Culture Calendar: Top Metro Detroit Events for July 2023

The host of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET offers a curated list of this month’s art and entertainment. Plus, score details on big events happening this July.
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Learn about two extraordinary women at The Henry Ford this summer: Julia Child, who brought French cuisine to American TV, and Lillian Schwartz (pictured), a filmmaker and early computer artist. // Photograph courtesy of The Henry Ford

Metro Detroit is always so full of events and other fun things to do that it can be tough keeping track of it all. To help you plan your weekend itineraries, we’ve asked Ryan Patrick Hooper, the host of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET to share his top July happenings in the area. Plus, save the dates for concerts, stage performances, art exhibitions, and much more.

At the Museum: The Henry Ford stays hot in July with two stunning exhibitions

It’s not that bold to say that the Henry Ford Museum is a great design-centric museum right in our backyards, but it is important to acknowledge when our local cultural institutions have been on a hot streak with high-quality traveling exhibitions like the ode to Jim Henson a couple of years back and the stunning House Industries exhibit in 2017. And that perfectly describes The Henry Ford, which continues staying hot with two exhibitions: Lillian Schwartz: Whirlwind of Creativity and Julia Child: A Recipe for Life.

Let’s start with Whirlwind of Creativity, which is an exhibit The Henry Ford is producing itself in its new collections gallery, which brings objects from its archives into public view. Schwartz was best known for her experimental films and animation videos; she was an early adopter of computer-generated art in the mid-1960s, when few had access to such technology.

“It was rare for artists to receive access to the types of advanced computers that Lillian Schwartz used at Bell Laboratories in the 1960s and ’70s,” says Kristen Gallerneaux, The Henry Ford’s curator of communications and information technology. “She worked at a time when artists were forced to defend computer art as legitimate while also actively trying to improve it.”

With the Julia Child exhibit, A Recipe for Life, cooking show obsessives will get a behind-the-scenes look into the life of the chef, television personality, and author. The exhibition includes interactive spaces like a recreation of The French Chef television set, complete with a vintage studio camera that actually works. Personal papers and favorite kitchen tools round out the exhibition.

Julia Child: A Recipe for Life is on display through Sept. 10. Lillian Schwartz: Whirlwind of Creativity is on display through March 2024. For more, go to thehenryford.org.

Last Chance/Visual Arts: Together & Apart challenges gendered ideas of abstraction at David Klein Gallery

There’s a terrible historic precedent of female artists working in abstraction often being left out of the mainstream discussion about the art form. The David Klein contemporary art gallery in downtown Detroit is aiming to change that with its current show, Together & Apart: A Legacy of Abstraction.

The title refers to a short story by Virginia Woolf, in which she writes of the artistic connection between friends whose paths mirror each other yet offer something unique. The show features Elise Ansel, who turns the work of “old master” painters of the 18th century into an entirely new visual language, alongside Detroit-based mixed-media fabricator Caroline Del Giudice, Alisa Henriquez, and multimedia artist Rosalind Tallmadge.

It’s a show that stands out on its own merits as one of the best you can see in Detroit this summer, but the extra ammunition of defying the historical odds of women being included in the conversation about abstract art gives this one an extra punch. Not to be missed.

Together & Apart: A Legacy of Abstraction is now on display at the David Klein Gallery in downtown Detroit through July 22. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday (noon to 5:30 p.m.). For more information, visit dkgallery.com.

Summer Reading List: A grand-daughter’s story for young readers brings an architect’s life to light

This book was released last year but was unfortunately overlooked in Detroit, which is shocking considering the impact architect Minoru Yamasaki had on the area.

Best known for designing the World Trade Center, Yamasaki spent decades in Michigan, designing the new-formalist gem the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on Wayne State University’s campus and the slick One Woodward Avenue skyscraper overlooking Hart Plaza (a precursor to Yamasaki’s eventual design for the World Trade Center).

In the picture book Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather’s American Journey, Yamasaki’s granddaughter Katie Yamasaki tells his story with the loving, caring touch that only a family member could offer. It doesn’t shy away from the discrimination Minoru Yamasaki faced as a Japanese American man while he became one of the brightest architects in his field, leaving his mark in Detroit and around the world.

Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather’s American Journey by Katie Yamasaki is out now via Norton Young Readers. Order it frfrom your local bookshop.

On My Playlist: Eddie Logix presents the Detroit song of the summer

It’s a heavy crown to wear — creating the Detroit song of the summer. There’s little doubt, however, that producer Eddie Logix has achieved it with “Sushi,” a stand-alone track that came out shortly before his excellent Flight Risk EP back in May.

The laid-back house track is a perfect road trip tune, complete with a simple vocal hook that’ll become an earworm for you for weeks on end (“Turn me into sushi / Let the waves go through me”). Whether you’re playing this at a barbecue or making it your soundtrack
for cruising Belle Isle this summer, Eddie Logix has it with “Sushi.” And if you dig that, you’ll enjoy the rest of his dance-centric catalog, too.

The best way to support local musicians is to purchase their music via Bandcamp (get Eddie Logix’s at eddielogix.bandcamp.com) or buy physical media directly from them at a show.

More Top Metro Detroit Events in July 2023

Photograph courtesy of 313Presents

Save the dates for comedy shows, film screenings, performances, and more.

Black Girl

This 1966 debut from profoundly influential West African filmmaker Ousmane Sembène grapples with colonialism and racism as it follows the story of Diouana, a Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white couple. Screened in French with English subtitles, the film is featured in conjunction with the DIA’s retrospective exhibition of work by British-Ghanaian photographer James Barnor. July 1. No cost with general museum admission. Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; dia.org.

Dude Perfect

Boasting more than 58 million subscribers, sports comedy troupe Dude Perfect is one of the most popular acts on YouTube. Composed of five former Texas A&M University roommates, the group blends jaw-dropping stunts and trick shots with family-friendly humor. The show will feature some of the most popular stunts from the group’s Overtime series, along with fan-favorite segments and new surprises. July 7. $29+. Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313presents.com.

Art in the Park

This Michigan tradition returns for its 43rd year this month, welcoming more than 400 artists to display their works in the heart of charming downtown Plymouth. Browse paintings, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, photography, folk art, and more as you enjoy food, live music performances, and even activities for kids. July 7-9. No cost. Downtown Plymouth; artinthepark.com.

Melanie Martinez

This New York-based alt-pop phenom first rose to fame when she appeared on the 2012 season of The Voice. Since then, the “Play Date” vocalist has sold more than 2.5 million albums and racked up billions of streams on Spotify and Apple Music. She’ll support her newest album, Portals, when she makes a stop in metro Detroit this month. July 8. $82+. Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre, 14900 Metro Parkway, Sterling Heights; 313presents.com.

Tori Amos

On the heels of a sold-out world tour in 2022, the eight-time Grammy Award-nominated vocalist and pianist will continue promotion of her 2021 album Ocean to Ocean when she hits the road this summer. Best known for ’90s singles like “Cornflake Girl” and “Crucify,” Amos is listed at No. 71 on VH1’s list of the 100 greatest women in rock ’n’ roll. July 9. $29+. Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, 3554 Walton Blvd., Rochester Hills; 313presents.com.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Led by husband-and-wife duo Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, this Jacksonville, Florida-based blues rock band won a Grammy Award for its 2012 debut album, Revelator. Hear tracks from the band’s newest release, 2022’s I Am the Moon, when it heads out on a North American tour this summer. Singer-songwriter Ziggy Marley, son of influential reggae artist Bob Marley, will open the show. July 14. $39+. Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, 3554 Walton Blvd., Rochester Hills; 313presents.com.

Touki Bouki (Journey of the Hyena)

This 1973 fantasy drama by Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambéty follows two Senegalese lovers as they attempt to steal and scheme their way to a new life in France. Inspired heavily by the French new wave movement, the film paints a rich portrait of 1970s Senegal and is considered one of the most important works in the history of Senegalese cinema. Presented in Wolof, Arabic, and French with English subtitles. July 15. No cost with general museum admission. Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; dia.org.

