February 8, 2017: Your Arts and Culture Adventure Picks
February! So short, so bitter, and surprisingly so much to do in Southeast Michigan. I’ve been keeping active by sitting in front of my space heater and listening to music that makes me think of the sun, like this Blood Orange song. While you close your eyes and try to remember what that burning ball of fire in the sky feels like on your face, open your eyes back up and gander at this list.
With the wide range of cafes, stages and festivals, it only makes sense that Detroit, a city with a history rich in jazz, is where a play like The Holler Sessions is landing. Staged as a live radio show, the play focuses on one man, or should I say, one DJ with a heart-burning, ranting, humorous love for jazz. The play, written and performed by Frank Boyd, is created in collaboration with the TEAM, a theater wunder-company who presented their work RoosevElvis with UMS this fall. Performances run through February 26 with tickets from $20-35. More.
I know I’m supposed to be writing about Southeast Michigan happenings, but this one is too good to pass up. And Toledo used to be a part of Michigan, so what does it matter? I digress. What does matter is that painter extraordinaire Kehinde Wiley’s touring exhibition will grace our interstate region in Toledo from February 10 until May 14. I plan to go at least once to ooze over his hyper realistic portraits rooted in contemporary Black culture, European aristocratic painting, and all the complicated, tangled history at play. The Toledo Museum of Art is always free, so start planning your trip. More.
2017 Winter Exhibitions Opening featuring The Black Opera at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
MOCAD enters 2017 in full force. This tsunami of an event will include a whopping four exhibition openings, a curator’s talk, and a performance by The Black Opera, a collective dedicated to lyricism, secrecy, and foremost, artistry. Of the four exhibitions, the one I find the most striking is The Architectural Imagination which envisions new purpose for four sites in Detroit through architectural proposals drafted up between designers, architects, and community members. This exhibition comes straight from the 2016 Venice Biennale, where it was a part of the United States Pavilion, which is a big deal. All this goes down on February 11, free admission before 9 pm and $12 after that. More.
A play centered on the apocalyptic retelling of an episode of The Simpsons. Are you sold yet? Playwright Anne Washburn creates a piece of theater that questions how we tell stories, where they come from and why they come about. All of this set in a world with no electricity where survivors attempt to recollect “Cape Feare,” an episode of the Simpsons. This jolting production by the U-M Department of Theatre & Dance takes place February 16-19 with tickets prices at $22-28. More.
If you haven’t been to Literati in Ann Arbor, it’s about time you go. Not only do they offer a world of local bookstore wonder, but they also host some really superb readings, talks and other literary events. Coming around the bend on February 22 is the powerhouse poetry duo of Shira Erlichman + Angel Nafis visiting by way of Brooklyn, NY. Angel Nafis is an Ann Arbor native and while SHIRA is not, both visit often to read, teach, and engage folks with words, something they both do so magnificently. Come and be floored, for free. More.
Thanks for giving this a read! Which events do you have on your calendar? Have any suggestions? Feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Photos courtesy of artists and performance spaces.
Adam DesJardins is a UMS Blogging Fellow. Learn more about the blogging fellows program.