The museum is pleased to present Detroit Performs!, a photomontage dedicated to those who gained national and often international prominence in the performing arts. Although a majority of these artists moved here from other regions, especially the south, they claimed Detroit as their own, usually crediting it as the place where they honed their skills. Many of these innovators, John Lee Hooker, Tommy Flanagan and Mattie Moss Clark among them, put unique spins on existing art forms such as blues, jazz and gospel. Other performers, including Aretha Franklin, Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson and Eddie Fowlkes, created whole new genres; for example, soul and techno.
Our salute to the performing arts focuses on three areas: theater, dance and music. We highlight noted playwrights, choreographers and dancers and a trove of instrumentalists and vocalists who used their talents to bring joy, encourage dialogue and stimulate social change. We hope this installation provides you with a look at a remarkable and inspiring legacy that continues.
"Detroit Performs!" is free with museum admission.