Culture Calendar: Top Metro Detroit Events in June 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 June.
357
The Michigan Glass Project will feature hundreds of glass- blowers creating unique art pieces. // Photograph by Alex Reyna.

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 June happenings in the area. Plus, save the dates for concerts, stage performances, art exhibitions, and much more.

Live Arts: The Michigan Glass Project returns with biggest glass fest yet

What started as a tiny flame representing Detroit’s glassblowers trying to do good in their community has become a multiday live art, glassblowing, and music festival at the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit.

Imagine walking into the massive warehouse to see dozens of glassworkers bent over their torches (known as “lampworking”), creating art right before your eyes. Their work is then auctioned to raise money for Art Road, a Detroit non-profit bringing arts education back into Detroit Public Schools.

Since the Michigan Glass Project’s humble inception in 2012, they’ve raised over $500,000. This year, the glass fest is partnering with the Glass Art Society’s 2023 conference, bringing over 100 presenters from around the world to talk about new glass technologies, innovations, and more.

The Michigan Glass Project takes place June 9-11 at the Russell Industrial Center. A documentary about the festival premieres at the Detroit Film Theatre on June 8. For tickets and more information, visit themichiganglassproject.com.

Visual Arts: Stop Making Sense returns to the Janice Charach Gallery in West Bloomfield

Consider this an extension of the glass-centric festivities taking over Detroit this month. Stop Making Sense Plus One is curated by Kim Harty, chair of craft and material studies at the College for Creative Studies. It’s a celebration of crafted objects created by artists in metro Detroit.

The exhibition calls itself the first to closely examine contemporary craft in Detroit, where it has deep roots but is often overlooked in the art scene. This year’s Stop Making Sense asks the artists to invite another artist of their choice (hence the Plus One moniker).

Stop Making Sense Plus One opens at the Janice Charach Gallery on June 4 with an opening reception from 3 to 6 p.m.It will be on display through July 12. For more information, visit gallery.jccdet.org.

Summer Reading List: Detroit music’s influence on dancing showcased in new book

There’s a quote from Detroit electronic music wizard Theo Parrish that kicks off music and culture writer Emma Warren’s new book, Dance Your Way Home: A Journey Through the Dancefloor.

“Escapism has always been an adjective used to describe the dance,” Parrish says. “That’s an outsider’s view. Solidarity is what it really offers.” And so begins Warren’s excellent social, political, and cultural breakdown of why we dance and how the dance floor — and the music behind it — has influenced the world.

Detroit plays a lead role in the book because of our history of producing techno and house music that would go on to fill dance floors around the world. This is essential reading for Detroit music buffs or for those looking to dive deeper into how diverse the music created in Motown can be.

Dance Your Way Home: A Journey Through the Dancefloor is out via Faber. Check your local bookstore (have them order it for you if they don’t have it in stock) or buy a copy online.

On My Playlist: Producer and DJ Kevin Reynolds releases best work yet with A Certain Circumstance

There’s no record I’ve had on repeat more than Kevin Reynolds’ A Certain Circumstance, one of the most unique records to come out of a crowded electronic music scene in Detroit.

Reynolds has been a low-key essential part of the city’s electronic music scene for decades now, and with his first full-length album release this year, he shows that a musician can always evolve and grow.

There’s a very live, in-the- room feel with this album, evoking a clear feeling that a human is working the levers inside the machine (a good reason why Reynolds describes himself as a “live electronic music composer”).

Standout tracks include the infectious album opener “Abandoned Car Seat,” the R&B polyrhythms of “Family Tree,” and the wholly organic “Completed Stance.” Clocking in at over an hour long, Reynolds’ A Certain Circumstance is an album you can lose yourself in and discover something new with each listen.

The best way to directly support a local musician like Kevin Reynolds is to purchase his music via Bandcamp. It’s also available to stream wherever you like to listen to music.

More Top Metro Detroit Events in June 2023

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

Buddy Guy. // Photograph by Paul Natkin, courtesy of 313Presents.

Wayfarer: Plein Air Paintings

Detroit-based artist Alex Gilford will show more than 30 of his plein air oil paintings at this monthlong exhibition. En plein air refers to the act of painting outdoors, where the artists can directly observe subjects in natural settings. Ten percent of the proceeds from each sale at the exhibition will be donated to Friends of the Detroit River, a nonprofit organization that vows to protect, defend, and improve the Detroit River through community-based restoration initiatives. No cost. May 19-June 18. Northville Art House, 215 W. Cady St., Northville; northvillearthouse.org.

Noises Off

This classic 1982 “play within a play” by Michael Frayn comes to life this month at Meadow Brook Theatre. The story follows a touring theater company through the dress rehearsal and opening night of a lurid farce called Nothing On, giving audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the real-life hilarity that ensues when lines are flubbed and stage cues are missed. $37. May 31-June 25. Meadow Brook Theatre, 378 Meadow Brook Road, Rochester; mbtheatre.com.

Dierks Bentley

The platinum-selling country singer-songwriter will return to Pine Knob Music Theatre this month to promote his new album, Gravel & Gold. Fans can expect to hear selections from that album, including the bluegrass-style banger “High Note,” along with classic hits like “What Was I Thinkin’” and “Drunk on a Plane.” Special guests include singer Jordan Davis, vocalist and banjo player Molly Tuttle, and her bluegrass outfit, Golden Highway. $36+. June 2. Pine Knob Music Theatre, 33 Bob Seger Drive, Clarkston; 313presents.com.

Scarlet

From renowned Italian director Pietro Marcello comes this period drama based on a 1923 novel by Russian author Alexander Grin. The film follows a French World War I soldier as he returns to his village and becomes the sole caretaker for his baby daughter, Juliette, following his wife’s passing. Presented in French with English subtitles. Four screenings are available. $9+. June 3-4. Detroit Film Theatre, 5200 John R St., Detroit; dia.org.

Jay Stevens

Known for his viral TikTok and YouTube videos, which cover everything from religion to growing up in the American South, comedian Jay Stevens will perform four stand-up shows at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle this month. An industry veteran, Stevens’ clean and approach able brand of comedy has kept audiences laughing for more than 20 years. Comedians Tom McCarthy and Danielle Bentzley will also perform. $15. June 8-10. Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak; comedycastle.com.

Dermot Kennedy

Known for his distinctive raspy voice and genre-bending power pop sound, this Dublin native will stop at Meadow Brook Theatre on his upcoming Sonder tour. Kennedy first gained recognition with his 2019 single “Outnumbered,” which fuses elements of rock, folk, and pop music. $35+. June 9. Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, 234 Festival Drive, Rochester Hills; 313presents.com.

Detroit Riverfront Run

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy at this family-friendly walk/run. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Detroit Riverwalk and the Dequindre Cut on either a 5K or 10K circuit. Participants will receive a souvenir T-shirt, a participation medal, and snacks following the conclusion of the race. A virtual participation option is available. $35+. June 10. Detroit Riverfront, Detroit; detroitriverfront.org.

Brent Terhune

Named by Variety magazine as a “Comic to Watch” in 2020, funnyman Brent Terhune’s satirical MAGA caricature has garnered him millions of views on YouTube and Facebook. When he’s not touring or recording comedy albums, Terhune contributes daily laughs to the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom Show, where he has worked as a writer for more than 10 years. Comedians Melissa Hager and Kevin Rodriguez will also perform. $15. June 15-17. Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak; comedycastle.com.

Wayne County High School Art Exhibition

Students in grades 9-12 from Wayne County schools will have an opportunity to showcase their paintings, drawings, sculptures, and more at this juried exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The museum will display approximately 70 works in total. No cost with museum admission. June 16-July 16. Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; dia.org.

Quinn XCII

The Detroit native singer-songwriter combines pop, soul, alternative, and hip-hop influences on his latest full-length album, The People’s Champ. He first gained mainstream success with his 2016 single “Straightjacket” and has since appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Live with Kelly and Ryan. Electro-pop band Arizona and singer-songwriter Julia Wolf will open the show. $29+. June 17. Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill, 14900 Metro Parkway, Sterling Heights; 313presents.com

Sonya Clark: We Are Each Other

Over the course of her 25-year career, American fiber artist Sonya Clark has used a variety of unconventional materials — including human hair, combs, and found fabrics — to explore issues of race, class, culture, and history. Since she completed her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1995, her work has been featured in more than 350 museums and galleries around the world. She currently serves as a professor of art at Amherst College in Massachusetts. No cost with general admission. June 17-Sept. 24. Cranbrook Art Museum, 38221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; cranbrookartmuseum.org.

Weezer

Nearly three decades after The Blue Album launched them to international stardom, the Los Angeles-based rockers will embark on their Indie Rock Roadtrip tour. The show will also feature performances by indie institution Modest Mouse and up-and-coming rock band Momma. $39.50+. June 18. Pine Knob Music Theatre, 33 Bob Seger Drive, Clarkston; 313presents.com.

Buddy Guy

The legendary blues guitarist and vocalist will say so long to extensive touring on his upcoming Damn Right Farewell Tour. The 86-year-old Louisiana native has influenced countless musicians over the course of his 70-year career — including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Jimmy Page. He boasts 38 Blues Music Awards — more than any other artist — along with eight Grammy Awards and a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. $29.50+. June 24. Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, 234 Festival Drive, Rochester Hills; 313presents.com.

Santa Fe Klan

This 23-year-old hip-hop phenom from Guanajuato, Mexico, first began recording his own music at home at the age of 12. Since then, he’s released five full-length albums and racked up millions of streams on both Spotify and YouTube. Hear singles from the artist’s latest release, 2022’s Mundo, when he stops at Little Caesars Arena this month. $35+. June 27. Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313presents.com.


This story is part of the June 2023 issue of Hour Detroit. Read more in our Digital Edition.