Porch concerts and DJ sets: Socializing in the era of physical distancing

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to keep our physical distance from each other. But that hasn't stopped creative Detroiters from finding ways to connect with their neighbors. 

From East English Village to Hubbard Farms, Model D photographer Nick Hagen captured a few snapshots of how musically inclined residents are uplifting spirits during these uncertain times.

How are your talented neighbors sharing their creative talents? Send us an email and let us know. We're always looking for new ways to appreciate arts and culture during this time!

In East English Village ...

In response to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s movement #PlayOnYourPorch, on Wednesday, March 18 Matthew Way — who works at the DSO as manager of advancement relations and strategic initiatives, started a daily online party. It streams live on Facebook at 6 p.m.

Way started the concerts with his co-host and wife, Ana Molina ( aka “Beautiful Wife”). "We stream Facebook Live with the windows open and speaker outwardly facing the porch to spread musical love and light into the world and my neighborhood – East English Village," Way says. "It has become a daily ritual for listeners who drop in from all over the world. We recently added guests from Pittsburgh, Scottdale, New Orleans, and Puerto Rico!"

Molina dances to Way's set in their living room.

"These hourlong sets are helping all of us (including me) find release during this very challenging climate," Way says. "Perhaps the most gratifying outcome is that during our physical distancing this project has helped to connect my East English Village neighbors/neighborhood through music and social connectivity."

In Hubbard Farms ...


On Friday, March 27, resident Robert Andersen emailed his neighbors: "I’m planning to do a short musical set on the ukulele from my porch today at 7 p.m. Please come and join your neighbors." It was about a half-hour before he took to "the stage," but about two dozen neighbors gathered to listen to Andersen play.

Hubbard Farms residents listen to Robert Andersen's impromptu ukelele set from an appropriate distance.

"The block had been coming out all that week at 7 p.m. to chat and touch base. I don’t play out for audiences, but thought I could throw something together that would be entertaining and give me something to work on," says Anderson, whose set included two original songs titled "Sunshine" and "Calamity Road," "Don’t Let it Bring You Down" by Neil Young, "Love Me Do" by The Beatles, and "a very bad version of 'Instant Karma' " by John Lennon.

Hubbard Farms residents gather on Vinewood for Andersen's set. Since that initial concert, he's held another show for the neighborhood.

All photos by Nick Hagen.

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