The Detroit Institute of Arts takes the “s” at the end of its name seriously. The immense Beaux Arts building on Woodward Avenue isn’t only a setting for a top-tier collection of visual works that include Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry frescoes, a van Gogh self-portrait, and ancient sculptures from Africa and Asia. It also opens the doors of its lecture halls, event spaces, and auditoriums for craft workshops, wide-ranging talks from historians and people who know how to draw really good cubes, film, and music. The latter two art forms find a home in the Detroit Film Theatre, a gilded, neoclassical auditorium that preserves a sense of coziness amid the grandeur.
One of three devoted dancers who founded Studio 3 Performing Arts Center, Megan Stanley told the Dexter Patch that she wanted a venue where "girls or guys of any skill level feel they can have a place to dance." Today, the center has broadened her dream by teaching visitors how to become a triple threat onstage. Lessons in music, dance, and theater place its students—some as young as two years—on the road to self-expression, while an atmosphere of fun and acceptance keeps them practicing.
The owners teach most of the classes themselves, building a community of students and parents that trust their expertise and attend regular recitals. This convivial spirit carries over to theater performances, where audience participation and Samuel Beckett's famous call-and-response cheers ensure everyone's involvement. Classes welcome all-comers to try their hand at intuitive cardio workouts and competitive choreography alike, the latter of which has led the studio's crew to a Best in Studio award at the 2012 JUMP dance convention.
The instructors at Anita's Theatre Dance & Performing Arts foster a love of dance in students aged 3 and older with a diverse schedule of 30-minute weekly lessons in a variety of styles. Fledgling dancers can dip their toes into ballet and learn to plié in age-appropriate beginner sessions, and older, more experienced hoofers can hone their skills in classes in adult tap, junior partnering, and intermediate jazz. All classes take place within one of three large dance rooms, replete with mirrors and cardboard cutouts of a scowling John Lithgow.
Finding your way in the entertainment industry is a lot like navigating a foreign country—in both cases, a plan is crucial to success. Jordan Mac Studios provides just that to those vying to become actors, recording artists, models, and dancers, nurturing talent of all kinds since 2001. They provide sundry services, including shooting music videos, conducting photo shoots, and organizing music-listening parties so musicians don’t have to blast their tunes through high-school intercoms. The studio also offers dance classes to kids, teens, and adults in a number of genres, including hip-hop, break dancing, and jazz.
In the 1965, Dr. Harold Furlong approached the town of Pontiac about creating a space where children could see, make, and learn about art. Nearly 50 years later, the Pontiac Creative Arts Center has stayed true to this original mission. Behind the Creative Arts Center's stone archway lies a variety of classrooms where seasoned faculty members create a relaxed environment that encourages free expression during classes in topics as diverse as ceramics, glass-blowing, and acting. Exhibition galleries feature year-round and rotating exhibits by local and national artists. In the past, these have highlighted quilts and paintings, vintage photographs, and exhibits highlighting art by African American or Latino artists. In addition to holding on-site arts education programs and special events, the non-profit organization also sends its instructors to local schools to teach classes and give performances.