In its galleries, at venues across the MSU campus and in the community, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum will surprise and engage audiences with the best in contemporary performance, live art and educational programs, focusing on emerging voices and international perspectives, events and programs that engage the community. 

October 2014

Specters of History Symposium
Specters of History brings together a small group of leading scholars, writers, and filmmakers whose work reveals new links between aesthetic practice and the lived experience of history. Featured speakers include: Kodwo Eshun, Professor, Dept. of Visual Cultures Goldsmiths, University of London; Allyson Nadia Field, Assistant Professor, Cinema & Media Studies, UCLA; Haile Gerima, independent filmmaker and Professor of Film, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; David Marriott, Professor, Humanities Division, History of Consciousness Dept., UC Santa Cruz; and Alessandra Raengo, Associate Professor of Communication, Georgia State University. Presented in conjunction with John Akomfrah: Imaginary Possessions, on view through February 1, 2015. Read more about the exhibition here.

All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, October 2
8 PM | Wells B122
Screening of Bush Mama (1979) by Haile Gerima

Friday, October 3
10 AM–5 PM | Broad MSU Education Wing
Specters of History Symposium
Speakers: Kodwo Eshun, Allyson Nadia Field, Haile Gerima, David Marriott, and Alessandra Raengo
Please RSVP to Katja Rivera at for lunch service.

7:30 PM | Hannah Center
Screening of Teza (2008), followed by a Q&A with director Haile Gerima

Specters of History is co-organized and co-sponsored by Michigan State University’s Department of English and Film Studies Program, the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. Additional support for the Black Film as Social Activism series is provided by the Office for Inclusion & Intercultural Initiatives Creating Inclusive Excellence Grants.

Friday, October 3
Sonic Salon with sound artist Thollem McDonas
7 PM | Broad MSU Minskoff Gallery
Free and open to the public
Join us for a new series at the Broad MSU where sound artists and composers utilize the museum space as a laboratory for creating unique work with an emphasis on the exchange of ideas. The first artist in the series, Thollem McDonas, is an itinerant pianist and composer, educator and social critic whose performances have ranged from post-classical to free jazz to noise and punk rock. Most recently, McDonas collaborated with drummer Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for a capacity performance at the Broad MSU last spring. This fall, McDonas will create an evening of improvised music in conjunction with the Broad MSU exhibition, The Land Grant: Flatbread Society, where he will utilize farming tools and other implements to explore their sonic nature and create an instruction-based and participatory, site-specific concert and dialogue, called INTERsonicACTION.

Saturday, October 4
Family Day
12–4 PM, Education Wing
Free and open to the public
Join us for Family Day at the Broad MSU! Enjoy hands-on activities and make projects based on works on view in the museum. Learn more about our current exhibitions during our Family Tour at 1 PM or check out one of our in-house iPads and go on a museum scavenger hunt! Family Day is presented by Farm Bureau Insurance.

The Land Grant: Flatbread Society Open Outcry
The term “open outcry” describes a method of communication between professionals on a board of trade. It involves both shouting and the use of specific hand signals to communicate buying and selling on the trading floor, also known as, the pit. The Flatbread Society at the Broad MSU appropriates this term as the name for its public programming in an effort to evoke a series of spirited dialogues from different viewpoints on the nature of farming and agriculture, our changing relationship to grains, and the commodity of natural resources. Click here to read more about The Land Grant: Flatbread Society, on view through October 12, 2014.

Open Outcry Schedule
RSVP to any or all of the weekend's events to Augusta Morrison at

Thursday, October 9
Artisan Distilling Workshop — AT CAPACITY
7–9 PM, Red Cedar Distillery
Join Kris Berglund, University Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at MSU, for a workshop on artisan distilling of wheat spirit at the Red Cedar Distillery.

Friday, October 10
Bread Making Workshop
12–2 PM, Broad MSU Sculpture Garden
Free and open to the public
Award-winning pastry chef Boris Portnoy conducts a workshop on bread mixing, proofing, and baking outside in the sculpture garden of the museum.

Friday, October 10
Artist Talk & Threshing Party
Artist Talk at 6 PM, Threshing Party to follow at 7 PM
Free and open to the public
Hear from San Francisco-based artist Amy Franceschini on The Land Grant: Flatbread Society at 6 PM, then join the Broad MSU and members of the Flatbread Society in a grain threshing party with live music from Vetiver and members of the Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle at 7 PM. Amy Franceschini is an artist and designer who creates work that facilitates encounter, exchange, and tactile forms of inquiry by calling into question the “certainties” of a given time or place where a work is situated. In 1995, Franceschini founded Futurefarmers, an international collective of artists, activists, researchers, farmers, and architects who work together to propose alternatives to the social, political, and environmental organization of space. Franceschini is a 2009 Guggenheim fellow and her work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; Hall of Sciences and the Walker Art Center.

