Friends of the Detroit Little Libraries campaign:
It's possible you may not have heard of him, but Mike Kelley was one of Detroit's seminal sons, widely regarded as one of the most influential, visionary and prolific artists of our time. He created installations, sculptures, paintings, photographs, video, performance art and more beginning in the 1970s until his 2012 death in Los Angeles. His work is in museum collections around the world.
One of his last pieces was a replica of his childhood home in Westland. Known as the "Mobile Homestead," the structure is located behind the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and used in accordance with Kelley's last wishes: to exhibit art with a social mission.
We are honored and beyond thrilled to announce that the Little Library Originals exhibition will be on display at the Mobile Homestead for three months starting next week, from Jan. 15- April 24.
Please come to the show opening next Friday Jan. 15, from 5-8 p.m., featuring live jazz from Metro Detroit Underground and an appearance by Todd Bol, founder of the Little Free Library movement.
The exhibit aims to highlight our efforts to address Detroit neighborhoods that are book deserts -- meaning that many children and adults have few, if any, books in their home. Book deserts in Detroit will be the topic of a panel discussion in April, along with other programs including an artist talk, four story times for kids and book giveaways.
Some of you may recall that the Little Library Originals show was created last summer when 13 artists accepted an invitation to help promote literacy and community in Detroit through the take a book, leave a book movement known as the Little Free Library. We gave the artists plain little libraries, and they transformed them with their artwork. A one-night exhibition, colliding art, literacy and community, was held in August at the 4731 Gallery in the Grand River Creative Corridor.
Since then, we have worked to make the Little Library Originals a traveling exhibit, per the vision of Eno Laget, one of the participating artists. First on display at the Detroit Public Library, and now at the Mobile Homestead.
During the Mobile Homestead show, we will highlight the campaign of Detroit Little Libraries - to expand residents' access to books through the installation of more Little Free Libraries in neighborhoods. Since our launch in September 2014, we have created numerous partners, installed nearly 150 Little Free Libraries in Detroit and distributed thousands of books.
If you can't make it to the opening next Friday, the show will be open every weekend through April 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday throughSunday.
Additionally, programs have been planned, including:
** Jan. 23, 1 p.m.: Artist Talk, featuring Fatima Sow, Debora Grace, Ndubisi Okoye, Kelly O'Hara, Eno Laget and Mary Fortuna.
*** Jan. 31, 1 p.m.: Storytime with Mary Grant, of the Detroit Association of Black Storytellers.
*** Feb. 28, 1 p.m.: Storytime with Charlie LeDuff, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, formerly at The New York Times and The Detroit News, now with Fox TV's The Americans with Charlie LeDuff.
*** March 30, 1 p.m.: Live taping of Alex Trajano's podcast, The Beginning of the End, which explores universal themes of humanity through the lens of when things begin to end.
*** April 16, 11 a.m.: Book Deserts in Detroit, a panel discussion, featuring Nell Duke, University of Michigan professor of literacy, language and culture; Satori Shakoor, executive director of the Society for the Re-Institutionalization of Storytelling, and Ethriam Cash Brammer, associate dean of the Center for Latina/o and Latin American Studies at Wayne State University.
Moderated by Mary-Catherine Harrison, University of Detroit-Mercy English associate professor.
*** April 24, 1 p.m.: 826Michigan presents, A Lantern of Fireflies: An Illustrated Treasury of Tales of Adventure, Discovery, and Magic. This publication features twenty Huron High School ninth-graders and a class of second-grade students from Mitchell Elementary, in Ann Arbor. Volunteers from 826Michigan will be reading for this Sunday storytime.
Thanks so much to the artists who have used their art to promote reading in Detroit, and further our and Mike Kelley's vision: Barbara Barefield, Loretta Bradfield, Mary Fortuna, Debora Grace, Jesse Kassel, Eno Laget, Kelly O’Hara, Ndubisi Okoye, Rashaun Rucker, John Sauve, Mitchell Schorr, Pam Shapiro, and Fatima Sow.
Please share this invitation with your friends, and we look forward to seeing you during this very special exhibition.
Detroit Little Libraries
Detroit Little Libraries launched a campaign in September 2014 to promote reading and community in the city and there are now nearly 150 Little Free Libraries in front of homes, faith-based organizations, schools, community gardens, small businesses, parks, health care centers and more.
Our partners have included Rx for Reading Detroit, Detroit Rotary, Detroit Kiwanis, Detroit SOUP, Detroit Bikes, Detroit Public Library, Community United for Progress, General Motors, Chrysler, the Detroit News and Free Press, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, Toys for Tots, the Grand River Creative Corridor, First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Novi teachers, and several individuals, including many Eagle Scouts and two young people who make the libraries the centerpiece of their miztvah service project. And, of course, the Little Free Library.