Festival 2019


All friday events inside the Artist Village


Thursday, August 01


Artist Village Theatre 

City Wide Slam Youth Poets Writing Workshop
This workshop will explore the ways we interact with our fears and encourage development of coping mechanisms through writing. By analyzing published poetry and holding group discussion, participants will articulate a better understanding of fear en route to developing their own original writing.

Large Courtyard 

Storytelling Under the Stars
Join us for an intimate evening of music and Storytelling with the Detroit night time sky as the backdrop.  Emily Rogers will be opening up the evening with a musical performance. Throughout the night we will hear stories of how it all started from Old Redford Business owners, Cassandra Thomas founder and owner of Sweet Potato Sensations and Artist Village’s own Alicia George.  We will be featuring stories from other Detroiters as they share their experiences as it relates to this year’s festival theme of Peace Power Utopia. Our Storytellers were coached by Twisted Society of Storyteller’s own, Satori Shakoor. You don’t want to miss this event.


Friday, August 02


Street Stage

Fresh Classics (Dance - HipHop/Breakin’)
Hailing from different cities and crews, Fresh Classics consists of Mav-One, Just, Seoul, Trish, Roy Da 5’5, and Shane-T. The group formed in 2016 rallied around raising the bar for street dance in Detroit & bringing a fresh style of movement while carrying on the classic traditions they spent years training in. Featuring break dancing and other street dance styles. Participation is welcome and encouraged!

SlamLive (House v. Jitting Dance Battle)

Vagabond Inventions
Vagabond Inventions is an association of physical theater artists who share a language of ensemble-devised theater. The company’s work, described as “Beckett-meets-Fellini” by the Montreal Gazette, explores worlds in disequilibrium. A Kingdom, A Chasm is an ensemble-devised work of wild, poetic physical theater created with a team of New Orleans artists. The work imagines a devastated future in which three unlikely companions must sustain a "community" in the ravaged wilderness that was once New Orleans. Brought together by disaster, living in the shelter of a disintegrating Mercedes Benz, Emelda, Dudley, and Chauncey have created their own mini-society in a land where no society is left.  This work is set on, in, and around a 1980 Mercedes Benz.

Dance Party in the Street!

Large Courtyard

Bryce Detroit (Music-Hip Hop)
Bryce Detroit, featuring members of his highly acclaimed Detroit Afrikan Funkestra presents NuTopia (working title) a work in three musical acts exploring the theme that Peace Power and Utopia  are essential parts of a spiritual labor process of authentic self-actualization.

Supercoolwicked (Music-Interactive R&B)
Supercoolwicked is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on freedom.  Her work "Heaven Can Be Here (even if it's not forever)" is an immersive working experience in which she, with the help of some friends create heaven on earth.  Think of it as both installation and performance using meditation, healing crystal bowls, and making with our hands to induce euphoria!

Artist Village Theatre 

Karilu Forshee (Music-Theater)

Karilu Forsheee is a Mexican performer and teaching artist, raised in the border town of Ciudad Juárez. Her work Plegarias Latinoamericanas/ Latinamerican Prayers is a musical set that combines poetry and music. The work is bilingual and it aims to promote human connection.

8:30PM Marion Hayden and Saffel: Ancestral Haiku (Jazz Musician and Artist)
Ancestral Haiku explores the concept of peace and utopia through Spiritual Restitution. Spiritual Restitution is a way to alleviate spiritual suffering, and begin the process of community healing. The medium for this process in the Ancestral Haiku project is Buttons. Buttons are a representation of West African religious practices that were carried over to African-American slave culture. In this context, they were seen as objects of ritual and meaning, connecting the ancestral world with our own.


Saturday, August 03



Kevin Morris (Music-Jazz)

Audrey Johnson (Dance-Modern)
“opening: re” is a solo performance project that utilizes speech, text, and intricately structured movement improvisation to construct and move within a nonlinear timespace. This “re-space” exists at the intersection of past, present, and future, and comes alive through mining memory and desire from the body via dance movement.

MOVE  (Dance-Modern)
MOVE is a dance therapy program of Just Speak Inc. They perform creative/modern, hip-hop, jazz, and Senegalese dance. The program works with students to build resilience against trauma through the art of dance. The dance team is named CORE. The CORE team is comprised of male and female students ages 7-15.