Saturday, October 11
Material Encounters: What We Make
12–3 PM, Broad MSU Sculpture Garden & Clay Oven
Free and open to the public
Hands-on encounters with materials and processes, such as bread making with local Michigan-based makers. Discussion topics to include: the alchemy of bread making and distilling spirits, small scale farming and the process of distributing food from farm to table, as well as agrarian mythology and folklore. Flatbread Society sees material encounters as tools for resisting the ongoing pressure to standardize our lives. FBS attempts to connect us back to actual forms of making and the knowledge such forms impart.

Sunday, October 12
Symposium: Food as Thought
1–3 PM, Minskoff Gallery
Free and open to the public
The Food as Thought symposium offers contemporary viewpoints on the nature of farming and agriculture, our changing relationship to grains, and the commodity of natural resources. The discussion will address questions surrounding intellectual property, including: When does food become a law and a commodity? How did using heritage grains become an expression of resilience and biodiversity within the pressing issues of food security, intellectual property, and land use? Has our food lost its ecological identity? Further topics will address the history of food and food law, including biotechnology. Invited guests include Dr. Lawrence Busch, University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Standards in Society at Michigan State University; Dr. Tara McDowell, Associate Professor and Director of Curatorial Practice at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia; Claire Pentecost, artist; and Amy Franceschini, artist. Moderated by Alison Gass, Show Curator and Creator of the Land Grant project.

October 13 – October 20, 2014
Museum Closed for Private Rental

October 21, 2014
Museum Re-Opens

Thursday, October 23
5–8 PM, Education Wing
Join us for a night of frightening fun for all ages as the Broad MSU celebrates East Lansing’s Great Pumpkin Walk! Explore our newest exhibitions, try your hand at some ghoulish games, and make spider-themed crafts in the Education Wing! Show off your costume and strike a pose in our photo booth, and sink your fangs into a cauldron of cider and donuts from Quality Dairy. Plus, learn more about your favorite creepy crawly creatures as we are joined by our friends from MSU’s Bug House!

Tuesday, October 28
Curator Talk: Bisi Silva
7–9 PM, Education Wing
Free and open to the public
Join independent curator Bisi Silva for a lecture on the development of contemporary art and curatorial initiatives from Africa and its diaspora. Bisi Silva will use the art sector in Nigeria and the activities of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, which she founded in 2007 and currently directs, as the point of departure to discuss the evolving art dynamics on the continent.

Bisi Silva is an independent curator and the founder/director of Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA Lagos). She was co-curator of The Progress of Love, a transcontinental collaboration across three venues in Nigeria and America (2013); J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Moments of Beauty, Kiasma, Helsinki (2011); and the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Greece, Praxis: Art in Times of Uncertainty (2009). In 2006 Silva was one of the curators for the Dakar Biennale in Senegal. Silva has participated in several international conferences and symposia. She has written essays for many publications, international art magazines, and journals including ArtforumThird Text, and The Exhibitionist, and is on the editorial board of Art South Africa and n.paradoxa. She is guest editor for Manifesta Journal: Around Curatorial Practices No. 17 (2013). She was a member of the international jury for the 55th Venice Biennale (2013) and has been the recipient of several prestigious international fellowships and residencies including the Clark/Mellon Curatorial Fellowship at Clark Art Institute, MA, 2011, and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Scholars’ Residency. Co-sponsored by MSU International Studies and Program, the College of Social Science, and the Broad MSU.

Thursday, October 30
Future Returns: Contemporary Art from China Exhibition Opening
Curator Talk at 6 PM, Reception to follow
Free and open to the public
Over the past three decades China has experienced profound socioeconomic changes that have prompted calls to revisit, reconsider, and redefine the nation’s identity. Future Returns: Contemporary Art from China explores the impact of these transformations by bringing together works by contemporary Chinese artists that address China’s metamorphosis from a traditional society into an ultra-modern nation. The exhibition takes over the Broad MSU’s second floor galleries, and features the work of more than 20 renowned Chinese artists. Hear from Broad MSU Adjunct Curator Chunchen Wang at 6 PM with a reception to follow featuring the Silk Road Chinese Orchestra. Learn more about the exhibition here.