Sidewalk Festival returns to Detroit to party with a purpose

Sidewalk Detroit recently announced that the annual Sidewalk Festival is back this summer for the 8th year. 

The festivities kick off July 24 and run through August 14. 

Like past years, this year’s festival embodies distinct themes which frame artistic approach, messaging, and social response. This year the theme is “HEALING REVIVAL PARTY!”

“Think arts festival meets neighborhood block party,” Sidewalk Detroit’s Media Manager Julien Godman said in a press release. Participating artists are challenged to create works without traditional stages — bringing their art and the audience into alleys, gardens, storefronts, courtyards, parking lots, streets, and yes, even sidewalks.

“We are excited to travel to different neighborhoods across our great city to celebrate Detroit landscape and culture through interactive art and boundary pushing performance,” Sidewalk Detroit’s Executive Director, Ryan Myers-Johnson, said.

”Detroit neighborhoods are full of power, history, and beauty. This year's festival is going to dive deep with community members as we take our theme of Healing Revival Party into the heart of some very special neighborhoods.”

She added, “2020 was a year of change, transformation, and major social and spiritual challenges. Our festival theme this year asks artists to focus on the healing we need to do as a community, as a people, and how we can facilitate revival within ourselves and in our public spaces.”

Over 50+ participating artists or artist groups will help festivalgoers discover new spaces in four neighborhoods. Artists include Phil Simpson, Freddie Diaz, Yvette Rock, Thornetta Davis, Cherise Morris, Sacramento Knoxx, Marsae Mitchell, and more. 

The festival kicks off on Saturday, July 24, from 2 to 8 p.m., at 12041 Dexter Ave., in the Dexter-Linwood neighborhood, in partnership with YouthWorks-Detroit.

The next week things will move to 6900 McGraw Ave., in the Chadsey-Condon neighborhood, in partnership with Bridging Communities, from 2 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 31.

"Bridging Communities is honored to partner with Sidewalk Detroit to bring their annual Sidewalk Festival to the Chadsey Condon neighborhood! This year’s festival theme of ‘Healing Revival Party’ is so timely and needed today,” Dan Commer, the Neighborhood Stabilization Project Manager of Bridging Communities, said. “We are thrilled to help bring the community together to celebrate the richness and diversity of the neighborhood and to demonstrate the power of art to ignite change."

On Saturday, August 7, the festivities highlight the Joy-Southfield neighborhood, in partnership with Joy Southfield CDC, at 18917 Joy Rd., from 4 to 10 p.m.

Lastly, the Sidewalk Festival moves to the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood, in partnership with Manistique Community Tree House Center, from 2 to 8 p.m. at 259 Manistique St. 

Kyle Cascarelli, the Executive Director of YouthWorks-Detroit, another community partner, had this to share about the exciting and engaging event. "For the last few years, Sidewalk Detroit has stood out to us as a remarkable organization that does an incredible job of uplifting the strength, beauty, and creativity that comes from our city.” 

He added, “To be able to partner with their team has been a tremendous joy and we are so excited for our youth to have the opportunity to share their voices and celebrate this community."

The festival is still looking for volunteers, vendors, and donations to support the work. 
To engage with the festival. Save the dates. Share the news. Explore Detroit’s neighborhoods via the available social channels. 

Facebook EventFacebook Page | Instagram | Twitter | Sidewalk Festival Website

Read more articles by Biba Adams.

Biba Adams is Model D's Editor at Large. She is a longtime journalist whose work is fueled by her passion for people and her native Detroit. Her work has appeared in VIBE, Ebony Magazine, TheGrio, and more. Find her on all social channels @BibatheDiva.
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