Jer Staes – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Thu, 20 Sep 2018 21:48:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Conservatory On Belle Isle To Undergo $1.9 Million Renovation, Partially Close For Winter Thu, 20 Sep 2018 17:26:50 +0000
The beautiful Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle is about to get a $1.9 million facelift starting in October.

The conservatory, built in 1904, is one of the park’s most popular attractions. It has some great exotic and rare plants from around the world.

So what’s going to be done? A structural assessment by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources last year concluded that portions of the 20 steel trusses supporting the conservatory dome — also known as the Palm House — need immediate replacement.

This winter, the first 21 feet of the steel trusses in the conservatory dome will be replaced. The work will be done by Detroit-based Ideal Contracting.

Construction begins October 1 and should be completed in April of 2019. The conservatory dome will be closed to ensure public safety during that time. The north and south wings and the show house will remain open to visitors Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitors will be able to access the building through the lily pond garden entrance.

Reservations for private events will not be available until May 2019.

Although this is a big project, there’s a lot more work to be done. Although this project is being funded by a $1 million grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and a match of $900,000 from the DNR, about $5 million more dollars are being sought for repairs to the upper portion of the dome.

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Dig, A Dating App For Dog People, To Launch In Detroit Tue, 18 Sep 2018 21:07:15 +0000

Dig, a dating app aimed at dog lovers, is launching in Detroit on Thursday. They’re throwing a kickoff party at WeWork Merchant’s Row in downtown Detroit.  

What’s the deal behind the app? Per their website:

Founders Leigh and Casey Isaacson created Dig after being duped by fake dog lovers too many times. After a relationship ended when a guy refused to let the world’s cutest dog (Layla) in his apartment, Casey wanted to be sure she could find someone who would love her dog as much as she does. On Dig, guys can’t pretend to be dog owners by posting pictures with other people’s dogs just to get the conversation going like they do on other dating apps. Dig is a community of people who care deeply about dogs, whether they’re dog owners or want to get a dog with someone in the future. To dog people, it doesn’t matter who starts the conversation, what mutual hobbies they have, or who they know in common. If the people aren’t on the same page about the dog(s), they just aren’t compatible.

The free party is this Thursday, September 20th.

The humans get free beer and you can get a photo with you and your canine companion.

Also, there’s free nail trimmings, a vet consultation booth, a Pet Smart treat bar and a bag of extras for the doggos. 

The event link is here.

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PODCAST: StockX Gets $44M, City Household Incomes Up, Eric Thomas Talks Detroit & Your News Thu, 13 Sep 2018 21:08:51 +0000

You show for September 13th, 2018 from the floor of Digital Summit Detroit:

Our feature interview is with Eric Thomas, the founder of Saga Marketing. He recently had a piece in the Financial Times and is locally famous for his LinkedIn blog post, “Why I hate Detroit.”

– Detroit’s getting a bit more of Silicon Valley’s magic. StockX, the Detroit-based Stock Market of Things, just closed on a $44 million Series B funding round with GV, which was previously called Google Ventures. The company says it plans to hire more than 1,000 people in the next year.

– How is Detroit’s comeback doing? Well here’s an interesting indicator. According to data provided by the U.S. Census, the city of Detroit’s median household income rose 8% in 2017. That rate is four times the national average of 2%.

– A new report suggests that the market for luxury vehicles is on track for a near-record year, thanks largely to the growth in high-end sport utility vehicles.

– A pop-up Vespa dealer is opening in the Fisher Building.

– The Salvation Army is doing a “Ring for Bling” campaign for those taking part in their annual Red Kettle fundraising campaign. The nonprofit Salvation Army provides a lot of services in Metro Detroit, including feeding the homeless, combating addiction, fighting poverty and working to stop human trafficking. For every two-hour Red Kettle volunteer shift, volunteers get an entry for a chance to win a diamond necklace from Lucido Fine Jewelry. The Gabriel NY piece is worth more than $6,000.

– Michelle Obama is coming to Detroit as part of a 10-city tour to promote her new memoir, “Becoming.” She’ll be at Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday, December 11th.

