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A Conversation with John Sinclair and Cary Loren

Saturday, Mar. 31, 2018    4–6pm

Location: MSU Erickson Kiva (Erickson Hall, 620 Farm Lane)

Please join John Sinclair and Cary Loren as they discuss the 1964 formation of the Detroit Artists’ Workshop, providing a unique glimpse into this revolutionary artistic moment. In the years between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Walk to Freedom down Woodward Ave. in July of 1963 and the Detroit Uprising of 1967, a dedicated group of artists led by John Sinclair banded together to make a difference in their community. Artifacts provided by Cary Loren, including photographs by Leni Sinclair and writing by John Sinclair are currently featured in the MSU Broad exhibition, Detroit Artists’ Workshop, on view through May 13, curated by Cary Loren with MSU Broad Associate Curator Steven L. Bridges. Support for this event has been generously provided by the MSU Department of History.

Author, poet, activist, and Michigan’s most beloved weirdo, John Sinclair, was a cultural revolutionary, radical leader, and political prisoner, all by the end of the 1960s. Founder and voice of the Detroit Artists’ Workshop and White Panther Party, Sinclair pushed the front ranks of the hippie revolution. John worked tirelessly through the 70s and 80s providing a community voice to residents of Michigan and beyond, and still makes his voice heard today. He is considered one of the pioneers of podcasting with his weekly internet program, The John Sinclair Radio Show on Radio Free Amsterdam.

Cary Loren is an artist, musician, writer, and archivist. He was a founding member of the Destroy All Monsters collective in 1973, along with Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw and Niagara. His work has been shown worldwide including the Whitney Biennial of American Art in 2002, and published in What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art 1960 to the Present (2014). He is co-owner of the Book Beat bookstore in Oak Park, Michigan, and serves as Chairman of the Detroit Artists’ Workshop steering committee.

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Leni Sinclair, <i>​John Sinclair and the MC5 at 1520 Hill Street, White Panther Party house, Ann Arbor</i>, 1968. Courtesy Cary Loren.

Leni Sinclair, ​John Sinclair and the MC5 at 1520 Hill Street, White Panther Party house, Ann Arbor, 1968. Courtesy Cary Loren.