Here Are the Themes for the Cleveland Museum of Art's First MIX Events of 2023

Always one of the hottest events on the calendar

click to enlarge Here Are the Themes for the Cleveland Museum of Art's First MIX Events of 2023
Photo by Emanuel Wallace

The first three Cleveland Museum of Art MIX events of th 2023 season have been announced and will feature “Moonstruck” on February 3rd, "Extended Play" on March 3rd and "Egyotomania" April 7th.

The first of these MIX events, ‘Moonstruck’ takes place between the lunar new year and Valentine’s Day and presents Syrian-American band Bassel & The Supernaturals, which is steeped in the soul traditions of singers like Otis Redding while telling the story of Almadani’s experience as a first generation Syrian-American using soulful melodies, funk-inspired rhythms, and captivating lyrics regarding love, loss and the war in Syria.

Bassel & The Supernaturals also donates a substantial portion of their proceeds to Karam Foundation, an organization focused on a better future for Syria. Alongside the socio-political relevance of their music the band puts on a hell of a show and one which can get a crowd moving. The band will be performing along with DJ SqrBiz, a Cleveland native, who is one of the hottest DJs in town, playing a well-curated set of classic dance hits.

The event also promises an eclectic selection of fare including sesame chicken and heart shaped desserts along with  cocktails, beer, and wine for purchase.

“At MIX, you can spend time in a gallery, listen to the music, dance, grab a drink, hang out with old friends, meet some new ones,” shares Gabe Pollack, director of performing arts at CMA. “The title 'MIX' is apropos too. We always see such a wide array of people – young people, seasoned gallery-goers, new faces and long-time supporters. MIX really highlights the role a museum can play in the cultural landscape. It also provides an entry point for young people. Once people experience MIX, we hope they consider becoming a member. If you attend five 5 MIX events in a year, the membership pays for itself – and you have the added benefit of supporting the museum and enjoying all the other museum benefits.”

March’s “Extended Play” MIX celebrates the rich tradition in contemporary culture of spinning vinyl records, which are commonly spun at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute. This event is celebrated on March 3rd, which was scheduled wryly on the 3/3 calendar date.

DJ Red-I will be performing.

Red-I is known for her combination of Hip-Hop, house and Afro-Caribbean tunes along with break beats to keep things fresh. She is also one half of the hip hop group Fresh Produce, voted best Hip-Hop Artists in 2019's Scene’s Best of Cleveland. This should prove to be a fun night with an eclectic mix of music and a great opportunity to check out the CMA collection while also getting out on the dance floor.

“We’re creating an experience,” said Pollack. “The Atrium is gorgeous. There’s no other event space like it. The galleries are open, we add an eclectic series of musical performances and a club-like experience that creates an energetic atmosphere to engage with art in a different way. Music provides an access point for people who may not otherwise think of coming to the museum.”

Looking towards April, this MIX will coincide with the opening of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s newest fashion exhibition, Egyptomania: Fashion’s Conflicted Obsession. Participants are encouraged to explore the museum’s galleries and, in particular, the exhibition both in the Arlene M. and Arthur S. Holden Textile Gallery (234) and the Egyptian Gallery (107) to learn about the influence of ancient Egyptian art and culture throughout fashion history.

Live music will be provided by Beauty Slap, consisting of horns, keys and electronics to offer what the band describes as, ‘future-brass-thunder-funk.’ This being a fashion event, one might expect to see people dressed to the nines at this funky little soiree.

“MIX is great because you can make it what you want it to be,” said Pollack. “You can party on the dance floor all night, take your time in the galleries, sit at a café table and enjoy a beer, visit alone or with a group of friends, network, engage, etc. There are great live bands, high energy and danceable DJ sets. The galleries stay open until 9pm and our café curates a beverage and food menu for each month’s theme.”

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