Detroit Institute of Arts June Activities

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) offers a variety of programs both in the museum and out in the community. From live music, drop-in artmaking, DIA Away and talks at libraries, the DIA offers something for everyone.

The DIA thanks its sponsors for the following programs: Friday Night Live! is supported by the DTE Energy Foundation; the Detroit Film Theatre is generously supported by Buddy’s Pizza.

Ed. Note: Image: Gregory Porter. (DFT movie June 14)



“Making Home: Contemporary Art from the DIA” through June 6

“Play Ball! Baseball at the DIA” through Sept. 16

“Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume” through Sept. 30



General Guided Tours: Tuesdays–Thursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1 & 6 p.m.

Enjoy a guided tour of select galleries for an overview of the collection.

General and Family Guided Tours: Saturdays & Sundays, 1 & 3 p.m.

Enjoy a guided tour of select galleries or a family and kid-friendly tour.

Thursdays at the Museum, 1 p.m.

Special programs, including light refreshments, for adults 55+, featuring tours, talks and artmaking. The DIA offers free transportation for groups of 25 or more. To book a visit, call 313.833.7981. Support for Thursdays at the Museum is provided by the tri-county millage.

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 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, 6–9 p.m.; Saturdays & Sundays, Noon–4 p.m.

Drop-In Art Making (for all ages): Fridays, 6–9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, Noon–4 p.m.


Friday, June 1

Friday Night Live!: The Akropolis Reed Quintet featuring Shara Nova 7 and 8:30 p.m.

The Akropolis Reed Quintet was founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan and is the first ever ensemble of its makeup to win a Fischoff Gold Medal (2014), Grand Prize at the Plowman and MTNA national competitions, and six national chamber music prizes in total. They perform compositions in a wide range of styles, including one by Nico Muhly featuring vocalist Shara Nova.

Saturday, June 2

Talk: Casanova: The Seduction of Europe 2 p.m.

Giacomo Casanova (1725–98) epitomizes the sophistication of 18th-century Europe. Although famous as a seducer and adventurer, contemporaries regarded him as a witty conversationalist, expert on many topics and an international man of letters. He lived in or visited many of the principal art centers of Europe, particularly Venice, Paris, London and the capitals of Central and Eastern Europe, and knew many of the century’s great figures, from Voltaire and Rousseau, to Benjamin Franklin and Catherine the Great.

Thomas S. Michie, Russell B. and Andree Beauchamp Stearns Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of Europe at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, introduces an international loan exhibition co-organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Kimbell Art Museum and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco that combines more than 250 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, decorative arts, period costumes and musical instruments to illustrate the splendor of mid-eighteenth century Europe, using Casanova—one of the era’s most colorful characters—as a guide.

Thursday, June 7

Thursdays at the Museum: Highlights of the Permanent Collection Tour 1 p.m.

Friday, June 8

Friday Night Live!: Tony Visconti and Catherine Ringer 7 and 8:30 p.m.

Tony Visconti is recognized as one of the most important producers in the history of rock. Included in his classic musical moments are T. Rex’s “Get it On (Bang a Gong)”, David Bowie’s “Young Americans,” “Heroes” and “The Man Who Sold the World” and more obscure, but every bit as innovative, his work with Les Rita Mitsouko and Sparks. Visconti discusses some of these classic recordings, followed by a live performance by Catherine Ringer of Les Rita Mitsouko.

Saturday, June 9

Artist Demonstration: Motor City Street Dance Academies artist KEVFU Noon–4 p.m.

Explore lettering and cartooning through hip-hop with cartoonist and graffiti artist KEVFU as he demonstrates the visual language shared between street artists and comics. Presented by Artist Heaven, a Detroit nonprofit designed to uplift, inspire and motivate youth through various forms of art.

Sunday, June 10

Artist Demonstration: Gunnar Hamina Noon–4 p.m.

Artist and designer Gunnar Hamina demonstrates his technique of creating clothes out of repurposed materials. Visitors will learn about the cost-saving benefits and environmental advantages of making their own clothes and get a chance to try out sewing. Presented by Artist Heaven, a Detroit nonprofit designed to uplift, inspire and motivate youth through various forms of art.

Thursday, June 14

Thursdays at the Museum:  Art Talk: “Making Home” with curators Taylor Aldridge and Lucy Mensah 1 p.m.

Curators of the exhibition “Making Home: Contemporary Works from the DIA,” Taylor Aldridge and Lucy Mensah, give a talk about the exhibition, which features art from the DIA’s collections of Prints, Drawings and Photographs and Contemporary art that are concerned with idealistic representations of home.

Detroit Film Theatre: “Gregory Porter: Don’t Forget Your Music” 7 p.m.

“Don’t Forget Your Music” tells the story of jazz vocalist Gregory Porter, told through candid interviews with his family and artistic collaborators. The documentary traces an arc from his 2016 Grammy Award for his album “Take Me to the Alley” to his current status as an icon for a new generation of American jazz masters. Presented in partnership with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Friday, June 15

Special Event: Allied Media Conference Opening Ceremony 6:30 p.m.

Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Allied Media Conference (AMC) began as a resource for independent publishing and do-it-yourself culture. The AMC has since expanded into a large and diverse gathering offering hands-on training in a wide range of media practices. The AMC fosters strategies for how these practices can support and inspire grassroots efforts for social justice, and has become a one-of-a-kind convergence point for visionary and effective media-based organizers from across the U.S.

Sunday, June 17

Concert: Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival: Music Beyond Words 1 and 3 p.m.

Music Beyond Words celebrates the timeless relationship between music and literature that highlights pieces inspired by the written and spoken word.

Friday, June 21

Friday Night Live!: Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival: Music Beyond Words 7 and 8:30 p.m.

