The Detroit Festival of the Arts is now Midsummer Nights in Midtown!
Detroit, MI – 2009 – The University Cultural Center Association (UCCA) and Wayne State University are excited to announce a new series of summertime public performances, Midsummer Nights in Midtown, every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening in June. This special series will continue to provide outstanding arts and cultural programming for the metropolitan Detroit community, in lieu of the Detroit Festival of the Arts.
Midsummer Nights in Midtown spotlights a different Midtown venue each evening of the series, presenting an admission-free performance by international, national and local guest artists ranging from acclaimed musicians to award-winning poets and authors, and large-puppet theater for children. In total there will be more than a dozen participating venues and over 25 performances amid the state’s premier arts and cultural institutions, neighborhood galleries, and entertainment facilities.
The Detroit Science Center will host the “Midsummer Children’s Fair” on Saturday, June 13th, featuring the Hudson Vagabond Puppets’ latest production, “Butterfly: The Story of a Life Cycle”. This evening of non-stop, hands-on fun includes twenty-four young creatives in the Youth Artists Market and more than a dozen imaginative children’s make-and-take crafts for all ages – as well as the Detroit Science Center’s huge variety of novel installations and educational experiences.
Detroit vocalist and perennial favorite, Thornetta Davis, opens for the London-based, Jamaican-born poet, Linton Kwesi Johnson, who is credited as creator of the hybrid genre of reggae poetry. A book signing will start the evening at the Detroit Public Library Main Branch, Thursday, June 18th.
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will perform selections from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on Saturday, June 20th, in a late-night outdoor concert held on the lawn adjacent to The Ellington parking structure, across from Orchestra Hall. San Francisco’s extraordinary aerial dance troupe, Project Bandaloop, will add their beautiful, gravity-defying vertical choreography, performing to the dulcet sounds of the celebrated hometown orchestra. Opening the evening’s open-air music and dance festivities is NYC’s East Village Opera Company, a rock group composed of two guitarists, a bassist, a percussionist, a string quartet and a vocalist! Combining a classical string section with a powerhouse rock band, EVOC transforms traditional operatic pieces into modern musical arrangements that have toured the world.
Wayne State University’s Community Arts Auditorium hosts a special evening of jazz, Thursday,June 25th, featuring special guests The Bad Plus. This Minneapolis acoustic jazz trio performs modern avant-garde jazz with influences of rock and pop, Professor Chris Collins leads the WSU Detroit Jazz Collective bringing together Jazz Dept. faculty, Detroit Jazz artists and outstanding WSU jazz students presenting new music arranged and composed by the members.
Presented by the Detroit International Jazz Festival, this evening’s screening of, A Great Day In Harlem, will include introduction of the jazz fest’s own “A Great Day In Detroit” photo. This Academy Award nominated documentary tells the story behind the legendary August 1958 photograph of 57 of the world’s greatest jazz stars who snapped a picture that day that would live forever.
The “Canfield St. Street Party”, Saturday, June 27th will close the month-long celebration with an evening of special guests, featuring the Lovell Sisters and the internationally known Orishas. Orishas, a two-time Grammy Award winning trio, combines hip hop with classic Cuban beats, will be a can’t miss event to conclude this summer series. Food & drink stations supplied by the Traffic Jam & Snug Restaurant, and a retail booth area showcasing some of Midtown’s finest boutique
Midsummer Nights in Midtown is co-produced by the University Cultural Center Association and Wayne State University with sponsorship from DTE Energy Foundation, MASCO, Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, and Wayne State University. For more information and a complete listing of all the venues and performances, parking locations, and food & drink options, visit www.midsummernightsinmidtown.com or call 313.577.5088.
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