CultureShift Events Guide: Concerts, comedy and collaborations to check out this week

Discover unique arts and culture events in Detroit happening Oct. 18-25.

Exhibit of Nelson Mandela's early years at the Henry Ford Museum.

Nelson Mandela: The Early Years at the Henry Ford Museum.

This week, we’ve got concert crossovers, musical milestones and a collaboration that celebrates how the African diaspora has influenced Detroit’s food culture at The Henry Ford.

Plus, celebrate 101.9 Day with Ann Delisi! Read on to learn more.

Food and freedom

On Saturday, Oct. 21, Mandela: The Official Exhibition opens at the Henry Ford Museum. This exhibition takes guests on a personal journey through the life of the world’s most iconic freedom fighter and political leader, Nelson Mandela. This immersive and interactive experience features previously unseen film, photos and over 150 historical artifacts and personal effects on loan from the Mandela family, museums and archives worldwide.

To compliment the exhibition, the Henry Ford’s Plum Market Kitchen will be collaborating with Baobab Fare to shed light on how the African diaspora has influenced Detroit’s food culture. To learn more about the inspiring story behind Baobab Fare, revisit co-founder Hamissi Mamba’s conversation on Ann Delisi’s Essential Cooking.

Concert crossover

This Sunday, Oct. 22, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra presents Beethoven x Coldplay, a merging of musical giants. Conductor and creator Steve Hackman will lead this genre-bending performance by the DSO featuring the music of Beethoven’s famed Eroica Symphony interwoven with the melodies of some of Coldplay’s greatest hits like “Viva La Vida” and “Yellow.” The performance begins at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $29. For more information, visit the DSO’s website.

Musical milestones

Celebrate 5 years of Laylit at Spot Lite Detroit this Saturday, Oct. 21. Laylit is a platform and collective celebrating music and artists from the Arab/SWANA region and its diaspora, hosting genre-spanning dance parties in New York City and Montreal. This anniversary celebration includes DJ sets by MNSA from Montreal, Saphe from NYC, and Detroiters Tammy Lakkis and aa3ع. The show begins at 9 p.m., tickets start at $22 and guests must be 21+. For more information, visit their Facebook event pageUpdate: This event has since been postponed in light of the conflict in Palestine.

Also celebrating a musical milestone this weekend is Jett Plastic Recordings, which has been releasing DIY music in Detroit for ten years now. To mark the occasion, they’re throwing JettBlast Fest 2023 at the Lager House in Detroit, featuring 20 bands and two stages. The festival starts Friday, Oct. 20 and goes through Saturday, Oct. 21 with music starting at 7 p.m. each night. All ages are welcome and tickets are $20. For more information, visit their Facebook event page.

Women in comedy

Tonight, Oct. 18, “Funny Women of a Certain Age” is coming to the Flagstar Strand Theatre in Pontiac. The show features some of the funniest, most daring, most experienced women in comedy, including trans comic Julia Scotti, who recently spoke with CultureShift’s Ryan Patrick Hooper about her career and journey. Tickets start at $30 and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit Ticketmaster.

Spooky season

This weekend is Macomb County’s HarvestFest, featuring trick-or-treating stations, hayrides, a pumpkin patch and more. Food trucks will be available on-site and families are encouraged to come in costume. The festival goes from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22 at the Freedom Hill County Park Pavilion in Sterling Heights. Parking is $5 and tickets are $8 per person or free for members of the military. For more information, visit their website.

For an indoor trick-or-treating experience, visit the Detroit Historical Museum this Sunday, Oct. 22 for Treats in the Streets. From 2-5 p.m., there will be cider and donuts, a DJ dance party, crafts and more family fun within some of the museum’s most popular exhibits. Plus, from 1-2 p.m., the museum is offering a sensory-friendly trick-or-treating experience with dimmer lights and limited sounds. Admission for each event is free with registration. For more information, visit their website.

Holiday history

On Saturday, Oct. 21, the Detroit Historical Society is also offering tours of The Parade Company, best known for their larger-than-life work in America’s Thanksgiving Parade and the Ford Fireworks. Visitors will get to discover the magic of a Detroit holiday tradition while getting a sneak peek at this year’s brand new floats at The Parade Company Studio. Tickets are $25 for members or $35 for guests. For more information, visit Detroit Historical’s website.

Inclusion in the arts

This weekend, Dance Theatre of Harlem returns to the Detroit Opera House with a program showcasing their commitment to access, opportunity and excellence. Using the language of ballet, they celebrate African American culture and bring new life to the art form. Performances take place on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit Detroit Opera’s website.

101.9 Day

Spend Thursday, Oct. 19 (a.k.a. 10/19) at Third Man Records with Ann Delisi as she speaks with Nabil Ayers, the son of the famed vibraphonist and funk, soul and jazz musician Roy Ayers. Nabil will join in open dialogue with Ann, discussing his acclaimed memoir, “My Life In The Sunshine,” which details Nabil’s struggle to connect with his father, and his journey to build an identity of his own despite his father’s absence. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so reserve your spot now.

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