See June 17 for description.

Thursday, June 28

Thursdays at the Museum: Movie: “Deli Man” 1 p.m.

Ziggy Gruber, a world-class chef trained in France, longed to create the cuisine he loved most. To do so he recreated the delicatessen of his youth and of his dreams, but in an unexpected place—Texas.


Saturday, June 30

Play: “Daddy’s Boys” 1 and 6 p.m.

AARP MICHIGAN, in partnership with The Charles Wright Museum of African American History and the DIA presents a play by Garrett Davis that delves into the role of men as fathers. “Daddy’s Boys” takes audience members on an emotional journey that stresses the importance of fathering. This is the newest stage production from Davis, creator of the award-winning urban theatrical productions “Mama’s Girls” and “Forget Me Not,” that showcases how we view minority health.



DIA Away

DIA Away is a fully furnished, vibrantly designed, 53′ double-expandable trailer. Inside, families and visitors of all ages will discover some of the ways artists think, then have the opportunity to try out creative thinking skills at digital and hands-on stations. Visitors will be surprised and inspired to discover the connections between themselves and the ways artists think and work.


Saturday, June 2

DIA Away: Palmer Park Art Fair, 910 Merrill Plaisance, Detroit 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Saturday, June 9

DIA Away: Arts, Animals and Awakenings Festival, Dearborn Historical Museum, 915 S Brady St. Noon–6 p.m.

Sunday, June 10

DIA Away: Royal Oak Clay, Glass and Metal Show, Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, 200 S. Washington Ave. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Saturday, June 16

DIA Away: Oak Park Summerfest, 14300 Oak Park Blvd. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Tuesday, June 19

DIA Away: Manoogian Manor, 15775 Middlebelt Rd, Livonia 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Wednesday, June 20

DIA Away: Henry Ford Cancer Institute – Macomb, 15855 19 Mile Rd., Clinton Twp. 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Saturday, June 23

DIA Away: Novi Public Library, 45255 West Ten Mile Road 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Friday, June 29

DIA Away: Bass, Brews & BBQ, Lake St. Clair Metropark, 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Twp. Noon–8 p.m.

Behind the Seen

Presented by trained DIA teaching volunteers, “Behind the Seen” (BTS) brings the same level of insight and engagement about the DIA’s collection from the museum to your community. Behind the Seen talks last up to one hour and are available to adult civic and social groups, libraries, senior centers, and other community-accessible locations in the metro Detroit area.

BTS talks can be scheduled free for groups in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. For all others there is a $150 fee. To schedule a talk, contact Cynthia Blackburn at 313-833-1510 or at

Monday, June 4

Behind the Seen: Let me tell you a Story, Plymouth District Library, 223 S. Main Street 6:30 p.m.

Making meaning of the world around us is a basic behavior and most cultures throughout time have used art to teach essential beliefs and understandings. Explore the many ways visual artists use stories as the source of inspiration for their work.

Thursday, June 7

Behind the Seen: Your DIA (R)evolution, Clinton-Macomb Public Library, 40900 Romeo Plank,

Clinton Twp. 2 p.m.

Learn about the history of the DIA and the individuals who founded the museum, built its collection, and supported the institution for over 128 years and understand why the DIA is considered one of the most renowned and innovative art museums in the world.

Thursday, June 28

Behind the Seen: “Star Wars and the Power of Costume,” Warren Public Library, Arthur Miller Branch, 5460 Arden 6 p.m.

Enjoy a talk about some of the costumes in the DIA’s exhibition “Star Wars and the Power of Costume,” on view through Sept. 30.

Drop-in Artmaking

Offsite Drop-In Art-Making activities are offered at numerous art fairs and festivals throughout the Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties. Art projects rotate throughout the year, focusing on current exhibitions, creative work from different cultures, various techniques, and concepts of identity.


Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3

Drop-in Art Making: Artist Trading Cards, Art!Macomb, Manoogian Art Park, 125 Macomb Place, Mt. Clemens 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3

Drop-in Art Making: Uchiwa, Art on the Grand, 33113 Grand River Ave., Farmington 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Uchiwa is a particular style of paper fan that is common in Japan. Learn about the tradition of making uchiwa as you create your own fan.

Saturday, June 9

Drop-in Art Making: Great Lakes Wildlife Puppets, The Art Fish Fun Festival, Beaudette Park, 786 Orchard Lake Rd., Pontiac Noon–3:45 p.m.

Friday, June 22

Drop-In Art Making: Sistrums, Trenton Summer Festival, 2800 3rd Street, Trenton 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Sistrums are sacred rattles carried by royal women during ceremonies in ancient Egypt. Learn more about this instrument and create a simple version.


Friday–Sunday, June 22–24

Drop-in Art Making: Great Lakes Wildlife Puppets, GM River Days, 1340 East Atwater St., Detroit Noon–7 p.m.

Live Music


Saturday, June 30

Live Music: David McMurray Quintet, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave, Detroit 7 p.m.

Saxophonist David McMurray has become one of the most sought-after session men in contemporary music. His playing spans many styles, including jazz, rock, funk, blues, folk and country. For this performance David McMurray features music from his forthcoming release on Blue Note records.

This program is part of a series of collaborations with the Charles Wright Museum of African-American History and takes place in the General Motors Theater.


Now in its ninth year, Inside|Out shares the richness and diversity of the museum’s collection through high quality reproductions displayed in communities throughout the tri-county area in places where people live, work and play.

Thursday, June 21

Inside|Out: “Art of Wheels” Heritage Park Bike Tour, Summit on the Park Community Center, 46000 Summit Pkwy., Canton 6–7:30 p.m.


Museum Hours and Admission

9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 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 students, $6 for ages 6–17. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.


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