Sugar Nation … we are coming back to “The Motor City” with Melvin Van Peebles! It’s been a minute, or should we say a few years, since M.V.P & the Burnt Sugar Arkestra debuted the theatrical version of “Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song” in Paris at the Sons d’hiver Festival in 2010. Two sold-out, ow should we say souled-out nights of the Sugar crew performing the soundtrack and doubling-up joining the cast on the thespian tip. Now D.I.A. is bringing M.V.P. & the B.S.A. in to “caramelize” the Sweetback soundtrack with MVP chiming in when he feels like it; to be followed with a viewing of his flick. Folks in the Midwest … if you’re looking for a Hot evening of Fun … Look No More!
From a humble beginning of a two-theater run and a torrent of negative reviews, actor, director and composer Melvin Van Peebles’ “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” eventually landed on Variety’s top-grossing list of 1971, kick starting the Independent American Film movement known as “Blaxploitation”.
Not as well known is that the big-band powerhouse Earth Wind and Fire recorded the soundtrack on Sweetback, a joyous collaboration that will be celebrated forty-four years later on Friday, February 26, 2016, when Van Peebles appears live at the DFT with the Burnt Sugar Arkestra to perform the original score. This rare event will be followed by a complete screening of Sweetback, once again “Dedicated to all the Brothers and Sisters who have had enough of the Man.”
(Scroll down for time and ticket info)
Here’s a taste about what’s considered “The Cultural Gem of Detroit” … the Detroit Institute of Art.
The D.I.A. has been a beacon of culture for the Detroit area for well over a century. Founded in 1885, the museum was originally located on Jefferson Avenue, but, due to its rapidly expanding collection, moved to a larger site on Woodward Avenue in 1927. The new Beaux-Arts building, designed by Paul Cret, was immediately referred to as the “temple of art.” Two wings were added in the 1960s and 1970s, and a major renovation and expansion that began in 1999 was completed in 2007.
A hallmark of the D.I.A. is the diversity of it’s collection. In addition to outstanding American, European, Modern and Contemporary, and Graphic art, the museum holds significant works of African, Asian, Native American, Oceanic, Islamic, and Ancient art. Among these are the masterpiece sculpture Nail Figure from Zaire and a rare Korean Head of Buddha. In 2000, the DIA established the General Motors Center for African American Art as a curatorial department in order to broaden the museum’s collection of African American art.
The D.I.A. is supported in part by awards from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.