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|President's Message, October 2012
Juanita Moore, President & CEO
What an incredible summer we had this year at The Wright Museum! The opening night of the 20th Concert of Colors once again attracted a standing-room only crowd in the General Motors Theater. We honored the 90th birthday of one of Detroit’s own legal legends, Judge Damon J. Keith, and shined a spotlight on literacy at the Jerry Pinkney Celebrity Children’s Book Fair weekend. The 30th annual African World Festival began a proud, new tradition at the Museum with over 100,000 attendees! And September was spectacular, with a Grandparents Day celebration of over 2,000 intergenerational participants hosted by the Women’s Committee, the 30 Days To Lose It! season 3 kickoff, and the launch of the monthly Community Cinema and Liberation Film Series programs. Lastly, the legacy of Museum founder Dr. Charles Wright was honored at the 8th Biennial Legacy Dinner held September 22, an event that sold out 4 weeks prior. Our congratulations and thanks to the Friends Committee for helping keep Dr. Wright’s legacy alive.
In its own way, fall is a season of new beginnings, at The Wright Museum, and beyond. We’d like to salute our departing Trustees who have fulfilled their terms of service for the Museum. They are Dennis Archer, Jr., president, Archer Corporate Services; Dr. Robert Bland, former executive vice president, Lewis College of Business (retired); Don Coleman, chairman and CEO, GlobalHue; Robert Davis, MDOT senior advisor, State of Michigan; Rev. Robert Dulin, Jr., Metropolitan Church of God (retired); Christopher Jackson, managing partner, Jackson Consulting Group; Dr. Arthur Jefferson, president, Arthur Jefferson & Associates; William Jones, Jr., CEO, Focus: HOPE; Sharon O’Niel, former vice president of IT, DTE Energy (retired); and Ronald Reed, Detroit Medical Center (retired). We thank them for their years of service and support, and wish them the very best in everything they do. As Museum COO Tyrone Davenport likes to say, “you’ll always be a part of the family.”
We are so very proud to introduce the incoming Board of Trustees Class of 2012. They are Michael Bickers, executive vice president, PNC Bank; James Cunningham, partner, Williams Williams Rattner & Plunkett, P.C.; Matthew Davis, senior vice president, Chase Bank; Joyce Hayes Giles, assistant to the chairman & senior vice president, DTE Energy; Dennis Johnson, senior vice-president, Comerica Bank; James McGinnis, Law Office of James McGinnis; Eric Peterson, vice-president of diversity, General Motors; Maureen Roberts, civic leader and philanthropist; and Joni Thrower-Grundy, associate, Miller Canfield P.L.C. On behalf of the Museum’s staff, supporters and community, we say, “Welcome!”
For The Love of Literacy
Our Camp Africa summer program served 3,800 children from the Detroit Public Schools. The Jerry Pinkney Celebrity Children’s Book Fair included book signings, talks and classes with the artist, and over 2,000 book giveaways thanks to First Book. The weekly Super Summer Storytime enjoyed its second year providing enrichment for local families and daycare groups. These efforts were celebrated at The Wright Gala 2012: La Bibliothèque, an amazing event that brought together Museum members, donors, and civic leaders, all in support of this most worthy cause.
Inspiring Minds… and Hearts
Opening November 10 is our new, permanent exhibit, Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science & Technology, a high-tech, hands-on experience honoring trailblazers and contemporaries, and exciting career paths, in the sciences. This project will be a major attraction for families and schools across the region, and could not have happened without the financial support of The Detroit Links, Incorporated, who opened their hearts (and checkbooks) and provided $250,000 towards the exhibition. We are inspired by their generosity, the fruits of which will inspire minds for many years to come.
Friday & Saturday 10/5 & 10/6
DLECTRICITY is a free, outdoor light art festival. For two nights, the historic architecture of Midtown will become the canvas for local, national, and international artists to display their cutting edge works of art. Featured at The Wright Museum will be “Laser Starship” by Yvette Mattern, an international artist whose monumental laser light installation ‘Global Rainbow’ premiered in the UK for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in February of 2012. Drawing on the sculptural qualities of a beam of laser light, The Laser Starship, a new artwork, projects high specification multiple rays of colorful laser light surrounding the center atrium glass rotunda of The Wright Museum. The Laser Starship comments on elements of Afro futurism for a site specific laser “mothership” in Detroit. Also featured is “The Legacy Lives On,” a memorial tribute to Detroit native James Dewitt Yancey (also known as J Dilla and Jay Dee) by Evan Roth. For more information including a complete project list, visit www.DLECTRICITY.com.
||Visions of Our 44th President Artists' Discussion
Saturday 10/13 at 1 pm
Join several of the forty-four contemporary artists from across the country who participated in the creation of this "Exhibition of Historic Importance." Hear from them about their inspirations, techniques, challenges, and more! Also participating will be Guest Curator Ashley Whitfield, and Peter Kaplan of Our World, LLC, whose behind-the-scenes work over the past four years has resulted in this stunning exhibit. This event is FREE and open to the public. Click here to learn more...
