Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to honor African design and culture for 2023 Gala

Masquerade ball, Ruth E. Carter exhibition preview among event’s highlights 

DETROIT — The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History will host its annual gala on Saturday, October 7, at its Warren Ave. location. This year’s gala is quite unique, as it will take the form of an indoor/outdoor futuristic, bold masquerade ball and celebrate apparel designs and the various masks of the African diaspora, chronicling a unique cultural story. The annual gala supports critical programming and activities for members and visitors over the next year. 

“Our gala celebrates the stories, the artifacts, and the people who make up both our museum and our cultural and ancestral heritage,” says Neil Barclay, President and CEO, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. “The masquerade ball is a unique twist on what has always been a spectacular event.” 

The Wright’s annual gala, with critical support from the Signature Platinum Sponsor, Ford Motor Company Fund, and other key sponsors, brings together museum members and supporters, community partners, and local media and influencers who will have the exclusive opportunity to preview the museum’s Fall 2023 Exhibition Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design, which features more than 60 of Ms. Carter’s original designs from films such as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and more. The event will also celebrate the best in costume design and fashion while recognizing the next generation of local and regional Black designers.

Regal Africans and ‘Wakanda-esque’ attire will be a running theme. Guests are invited to follow suit and dress in similar attire and adornments. Guests are expected to be dressed as futuristic African queens and kings! 

Museum architectural features will also take center stage at this year’s gala. It will feature circular design elements present throughout the building, including the grand rotunda and pillars. Performers’ costuming will also leverage the circular theme. 

A VIP reception will kick off the event in the museum rotunda where guests can take in red carpet arrivals, live entertainment, programming honoring some of Detroit’s philanthropic, artistic, advocacy, and educational gems, cultural foods, a silent auction, and fashion moments. Afroluxxe, an Afrobeats-inspired after party will close out the evening, transforming the rotunda and outside entrance into a festive party, featuring nationally renowned Afrobeats DJs and many socially shareable moments for attendees. 

“It’s our hope that the unique spin on this annual event invigorates our existing stakeholders and inspires Detroit’s up and coming philanthropic community. Our history is our strength, and our future is our responsibility.” says Shahida Mausi, Gala Co-Chair. 

Tickets for the event are on sale now at For more information and sponsorship details call 313.494.5894.


Media Contact 

Kelly Miner, Marketing & Communications Manager 

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 



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