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Puppets take Center Stage in December at Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) offers something for every puppet lover in December. Make a variety of puppets in special Noel Night and holiday drop-in workshops, and experience an undersea puppet ballet.


Storytelling and two Brunch with Bach performances are also on December’s menu. Exhibitions on view include Gift of a Lifetime: The James Pearson Duffy Collection; Detroit Revealed: Photographs, 2000–2010; and Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus. The exhibition Once Upon a Time: Prints and Drawings that Tell Stories opens Dec. 21, 2011.


Monday–Thursday, Dec. 26–29    10 a.m.–7 p.m. Programs are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted. For more information, call (313) 833-7900 or visit www.dia.org.

Detroit City Chess Club: Fridays, 4–8 p.m.

The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members have won state, regional and national competitions. People wanting to learn how to play chess should show up between 4 and 6 p.m. There will be no teaching between 6 and 8 p.m., but visitors can play chess.


Drop-In Workshops (for all ages)

Fridays, December 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30, 6–9 p.m. Luminaries: Explore infinite patterns and colors using tissue paper on a simple glass jar that you can illuminate at home with a small candle.

Saturdays, December 3, 10, 17 & 31, Noon–4 p.m. – Snow Snakes: Learn a traditional Inuit game and decorate a simple stick to look like a snake.

Noel Night: Saturday, December 3, 5–9 p.m. – Gingerbread Puppets: Decorate gingerbread cookies to create a one-of-a-kind puppet.

Sundays, December 4, 11, & 18, Noon–4 p.m. Bojagi (bow-ja-gee): Korean bojagi are traditional wrapping cloths created to wrap, store, decorate or carry gifts and everyday objects.


Special Holiday Week Drop-In Puppet Workshops: Noon–4 p.m. 

Monday, December 26 – Glove Finger Puppets: Bring a simple finger from a glove to life as you decorate it with a variety of art-making materials.

Tuesday, December 27 – Rod Bug Puppet: Create a bug puppet on a stick using foamcore, toothpicks, pipe cleaners and beads.

Wednesday, December 28 – Hand Puppets: Use felt and burlap to create your very own puppet.

Thursday, December 29 – Felt Spider Marionette: Make a whimsical spider using felt, ribbon and a tongue depressor.

Friday, December 30 – Gingerbread Puppets: (see Dec. 3 for details).

Saturday, December 31–Tongue Depressor Puppets: Create a simple puppet using fun art-making materials.


Friday Night Live, December 2

Music: Mike Garson: 7 & 8:30 p.m.

Mike Garson has been adding his unique piano style to David Bowie compositions since he was asked by Mick Ronson to join Bowie’s first North American tour in 1971. He devotes this performance to that music, interpreting David Bowie classics for solo piano.


Family Sunday, December 4

Sunday Music Bar: The Detroit Tenors: 1 & 3 p.m. 

The band is led by Steve Wood and Carl Cafagna and is a tribute to the great saxophone pairings of the 1940s and 1950s, such as Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray and Johnny Griffin/Eddie ”Lockjaw” Davis. The Detroit tenors also take this tradition into the modern era with arrangements from other “tenor-centric” bands of Elvin Jones and his contemporaries.


Class: Potter’s Wheel Workshop (ages 18 and older): 1–4 p.m.

Enjoy an introductory potter’s wheel experience in this hands-on class that includes individual guidance and demonstrations. Projects will be fired for pick-up at a later date. Class size limited to 12 students. Members $36, nonmembers $48. To register, call 313-833-4005.


Storytelling: Hanukkah Stories: 2 p.m.

Judy Sima lights up the holiday season with Hanukkah stories of miracles, menorahs and magic dreidels (four-sided spinning tops). Sponsored by Founders Junior Council


Friday Night Live, December 9

Music: Ken Thomson Slow/Fast: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Slow/Fast is a merging of structured and controlled compositions for chamber ensemble with jazz and improvised music. Composer Ken Thomson moves between many genres and has received commissions from the American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can and the True/False Film Festival. Slow/Fast performers are Ken Thomson (saxophone), Russ Johnson (trumpet), Nir Felder (guitar), Adam Armstron (bass) and Fred Kennedy (drums).


