Detroit’s Sidewalk Festival Promotes Healing, Revival

By: Karen Dybis | July 21, 2021

This year's Detroit Sidewalk Festival will be a "Healing Revival Party."

The Sidewalk Festival is one of Detroit’s favorite summertime events that bring diverse communities together in one space. This year, Sidewalk Detroit’s headliner event is bigger than ever before as the fest expands to four locations across the city over four Saturdays. 

Now in its eighth year, the Sidewalk Festival kicks off July 24 and runs through Aug. 14. This year’s theme is Healing Revival Party, and organizers are asking attendees to think of it as a festival meets neighborhood block party where “Detroit’s landscape and culture collide with performance, installation and interactive art.”

The theme is derived from experiences shared by people of all walks of life since the start of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic and the long road Detroit and its residents have traveled to reach this point of healing in 2021. 

“This year’s festival theme of ‘Healing Revival Party’ is so timely and needed today. 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,” said Dan Commer, the Neighborhood Stabilization Project Manager of Bridging Communities, one of this year’s partner organizations.

Sidewalk Festival ‘21 travels to four unique neighborhoods across the city, utilizing nontraditional locations ranging from a lush future greenway dotted with pine trees to a vast, often-vacant parking lot, to a creative solar and pollination garden. Each site was selected by a community partner and will highlight roughly a dozen artists, culminating in over 50 participating artists total.

Highlighted artists include Phil Simpson, Freddie Diaz, Yvette Rock, Thornetta Davis, Cherise Morris, Sacramento Knoxx, Marsae Mitchell and many others. Thousands of Detroiters and Metro Detroit residents are expected to attend the four events, putting a spotlight on the city beyond downtown and honoring the work of Sidewalk Detroit in the community. 

The new community collaborations, dates, and neighborhood locations this year include:

• July 24, 2:00 – 8:00pm, 12041 Dexter Ave, in the Dexter-Linwood neighborhood, in partnership with YouthWorks-Detroit.

• July 31, 2:00 – 8:00pm, 6900 McGraw Ave, in the Chadsey-Condon neighborhood, in partnership with Bridging Communities.

• August 7, 4:00 – 10:00pm, 18917 Joy Rd, in the Joy-Southfield neighborhood, in partnership with Joy Southfield CDC.

• August 14, 2:00 – 8:00pm, 259 Manistique St, in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood, in partnership with Manistique Community Tree House Center.

“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,” said Kyle Cascarelli, the Executive Director of YouthWorksDetroit, another community partner. “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.”

In addition, there is still time to apply to be a Sidewalk marketplace vendor or register to volunteer. Contact Sidewalk Detroit for more information.