Attend at home: Events + Exhibitions for the week of June 15th | Arts & Culture

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) museums and galleries are closed, and various events and exhibitions have either moved online or have been postponed. For U-M’s guide to living, learning and working together safely, please visit Campus Maize & Blueprint.

Attend at home: Events + Exhibitions for the week of June 15th

Attend at home: Events + Exhibitions for the week of June 15th

This week, the University of Michigan Spectrum Center presents a live watch party for “Kiki,” a film that documents the ballroom scene and the lives of queer youth of color in New York.

Museums, galleries, and performance venues remained closed at the University of Michigan this week due to COVID-19 restrictions, however, there are plenty of online events, exhibitions, performances, and films that you can experience from home in the meantime. Here are recommended ways to virtually engage with U-M’s cultural community this week.

Virtual Ann Arbor Summer Festival 

In the wake of the cancellation of its traditional offerings, Ann Arbor Summer Festival staff have mapped Top of the Park programming onto various platforms, including concert series, podcasts, music hikes in Ann Arbor, and many virtual programs. 

When: Anytime 


Pandemic Times, Histories for the Present 

The present crisis often is described as and feels unprecedented. What can historical thinking, with its focus on precedents, contribute to our coming to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic? Jacqueline Antonovich, historian of US health and medicine at Muhlenberg College, and Powel Kazanjian, director of the AIDS Program and a member of the History faculty at the University of Michigan, will explore this and other questions about the place of history in the present moment in a one-hour conversation, moderated by Helmut Puff, director of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. 

When: Tuesday, June 16th at 4 PM ET

Where: Zoom registration is required here.


The University of Michigan Institute for Humanities’ new streaming video series, “House Calls: Virtual Studio Visits with Michigan Artists in a Pandemic,” showcases 10 artists across the state via video chat with the staff of the Institute for the Humanities each. This week for their last episode, they present Detroit-based artist Levon Kafafian. Read more about the series here

When: Wednesday, June 17th


UMMA Book Club: Stories from the North

Join the University of Michigan’s Museum of Modern Art for a monthly gathering that offers a starting point to discover narratives pertaining to the cultures of North American Indigenous people featuring the works of Inuit and indigenous authors, inspired by UMMA’s exhibition, Reflections: An Ordinary Day. The prints, drawings, and sculptures featured in this exhibition of Inuit art explore the relationship between the artist and the representation of everyday experiences. Facilitator Elizabeth James, a Detroit-based storyteller, will offer the opportunity to enjoy traditional storytelling as well as discuss books written by contemporary Inuit and Native American authors. This week, they will discuss Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

When: Thursday, June 18th at 7 PM ET

Where: Zoom registration is required here


The Midwest Mobility from Poverty Network is bringing together journalists and academic researchers from across the nation, with a focus on Midwest, for this virtual conference to promote in-depth, impactful, and solutions-oriented media coverage of poverty-related issues. The conference will consist of a series of six interactive webinars held throughout June. The conference is open to anyone interested in improving the narrative around poverty in the U.S. – from exploring new storytelling strategies to translating complex research for deeper public engagement. This Thursday, the conference tackles how disadvantage takes different forms in different places, and how context is important when reporting on challenges facing a community and potential solutions. Moderated by Lynette Clemetson, director of Wallace House at the University of Michigan, the panel will discuss how poverty plays out in rural, urban, and suburban places.

When: Thursday, June 18th, 12-1:30 PM ET


‘Kiki’ Watch Party 

The University of Michigan Spectrum Center presents “Kiki,” a film that documents the ballroom scene and the lives of queer youth of color in New York during the early years of Black Lives Matter and transgender rights activism appearing in the mainstream. 

When: Thursday, June 18th, 6 – 7:45 PM ET

Where: Registration is required here.

Recurring Series Events


Virtual Visionaries, held by the School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s Excel program, is a 10-week series through early August which brings together professionals across the performing arts for weekly virtual discussions on Zoom. SMTD has selected a diverse group of leaders at various stages of their careers to engage in open conversations related to an art career. This week’s conversational session features three dynamic freelance jazz musicians. Amy K. Bormet is an in-demand pianist, vocalist, and composer based in Washington, DC. An advocate for women in music, Amy created the Washington Women in Jazz Festival. Balance Duo is a collaboration between saxophonist Marcus Elliot and pianist Michael Malis, who have been called “two of Detroit’s most important young jazz musicians” by the Detroit Free Press. This series is made possible by the transformative support of the Meta Weiser EXCEL Fund.

When: Each week until August 6th, this week Thursday, June 18th from 6:30-7:30 PM ET


Next up: Managing the Artist Lifestyle with Sarah Whitney and Todd Buonopane (6/25)

University of Michigan Press Author Live Talks

Beginning in June and running throughout the summer, the University of Michigan Press Press will host weekly conversations with prominent scholars in political science, classical studies, history, musicology, and more under the Author Live Talk Series banner. Audiences will be treated to compelling stories on topics including history’s enduring lies, the migration of music across time and place, and the satire of Roman epic poet Lucretius. This week, T.H.M. Gellar-Goad introduces his case for a more lighthearted Lucretius in what is sure to be a lively discussion of his book Laughing Atoms, Laughing Matter.

When: Weekly through August, this week Thursday, June 18th at 11 AM ET

Where: Register for this week’s here. Attendance is free for all events, but please register in advance to make sure you receive the session link and password ahead of the talk.

Next up: Derek Pollard, editor of Till One Day the Sun Shall Shine More Brightly (6/25)


Join the U-M William L. Clements Library staff, fellows, and supporters in a discussion about the books they are reading. Inspired by the traditional Clements Library researcher tea time at 10 am, they invite you to pull up a chair at their virtual table. Pour a cup of tea and enjoy a snack while you watch commentators in a live feed. This week, panelists will discuss the American Revolutionary War. 

When: Fridays at 10 AM ET, this Friday, June 19th

Where:; Register at In your confirmation email, find the link to join the meeting.

Next up: Fellow Spotlight with Dr. Scott Heerman (6/26)

Penny Stamps Speaker Series + DPTV Presents: Photographer and Afrofuturist Osborne Macharia with Blinky Bill

Keeping the community curious, engaged, and connected, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series is teaming up with Detroit Public Television to stream select Penny Stamps Speaker Series talks from the archive. This week, tune in for a presentation by Photographer and Afrofuturist Osborne Macharia with Blinky Bill. 

When: Fridays at 8 PM ET


Next up: Milliner Stephen Jones (6/26)


Arts Engines highlights the perspectives of the thought leaders and game-changers who are creating a significant impact in the field of the arts. Each episode reveals the human stories, best practices, and real-life experiences of those who power human creativity each and every day. In partnership with Detroit Public Television, the program utilizes Zoom to conduct interviews with guests that are then distributed and broadcast through both digital and traditional mediums. Hosted by School of Music, Theatre & Dance professor, and Sphinx Organization founder Aaron Dworkin, the program seeks to share the most valuable advice and input from arts administrators who tell their stories of creative problem-solving, policy, economic impact, crisis management and empowering the future the field. Watch past episodes with guests like Bob Lynch, President & CEO of Americans for the Arts and Clive Gillinson, Executive & Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. This week, listen to a conversation with Marc Scorca, the President & CEO of Opera America. Tune in each week for new interviews.


When: Saturday, June 20th (new episodes air each Saturday)

Next up: Marshall Marcus, President of the European Youth Orchestra (6/27)