Ford Free Sunday, December 11

Brunch with Bach: The Michigan Harp Ensemble: 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

Five harpists perform a musical memoir of one of the most famous harp ensembles ever created, the Angelaires. The Michigan group plays music written expressly for the Angelaires when they toured in the 1950s. The repertoire includes pop and classical numbers arranged for the harp. Tickets: Brunch and Concert, 1:30 p.m. performance only, $35; Continental Breakfast and concert, 11 a.m. performance only, $20; Concert only: $15. Call 313-833-4005 or visit www.dia.org


Lecture: Extending the Contexts of Vodou Symbology: 2 p.m.

Born in Haiti, raised in Puerto Rico, and educated in Canada and Paris, Edouard Duval-Carrie often incorporates elements of Vodou beliefs and practices in his art to represent Haiti’s contemporary political turmoil. His more recent work combines elements of African fables, classical mythology and Haitian and world history with contemporary events. Sponsored by Friends of African and African American Art


Storytelling: Cozy Christmas Stories: 2 p.m.

Sit a spell with jolly interactive stories for children and cozy tales for adults from the European Christmas tradition performed by award-winning storyteller Yvonne Healy. Sponsored by Founders Junior Council


Friday Night Live, December 16

Music: The Music of James Hartway: 7 & 8:30 p.m.

Dr. James Hartway has been a constant on the Detroit classical music scene for decades. An assortment of Detroit musicians will perform a variety of his chamber music compositions.


Family Sunday, December 18

Brunch with Bach: Kyoko Kashiwagi, Vana Staples and Angelina Pashmakova: 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

Violinist Kyoko Kashiwagi, flutist Vana Staples, and pianist Angelina Pashmakova perform Bach’s Musical Offering, a collection of canons and fugues based on a theme given to him by Frederick II of Prussia, and the Johannes Brahms Violin Sonata No. 3 in D Minor. Tickets: Brunch and Concert, 1:30 p.m. performance only, $35; Continental breakfast and concert, 11 a.m. performance only, $20; Concert only: $15. Call 313-833-4005 or visit dia.org.


Storytelling: Kwanzaa Stories: 2 p.m.

Discover the reasons behind Kwanzaa’s seven principles through stories filled with fun, excitement and humor by Tonya Dallas. Sponsored by Founders Junior Council


Friday Night Live, December 23

Music: CHEEK to CHEEK with Sandra Bomar & Tony Camilletti: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Enjoy a celebration of jazz hits popularized by the hipsters of the 1940s–1960s featuring the songs of Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Lerner & Lowe, Rodgers & Hart and others, with Sven Anderson on piano, Marion Hayden on bass and Alex Trajano on drums.


Monday–Wednesday, December 2628: Special Holiday Puppet Performance

Tangle of Tales: 2 p.m.

Using a variety of puppet sizes, Grey Seal Puppets perform three favorite folk tales from around the world with refreshing wit and wisdom: “The Frog Prince” from Germany, “Three Billy Goats Gruff” from Scandinavia and “The Three Little Pigs” from England. Sponsored by Founders Junior Council


Thursday–Saturday, December 29–30: Special Holiday Puppet Performance

Animalia: 2 p.m.

Hobey Ford’s large-scale foam puppets use the whole theater as their performance space for this production exploring the world of animals, including butterfly and frog metamorphosis, the lives of birds and whales, frolicking dolphins and otters in an undersea ballet. Sponsored by Founders Junior Council


Friday Night Live, December 30

Music: Planet D Nonet Sun Ra Tribute: 7 & 8:30 p.m.

Since the passing of Sun Ra in 1993, his star has continued to shine brightly. Today there is an underground movement of musicians around the globe performing his music live & on recordings. Planet D Nonet is one of these groups and will pay tribute to the music of Sun Ra.


For membership information call 313-833-7971.


Copyright © 1989 to 2011 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/22/11 05:55:32 -0800.





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