Like the show? Subscribe in Apple Podcasts or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

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The Motor City (Where More Than A Quarter Of Households Don’t Have Cars) Unveils Transportation Plan Tue, 11 Sep 2018 00:27:11 +0000

The city of Detroit has a new strategic transportation plan they unveiled Friday.

The plan focuses on improvements to Detroit’s transportation system. It’s not just updates to the bus system, which is getting 50 new bus shelters. The plan looks at projects that would slow down cars in neighborhoods, resurface more than 300 miles of roads, implement smart technology in signals…. and of course, lower the highest-in-the-nation car insurance rates in the city.

Other highlights include implementing more protected bike lanes, expanding the MoGo bike sharing system (as we’ve previously reported), and clearer signage.

Under the plan, all aspects of transportation will now be considered when making development decisions.

The city says when a new streetscape is being planned, a project manager will work with traffic engineers, planners, municipal parking managers, DDOT operations, and the department of neighborhoods to make sure constituent voices are heard in the project.

Sample of the new transportation plan.

The plan features five main goals: economic opportunity, safety, vibrancy, community outreach, and city functionality.

Although common in other cities, it’s notable for a place perceived as the Motor City to focus on transit. But the fact is that more than a quarter of Detroit households don’t own a car, and Detroit is in the top 10 in the nation for carless cities, just behind Chicago.

You can find the complete plan here. 

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No Straight Ticket Voting In Michigan In November Thanks To Appeals Court Ruling Fri, 07 Sep 2018 19:03:41 +0000

Straight-ticket voting is no longer a thing in Michigan — at least for this November’s election.

That’s where you have the option to check one box and have all of your votes go to candidates of that party down the ballot.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Wednesday to block a federal judge’s ruling that would have struck down a ban on straight-ticket voting in the state.

Many local clerks have said that the 2016 law banning straight-ticket voting could result in lengthy delays to vote in bigger cities such as Detroit and Flint. Those are also areas with heavy Democratic turnout. The bill was passed by a Republican-controlled legislature.

The appellate ruling said that the lower courts likely erred when it found that the plaintiffs had shown that the Michigan Legislature intentionally discriminated against African Americans by passing the law.

There are now just three states that have straight ticket voting.

As a note… A ballot initiative in November aims to change the law back to allow straight ticket voting, among other things.

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PODCAST: Tension in the Tigers booth, Greg Migliore of Autoblog talks cars and your Detroit news Fri, 07 Sep 2018 14:18:28 +0000

This is your Daily Detroit podcast for September 6, 2018.

Our feature conversation is with Greg Migliore of Autoblog, where we talk about Ford, Tesla, and what’s happening in the car business after our headlines.

– Tigers fans were surprised on Wednesday night to see neither Mario Impemba or Rod Allen calling the game against the Chicago White Sox. First-reported by the Athletic, the altercation between the two Fox Sports Detroit broadcasters happened immediately after the Tigers’ 8-3 win in Chicago against the White Sox on Tuesday. An unnamed source who witnessed it said the incident was, quote, “severe.”

– Straight-ticket voting is no longer a thing in Michigan — at least for this November’s election. That’s where you have the option to check one box and have all of your votes go to candidates of that party down the ballot.

– Bloomberg reports that Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert is looking to exit the casino business… including his Jack Casino in Detroit. He’s already lined up two prominent banks – Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse – and Bloomberg says that Caesars Entertainment is among the possible bidders that have expressed interest in some of the properties. They recently completed a $1.7 billion deal in Indiana.

– Late-breaking news for fans of 1970s cinema: Legendary actor Burt Reynolds has died. He was 82.

– It’s going to be 90 days in jail for Former state senator Bert Johnson. U.S. District Judge Matthew Leitman handed down the sentence Thursday for stealing more than $23,000 from taxpayers through a ghost employee. That’s where the employee gets paid for a job they don’t have to show up for.

– The popular Union Woodshop barbecue restaurant in Clarkston is getting an outdoor mural courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

– An Ann Arbor favorite, Frita Batidos, is coming to Detroit. The cuban restaurant will open a 2,400 square foot location on Columbia street just west of Woodward. The Detroit menu will be the same as its Ann Arbor location, but with a twist… an express menu for game days.

– The 3rd Annual City College Series to Benefit Detroit Public Schools K-5 is back. The University of Detroit Mercy men’s and women’s basketball team will host Wayne State in an exhibition charity game on November 3rd at Calihan Hall.

Like the show? Don’t forget to subscribe (free!) in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app of choice. 

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LISTEN: Duggan sues over high car insurance rates, lots of Detroit bus updates and your news Sun, 26 Aug 2018 15:46:10 +0000

On your Daily Detroit podcast show recorded on August 26, 2018: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and a group of Detroit-area residents have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law is unconstitutional and is unfairly expensive for drivers.

– The internet is ablaze with speculation that it might just be the end of Hockeytown for the Detroit Red Wings.

– Work is set to start Monday to build Detroit’s newest beach.

– A couple of changes are on the horizon for buses around town. The first is proposed, the second is happening.

– The Detroit Knight Arts Challenge has named 53 finalists for its grant contest, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

– We now have more details on the Aretha Franklin tribute concert that will be free and open to the public.

– Time Magazine has named the Detroit Foundation Hotel as one of the World’s 100 greatest places.

Get episodes first and subscribe to the show (it’s free!) in Apple Podcasts, or even better, write a review!

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53 Finalists Named In Knight Arts Challenge, Final Prize Is Share Of $3 Million Thu, 23 Aug 2018 14:26:32 +0000 53 finalists were named on Thursday for the Detroit Knight Arts Challenge. They are all in the running for a share of $3 million.

The the grant contest is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It’s a matching grant, so the artist will have to find a way to raise the money to match the amount provided by the foundation.

The idea of the program is that it funds ideas that engage and enrich Detroit through the arts. The foundation funds the arts, it says, because of “their ability to inspire and build community, and connect people to each other and to Detroit.”

The finalists propose a range of projects that tell unique Detroit stories, bring the city’s history and culture to the stage and use the power of the arts to bring people together.

“When I look at the Knight Arts Challenge finalists, I see our city, its many neighborhoods and cultures – all building on Detroit’s legacy as a leader in the arts,” said Katy Locker, Detroit program director for Knight Foundation. “Each idea demonstrates the many powerful ways Detroiters continue to use the arts as a vehicle to move our city forward.”

The full list of the 2018 finalists is below. Before we get to the list, I’m going to pull out a specific one as a disclosure and a kudos.

Karen Dybis is a regular contributor to our Daily Detroit podcast. Her project is called “Project SAVE: The Delray Preservation Plan.” Its goal is to create a record of the people, businesses and landmarks of the disappearing Delray neighborhood through a community-driven exhibition and online archive.

If you’re interested in applying, the Knight Arts Challenge is open to anyone. There are three rules:

  • The idea must be about the arts
  • The project must take place in or benefit Detroit
  • The grant recipient must find funds to match Knight’s commitment within one year.

The applications are just 150 words.

Here’s the list of finalists. Winners will be announced in the fall.


Large Pepperoni with Extra Poetry

To celebrate young creative voices by distributing their poems on pizza boxes during National Poetry Month

Arab American National Museum

Arab American Arts and Cultural Festival

To celebrate Arab American culture with a summer festival in East Dearborn featuring artists, makers, musicians and traditional food

Bigmouth Press & Comix/Leila Abdelrazaq

Bigmouth’s Voices Anthology

To amplify the voices of Middle Eastern artists from metro Detroit through workshops where they will create and publish their own comics, and an online and printed anthology

CAN Art Handworks/Carlos Nielbock

Detroit Gallery of Metals

To establish a gallery to explore the role of metals in Detroit – from iron elements of the Industrial Revolution to ornamental metalworks from the city’s historic architecture – to encourage interest in the metal arts that built the city

City of Detroit Parks and Recreation

Detroit: NOW + FOREVER

To enliven Detroit’s neighborhood parks with plays that tell stories of the city’s history, culture and industry

Collective Sweat Detroit

Collective Sweat Detroit

To advance the rigor and relevance of dance in Detroit through a choreographic residency program and by expanding weekly classes for professional artists

ComiqueCon L3C

ComiqueCon: A Celebration of Women in Comics

To celebrate the work of female and non-gender binary comic book creators at the ComiqueCon convention

Core City Beautification Fund/Prince Concepts

Public Art Commission

To create two public art installations in a new Core City neighborhood park by commissioning sculptural and light-based installations by local artists

Cranbrook Art Museum

Material Detroit

To bring together three Detroit curators and institutions – Taylor Renee Aldridge (ARTS.BLACK), Laura Mott (Cranbrook Art Museum), and Ryan Myers-Johnson (Sidewalk Festival) – in an epic public art, conversation and performance series focused on themes of material ingenuity, resourcefulness and resistance

DANCE ELIXIR/Leyya Mona Tawil

Lime Rickey International’s Noise and Nation

To promote the voices of Arab Detroiters working in experimental arts through a collaborative program where artists come together to create performance pieces

Detroit Area Art Deco Society

Documenting Detroit: Designers, Architects and Artists that Helped Create Detroit

To celebrate Detroit’s Art Deco and midcentury buildings by sharing images of them with a global audience of designers, architects and history enthusiasts

Detroit Artists Market


To commission performance artist Jennifer Harge to draw on personal, collective and ancestral memory to create an immersive exhibition centering on the creation of black space

Detroit Institute of Arts

Put the STEAM in STEM

To give students a deeper understanding of art by having them explore the science behind paint, paintings and other historic artworks

Detroit Public Theatre

48Hours in… Detroit

To produce – in collaboration with Harlem9 – “48Hours in…Detroit,” a festival of new 10-minute plays written by Detroit playwrights to reimagine stories that speak to the rich and diverse history of the city

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Musical Interpretation of Five Poems by W.H. Auden

To demonstrate innovation in modern orchestral music by commissioning Arab American composer Mohammed Fairouz to create a work based on W.H. Auden’s most iconic poems which explore universal themes of humanity

Detroit Writers’ Guild

The All Access Café of Detroit

To create an all-access café at the Detroit Public Library that brings together differently abled artists and audiences for literary readings and musical performances, where people can share their similarities through the arts

Diana Nucera

Mother Cyborg’s Automata: Understand the nature of Artificial Intelligence

To develop a laser opera and full-length musical album based on “A People’s Guide to AI” to demystify the nature of artificial intelligence and its possibilities for humanity

Gabriel Music Society

Gabriel Music Society Augmented Experience

To tell the story of six generations of musicians in Detroit’s Gabriel family – from its roots in the Caribbean, New Orleans and now Detroit – through visual and audio archives

Gracie Xavier/Global Detroit

Common Bond: Muslin Social Club

To explore the cultures of Asia, Africa and the U.S. through a series of women-only, hands-on fabric design and dyeing workshops, culminating in exhibitions

Final Girls

Future Final Girls

To help young women filmmakers gain the experience they need to pursue their filmmaking goals by providing mentoring, workshops and screenings

Highland Park Business Association

Highland Park Arts and Culture Commission

To develop and support all art forms in the city of Highland Park by creating a local Arts and Culture Commission

Hostel Detroit

Detroit Container Radio

To create easy and universal access to Detroit’s electronic music through an internet radio station based in a mobile shipping container that doubles as a performance space and coffee shop

Karen Dybis

Project SAVE: The Delray Preservation Plan

To create a record of the people, businesses and landmarks of the disappearing Delray neighborhood through a community-driven exhibition and online archive

Katherine Cockrel

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win

To spark conversations about race and policing with screenings of the award-winning documentary “Dare to Struggle Dare to Win”

Living Arts

Project: Dance

To showcase the power of dance to bring communities together by having artists and residents collaborate to create new works reflective of Southwest Detroit that will be recorded and projected on buildings

Mark Stryker

Made in Detroit: Jazz from the Motor City

To create a festival of salon-style interviews and performances that celebrate Detroit jazz musicians and demonstrate that the city’s remarkable jazz heritage remains a living tradition

Marshalle Montgomery Favors

The Fearless Tribe of Fanatic Filmmakers

To uplift the stories of Detroit’s black independent filmmakers and showcase their works by hosting screenings, panels and workshops in unconventional venues

Matrix Theatre Company

As Water Does with the Moon: Detroit Muslim Voices

To bring to the stage the diverse voices of the city’s Muslim community through a new play derived from stories gathered from the community

Michael Khoury

Zombie Frequencies of the Palestinian Diaspora

To explore the context for several waves of Palestinian emigration in recent history with a new performance work of sound and dance

Michelle Andonian

CORE 375

To commemorate the closing of the freeway in Eastern Market with performances and installations that celebrate the history of the people and neighborhoods that preceded its construction

Michigan ArtShare @ Artist Village Detroit

Chazz and the Redline

To invigorate the Artist Village in Old Redford by having the original artist, Charles “Chazz” Miller use artificial intelligence technology to recreate community murals and develop connected experiences in the neighborhood

Michigan State University Community Music School-Detroit

Women of Jazz

To share the rich legacy and contributions of women in jazz through public performances and a week-long symposium featuring Marion Hayden that will empower and inform the next generation of young musicians

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

“Northern Lights 1966” Detroit Community Tour

To tour a play about Detroit student protests in 1966 – with themes that resonate today – to schools and community centers around Detroit

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

From Where We Resist

To explore the histories of community uprisings in the United States by hosting performances and conversations by visual artist Mickalene Thomas, national Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman and Detroit poet jessica Care moore

NKSK Events + Production/Njia Kai

The Temple of John Coltrane

To celebrate the legacy of musician and composer John Coltrane with a two-day event in a gallery setting featuring live performances of his work by professional and emerging Detroit musicians, dancers, spoken word and visual artists

Noah Elliott Morrison and Ben Collins


To remind people of the power and importance of the Detroit River by documenting it in photos and 3D video that will be used in augmented-reality displays at the Detroit RiverWalk

Norwest Gallery of Art

Norwest Gallery of Art

To provide more affordable arts programming for people living in Detroit’s Northwest side by expanding offerings at this community-based gallery

Osborn Neighborhood Alliance

What Did I Just Watch? Experimental and Documentary Cinema comes to the Osborn Neighborhood

To cultivate film appreciation in the Osborn neighborhood by screening films and promoting film discussion at the neighborhood’s Bel Air Luxury Cinema

Oudolf Garden Detroit

Piet Oudolf Garden on Belle Isle

To bring to life a transformative public garden on Belle Isle by Piet Oudolf, visionary designer of the High Line in New York City


PLAYGROUND DETROIT Emerging Artist Fellowship Program

To create opportunities for Detroit’s emerging visual artists with new fellowships at this gallery in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood

Power House Productions

Time in the Neighborhood

To provide a space for the exchange of ideas in a neighborhood and in Detroit by inviting visiting artists from around the world to live for a month in Jar House, and to produce public events in partnership with a local co-hosts


ProjectArt: Detroit

To bring more art into community spaces by providing emerging visual artists with studios in public libraries, where they will offer classes, talks and exhibits, engage in public art projects, and mentor art students

Shakespeare in Detroit

Shakespeare in Detroit Translation Project

To introduce Shakespeare to new audiences by hiring playwrights to translate some of the Bard’s most popular works into Arabic and Spanish, and to produce these plays in metro Detroit

Shara Nova

Body Vessel

To present a theatrical musical event exploring friendship and experiences as women of different skin colors, with Shara Nova and Helga Davis wearing a sculptural dress for two created by Annica Cuppetelli


Power (Up!) The Press Fest

To grow and celebrate Detroit’s community of printmakers, bookbinders, poets and papermakers with a festival of print media in all its variety

Sphinx Organization, Inc.

The Great Migration: A Family Story Told Through Music

To commission a new classical work by violinist/composer Jessie Montgomery that explores the historical and cultural legacy surrounding the Great Migration through music and through the lens of a family history, to be shared through a series of community concerts, artist workshops and residencies

The Hinterlands

The Hinterlands Present: Assemblage Contemporary Performance Series

To advance Detroit in the conversation around cutting-edge contemporary performance by presenting a series of internationally-recognized theatre and dance artists from across the country

The Urban Requiem Project

The Life and Death of Industrial Detroit – An Urban Requiem

To bring a multimedia-rich experience and event series to the community, commemorating and exploring the life and death of Detroit’s industrial century

University of Michigan-Dearborn

Halal Metropolis: Exploring Muslim Visibility in Detroit

To explore the facts and fictions of the Muslim community in metro Detroit with an exhibit by

artist Osman Khan, photographer Razi Jafri, and scholar Sally Howell

University of Michigan-Dearborn

Struggle and Rebirth on the Rouge River: A Transformational Public Art Installation

To explore the intertwined histories of labor, industry and the environment with a public art project that presents the story of the 1932 Ford Hunger March

Wayne State University

Between Two Worlds: The Arab American Experience in Detroit

To explore the experience of Arab Americans in Detroit by commissioning internationally renowned fine art photographer Farah Al Qasimi to do a series on the city

William Armstrong

The 48203 Dance Show and Workshops

To highlight the legacy of the TV program “The New Dance Show,” an archive of Detroit techno and fashion, through workshops and a dance showcase for youth and the community

Vanessa Cronan

Digital Arts Programming at New Local Grocery Store

To bring virtual reality and digital art into everyday spaces by presenting installations inside a new grocery store

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PODCAST: Garlin Gilchrist Gets The Democratic Lt. Gov Nod, Hatch Detroit Finalists & Your News Tue, 21 Aug 2018 03:05:56 +0000

This is your Daily Detroit for August 20, 2018. Your Detroit news:

– Detroiter Garlin Gilchrist the second has been picked to be the running mate for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer. Sven and Jer discuss.

– There has been some confusion around the funeral arrangements for the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, who died last week at the age of 76. So here’s what you need to know.

– One of the last remaining members of the Motown studio band known as the Funk Brothers has died. The Freep reports that guitarist Eddie Willis died Monday morning at his home in Mississippi following complications from a childhood bout with polio. He was 82. Link:

– Dogs and Degas apparently do go together. The Detroit Institute of Arts is holding their first-ever animal adoption event.

– Brix Wine and Charcuterie Boutique will be closing its West Village location on the city’s east side at the end of the month… and Atomic Chicken is calling it quits.

– Certified results for the SMART bus millage are in and the final tally widened a bit to 39 votes, instead of 23 as initially thought.

–  The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest Presented by Bedrock is down to its four finalists:

  • Neighborhood Grocery
  • Paradise Natural Foods
  • Slyde
  • Toma Detroit

They’re competing for a $50,000 prize from Comerica Bank and $200,000 worth of pro-bono services from Hatch Detroit and its partners. Representatives from each of the four startup business finalists joined us today in the studio to talk about their proposals alongside Vittoria Katanski, Hatch Detroit’s executive director. You can find out more and vote at

Like the show? Subscribe wherever podcasts are found here.


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Detroit Institute Of Arts To Hold Their First Adoption Event Sunday Tue, 21 Aug 2018 02:54:02 +0000

Dogs and Degas apparently do go together. The Detroit Institute of Arts is holding their first-ever animal adoption event.

The event is with the Michigan Humane Society on the DIA’s north lawn on Sunday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until all the animals are adopted.

“Meet Your Best Friend at the Museum featuring Kitties and Pitties!” will have 20–25 cats and dogs, including pit bulls and pit bull mixes, up for adoption.

The animals have had all their age-appropriate vaccinations and have been sterilized.

The DIA will also raffle off private tours of its Conservation Services Laboratory, giving a behind-the-scenes look at how the museum’s renowned collection is cared for.

The raffle will also include tickets to the exhibition “Star Wars and the Power of Costume.”

Proceeds will be donated to the Michigan Humane Society in memory of Cathy Sweier, a DIA staff member and avid cat lover, who passed away this year.

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