Two Conferences In Midtown Today Explore Detroit Music And The Berlin Connection

May 23, 2014, 7:29 AM

Along with the Movement Festival of techno music at Hart Plaza, two innovative conferences within a few blocks of each other are scheduled for Friday in Detroit. Admission is free for both, and both are indirectly related to the music fest.

One, titled “Conserving Sounds, Telling Stories," explores the history of music in Detroit and its preservation. It's organized by the Detroit Sound Conservancy, a fledgling group dedicated to, as it says on its website, increasing awareness of and support to Detroit’s imaginative musical heritage through advocacy and education in a spirit of vigilance and solidarity. 

“Conserving Sounds, Telling Stories” takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Music, Arts, and Literature Department and the E. Azalia Hackley Reading Room at the Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library across from the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The conference will feature local researchers like ballroom historian and musician Leo Early and expat experts like the Oak Park-raised, Brooklyn-based writer Mike Rubin, as well as journalists like Susan Whithall of the Detroit News, scholars, archivists, and such sound activists as W. Kim Heron, former editor of Metro Times. They will be telling stories and presenting papers on the history and culture of Detroit music. The event is being chaired by dance-genre scholar and DSC VP Denise Dalphond. You can look at the full schedule here.

Also on Friday, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit -- MOCAD -- a few blocks south of the library at Woodward and Garfield, is the Detroit-Berlin Connection: A Conference for Subcultural Exchange for Urban Development.

This conference is described as a collaborative, transatlantic effort to bring together creative individuals and communities in two cities with the goal of driving cultural and economic growth in Detroit. The program will include presentations by the representatives of the organisations involved in art/entrepreneurship efforts key to the city’s revitalization over the past 25 years. A panel discussion featuring Berlin and Detroit participants will follow, along with a Q&A session and a chance for the public to mingle with the speakers.

Click here for information and a schedule.


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