A Host of People (Theater)
A Host of People is a Detroit-based ensemble theater company creating original work that celebrates complexity, imagination, and the synthesis of seemingly disparate elements—at once epic and intimate, political and personal, poetic and approachable. Cleopatra Boy is a multidisciplinary performance about how women (and other non-straight/white/male) leaders’ histories are re-written, maligned, or erased.

Penny Godboldo Institute Dancers (Dance-Dunham)
WOMEN OF THE WATER, PART II contemplates the world water crisis as well as the properties of water which are grounding and empowering. Both the choreography and the music will is structured Improvisation by the dancers and musicians, also allowing for participation/contribution by audience members.

LaMarre and Dancers feat. James Cornish Ensemble (Dance & Music-Experimental)
Presenting “Return Dark Sky,” an original dance and music work performance weaving diverse narratives of dancers into a unifying tapestry under the utopian sky. The choreography and music will occur simultaneously and react spontaneously to the space and energy of the moment, reaching euphoric territories. The piece will lead us to the point where we exist, with our shared lives and experiences, under the perfection of the sky.

Salākastar Dier (Music-Performance Art)
Salakastar Salakastar presents ALL BLUE: PART ONE (MAJORELLEI), futuristic experimental r&b performance exploring the healing qualities of the color blue. The celebratory performance combines live music, dance, projections, and poetry to create a therapeutic “blue space” for the audience to sync in the blue space of clarity, peaceful expression, and magic.

SMall courtyard

Arturo Herra presents “The National Bird” a performance and installation work on nationalism symbols from an immigrant perspective. The installation is a series of sculptural headpieces, artifacts, and backdrops inspired to draw a perfect scenario in which participants wear the animal head sculptures and participate in quick photo sessions.
The series and installation are inspired by the many experiences facing the concept of immigration, the means to learn and adapt to the history and culture of a new country. Street Roaming & Durational Performance.

Artist Village Theatre

Lawrence Gabriel (Music-Storytelling) 

The story of Robert Charles is a two person play with original music telling the story of the 1900 New Orleans race rio which began when Charles, a black man, defended himself in an alteration with police. 

Crescendo Detroit (Music/Dance/Theater)
Crescendo Detroit offers youth between the ages of 5 and 18 extracurricular programs centered on instrumental music and dance. Located in the Dexter-Davison neighborhood, Crescendo Detroit’s  dream is to create a revolution in after-school programming with students engaged in intensive music and dance education that helps to develop within them the grit, dedication and commitment to excellence derived from a strong sense of self confidence and an application of personal discipline and rigor.

Chris Jakob (Theater)
A solo, multimedia, interdisciplinary, experimental theatre piece exploring the words we use to create reality in search of why we are all here through a re-telling of African folk tales, Greek mythology and the stories we tell ourselves every day to survive.

House of Bastet (Dance-West African)
7 sisters dancing in the heavens with illuminating rhinestone bodysuits/lapas showing harmony, balance, grace and communication. Sisters( Spiritual Warriors) are deployed to another planetary system to teach the inhabitants the spiritual and physical laws of the 4 elements and how to restore peace and the sacredness of ALL planets/universe.  Using motion picture, images, lights, movement, costumes, props, music and narration, the audience will be taken on a creative adventure of fantasy and enlightenment.

Rosemarie Wilson (Theater Poetry)
Peace Begins With Me! is a live performance brought to life utilizing poetry, the spoken word, song, music and dance which will explore what utopia looks like by speaking life into the audience. As a community, we must tap into our power by banding together to spread love where there’s hate, bringing peace where there’s adversity.

Alex Way (Music-Acoustic R&B)

Alex Way will be performing musical selections from her EP, Phases. The album encompasses different phases of love ranging from self-love to community love. She believes love is the start of all peace, power, and utopia.


"Entwined to Embraced" uses dance, object manipulation, acrobatics, and physical storytelling to tell the tale of unique individuals and their use of power and grit to forge unity. Seeking balance in creating a communal and accepting utopia.

The Black Feminist Mobile Bike Library is a project that seeks to elevate and provide representation of black femme authors.  By providing a library of black feminist works, black femmes and other participants get to receive guidance, love and encouragement in how to engage in radical self-care, community organizing and witness the breadth of work available. Often times black women do not have access and ownership over their own stories, this project works against that by providing a free black feminist library.

Central Lahser

House of Jit (Dance-Jit & Workshop)

Exploring the history of the Detroit Jit through movement, dialouge and workshops. Detroit Jit and African dancing is combined to show the audience a similarity in dance footwork movements. Detroit Jit wants to spread our cultures to other cultures and create new styles.

