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Call & Response, a celebration of Detroit's sonic resistance in Ann Arbor

Artwork, infamous Blue Bird Inn Stage call A2 home during exhibition

Romare Bearden, Untitled (Jazz Players), 1970s | Courtesy N’Namdi Collection of African American Art

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Call & Response, an exhibition at the Stamps Gallery in downtown Ann Arbor, is an ode to Detroit’s strength. 

Running through Aug. 25, the exhibition is a collaboration of artwork and effort highlighting the sonic and musical resistance of Detroit in the mid-1900s. 

Pieces from artists Romare Bearden, Chakaia Booker, Tony Cokes, Saffell Gardner, Allie McGhee and Tylonn Sawyer are peppered throughout the gallery surrounding the infamous Blue Bird Inn Stage. 

Reimagined by the Detroit Sound Conservancy, the Blue Bird Inn Stage is an iconic piece of Detroit’s history and rebellion during the civil rights movements. The stage acted as a platform (literally and not) for musicians launching careers while promoting civil rights during divisive times. 

The themes of the Blue Bird Inn Stage are also noticeable in the surrounding artwork, which reconstructs and reinvigorates legendary musicians, activists, civil rights and remembrance. Artwork ranges from mixed media involving metals to video and painting to create a thought-provoking space for onlookers. 

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On Aug. 3, a free performance in relation to the exhibition will take place at 2 p.m., followed by a panel discussion and reception until 6 p.m. 

To learn more about the Call & Response, visit the exhibition page. 

The Stamps Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday as well as 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. 

The gallery is at 201 S. Division St.

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