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Carrie Morris Arts Production – October 2019 Update

September 2019 found us catching our breath after a whirlwind of programming in our outdoor space. We recently produced the 2019 Detroit Fringe Festival which included 17 performances featuring more than 50 artists from Southeast Michigan. We also completed programming for our CMAP Outdoor Summer Series with the commissioned spoken word performance “One Single Rose” by Rosemarie Wilson, who staged two sets of music in our outdoor space, and the culmination of Zoo Stories, a puppet show collaboration with the Detroit Zoo.

Our Neighborhood Advisory Committee convened to provide insight and guidance as we facilitated neighborhood-based programming and the green space build-out. Neighbors and residents of all ages enjoyed these free events. We were happy to provide space for these unique cultural offerings.

This coming month, we will complete the tiered mound topology that will make up the audience seating for our outdoor amphitheater, with about 90 cubic yards of the project’s fill dirt (or nine dump trucks full) generously donated by Fiat Chrysler as they get rid of unwanted dirt from their new plant site on Mack Avenue. The attached picture shows about six trucks worth of dirt or about 60 cubic yards. We are taking out some of the non-native trees and scrub to make room for the finalized landscape design.

We appreciate those who have provided support for this outdoor project, and this final image is one that we felt was a performative and visual blessing for CMAP, this outdoor space, and our future endeavors. As part of the Detroit Fringe Festival, Southwest Detroit-based performing artist and muralist Kia Arriaga gave a performance in our outdoor space titled “Aztec Traditions as Cultural Resistance” where she performed traditional Aztec dances and engaged the audience in a participatory Ofrenda blessing mural activity. The images she chose for the audience to fill in with dried beans, flowers, and other materials included the Aztec icon for “house” and the Aztec icon for “beautiful art”.

Over the past year, it has taken many people, organizations, volunteers, and neighbors working together to help us collectively build this space. We are excited for future programming to take place in the new CMAP amphitheater and outdoor green space, and to have those same organizations, artists, and neighbors join us to enjoy the space together.