4:00 - 6:15PM
Tonja the Disruptor

4:00-4:15PM, Double Dutch
4:15-4:45PM, Step

Michigan Opera Theatre 

Tonja the Disruptor Soul Train Line

Miz Korona (Music-Hip Hop)
The Korona Effect is a 5 member band that will bring the audience a lively and refreshing set.  They focus on issues on remedying the inner city’s issues by focusing on Peace and Empowering people.  

QWNTYM (Quantum) (Dance-Jit & Funkateer)
Ronald "QWNTYM (Quantum)" Ford is a music producer, choreographer, dancer, and visionary. QWNTYM was born and raised in Detroit and has spent 35 years of his life performing a Detroit authentic dance style called Funkateer. He is a 2018 Fellow and Awardee for the Kresge Grant for dance and choreography. Simultaneously, QWNTYM, creates dance music that compliments both Funkateer and Jit with speeds averaging 160 beats per minute (bpm)

The Nique Love Rhodes Experience (Music- Hip Hop)
If N.E.R.D, The Roots, and Rage Against the Machine had a band baby, it would be Nique Love Rhodes & The NLR Experience. LOVE US is a live music experience that examines and reflects upon the concept of love and how it impacts our worldview and relationships with ourselves and the various communities in which we engage. This concert experience will explore and celebrate black love, self-love, love of country, and love of humanity, and how those different levels of love impact and connect to one another.


Poetry Workshop Performance 
Join us as a group of dynamic youth writers perform pieces, they’ve workshopped and practiced just a few days prior!! This dedicated group of artists came together on Thursday in a workshop to sharpen their skills to be prepared for today’s performance!  Group lead and facilitated by City Wide Slam Youth Poets.  

Jill Govan (Music Acoustic R&B)
Jill's eclectic sound blends sultry vocals, compelling stories, and acoustic-driven grooves reminiscent of great artists like Lauryn Hill, John Legend and Norah Jones.  Her Sidewalk Festival performance highlights the importance of having patience on your journey to finding your dreams.

Michael Malis (Music-Experimental)

Zaynab Wilson (Music)
A Montréal-born Trinidadian-Canadian, Zaynab Wilson brings a wealth of cultural and musical diversity to her sound. Her recent Live EP (2018) is the debut to her emergence as a fronting singer-songwriter where she draws musical and rhythmic inspiration from her Caribbean roots and merges with folk, her heart and soul. Zaynab Wilson’s passion for music has aligned her with prominent artists in Canada, Trinidad, Mexico, Australia, UK and Germany, performing as a drummer and percussionist. Set features Zaynab Wilson on Cuatro, vocals and percussion, alongside Kyle Skillman on guitar and vocals.


Installations and Murals


‘Xylem X’ by Fringe Society is an immersive installation and portal into the topographic layers of life on a faraway, futuristic planet. How are peace and power negotiated in a society run entirely by plants? Utilizing a colorful alley as its platform, the work will examine fiber, materiality and the urban built environment as it relates to identity, economic security and the pursuit of Utopia.

Cr8ive minds, Muralist - Jasmine Harris has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the International Academy of Design and Technology. She is a graphic designer and founder of Cr8ive Minds, a community oriented visual company whose tagline is “We Cr8 & Inspire.” As part of her work with Cr8ive Minds, Jasmine has coordinated 19 mural projects. Some include the AW Food Store, Mack Alive, New Center Stamping, Oakland Ave "The Healing", Katama Resort and other community arts projects. Volunteer work includes Arts Corps Detroit, Ronald McDonald House, Vanguard CDC, Detroit Mural Factory and The Oakland Avenue Artist Coalition.

Aaron Jones - TREE CHAPEL by Aaron jones is comprised of a series of repeatable shapes which assemble into a small tripartite chapel. Centrally located within this small chapel would be a tree - which would be temporarily held in transit toward some more permanent planting. The shape of the structure, along with its tree, are meant to intersect people coming from different approaches in the festival and ultimately have them interact with the tree and each other. These themes of natural interaction, phases, and time are guiding principles in the project. The project calls into question the temporary nature of things - and looks to have an afterlife for both the tree and the structure based on some sort of vision for the future.

Phillip Simpson

Wes Taylor - Under the theme of Peace Power and Utopia, Wes Taylor presents an experiential installation dealing prisons and incarceration in the city of Detroit. Through a localized context, the installation invites the audience to explore ways to dismantle the prison industrial complex, through movement, objects, the built environment, projection, and gaming. 

