Art, Music & Workshops: Spend An Entertaining Day at the DIA

By: Toni Cunningham | August 27, 2014
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The Detroit Institute of Arts is a huge cultural landmark in the city of Detroit. The DIA, located at 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, is more than just a building with art hanging on its walls. The DIA is a place where families and friends can enjoy and participate in an afternoon workshop, take in a live concert performance and hone their own artistic skills.

There is always plenty to do at the Detroit Institute of Arts, especially throughout the month of September. Whether you’re looking for a way to connect with your kids on the weekends since they’re going back to school, or looking for a fun and unique way to spend a Sunday afternoon with your sweetheart, you’ll find it at the DIA. Let’s take a look, shall we?


Catch “Detroit—Bruce Weber” before it closes on Sunday, Sept. 7. Renowned photographer Bruce Weber’s images capture the evolution of the city of Detroit through portraits of the people who live here.

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Beginning on Friday, Sept. 19, you can sneak a peek at the DIA’s newest exhibit, which runs through March of 2015. “Ordinary People by Extraordinary Artists: Works on Paper by Degas, Renoir and Friends” is an exhibit that will showcase the paintings, prints and drawings of the aforementioned artists.

Both exhibitions are free with museum admission.

Friday Night Live! Events 

Friday night at the DIA consists of live music performances. On Friday, Sept. 5, Salutaris will perform Baroque tunes using period instruments.

If you’re looking for something a little different, head to the DIA on Friday, Sept. 12 to hear Emel Mathlouthi perform. The singer, songwriter and guitarist will perform Tunisian music with trip hop influences.

The Grace Kelly Quintet will perform on Friday, Sept. 19, as jazz saxophonist Grace Kelly (not the Princess of Monaco) takes the stage with Jason Palmer (trumpet), Doug Johnson (piano), Evan Gregor (bass) and Jordan Perlson (drums).

Each Friday Night Live! performance features two shows: one at 7 p.m. and another at 8:30 p.m., both of which are free with museum admission.

Sunday Music Bar Events 

The DIA’s Sunday Music Bar concert series takes place every Sunday in the Kresge Court or Riviera Court. Each show is free with museum admission and you can grab a coffee or glass of wine to sip while you listen to the performances.

Cellist Cecilia Sharpe will perform on Sunday, Sept. 7 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The following weekend, Sunday, Sept. 14, baritone singer Dan Mihaescu will captivate audiences at his performances at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

If you’re in the mood for some local music, be sure to head to Kresge Court on Sunday, Sept. 21 to watch Detroit jazz pianist Bill Meyer. He will perform between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Fellow pianist Pam Wise will perform R&B and jazz songs on Sunday, Sept. 28 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Drawing in the Galleries 

Whether you’re practically Leonardo da Vinci or you’re a mere novice, drawers of all skill levels (and ages) can take part in the DIA’s Drawing in the Galleries events. Skilled instructors will provide all necessary supplies and help those who partake create a pencil drawing to take home.

Drawing in the Galleries for Adults will take place on Sept. 5, 12, 19 and 26, while classes for both youth and adults will take place on Sept. 5, 7, 12, 14, 29, 21, 26 and 28.

Drop-In Workshops 

The DIA holds drop-in workshops several times throughout the month that are the perfect opportunity to get your little ones into some hands on art. Each workshop is free with museum admission, and those ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult to participate.

On Sept. 5, 12, 19 and 26, a Travel Journal workshop will be held, where children can create a book with card stock, paper and rubber bands. The workshop is held on each of the aforementioned Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

If you’re looking to spend a fun Saturday afternoon with your kids, head to the DIA on Sept. 6, 13, 20 or 27 to participate in a Tongue Depressor Puppets workshop. Here, you’ll be able to help your young ones make puppets using tongue depressors and fabric. The workshop is held from noon to 4 p.m. each day.

Making memories is what these workshops are all about. At the Picture Frames workshop, held on Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28, you can create your very own photo frame! Using various beads, markers and cardboard, your kids will have the opportunity to create a 5×7 photo frame. These Sunday workshops will each be held from noon to 4 p.m.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon or an evening with your friends or family. While the Detroit Film Theatre remains closed until October, there is still plenty to enjoy at the DIA this month. Head to the DIA and get yourself cultured!