DIA celebrates 50th Anniversary of Friends of African and African American Art


 DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – This year the FAAAA will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of this historic Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) auxiliary. Get ready to celebrate in grand style at the upcoming gala event that will take you back in time to the auxiliary’s inception; “The Summer of 62’ which is also the title and theme of the event. Mark your calendars, “The Summer of 62’ will be held at the DIA, Saturday, September 15 at 7 pm.
 Don’t miss an opportunity to step back in time and enjoy some of the highlights of the era; Motown Music, The Graystone Ballroom, The Latin Quarter (where the first Bal Africain was held almost 50 years ago.) Miniskirts, Jackie Kennedy dresses and pillbox hats, and backcombed, teased, full and fluffy bouffant hairstyles; All are encouraged as we celebrate a proud moment in the history of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
 The event will launch yearlong activities to celebrate this momentous occasion…look forward to events leading up to June 2013 when the Bal Africain will take place. During the entire year you can celebrate with FAAAA at private Art parties in the homes of some of the largest African and African American Art collectors in the area, lectures, Gallery events for children and more. This promises to be a year to remember commencing September 15th.
 “To celebrate Fifty years of a vision fulfilled is an honor. To be part of fulfilling that vision is a privilege,” said Sharon Madison, Madison Madison International, Chair of the 50th Anniversary event. “We are so grateful to the founders and every person who has contributed their time and monetary donations, understanding that the Friends of African and African American is a unique organization in the growth and development of Detroit, Michigan, our country and the world, and that is not an exaggeration.”
 FAAAA is one of the DIA’s oldest auxiliaries, and the only one of its kind in the nation. “The Friends” have also contributed more artwork to the DIA’s permanent collection than any other auxiliary of its kind. Since 1962 the Friends of African and African American Art have continued to promote the appreciation and understanding of the rich culture and artistic legacies of Africa, African Americans and the African Diaspora. The FAAAA expanded its focus to include African American art and Haitian art in the collection in the 90’s.
 Originally known as the African Art Gallery Committee, the FAAAA was founded by the late Arthur D. Coar, Marc Crawford and Willis F. Woods. The mission was to acquire traditional art of Africa for this extraordinary new gallery that expanded to include African American art and to date has contributed to the acquisition of more than 60 individually selected works of art for the museum’s collection. The first vice-chairman was Governor G. Mennen Williams. The former Governor’s son has been asked to be a part of this historic celebration.
 The Bal Africain is the annual signature fundraising event for FAAAA. It has become one of the most popular social events of the year. Special guests have included Sidney Poitier, Diahann Carroll, Dorothy Height and Aretha Franklin to name a few. The quality of guests speaks to the quality of the event.
 Guests such as Sidney Poitier who made his first trip ever to the city of Detroit to appear at the 2002 Bal African. Poitier was elated at what he saw in Detroit and at the DIA. More than 700 people attended the event, and as a result of that visit other charities were able to get Poitier to make a return visit to Detroit.
 Come join DIA Friends of African and African American Art at the 50th Anniversary kick-off event “The Summer of 62”. Put on your Chic 60’s attire (Mary Quant and the mini-skirt and Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat were fashion hits). Get ready for some 60’s Motown Music, dancing and a strolling dinner. Tickets are $150. Patron Tickets are also available.
 You can purchase tickets at www.dia.org. For more information call (313) 833-4005
 Sponsors of “The Summer of ‘62” are General Motors, DTE Energy Foundation, St. John Providence Health System, Health Alliance Plan and Blue Care Network.
 Media Sponsors include: WJBK-FOX 2 Detroit and TellUsDetroit.Com


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