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Carrie Morris Arts Production – January 2018 Update

Written by: Carrie Morris, Founder and Director, Carrie Morris Arts Production

I started Carrie Morris Arts Productions (CMAP) as a way to provide a forum for contemporary puppetry and performance for Detroit residents. CMAP’s puppetry and performance programming fosters community relationships through multicultural, multilingual, family-friendly and low-cost events. Every year, we present 15-30 theatrical works by local and national artists, staged for free in our adjacent outdoor performance area and community greenspace. These productions give residents access to the arts regardless of income levels and include them in the cultural revitalization of their own neighborhood.

Our NeighborHUB project is to activate the 12 vacant lots that directly surround our venue on Carpenter St. with physical enhancements including tiered amphitheater seating, signage, ADA certified walkways, amphitheater landscaping, sculptural fencing along McPherson street, and solar lighting elements around the site’s perimeter. Our proposed project activities include collaborative design workshops that will provide resident feedback and multicultural design input for the design of the space, followed by multicultural, multi-language, family-friendly, and free performances that all can enjoy.

To date we have held collaborative design workshops at the Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival and feedback sessions for audiences at the Detroit Fringe Theater Festival. We have gotten great input on the design of our sculptural fencing and feedback from professional performing artists on our amphitheater amenities.

We have also been using our NeighborHUB resources to implement a master plan of how our CMAP amphitheater will fit into our outdoor public greenspace. We are doing this work with our project partners livingLab, a fantastic team of landscape architects versed in collaborative space planning. In addition we have scheduled the outdoor performances that will kick off our new amphitheater space in the month of May, working with artists to set their performance dates. We are excited to finalize our landscape plan in February and to make a public announcement of our summer performance line up in April. Keep an eye out for both of these announcements!