Arts and Culture at the 2021 Myra Wolfgang Awards

While we continue to honor the legacy of Myra Wolfgang by celebrating this year's honorees: Julie Hurwitz, Detroit Disability Power and Rudy Simons, we are very excited to feature and amplify the work of our local artists at the virtual gala on Tuesday, May 4th at 7:30pm! Check out our arts and culture program contributors for the 2021 Myra Wolfgang Awards . . .

2021 Myra Wolfgang Award attendees will get to experience the musical performance of Detroit based jazz pianist Ian Finkelstein, who is performing Pontiac, MI born jazz legend Thad Jones's "A Child Is Born".

Ian Finkelstein [aka Ian Fink] is a Detroit-based jazz pianist, producer and composer. He has performed with artists such as Marcus Belgrave, Robert Hurst, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Karriem Riggins, and tours regularly with the Shigeto Live Ensemble. He has recorded for artists including Black Milk, Omar-S, Scott Grooves, Waajeed, Shigeto, Andrés, and others. Finkelstein is an alumni of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance. In 2018, he was named a Geri Allen Fellow and was a member of the Gathering Orchestra, hosted by the Carr Center. He is the recipient of a 2020 Gilda Award, awarded by Kresge Arts in Detroit, a program of The Kresge Foundation.

To further enjoy Ian's music visit his bandcamp at or follow him on Instagram at @finkianfink.

Our virtual gala on Tuesday, May 4th at 7:30pm ET will include a special performance from The TETRA co-founder Chace "Mic Write" Morris of his poem "You're Coming With Me."

The TETRA is the creative partnership of Detroit artists Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe & Chace Morris. Combining art, performance and Black spiritual technologies, The TETRA is creating a Digital Underground Railroad: a six-year journey full of digital and in-person rituals that decolonize the mind, heal inter-generational trauma and activate the imagination around new concepts of Freedom.

Freedom, as defined by The TETRA, is a life you no longer have to escape from. Sharpe & Morris’ work is designed to disrupt the expected and erode the divide between audience / performer, reality / impossible, survival / thrival.

Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe is a writer, ritualist, performance artist and educator from Detroit. Trained in Haitian healing traditions, she roots her writing in rituals to create sacred spaces, magical enough to explore power, heal wounds and rewrite origin stories that transcend trauma.

Chace Morris (also known as Mic Write) is a poet, emcee, curator and educator from Detroit. His writings have been called “codes”, verses that spin Black myth & Afrofuturism into clever heists of language & culture, rewriting Black & Brown futures around “Americana” & “independence”.

As The TETRA, they have been recipients of the 2020 Lewis Prize, 2018 Art Prize Juror’s Short List Award, 2018 MAP Grant, 2017 Knight Arts Challenge award, a 2016 Alain Locke award & are also both Kresge Arts fellows.

When not performing, The TETRA is relentlessly correcting the word “soda” to “pop” & quietly judging your pound cake.

To learn more about The TETRA, stay updated & receive their daily rituals sign up for the TETRA email list here.

[Photo description: From left to right: Sherina Sharpe Rodriguez, Chi Amen-Ra and Chace Morris perform at Knight Arts Foundation 2018.)

Wondering why this year's Myra Woflgang Awards promotional materials have been so beautiful and stellar? It's because of DJJ's collaboration with Detroit artist Olivia Guterson!

[Photo credit: CJ Benninger]

"Primarily through black ink, I create works that are a healing and truth-seeking investigation. In conversation with the materials I am marking, I layer ink as a means of mapping the present conditions and environment through the lens of mylived experience. My interest in pattern as language stems from my multiracial heritage, which inspires how the patterns relate to one another and stand alone. Accentuating the balance of black and white, busy and still, negative and positive, and the valid in-betweens, my linework is embedded in meticulous, instinctive wisdom."

You may have seen Guterson's work "At Our Table" a reimagining of a Passover table constructed from locally sourced, discarded single-use plastics this past spring at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. It's still possible to experience Guterson's collaboration with artist Laura Earle at the 22 North Gallery until April 30th called "Lumenality: Emodying Light" described as an intersection of curiosity and hope, an invitation to experience the presence of light as a source of inspiration and peace.

Visit Guterson's website or follow her on instagram @midnightolive to enjoy more of her work.

We hope you'll make it to the event to share together in the powerful and beautiful parts of our whole community!

Need to buy tickets? Click here!

Need to join the Host Committee? Click here!

Who's on the Host Committee? Check it out over here!

Can't make it but still want to support? Donate here!

Want to support AND get cool stuff? Check out super cool 2021 Myra Wolfgang Awards Fundraising Auction and get your bid on here!

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