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Art X Detroit showcases Detroit’s flourishing arts scene

Naomi Long Madgett

Naomi Long Madgett

38 Kresge Eminent Artists and Artist Fellows debut exciting new works and performances in Art X Detroit

DETROIT – Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts Experience will take over Midtown this spring as the free, five-day arts experience celebrates Detroit’s arts scene April 10-14. Throughout more than a dozen venues in the Midtown district, the public is invited to experience an exciting collection of visual art installations, dance, musical and theatrical performances, literary readings, and much more created by the Kresge Eminent Artists and Kresge Artist Fellowship Awardees. Art X Detroit is funded by The Kresge Foundation.

“A thriving arts and cultural community not only enriches the quality of life for residents and visitors to southeastern Michigan, but inspires fresh ideas and fuels the creative vitality of the region,” said Rip Rapson, Kresge’s president and CEO. “In attracting local, national and international audiences to experience the works of these artists, Art X Detroit celebrates the Detroit metropolitan area as a hub of innovation and human energy. We’re proud to support the event and celebrate the Kresge Eminent Artists and Artist Fellows.”

The Kresge Foundation has provided $2 million to support more than 70 artists living and working in Metro Detroit through its Kresge Eminent Artist and Artist Fellowship programs since 2008. The Eminent Artist and Artist Fellowship programs are administered by the College for Creative Studies.

Art X Detroit highlights

The event will feature exceptional works and performances by acclaimed Eminent Artists Bill Harris and Naomi Long Madgett, and art enthusiasts will experience some of Detroit’s most creative talents at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall, College for Creative Studies and others. A special visual arts exhibition runs through April 28 at MOCAD.

The opening night of Art X Detroit is a multi-venue celebration on April 10 from 6:15-11 p.m. at MOCAD and the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, with special live performances at the First Congregational Church and Wayne State University. The opening night reception is free to the public; however, registration is required. RSVP by April 8 at www.artxdetroit.com/opening-night or call 313.420.6000.

Art X Detroit captures the creativity and imagination of the Kresge Eminent Artists and Fellows whose works will be on display across Midtown, including: “Have Mercy” and “Booker T. & Them: A Blues” by 2011 Kresge Eminent Artist Bill Harris. Award-winning playwright, poet, critic and novelist, Bill Harris’ plays have been featured in more than 100 productions nationwide. In “Have Mercy,” Harris collaborates with Detroit’s own Rev. Robert Jones (a master blues historian and guitarist) for a demonstration of theater at its most basic, in the tradition of Homer and African djelis, or griots. This one-act monologue will take place at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, GM Theater, to be followed by an excerpt from Harris’ book, “Booker T. & Them: A Blues,” directed by innovative stage director, Aku Kadogo, also a Detroit native.

Naomi Long Madgett

With a career as a published poet that spans eight decades, 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist Dr. Naomi Long Madgett has amassed numerous accolades for her exemplary life of service and creative expression. The annual Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, established in 1993, has helped shine a spotlight on African American writers — recognizing 20 young poets to-date and attracting the attention of major publishing houses. Madgett will read from her own work as well as present a program of readings and dialogue reflecting on the careers of five of the awardees: Bill Harris, Claude Wilkinson, Nagueyalti Warren, Edward Bruce Bynum and Esperanza Cintrón. Readings will be held at the GM Theatre at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Other works

  • In her new comedy film, “¡Viva America!,” renowned actress/comedian/writer Maria Costa portrays an array of hilarious and thought-provoking characters whose lives are profoundly affected by immigration in the U.S.
  • Worden presents a new, 360 degree, surround-sound instrumental composition for The Detroit Party Marching Band with “My Brightest Diamond.”
  • Together, Detroit-based MCs Mister and Blaksmith form Passalacqua. In “Part 1,” they present a documentary retrospective of their group as told by friends, collaborators and themselves. In “Part 2,” Passalacqua performs their complete discography live and exclusively debut their newest songs.
  • Hubert Massey is creating a 30-feet by 60-feet mural, titled “The People’s Vision,” to be installed on the WSU Press Building at the corner of Woodward and Warren avenues. 
  • “Corner Store” is a three-channel video installation inspired by experiences during two days when plywood boards covering the Design 99 studio/storefront space in Hamtramck were removed.

For a complete schedule of events, visit www.ArtX-Detroit.com 

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