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Community Programs

The Dennos Museum Center presents a variety of programs for all ages, seeking to engage, enlighten and entertain audiences. Check out the listings here to find out what's happening.

Left: Florence Kelley, 1879, in Dorothy Rose, Florence Kelley: The Making of a Social Pioneer, (Privately Published, Augustus Kelley, 1966), 23. Right: Congressman William Darrah Kelley, circa 1870-1880, Brady-Handy photograph collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.What america's greatest father-daughter political dynasty teaches us about fixing democracy

A Smithsonian Affiliations Virtual Scholar Talk

Thursday, June 17, 2021 — 7:00 PM EDT

Just in time for Father’s Day, Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, presents What America’s Greatest Father-Daughter Political Dynasty Teaches Us About Fixing Democracy, a Virtual Scholar Talk exploring congressman William “Pig Iron” Kelley and labor activist Florence Kelley. Join National Museum of American History curator John Grinspan as he uses this father-daughter duo—their feuds, campaigns, and crusades—to show our divisive political system’s enduring capacity to reinvent itself. During the talk, Grinspan will share stories from his latest book, The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915.

This talk explores America’s greatest father-daughter political dynasty, congressman William “Pig Iron” Kelley and his daughter, labor activist Florence Kelley. Will Kelley campaigned for abolition, women’s suffrage, workers’ rights, voting rights, and many more causes in the 19th century, and raised his daughter to carry on his legacy, even though she could not vote or hold office. Florence Kelley emerged as a combative force in her own right, fighting child labor, helping to found the NAACP and start Social Security. Over two colorful lives – packed with campaigns and crusades, friendships and feuds, assassination attempts and divorces – father and daughter educated (and exasperated) each other, forming a rocky but crucial bond that shaped American public life for over a century, and providing an inspiring model for father daughter relationships.

Images: (left) Florence Kelley, 1879, in Dorothy Rose, Florence Kelley: The Making of a Social Pioneer, (Privately Published, Augustus Kelley, 1966), 23.(right) Congressman William Darrah Kelley, circa 1860-1875, Brady-Handy photograph collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.


Jason Dake leading a Virtual TourVirtual Tour

What better way to spend virtual time with your friends and family than visiting the Dennos Museum Center galleries for a specialized online tour! Join Dennos staff for an interactive Zoom tour of the Museum catered to your group. With at least 2 weeks notice, you can request specific works from permanent or temporary exhibitions, or let us design something special for you and your loved ones. Pricing is based on group size, and purchase must be made in advance. 

  • Up to 10 people - $25
  • 11-25 people - $50
  • 26+ people - $75

Purchase online. A staff person from the Dennos will then follow up via email to arrange your tour.

The Art Of: _
The Art Of: _
is a series of programs that help connect the visual arts to broader topics in our busy lives, from coffee to education, technology, and even death and dying. Programs have included films, panel discussions, hands-on art, and food and drink tastings. Have an idea for a program? Contact Jason Dake at to pitch it.




Pink Pillow by Russell PratherThe art of: russell prather

Thursday, June 24, 2021 — 6:30 p.m. ET

Zoom & Facebook Live

Join us online for a live conversation with artist Russell Prather. We will discuss Prather's exhibition installed in the galleries through August 15, along with the artist's background and inspirations. Attendees will have the chance to ask questions via Zoom or Facebook. You can view the exhibition, And the Heart is Pleased by One Thing After Another, during open hours, Wednesday-Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Prather studied philosophy and animation at the University of British Columbia, and literature and writing at the University of Washington. A self-taught artist, his creative practice has been influenced particularly by the illuminated books of eighteenth-century artist and poet William Blake. Prather’s work has been exhibited at the Muskegon Museum of Art, Museum of Northwest Art, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Truman State University in Missouri, Finlandia University, the Duluth Art Institute, The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Michigan Technological University, the Chicago

Art Department Gallery and Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. He has shown internationally at Yorck Studios in Berlin, Venice International University, John Moores University in Liverpool, and Hong Kong Baptist University. He has solo shows upcoming at Hatch Art in Detroit and Caza Sikes Gallery in Cincinnati. He teaches British literary and visual culture, and modern art and film, at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

Zoom Details

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
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Or join by phone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
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Webinar ID: 930 0760 6891
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In Conversation with Keith Ekstam

Thursday, May 27, 2021 — 10:30 a.m. ET

Watch Now on Facebook

Join Zach Tate, Ceramics Instructor for the NMC Art Department for a conversation with fellow ceramic artist and colleague Keith Ekstam about his exhibition at the museum. The program will include an illustrated presentation by Ekstam about his work and influences, with questions taken from the audience as well. Enjoy the conversation on Zoom following the link below, or watch the simulcast on our Facebook Page



The Art Of: Joshua Harkerthe art of: joshua harker

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 — 10:30 a.m. ET

Watch on IGTV @dennosmuseumcenter

Join the conversation on Instagram Live with Deputy Director Jason Dake as he talks to Joshua Harker about his work in the exhibition, Blow Up II, now on view through May 16. We'll get to know a bit about Harker's background and process, as well as discussing how he created a giant inflatable skull for the exhibition.

Joshua Harker (b.1970) is an American artist recognized for his adaptation and incorporation of modern design and manufacturing technologies with traditional methods and materials. This has included 3d printing, video projection mapping, CAD design, digital sculpture, 3d scanning, and biometrics. In addition to static and kinetic works, he bridges 2nd and 3rd dimensions via projection mapping of images and animation onto sculptures in large scale live installations.

In addition to exhibiting globally in galleries and museums, he produced the #1 most funded Sculpture project in Kickstarter history (2011-2015).  Joshua’s experimentation in the presentation of his art through social media and the internet has garnered him international recognition and acclaim.  His work is among thousands of collections and has appeared in countless publications and press worldwide.

Image: Josh Harker, Crania Geodesica: Palloncino Anatomica, 2019, painted vinyl fabric, electric fan,111 x 96 x 153 inches. Installation detail. 


Artists in Conversation: John Sauvé interviews Michael D. Hall

Sunday, April 25, 2021 — 1:00 p.m. ET

Watch Now on Facebook

Michigan Legacy Art Park and the Dennos Museum Center co-host Artists in Conversation for International Sculpture Day 2021. Join Detroit area sculptor John Sauvé as he interviews Michael D. Hall about his career, his works and his ideas. Viewers can ask questions during this free online event, which will include montages of Hall's work -- including the newly installed Waltz Stele sculpture at Michigan Legacy Art Park in Thompsonville, Michigan.



the art of: dex r. jones

March 4, 2021 — 10:30 a.m. EST

Watch Now on YouTube

Join Deputy Director of Museum Programs & Learning Jason Dake for an in-depth conversation with photographer Dex R. Jones about his exhibition. The program will include a brief tour of the gallery, a conversation between Dake and Jones, and an opportunity to ask the artist questions about his work. 


The Art of:_ is sponsored in part by Morsels of Traverse City.

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