Sad Summer Festival

Emo titans Taking Back Sunday will be joined by a bill of alt-rock contemporaries — including Motion City Soundtrack, The Maine, Mom Jeans, Stand Atlantic, Hot Mulligan, and Pvris — for this one-day-only festival at the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre. July 18. $49+. Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre, 14900 Metro Parkway, Sterling Heights; 313presents.com.

Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Metro Detroiters will have an opportunity to view three classic plays during this monthlong festival at Canton’s Village Theater at Cherry Hill. Performances include two Shakespeare works — witchy tragedy Macbeth and lesser-known Jacobean play Pericles, Prince of Tyre — as well as A Flea in Her Ear, a farcical comedy written in 1907 by French playwright Georges Feydeau. July 18-Aug. 20. $25 per play. The Village Theater at Cherry Hill, 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton; michiganshakespearefestival.com.

Big Time Rush

The Nickelodeon-born boy band reunites for its Can’t Get Enough Tour this summer following a nine-year hiatus. Fans will also hear from TikTok singer-songwriter Jax and multi-platinum-selling pop star Max. July 19. $29+. Pine Knob Music Theatre, 33 Bob Seger Drive, Clarkston; 313presents.com.

Ann Arbor Art Fair

Featuring nearly 1,000 artists and spanning 30 city blocks, the largest juried art fair in the country returns to downtown Ann Arbor this month. Three separate events constitute the show: the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original; the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair; and the Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair. Browse paintings, ceramics, jewelry, glass, sculptures, woodwork, and more while also enjoying live music, food, and activities. July 20-22. No cost. Downtown Ann Arbor; theannarborartfair.com.

Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa

Since the release of his debut album, Doggystyle, in 1993, rapper and songwriter Snoop Dogg has added actor, media personality, record producer, DJ, and businessman to his resume. He and “Black and Yellow” rapper Wiz Khalifa will stop at Pine Knob this month during their High School Reunion Tour, along with special guests Too Short, Warren G, Berner, and DJ Drama. July 23. $69+. Pine Knob Music Theatre, 33 Bob Seger Drive, Clarkston; 313presents.com.

Juno Birch

British drag queen, sculptor, and YouTuber Juno Birch draws inspiration from Tim Burton and Mars Attacks! to create her cosmically eccentric look. See her in the flesh when she brings her futuristic style and otherworldly sense of humor to Royal Oak Music Theatre this month for The Juno Show. July 26. $39+. Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. 4th St., Royal Oak; royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue

This parody of the iconic television show features male actors portraying everyone’s favorite seniors. Join Blanche, Sophia, Dorothy, and Rose as they take on the app-crazed 21st century in this hilarious new show by writer Robert Leleux and director Eric Swanson. July 27. $33+. Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. 4th St., Royal Oak; royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Sam Hunt

After writing hit singles for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and Reba McEntire, this country singer-songwriter made his solo debut in 2014 to widespread critical acclaim. Known for blending elements of R&B, pop, and country, Hunt is the first solo male artist to have four singles from a debut album reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. Hear some of those singles, such as “Take Your Time” and “Make You Miss Me,” when the artist arrives at Pine Knob this month with support from singer-songwriter Brett Young. July 27. $34+. Pine Knob Music Theatre, 33 Bob Seger Drive, Clarkston; 313presents.com.

Jason Mraz & His Superband

Best known for easy-listening chart-toppers like “I’m Yours” and “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry),” this Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter released his eighth studio album, Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride, at the end of June. Folk-rock band Raining Jane, guitarist and singer Molly Miller, funk artists Grooveline Horns, and special guest Monica Martin will round out the ticket. July 29. $39+. Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, 3554 Walton Blvd., Rochester Hills; 313presents.com.

Orchard Lake Fine Art Show

This two-day juried fair has brought more than 100 talented local and national artists to the heart of West Bloomfield since 2003. The event has been voted one of the country’s best art shows for 12 years in a row and also features food trucks, live music, and a children’s art competition. July 29-39. $5. 6900 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield; artsandeducationinc.org.


This story is from the July 2023 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition.