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MOCAD hosts musical, literary and artistic events throughout the year. Check back often or contact us at info@mocadetroit.org if you would like to be kept up to date on upcoming events.

All events are Free (Suggested $5 Museum Donation) and open to the public and take place at MOCAD unless otherwise indicated.

Follow MOCAD's upcoming events and announcements:


Oliver Payne's Chill Out
Thursday, March 5, 8pm
Admission: Free (Suggested $5 Museum Donation)

No phones, no photography, no talking, no late entry, no ins and outs. Bring a blanket and pillow, turn on, switch off, and listen to Chill Out by the KLF. Performance begins at 9pm sharp. Oliver Payne (b. 1977) has been hailed by Artforum as "one of the great kids of the post-YBA moment." He and longtime collaborator Nick Relphs won the Golden Lion award for best artists under 35 at the 2003 Venice Biennale.




'Projection Instructions' - an evening of expanded cinema
Saturday, March 7, 8pm
Admission: $5, Free for MOCAD Members

MOCAD, Mothlight Microcinema and the Film-Makers’ Cooperative present an evening of seminal and rarely-screened avant garde cinema. Each of the films shown requires that the presenter follow special instructions to screen them properly. Multiple projections, superimpositions, unconventional angles, external sound, light, and actions: this will be a rare opportunity to see these experimental classics of expanded cinema the way you are supposed to. Featuring work by Storm de Hirsch, Ken Jacobs, Malcolm LeGrice, Rose Lowder, and Paul Sharits.




Write Down Detroit: A Literary Melting Pot featuring "It'll Do"
A Staged Reading of a New Play
Tuesday, March 10, 7pm
Admission: Free

Join us for this fresh, enticing series that brings together some of the most engaging thinkers and doers from throughout Detroit as they not only showcase their work, but the stories that drive them and their processes as creators and Detroiters.

The "Write Down Detroit" series is based in MOCAD, takes place on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the event starts promptly at 7pm.

Co-sponsored with Detroit Pulse Theatre, Write-A-House presents a staged reading of a new play by Sally Jane Kerschen-Sheppard, directed by Kennikki Jones.

"It'll Do" is the story of Neve Blanco, who has been living in the same roadside no-tell motel her entire life. She does her best to run the motel and take care of her ailing, resentful stepmother, but when her property taxes suddenly go up, she fears she will lose the only home she's ever known. When Will Brend, the popular golden boy from high school, reappears after ten years, Neve believes he has the power to rescue her from her circumstances. But Will is not the prince charming he once was, and as he tries to find redemption, Will discovers that he can't even rescue himself, let alone anyone else. Neve is forced to face the reality of her situation, and sets out to forge her own path.

The main mission at Write A House is to support and help cultivate the vibrant literary arts community that lives at a grassroots level and helps Detroit’s neighborhoods.




Detroit Research
Thursday, March 12, 7pm
Admission: Free

Join us as we celebrate the inaugural issue of Detroit Research. Detroit Research is a new journal of practice and artist research for Detroit exploring social practice, ceramics, choreography, music, performance, and critical theory. Detroit Research seeks to be a forum for presenting and reflecting upon some of the most challenging post-studio and studio practices emerging in Detroit and to cultivate a critical language for talking about such practices within a national and international framework. Each issue of the journal will have a guest editor and a featured artist as well as work devoted to artist research, and each issue will contain a reflection upon a historically important Detroit journal. Detroit Research appears in the Spring and Fall of each year.

Editor Michael Stone-Richards, featured artist Scott Hocking, designer Jessica Newberry, and editorial board member and contributor Addie Langford will give an introductory presentation and participate in a Q & A.

Hard copies will be available for purchase.

Learn more about Detroit Research here.




Casey Reas
Friday, March 13, 7pm
Admission: Free

Casey Reas writes software to explore conditional systems as art. Using emergent networks and layered instructions, he has created a unique area of visual experience that builds upon concrete art, conceptual art, experimental animation, and drawing. While dynamic, generative software remains his core medium, work in variable media (including prints, objects, installations, and performances) materializes from his visual systems.

Learn more about Penny Stamps here




MOCAD and Green Brain Comics present the 6th Annual Comic Jam with guest artist Phoebe Gloeckner
Saturday, March 14, 8pm
Admission: Free (Suggested $5 Museum Donation)

All are welcome to jam! Participants create spontaneous, improvised, collaborative comics and Free (Suggested $5 Museum Donation)-form drawings with each other.

Following the jam session, acclaimed graphic novelist Phoebe Gloeckner will talk about her art and career. Her book, The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2002), was praised as "one of the most brutally honest, shocking, tender, beautiful portrayals of growing up female in America." R. Crumb called her story Minnie’s Third Love one of the "comic book masterpieces of all time." Gloeckner continues to experiment with technology and the form of the novel. She is striving to create an electronic "multi-touch" book offering a seamless reading experience, a work that feels to be of one piece rather than an "enhanced" novel with multi-media annotations and side matter. Gloeckner is an assistant professor in the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan.




Shopping Reception
Thursday, March 19, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

Orleans + Winder will present "inspired spaces," a projection piece depicting the creative studio spaces of its designers. The series of photos + projection gives the viewer a fascinating glimpse into the work and process that goes into each collection, with each designer veering away from the hyper industrialization of the fashion world and embracing "lost" techniques to create their art whilst continuously pushing the boundaries of design.

Orleans + Winder Pop-Up Boutique
March 19 - 22
Opening Thursday March 19, 11am-9pm

Orleans + Winder is a Detroit based, online purveyor of luxury avant-garde clothing, art and objects. The showroom, located in Eastern Market, provides its clients with an immersive shopping experience, a place to browse clothing and art in a beautiful industrial loft setting. Ready to wear conceptual clothing will mingle with beautiful jewelry and accessories for the MOCAD event. The pop up will also feature a sterling silver pendant, coined the Detroit Radial Pendant, created by the Detroit Smith Shop exclusively for Orleans + Winder and MOCAD. Please join us for an exclusive peek into Detroit's newest concept store.

Learn more about Orleans + Winder here.




Psychological Services

Thursday, March 19 6 - 9pm
Admission: Free for MOCAD members, $5 suggested donation for non-members

Over 30 Detroit art galleries, boutiques, and cafes stay open late, with special programs and activities on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Make MOCAD a part of your regimen and take part in Psychological Services, a program stocked with craft cocktails, music to elevate your mood, and staffed with therapists and artists waiting to talk to you. Take advantage of the free parking at MOCAD and use the museum as a launching point or as the final destination as you make the rounds through all that 3rd Thursday has to offer. In the newly opened Café 78.

Also occurring this Thursday is MOCAD's pop up event with Orleans + Winder.

Over 30 Detroit art galleries, boutiques, and cafes stay open late, with special programs and activities on the 3rd Thursday of every month.

As part of Art Detroit Now 3rd Thursday
3rd thursdays logo




Jitterbugs: Pioneers of the Jit with Detroit Overture
Friday, March 20, 8pm
Admission: $10
Purchase Tickets Here

The origins of the distinctive Detroit dance known as the Jit are explored in Jitterbugs: Pioneers of the Jit (2014), a feature-length documentary by dancer-director Haleem "Stringz" Rasul. Elements of street dancing, Motown, acrobatics, and hip-hop meld in this quick-moving form, birthed in the late '70s by Detroit's McGhee brothers, who led a dance group known as the Jitterbugs. The film shows the McGhees' rise and strugglesand how their influence continues to resonate.

Preceded by Vienna-based filmmaker Lisa Kortschak's short, Detroit Overture (2015).

For more info about these films and the entire Freep Film Festival (March 19-22), go to freepfilmfestival.com.

Purchase Tickets Here



Fantasy Vehicles Detroit with The Future People
Saturday, March 21, 12-3:30pm
Admission: Free

Design the perfect vehicle for Detroit with "The Future People". The Future People will present their work that was recently debut at The Detroit Auto Show and ask the workshop participants to design a fantasy vehicle to transport themselves around Detroit.

THE FUTURE PEOPLE is the collaborative creative practice of the husband and wife team, Cameron and Rachael Van Dyke. They integrate their practice into daily lifestyle choices in order to explore and test alternative value systems related to housing, transportation, and community. Both avid bicyclists, "Future Cycles" is their most recent collaboration with experimentation in human-powered vehicles.

Visit thefuturepoeple.us for more information.
As part of OPEN STUDIOS these free monthly workshops are for teens looking to enhance their artistic skills in a variety of areas: drawing, painting, digital design, automotive design, fashion illustration, music production, creative writing, etc.

MOCAD Youth programs are graciously funded by the General Motors Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Exhibition programming support is generously provided by the Taubman Foundation. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

All snacks and supplies provided by MOCAD

Presented by the Stamps School of Art & Design


The Future People

Neighborhood Jam Session #2
Saturday, March 21, 2pm
Admission: Free

The Mobile Homestead continues its series of neighborhood jam sessions. All ages, levels, and styles of musicians are invited to bring an instrument and play music in a free form jam session. Tambourines, shakers and other noisemakers will be available to those without an instrument.




Make a Magical Stuffed Animal with Melissa Dettloff
Sunday, March 22, 12pm - 4pm
Admission: Free

Let your child’s imagination run wild! MOCAD’s Family Day Extravaganza features craft making, live music, tasty snacks and lots of family fun. Detroit artist Melissa Dettloff leads an inspiring workshop, where kids and parents alike are invited to create a personalized stuffed animal pet. Dig deep into your imagination to create a brand new creature of your own invention.

Teen Night

Museum Lock-In
Friday, March 27, 8pm - Saturday, March 28 9am
Admission: Free

High school students ages 13 to 17 are invited to join us for this all-night avant garde teen lock-in presented by MOCAD's Teen Council. Trivia, prizes, art making, video games, movies, and more! Bring a sleeping bag, pillow, toothbrush, tooth paste, activewear, sleepover sweats, and a friend! Morning breakfast served. Pre-registration required.

These fun multidisciplinary art events are designed and hosted by MOCAD's Teen Council, a select group of young creatives from the metro Detroit area who come together to plan, and with the guidance of museum professionals, produce programming for youth and adults here at the MOCAD.

The MOCAD Youth Programs are graciously funded by the GM Foundation, Knight Arts Foundation, and Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan, and are overseen by Youth Program Producer, Tylonn Sawyer.


Download Permission Slip (PDF) here

Permission slips should be mailed, emailed, or dropped of to MOCAD no later than 5pm on Monday, March 23, 2015.

Teen Night

5th Annual Kids-TALK Poetry Slam
Thursday, April 23, 4pm - 7pm
Admission: Free

The Children’s Center presents the 5th annual Kids-Talk Poetry Slam. Join us for a night of music, complimentary food and beverages, poetry, and great people. This fun lyrical competition shows off Detroit’s best and brightest young poets.

Teen Night

Cinco de Mayo Celebration
Friday, May 8, 6pm - 9pm
Admission: Free

Join us as the teen council honors the Mexican-American tradition of Cinco De Mayo, MOCAD Style! It may be three days later, but it’s never too late to celebrate. Traditional Mexican music, food, and art making influenced by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

These fun multidisciplinary art events are designed and hosted by MOCAD's Teen Council, a select group of young creatives from the metro Detroit area who come together to plan, and with the guidance of museum professionals, produce programming for youth and adults here at the MOCAD.

The MOCAD Youth Programs are graciously funded by the GM Foundation, Knight Arts Foundation, and Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan, and are overseen by Youth Program Producer, Tylonn Sawyer.


Teen Night
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization supported through invaluable contributions from individuals and members. The Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation provides leading support for the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit since 2006. General operating support for MOCAD is generously provided by Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, General Motors Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Masco Corporation Foundation and The Taubman Foundation. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. Valuable in-kind support is provided by Dykema. Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is also supported, in part, by The Andy Warhol Foundation For the Arts, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Leveraging Investments in Creativity in partnership with the Ford Foundation, and ArtPlace, a collaboration of top national foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts and various federal agencies to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S.