The theme, NOW:FUTURE asks artists to reflect on their experiences and the world around them as it relates to the current cultural, political, and personal landscape.
Coming to a street near you, NOW:FUTURE kicks off with a mobile, neighborhood concert series happening every Friday at 7pm starting July 24 through August 14. Featuring the classical, poetic notes of Rick Robinson’s, Mr. CutTime and The Urban Requiem Project, the bass tones of jazz legend Marion Hayden, lyrical blues from the heart of songstress Thornetta Davis, and contemporary acoustic pop by Britney Stoney. Each concert will be held in a different neighborhood and will feature a different artist. These pop-up, mobile concerts bring the artist directly to Detroit neighborhoods and are meant to be intimate, viewed from the porch, the front yard or from the comfort and safety of one’s home.
Sidewalk Detroit is encouraging artists to explore what it means to shape their narrative, presently and for the future. Original online film premiers will debut over the next month featuring performance art and theatre group, A Host of People in a performance focusing on care and employing their own take on “unboxing”.
Erika “Red” Stowall’s dance on film, Quarantine Chronicle is centered in the home, domesticity, caring for her father, and how the pandemic has affected her daily routines.
Gilda Award Recipient and dancer, Marsae Mitchell layers original dance choreography and poetry with samples from Nina Simone songs and interviews in her piece Reflect.Black.Times. These original works will be premiered online the Both dance works are filmed by Julia Yezbick.
“We know that artists are catalysts of new ways of seeing the world, living, and being. Now more than ever we need to put the perspective of artists at the forefront, as we encounter unprecedented hurdles and challenges in our public spaces, neighborhoods and social spheres,” says Ryan Myers- Johnson curator and founder of Sidewalk Detroit.
Detroit’s queen of the blues, Thornetta Davis writes, “It is my hope that we will overcome this virus. It is my hope that we will overcome all the things that keep us divided here in Detroit. I believe music and art will bring us all together. That is my hope for Detroit.”
Augusta Morrison, Sidewalk Detroit’s Program Strategist reflects, “NOW:FUTURE is part of an extremely important and relevant body of work that is contributing to the history of Detroit today and how we are envisioning a better future. A future around care, reparations, and hope.”
In addition to the film premieres and concerts, Sidewalk Detroit has invited a dedicated group of artists to lead in a two-part panel discussion, both will be diving into the grit of the matter, What is the story of Detroit Artist(s) today, and what is the future we want for our community? The first panel focuses on a younger generation of artists and the other highlighting some of Detroit’s most venerable, long-term artist residents.
Live streams can be viewed on the Facebook pages of Sidewalk Detroit and Kresge Arts in Detroit. More information can be found on Sidewalk Detroit’s website.