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Detroit gallery presents ‘Black Detroit 21’ exhibition

‘Your Town Tomorrow’ by Corinne Vermeulen.

‘Your Town Tomorrow’ by Corinne Vermeulen. ZENOBIA JEFFRIES PHOTO

Through March 22

In partnership with the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, the University of Michigan Detroit Center presents theWork: Detroit gallery exhibition, “Black Detroit 21.” Curated by Odie Rynell Cash, “Black Detroit 21” addresses social concerns within Detroit’s African American community by exploring the topics of identity, territory, protest, sexuality and transition.

The exhibition concludes on March 22, with event performances on Feb.7, Feb. 20, March 8, 12 and 22. The exhibition is open between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Work Detroit is located at the University of Michigan Detroit Center at Orchestra Place, 3663 Woodward Ave., Suite 150 in Midtown Detroit. Parking is available for exhibition guests in the structure behind Orchestra Place.

For more information about Black Detroit 21 events and artists, visit

Feb. 7

– A Curator and Artists Discussion/Performance with Detroit Public High School Students, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Artists from the exhibition will give a tour and discussion about Black Detroit 21 and their work with students from Detroit Public High Schools. A discussion will be lead by Odie Rynell Cash, durator of Black Detroit 21. The tour/discussion is also open to the public. Artists include Christopher Batten, Satori Circus, NNII, Tylonn Sawyer, Sean Rodriguez Sharpe, Fatima Sow with Jasmine Murrell and Corine Vermeulen.

Feb. 20

– 4TheatrSake — CELL/$hips, from 7-9 p.m. Three 25-minute performances and one 25-minute forum dialogue session. Directed by Sean Rodriguez Sharpe

4TheatrSake is a collective of actors dedicated to revolutionizing urban theater by introducing global ideas. 4TheatrSake creates theater as a mirror in which one can reach in to change reality and transform it.

CELL/$hips: CELL/$hips focuses on the correlation between slavery and the prison-industrial complex. The thematic idea behind the interdisciplinary work is the exploration of the body’s physical reaction to the souls imprisonment. This performance piece walks the line between examining our subject while simultaneously embodying that subject. By exercising their perceptions through art, they sharpen the skills to experience life outside the theater more fully. CELL/$hips is an interactive experience using interdisciplinary forms of performance art allowing the audience to interact with the performance through forum conversation and live twitter feeds.

– Stars n’ Bars: Contrasting viewpoints in movement with vocal viewpoints, this scene represents the booking and confinement of two prisoners. The movement grew from improvisation based on character studies and is choreographed to be stylistically minimal to give the audience a visceral representation of the isolation of new prisoners.

– Birth in Chains: Using Butoh movement, this piece abstractly ties the narrative of Margaret Garner to a modern first person account of a woman forced to give birth in handcuffs during her incarceration. they used space, shape and time to juxtapose the prisoner’s emotion with a prison doctor’s apathy.

March 8

– SideBar Black Art Theatre of Detroit, from 7-9 p.m. Doing a combination of monologues and short scenes from established playwrights such as James Baldwin and up and coming artists’ plays, SideBar Black Art Theatre of Detroit will present short monologues to develop a clearer understanding of community, the benefits of our multicultural make-up and sharing an artistry that has historic roots in Detroit regarding the Art Theatre Movement.

March 12

– Panel Discussion, from 7-9 p.m., and exhibition tour by Odie Rynell Cash, Curator of Black Detroit 21. Oorganized by KICK-The Agency for LGBT African Americans Special Session of Talk Tuesday Series; Moderator, Curtis Lipscom; Executive Director, KICK

– KICK, The Agency for LGBT African Americans, a Michigan nonprofit business, was founded in 2003 with the help of Detroit LGBT residents. The aim of KICK is to continue to implement LGBT affirming programs, services, projects and special events; and to partner with other social justice organizations and allies with similar beliefs. In 2011 The Center in Detroit opened and provides the LGBT and allied community a safe space in Detroit in which to discuss, learn and offer support to one another.

– “Talk Tuesdays,” a free workshop series held weekly by KICK. The topics for this special session are ‘the search for a LGBT identity within Detroit’s (overall) Black community and the desire for acceptance in Detroit and beyond.

March 22

– The EchoVerse Vibe Performance Series, featured Poets and Open Mic

– 6-9 p.m.

– 6:30 p.m. — Satori Circus Oh Happy Day Trilogy (part two and three)

– 7-8:30 p.m. — The EchoVerse showcases urban art and expression through literature, performance and music. It provides emerging and seasoned artist a forum to explore, innovate and create. The EchoVerse, hosted by JyObadele and SoundCircle and collective DJ Andre Royster, are producers of the popular EchoVerse Poetry and Slam Series.

– 8:30 p.m. — Final Thoughts: Odie Rynell Cash, Curator, Black Detroit 21

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