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Your guide to Art X Detroit

A scene from Oren Goldenberg's "A Requiem for Douglass" installation



What is Art X Detroit? Simply put, it is 50 free arts events over three weekends in April in Detroit.

The events will feature the works of about 40 Kresge Eminent Artists and Artist Fellows and will be staged over three weekends (April 9-12, 16-19, 25-26) at about 20 venues throughout the city.

OK, that's a lot to sift through, so IXITI.com's Clare Pfeiffer asked Mallika Roy, programs and communications coordinator for Art X, to guide us through some of the event's highlights so we don't miss anything. (The full schedule can be found here.)

Q: There is so much going on, how do you describe Art X Detroit?

A. It’s a little overwhelming! Basically Art X is a biannual celebration of the arts in Detroit. It’s a 10-day celebration this year, which is double what it has been in previous years.
Planning the event has been a year and a half process. There have been so many meetings with artists to find out how we can best support them and give them opportunities they haven’t maybe thought of with this opportunity.

Q: What kinds of things can people expect to find?

A. Literary readings, film screenings, visual arts, dance, music and theatrical performances. There are workshops, panel discussions, and some weird interactive experiences that don’t fit into any label. 

Q: OK, let's look at the schedule. What are some of the artists' lectures, panels, and conversations we shouldn't miss?

A. Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will have a conversation with Kresge Foundation president and CEO Rip Rapson, moderated by Juanita Moore of the Charles H. Wright Museum. They will be talking about the arts and what is the arts' role in community. How we can play with creativity and culture and use it as a way to revitalize communities? That discussion is 1:30-3 p.m., Saturday, April 18, at the Wright Museum. (Details here.)

There will also be an artist talk with photographer Bill Rauhauser on April 19, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at MOCAD. He's a 2013 Kresge Eminent Artist. He'll be talking with people he's worked with, students. It's a chance for people to hear from him and see his work. He's just legendary.  

Then on Saturday, April 25, from 12 to 2 p.m., there will be a discussion at MOCAD among 12 people. The panel will explore what food sovereignty is, why it matters, and the creative and artistic ways that urban farmers in Detroit are cultivating a more food sovereign city.
 
Q. What about some of the oddball events that defy labels?

A. For example, Kate Daughdrill — she's got this installation at MOCAD that is going to be activated three or four times during the week. She has a medicinal tea and food pairing — it's more intimate than a discussion or a lecture, it's really an experience. (Details here.)

Science fiction writer adrian maree brown — she’s going to have a whole slew of events at the Garden Theater. Science fiction is a great way to explore what alternatives for our communities could look at. (Details here.)

Q. Ok, how about a couple big names?

A. On Saturday, April 25, Juan Atkins is celebrating 35 years of techno and his label's 30th anniversary. He's considered one of the fathers of techno and he's an icon for techno in Detroit. It's one of the few late-night events.
 
On Sunday, April 26, composer and Michigan Opera Theater founder David DiChiera — he is the other eminent artist that we are featuring. It's going to be a really lovely event, and he is bringing in a lot of his favorite musicians to perform music he composes. He wants to bring everyone on stage with him for a more intimate gathering. 

Q. And everything is free and open to the public?

A. Yes! All free. And there are so many that I personally want to attend — I never know when I'm telling people too many suggestions!

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The details: Art X Detroit is April 9-26 and staged over three weekends (April 9-12, 16-19, 25-26) at nearly 20 venues throughout the city. Find the full schedule here.

The opening night of Art X Detroit is a free, open-to-the-public, multi-venue celebration on Thursday, April 9, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. at MOCAD and The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art.

There is an artists' exhibition that runs April 9-26, 2015, at MOCAD, and features selected works from the collection of 2014 Kresge Eminent Artist Bill Rauhauser, as well as the latest developments in the ongoing artistic careers of the following Kresge Artist Fellows:
  • Ben Hall (Dance/Music Fellow)
  • Jeedo (Dance/Music Fellow)
  • Cary Loren (Literary Arts Fellow)
  • Peregrine Workshop (Literary Arts Fellow)
  • Michael Zadoorian (Literary Arts Fellow)
  • Coco Bruner (Visual Arts Fellow)
  • Jon Brumit (Visual Arts Fellow)
  • Jason E. Carter (Visual Arts Fellow)
  • Kate Daughdrill (Visual Arts Fellow)
  • Oren Goldenberg (Visual Arts Fellow)
  • Marie T. Hermann (Visual Arts Fellow)
  • Charlie O’Geen (Visual Arts Fellow)
  • Bryant Tillman (Visual Arts Fellow)
  • Carl Wilson (Visual Arts Fellow)
More information can be found at www.artxdetroit.com.

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This story originally appeared on IXITI.com, the experience engine for Southeast Michigan.
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