transforming familiar objects into powerful works of art that evoke the African American experience and provide inspiration for West African religion, mythology and culture. Detroit artist and educator Jocelyn Rainey will receive the local Alain Locke Award and will give remarks at the event. Sponsored by Friends of African and African American Art.

Detroit Film Theatre: “Sammy Davis Jr.: “I’ve Gotta Be Me” 2 and 4 p.m.

(see Feb. 3 for description)

Friday, Feb. 9

Friday Night Live!: The Music of J Dilla 7 and 8:30 p.m.

The music of legendary hip-hop artist J Dilla is arranged by composer/conductor Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and performed by Detroiter and 2017 Kresge Eminent Artist Wendell Harrison and musicians from his Rebirth organization.

This program is in collaboration with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which hosts its annual Dilla Youth Day on Feb. 11. At that event, The Wright Museum will hold a raffle of the Akai Mpc 3000 sampler/midi sequencer that J Dilla used to create his sound. The free raffle tickets are available in the DIA’s D-Cyphered exhibition Feb. 9 and 10 and you must be present at The Wright Museum Feb. 11 to win. Contact The Wright Museum for time of the raffle drawing.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Family Performance: Cecelia Sharpe & Urban Stringz II Youth Ensemble perform Music of J Dilla 2 p.m.

Cellist Cecelia Sharpe regularly performs with local artists such as Jessica Care Moore, Monica Blaire, Invincible, Stacey “Hotwax” Hale and Nick Speed. She recently headlined Dally in the Alley with Invincible and opened for Erykah Badu at the Masonic Temple. Sharpe performs with Urban Stringz II Youth Ensemble, playing the music of the late, legendary Detroit hip-hop artist J Dilla.

This program is in collaboration with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which hosts its annual Dilla Youth Day on Feb. 11. At that event, The Wright Museum will hold a raffle of the Akai Mpc 3000 sampler/midi sequencer that J Dilla used to create his sound. The free raffle tickets are available in the DIA’s D-Cyphered exhibition Feb. 9 and 10 and you must be present at The Wright Museum Feb. 11 to win. Contact The Wright Museum for time of the raffle drawing.

Friday, Feb. 16

Friday Night Live!: Marion Hayden and the Middle Passage Exiles: Remembering the 1967 Detroit Rebellion 7 and 8:30 p.m.

Bassist Marion Hayden and the Middle Passage Exiles present “Protest: Jazz and the Roots of Hip Hop” in commemoration of the Detroit 1967 Rebellion. The performance features a 12-piece musical ensemble, dancers, and poetry by Melba Joyce Boyd and spoken-word artist Mahogany Jones.  

Saturday–Sunday, Feb. 17–18

Artist Demonstration: The Happy Heart Noon–4 p.m.

Detroit multimedia artist Donald Calloway displays his work and helps visitors create art with a heart motif using found objects. Calloway's colorful works are filled with emotion, expression and mystery.

Friday, Feb. 23

Friday Night Live!: Charenée Wade 7 and 8:30 p.m.

Charenée Wade is an award-winning vocalist and educator making waves in jazz, soul and R&B. Wade is the first woman to devote an album to the work of American poet Gil Scott-Heron. She is joined by Oscar Perez (piano), Paul Beaudry (bass) and Timothy Angulo (drums).

Museum Hours and Admission

9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all others, $14 for adults, $9 for seniors ages 62+, $8 for college students, $6 for ages 6–17. 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 residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.