Ann Arbor Art Fair, Detroit Festival of Books, and more things to do in Detroit this week

Jul 14, 2021 at 1:00 am
click to enlarge Detroit Festival of Books returns July 11 at Eastern Market.   - Courtesy of Detroit Festival of Books
Courtesy of Detroit Festival of Books
Detroit Festival of Books returns July 11 at Eastern Market. 

Select events happening in metro Detroit this week. Submit your events to

Thu 7/15-Sat 7/17

Ann Arbor Art Fair

Give us art or give us death, dammit! OK, so when we said that thing about giving us death, like, we didn't mean it like that. We were just trying to express that we're in desperate need of some art, as in art across all mediums that's available for us to look at for hours while getting our steps in but, also, art we can buy, surround ourselves with, and enjoy for years to come. After a yearlong hiatus, the sprawling Ann Arbor Art Fair is returning with enough art to choke a horse, or, like, ourselves (please?) Consisting of three fairs — the Ann Arbor Street Fair: the Original, Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, and the Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair — this Midwest tradition spans 30 city blocks in downtown Ann Arbor and draws close to 500,000 visitors each year, making it the largest juried art fair in the country. With its jewelry, furniture, paintings, dishware, textiles, and sculpture, the Ann Arbor Art Fair hosts more than 1,000 artists and their thoughtfully handcrafted wares. There will be live music courtesy of the Ark, too, and enough hand-sanitizing stations to, well, sanitize.

Event is open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Thursday, July 15 and Friday, July 16 and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, July 17;; Admission is free, shuttle rides are $5.

Sun 7/18

Detroit Festival of Books

Long before we spent every waking minute simultaneously binge-watching TV. series we've already seen 1,000 times (Gilmore Girls) along with the hottest new limited series that was only ever intended to last one season but overzealous studios decided to scrape together a second, less superior season (Big Little Lies, anyone?) there were books. Yes, those things that have been piling up on your floors, shelves, and bedside tables. You know, those things that collect dust and call to you from your weed-induced stupor as you decide whether to re-watch The Office or get high and watch that show where people build wild shit out of Legos.

Take it from us, The Office is lowkey problematic and, like, remember the pain of stepping on a rogue Lego brick in your bare feet? Pick up an effing book. Like, literally, any book. Want to read Harry Potter? Fine! Just pretend J.K. R*wling is just a pseudonym for someone who is not transphobic. Want to give Infinite Jest the ol' college try? Go for it! The options are endless and, for anyone who doesn't want to choose just one, the Detroit Festival of Books is returning to Eastern Market for a massive celebration of books and the people who read them. Touted as the largest book festival in Michigan, the Festival of Books will feature booksellers from across the state and is free to attend, while vendors keep 100% of their proceeds. Can't make it out to the event? The Detroit Festival of Books is also hosting a virtual event all weekend long. Due to the limited number of in-person, folks from all around the world will be able to peruse and purchase many of the titles offered by this year's participating virtual vendors.

The Festival of Books takes place July 18 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Eastern Market's Shed 5, 2810 Russell St., Detroit; Admission is free.

Wed 7/21

Kirk Whalum and Keiko Matsui

We will always love you, "I Will Always Love You," the untouchable Dolly Parton ballad immortalized by the late, great Whitney Houston. But while Houston's vocals are the star of the song, who can forget its killer sax solo? Well, the man behind the solo, Grammy award-winning jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum, toured with Houston for more than seven years, appeared on countless Luther Vandross albums, and has been nominated for Grammys, like, 12 times, and secured a win for Best Gospel Song in 2011. For this Jazzy Night performance, Whalum will share the stage with keyboardist Keiko Matsui. The 59-year-old Japanese smooth jazz/new age pianist has collaborated with greats like Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder and released her 24th studio solo record, Echo, in 2019.

The Aretha, 2600 E. Atwater St., Detroit; 313-393-7128;; $16-$21

Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.