CultureShift Events Guide: Indoor activities to keep you warm this weekend

Discover unique arts and culture events in metro Detroit happening Jan. 18-25, 2024.

Interior of the Detroit Film Theatre

Detroit Film Theatre

In this brutal weather, you’ll probably want to stick to indoor activities for a bit. We’ve got lots of movies, live performances and more to keep you warm this weekend.

Plus, presales for one of the city’s hottest events. Read on to learn more.


Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay, ‘Origin’ chronicles the tragedy and triumph of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson as she writes “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” a culture-shifting New York Times’ bestseller. Based on her book, this film explores the fight for a more humane future for all. Experience it at the Detroit Film Theatre prior to the film’s theatrical release on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.50 or $8.50 for seniors, students and DIA members. For more information, visit their website.

But first, experience the audience favorite and award-winning films from the 2023 New York International Children’s Film Festival this Saturday, Jan. 20 at the DIA. These amazing short films inspire curiosity and conversation for viewers big and small. With animation, live action, and documentary shorts, Kid Flicks programs offer a chance to explore new frontiers from around the world, across the street and the ever-expanding boundaries of our own perspectives. These films are designed for ages 5 to 10, but fun for all ages. The show starts at 2 p.m. in the DIA’s Lecture Hall and is free with registration. For more information, visit their website.

Or, for a more familiar film, the Redford Theatre is screening ‘Clueless’ (1995) this Friday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. In this modern take on Jane Austen, Alicia Silverstone plays a teenage matchmaker who befriends new student Brittany Murphy. Director Amy Heckerling took the typical high school movie formula and created a ’90s cult classic. Tickets are $7 or $5 for seniors and children. For more information, visit their website.


Detroit Repertory Theatre’s latest production is ‘Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,’ a stunning spiritual tale of self-discovery and searching for your song. Set in 1911, a group of strangers share a boarding house as they search for lost ones, love, work, identity and their place in America. ‘Joe Turner’s Come and Gone’ is the second play in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, following African American life experiences decade by decade. Performances go from now through March 3 and tickets are $25 online or $30 at the door. For more information, visit their website.

Similarly, Detroit Public Theatre’s latest production is ‘Blues for an Alabama Sky.’ This modern classic by celebrated native Detroit playwright Pearl Cleage has profound relevance to our current times even as it is set during the Harlem Renaissance on the cusp of the Great Depression. The show opens on Wednesday, Jan. 24 and runs through March 3. Tickets are $47 with several pick-your-price options available. For more information, visit their website.

Live music

Join us in celebrating Blue Note Records’ 85th Anniversary this Friday, Jan. 19 at the Majestic Theatre. The Blue Note Quintet, a group brought together to honor the label’s rich history and pave the way for the eclectic artists of today’s roster, will perform two sets at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Six-time Grammy Award nominee Gerald Clayton leads the band as musical director and pianist alongside vibraphonist Joel Ross, saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, drummer Kendrick Scott and bassist Matt Brewer. Tickets start at $39. For more information, visit Broadway in Detroit.


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Or for something folksier, head downriver to the Odd Fellow Concert Lounge in Wyandotte. Some of the area’s finest in folk and folk rock music will be performing on Saturday, Jan. 20, including The Skinnies, Ryan Dillaha & the Delmatics, Emily Rose and Mike Ward. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are $10. Must be 18+ to attend. For more information, visit their Facebook page. 

Freezing fun

If you do choose to venture outside, Valade Park is hosting a Motown Magic Weekend featuring a local vendor market, live music, food trucks and more. Activities include an open mic for love letters to Detroit, a Pistons basketball giveaway and a Lions tailgate celebration on Sunday. Festivities go from Friday, Jan. 19 through Sunday, Jan. 21. For more information, visit their website.

Up next

Movement Music Festival will return to Hart Plaza in Detroit on May 25, 2024. This annual festival brings thousands of music fans from all over the world to the birthplace of techno. This year’s lineup is still in the works, but general admission and VIP tickets are now available to purchase online, ranging from $139 to $399. For more information, visit their website.

Plus, NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest opens for 2024 submissions next week, and we want to see Detroit’s talent represented! Unsigned musicians can now record a video of themselves playing an original song at a desk of their choosing, upload it to YouTube and fill out the entry form between Jan. 23 and Feb. 21. Don’t forget to put WDET as your member station! For contest prizes and guidelines, visit their website.

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