Monday, July 26, 2021

The First BLKOUT Walls Festival is in Full Swing!

The inaugural BLKOUT Walls Festival has taken over the North End! This biannual, family-friendly event was created by Sydney G. James of Detroit, Thomas “Detour” Evans of Denver, and Max Sansing of Chicago. These artists felt that there was a lack of diversity and inclusion at the festivals that they were attending and they wanted to change that. To do this, they gathered sponsorship from organizations like the Kresge Foundation, Ford, and Vans, and assembled artists like Bakpak Durden, Wolfe Pack, and Rick Williams to create a special 7-day celebration of art and culture in Detroit. "Seventy-five percent of the participating muralists and event producers are Black and/or people of color mirroring the demographics of the city of Detroit and thereby creating a cohort of artists representing equity and inclusion. The BLKOUT Walls Festival is also paying each artist a fee/mural plus lodging, meals, and transportation to assure that the benefits of the creative economy also include the muralists themselves."
Sydney G. James, Co-Founder

Max Sansing, Co-Founder

This 7-day festival is already in full swing with approximately 20 murals currently in production across the North End/New Center area. There will be an artists panel tonight, community workshops at DAPCEP on the 28, 29 + 30th, with a Grand Finale Block Party at the end of the week. You can get details about today's talk and about the workshops here.

The Block party will take place Saturday, July 31st at the Chroma Building at 2937 East Grand Boulevard from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. This will be your first opportunity to see all of the finished murals. The Lobster Truck, Cajun Soul Sistas, Tasty Fixin’s, Original Seafood Truck will also all be present for the party.

You can learn more about why this project is important to the North End community from the artists here and you can keep up with everything that is happening right now here.

We are looking forward to this new influx of public art that celebrates diversity and promotes positive growth in the community, and to this biannual event continuing to create art and opportunity for Detroit and beyond. 


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