Sicily McRaven presents an installation that explores “Nature Vs Nurture” The piece explores the resiliency of life, just as a plant can grow out of concrete - life can transcend terrible circumstances. The installation is a combination of yarn shaped into natural growth forms and drawings. 

Stephanie Howells is facilitating an interactive installation featuring Pendulum Painting, an activity for all ages using sidewalk paint to create a spiral-graph like abstract paintings.

Jacob Comerci is a designer and educator. He is the 2019-2020 William Muschenheim Fellow at the University of Michigan. He received a Master of Architecture from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. While at Princeton, he was awarded the Howard Crosby Butler traveling fellowship where he studied collective building groups (baugruppe) in Berlin as well as the Suzane Kolarik Underwood thesis prize for excellence in design. He has previously worked with Bureau Spectacular in Chicago and Los Angeles and with MOS Architects and LTL Architects in New York.
Jacob’s research and design interests center on collective life and work in the age of the internet. This work reconsiders models for collective life and work by way of the interior fit-out of existing real estate with furniture-scaled domestic equipment.

John Vieweg and Ben vanSchaayk are young architectural designers from the University of Michigan. By imagining new uses for contemporary materials, they elevate the industrial to construct ephemeral environments for temporary and permanent projects alike. Their work aims to be functional, engaging, and socially provisional, while thoughtfully minimizing waste and ensuring that all components are easily reused and returned to their respective material flows.

The Detroit Neighborhood Arts Corps is a project program for High School and early College Artists that began in 2007. These Artists work collaboratively with each other and Artist Educators to create large-scale public works of art including murals and sculptural installations. Artists are given specialized training in leadership skills and visual art techniques while participating in a service that beautifies their communities and schools. Their Sidewalk Festival installation is rooted in the sensation of creative power felt in the act of play. To dismantle something that negatively affects our confidence in support systems or progress, we must turn to the most basic practice of human interaction. In play, we pretend to be other people and in turn, learn empathy. We collaborate to build something new and in turn, share resources and information.

Chelsea Criger presents "Unity,” an interactive installation art piece designed to be explored and touched. It is a wooden structure with flowers hanging from it. On the wooden structure visitors will be able to write what peace and unity means to them.

The creative duo, “Other Work,” presents a “Sidewalk to Utopia,” a gateway and portrait into the festival offering both a view and threshold between the outside world and the imaginative, creative, and participatory world of the festival. The project looks into the rich, cultural, significance of the gateway as a mediator, threshold, and expression of identity to create both a reflective and engaging moment of pause along with a colorful expression of the festival’s ethos. Designed as a series of thresholds, options and choice are offered, allowing all who enter a sense of power over their course.

Ben Wolf presents, “Restless Resilience,” an object of curious discovery, a sculptural cascade of plants and painted objects centered around a grotto made for wishes and intentions. Participatory by nature, one might find a peaceful moment of contemplation, exuberance inspired by growth of the flora, or merely a fun place to watch stones ripple in water.

Darius Baber is a multidisciplinary artist inspired by light, form, color, and the human condition. Baber’s work has afforded him many opportunities and exhibitions at institutions which include the Charles H. Wright Museum and the Motown Marauders exhibit curated by Sydney James and Tylonn Sawyer. Baber's paintings are found in many fine art collections including the home collection of Detroit Institute of Arts director, Salvador Salort-Pons and Alex May. He is also a member of the National Conference of Artists, Detroit Fine Art Breakfast Club, teaches community arts, and builds archival supports for his artistic community.

Eli Back is a designer and builder who enjoys working with conventional building materials in unconventional ways through the development of novel construction tectonics. He has worked across the fields of design and fabrication, building single family homes, interiors, furniture, and tools. He studied architecture, digital fabrication and ceramic sculpture at Bennington College. He currently does freelance design/build work for various clients in New York, including Neoset Designs and Salty Labs in Brooklyn and LTL Architects in Manhattan, where he constructed a line of non-toxic furniture, numerous models, and exhibition sets.

Special Thanks to the businesses on Lahser:
Blight Busters, Motor City Java House, Lahser Shoe Repair, Lahser Sew & Vac, Old Redford Theater, Paul’s Barbershop, Redford Pharmacy, Simply Divine Bakery, Sweet Potato Sensations