The Detroit Repertory Theatre, in partnership with neighbors Dream of Detroit, the HUDA Clinic, Muslim Center, and HUG Community Garden, is excited to announce the 3rd Annual Free Summer Arts & Culture Festival and Street Fair at its home in the geographical center of Detroit on Saturday, August 24, 2019 from noon to 10 pm. This free, all day, outdoor event is made possible by a grant from ART Ops, and Community HeART of Highland Park and is a celebration of the arts, neighborhood revitalization, healthy living, community, and the power of diversity acting in unity in Detroit. 

Two outdoor stages will present multidisciplinary performances; children's theatre, a sneak peek of the upcoming DRT Season, spoken word, live classical music, hip hop, a Mardi Gras Second Line, Swing, Jazz, Reggae and Funk. Over 50 artists and vendors will be selling a variety of wares. 

The early part of the day is dedicated to kids, with Detroit Imagination Works' interactive arts activities, face painting, balloon animals and puppetry plus a bounce house, basketball tournament, video game trailer, and a writing and acting workshop. 

Community initiatives include gardening lessons with the HUG community garden, and basic health assessments at the HUDA Clinic.

Woodrow Wilson will be closed to traffic for two city blocks from Buena Vista to Tyler in front of the Theatre. There is secured parking in the Muslim Center parking lot and plenty of parking on Woodrow Wilson and side streets. There will be activities in multiple areas, on the street, at the garden, and in each organization's parking lots. The Theatre lobby will be open for festival goers to step in, purchase a beverage, meet Theatre staff and learn more about the iconic arts institution.

About Performers and Lineup:


1pm - OH Possum's Tale, original children's play written by Detroit Rep actor Casaundra Freeman and her children, Ian and Sloane, about a squirrel, seagull, hawk and opossum trying to understand their individual identities while navigating their busy lives on Belle Isle. Performed by Casaundra Freeman, Jaclynn Cherry, Dan Johnson and Will Bryson.

1: 45 pm - Playwriting Workshop for youth with the Detroit Playwrights' Lab

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2:45 pm - CutTime Simfonica with special guest Urban Requiem Project. Highland Park bassist-composer RICK ROBINSON brings his popular band of strings and drums to cut classical music loose with strong beats, rhythm, soul and funk to work for wider communities. Teaming up with the Urban Requiem Project, lead poet KEVLAR AFRIKA layers street-styled lines over symphonic jams to give a historical and industrial context to the urgent music. Robinson introduces his own slamming music, Pork 'n Beans and City of Trees, in honor of Highland Park and her citizens. Audience get to join in at times on small percussion.


4:15 pm - Planet D Nonet with special guest Camille Price - The PLANET D NONET "a down & dirty little swing band from Detroit" was founded by drummer RJ Spangler and trumpeter James O’Donnell. The Planet D Nonet is about swing, blues, space-age jazz and classic American songs all served with plenty of good humor with an eye toward turning people onto this kind of music.

5:45 pm - "Sneak Peek" - Staged readings of scenes from the upcoming Detroit Repertory 2019/20 season. Rep actors, Lynch Travis, Lulu Dahl, Wayne David Parker, Casaundra Freeman, Kelly Komlen, Harry Wetzel, Jenaya Jones-Reynolds, Dan Johnson, Aaron Kottke, Michael Joseph, Will Bryson and Jaclynn Cherry will read from the four plays on the season. Group fundraisers, this is a fun way to select which play will be your fundraiser!

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6:30 pm - Gabriel Brass Band - The Gabriel Brass Band have been known to make even the stiffest crowd move their feet! This Brass Band honors the rich history of New Orleans music while bringing fun and funk to you live and direct! Spearheaded by 5th generation musician Dameon Gabriel, with a few Gabriel family members and a host of close friends, they continue the New Orleans flavor that the Gabriel family brought to the Motor City in the 1940’s via New Orleans. The musical Gabriel’s date back to 1850s New Orleans. This Motor City music family maintains a living connection to New Orleans family members Charlie Gabriel (Preservation Hall Jazz Band) and Louis Ford maintaining roots back home in the Crescent City as we all move musically into the future.


7:30 pm - Xavier Jack - Young, up and coming Hip Hop Artist and Poet. Xavier Jack has been immersed in music his entire life. As a child he took up guitar, piano and violin at the Wayne State Weekend School of Music. He then focused on violin and joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Power of Dreams String Project, eventually joining Detroit's Civic Youth Ensemble, playing both Classical and Creative Jazz, simultaneously performing as an African Drummer and Dancer with Heritage Works. It wasn't until he performed with fellow lyricist Mike-e that he found his knack for poetry and decided to merge it with his music. He created songs and performed at Detroit's African World Festival, opened for The Last Poets, Mosaic Youth Theatre and performed at a concert commemorating the life of J Dilla, from which he caught the attention of Amp Fiddler, who took him under his wing and helped him create his first project, KXNGRXSE (KingRose). 

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8:15 pm - Mollywop! - Detroit-based band led by Malik Yakini that plays hard-hitting original and classic funk, reggae, rock and more!


  • Gardening and healthy eating demos with HUG

  • Health Clinic

  • Basketball Tourney