||Liberation Film Series
Saturday 10/13 at 2 pm
The Liberation Film Series: 2012-2013 Season continues with a Finally Got the News, a documentary of the struggle for Black labor rights, followed by the discussion, Fighting Racism in the Labor Movement, with General Gordon Baker, Jr. and Dr. John H. Bracey, in the Museum's General Motors Theater. This monthly series offers the regional community a new opportunity to experience a season of culturally important, conscious, enlightening, and engaging films. Immediately following each film, a speaker-led interpretation and Q&A session will provide the audience with deeper insights. To encourage literacy, a bibliography, supplemental reading materials, and useful links for each film are accessible on the Museum’s website, and the speaker’s books and related texts available at the venue. Click here to learn more...
||Voices of the Civil War Episode 9, "Port Royal Experiment"
Wednesday 10/17 online at TheWright.org/voices
The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. In Episode 9, we explore the bounds of citizenship for the newly released slaves on the Sea Islands of South Carolina during the Port Royal Experiment. If slaves were treated like freedmen, were they not citizens? And if the privileges of citizenship were extended to refugee slaves, was the Civil War indeed a conflict about slavery? We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War blog, where you can view new and previous episodes at www.TheWright.org/voices.
||In The Footsteps of Mandela 12-Day South Africa Vacation & Safari
October 8 - 19, 2013
Join fellow patrons, staff members and supporters of The Wright Museum on this amazing journey through the vibrant Rainbow Nation. Discover Nelson Mandela's South Africa through a collection of unique excursions and soulful encounters. This exclusive itinerary comes complete with most meals, luxurious accommodations, numerous excursions, plus round trip air transportation from Detroit. Please click here to download the brochure. For information or to book your reservation call (800) 321-0040.
Visions of Our 44th President
Through August 4, 2013
This collective art exhibit was created to honor and celebrate the significance of the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama. Forty-four busts were created from a model that served as a blank canvas, giving each of forty-four artists from across the country free reign to creatively interpret this milestone in American history. The Visions exhibit opens at The Wright Museum before becoming the Museum’s first national traveling exhibit, visiting prestigious museums, libraries, universities and galleries across the country. At the conclusion of the tour, the exhibit will become a part of The Wright Museum’s permanent collection. To learn more, including how you can help support this once-in-a-life-time undertaking, visit VisionsOfOur44thPresident.com.
Moving to His Own Beat - Fela: The Man, The Movement, The Music
Through March 17, 2013
Created in partnership with Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, this exhibit examines the life of Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti in the realms of music, culture, and politics, and preludes the arrival of the off-Broadway smash musical, Fela!, in February, 2012. Fela's undying passion for African peoples, understanding of the power of art and politics, and unyielding struggle against the colonial forces in Nigeria during the 1950s and 1960s, solidified his legacy as a shimmering agent of change against the status quo. He spoke out against the ruling government, returned to African traditions that had been interrupted during Colonialism, and brilliantly used his music as a medium for social change. Always pushing the envelope, Fela infused traditional African highlife music with classical jazz and funk, which evolved into a unique sound that he called, “Afrobeat.” The powerful music and social commentary found throughout his vast catalogue of recordings is indicative of his desire to help end oppression among African peoples everywhere. Click here to learn more...
The Chris Webber Collection: Exceptional People During Extraordinary Times, 1755 - Present
Through November 6, 2012
Chris Webber, Detroit native, National Basketball Association All-Star player (retired) and NBA announcer, collects rare artifacts that illuminate the lives and legacies of African American greats such as Phillis Wheatley, the first African American author; Rosa Parks , mother of the modern civil rights movement; civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others. Viewers get a glimpse of their heritage and learn about a different facet of Chris Webber, basketball player, philanthropist, and collector of African American history. Click here to learn more...
Great American Artists - Part III: The Seeds
Through January 6, 2013
This yearlong exhibition features the works of a consortium of Detroit artists in a three-part series subtitled, "Roots, Branches, and Seeds." This cooperative provides the group a means of documenting and preserving each artist’s image and their careers. In this third installment, the works of Endia Beal, Sydney James and Mario Moore form the “Seeds” of the group. They have used inspiration derived from the exhibit's first two parts - The Roots and Branches - to create works that address the social issues of today.
Click here to learn more...
A Very Present Force: Celebrating 100 Years of the Detroit Branch NAACP
Opening October 11, 2012
Since its formation in 1912 - only three years after the founding of the national association - the Detroit Branch NAACP has been on the front lines of civil rights activism and advocacy, both locally and throughout the nation. A Very Present Force celebrates this sustained and important century-long struggle for equal opportunity and social justice. Organized into three sections, A Very Present Force explores the Detroit Branch NAACP’s rich local history while situating it within the broader national and international struggle for civil rights. Click here to learn more...
Voices of the Civil War Episode 8 "The Battle of Antietam"
30th Anniversary African World Festival Photo Gallery
The Wright Gala 2012 Part 1 Photo Gallery
The Wright Gala 2012 Part 2 Photo Gallery
Grandparents Day 2012 Photo Gallery
Members of the The Wright Museum enjoy benefits such as:
• Free admission to the museum
• Free guest pass(es)
• Invitations to Members' Only previews
• Free subscription to the quarterly membership newsletter, The Wright Times
• 10% discount in the museum store
• Special pricing on select museum events
• 20% off meals at Union Street Restaurant