The 7th Annual Detroit Sidewalk Festival is themed 'Peace Power Utopia'

click to enlarge Sowande Keita. - Trilogy Beats
Trilogy Beats
Sowande Keita.

The Detroit Sidewalk Festival is back this summer for its annual celebration of performance and installation art.

The festival will take place on Aug. 1 through Aug. 3 at the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Lahser Road. This year’s theme is “Peace Power Utopia,” and artists are encouraged to explore concepts within their work that centers around community, personal life, societal systems, the environment, and an array of other topics.

"We invite people to experience art and performance in an immersive, participatory environment,” Ryan Myers-Johnson, founder and executive producer, said in a press release. “Sidewalk Festival is about inviting artists to explore the urban landscape through the lens of experimental, art, culture, and creativity. By taking away the traditional stage space and replacing it with an alley, storefront, or garden, we challenge festival attendees to see and experience the world differently."

Thursday evening will begin with “Storytelling Under the Stars.” The segment will be led by business owners and members of the Old Redford community who will engage in a conversation about using serenity, courage, and imagination to inspire life changes.

Some of Detroit’s most prestigious slam poets will also be offering a poetry workshop for youth ages 13 to 18, where they will learn how to include spoken word in their storytelling. “Sidewalk After Dark,” a party with live music and dancing, will be held on Friday, while Saturday will showcase over 40 performances and art installations.

Specially commissioned artists will include jazz musician Marion Hayden, transdiciplinary artists Fringe Society, architect Aaron Jones, and more.

Since 2012, Sidewalk Detroit has built a platform to allow established and emerging artists to contribute to their community visually, musically, and through storytelling. The festival is free and anticipates over 5,000 attendees throughout the weekend.

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