2017 GIA Conference
Detroit, MI   October 28–31
Legacy and Leadership

Conference Events


Saturday Newcomers Reception

This casual event for first-time conference attendees will provide a quick overview of conference events to help you get the most out of your conference experience. You will also have the opportunity to meet GIA’s board members and staff. The reception will be held in the 42 Degrees North room, boasting stunning views of the Detroit River and Canada. The conference Opening Reception will follow immediately after this event.

Saturday Opening Reception

Marcus ElliotThe Opening Reception will take place on Saturday evening in the recently renovated Ambassador Ballroom of the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Detroit along the Riverwalk. The Opening Reception will kick off the conference in a fun and casual atmosphere, with music provided by Detroit-based jazz saxophonist Marcus Elliot. Elliot has led a quartet for the past eight years, and his latest record, Sonic Refuge, was released in 2017. He has performed internationally with James Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Marcus Belgrave, Jimmy Heath, Talib Kweli, and many others. He is the artist in residence at Troy High School, and was the director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Band in 2012–2013.


Sunday Dine-arounds

Taking advantage of being in downtown Detroit, this year’s Dine-arounds will include a wonderful variety of cuisines and experiences. These no-host, informal dinners offer a chance to socialize with colleagues and experience vibrant diversity of Detroit and its food scene. Signup will be onsite at conference registration on Sunday. Participation is first-come, first-served.

Find your group at 6:15pm. Departure will begin as soon as groups can gather.


Dance at the Museum

On the night before Halloween, conference attendees will gather at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) for a celebration and dinner from 6:00–8:30pm. The DIA’s collection is among the top six in the United States, with about 66,000 works. A hallmark of the DIA is the diversity of the collection. In addition to outstanding American, European, modern and contemporary, and graphic art, the museum holds significant works of African, Asian, Native American, Oceanic, Islamic, and ancient art.

The evening’s festivities will be held in DIA’s Great Hall, where guests can enjoy a medley of Detroit’s soul, R&B, and dance tunes from the '60s and '70s with DJ Beige and DJ Yeti; and in the Rivera Court, home to the famous murals of Mexican artist Diego Rivera (1886–1957). Rivera’s Detroit Industry fresco cycle was conceived as a tribute to the city’s manufacturing base and labor force of the 1930s. Rivera completed the 27-panel work in eleven months, from April 1932 to March 1933. It is considered the finest example of Mexican mural art in the United States, and the artist thought it the best work of his career.

Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry mural

In addition to Rivera Court, many of DIA’s galleries will be open to attendees, including the African American, impressionist, contemporary, ancient Greek, and American art galleries. The museum store will also be open and features jewelry, gifts, books and media, wall art, and home décor.

Buses to the Detroit Institute of Art will begin to depart the hotel at 5:45pm.

This event is supported by the Ford Foundation.