The past few days have included finishing touches to set and insulate the glass as well as the construction and installation of the shelves in the office/work area.
Visitors from the annual Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) Conference, taking place in Detroit this week, tour The Alley Project with community partner and host Raul Echevarria from Urban Neighborhood Initiatives.
Grace In Action’s Open Mic Night regulars rehearsed and performed on their home court at The Alley Project tonight for a full house sharing live music, poetry, song, and dance.
Tonight’s homecoming festivities come just two weeks after the closing of Cafe con Leche’s beloved southwest Detroit location. Open Mic nights were regularly scheduled at the coffee shop which was on Vernor at Scotten.
The larger venue made room for tonight’s lineup to include some surprise action by a live mariachi band, Reyes, and two members of southwest Detroit’s own Awkward Theory. Grace In Action was happy to share space when the mariachi’s originally scheduled practice location was unavailable at the last minute. It all fit in beautifully with the scheduled Open Mic activities.
The Motor City Rockerz’ Autorockz came with two rounds of top rock, power moves, and footwork for all the guests to enjoy! All of the performances contributed to an evening to remember.
A warm March allowed neighbors to work in their yards and artists to wrap up two mural installations this week along TAP.
Stop by in person to see the new artwork at TAP232 and TAP239.
A quick look in the lots at TAP233 shows off a couple new pieces complements of the unseasonably warm weather the past several weeks.
An artist visiting from Germany stopped by and painted “CryOne” on his way back to the airport after a week in Detroit on business.
Each year Young Nation and The Alley Project hosts an annual Angel’s Night event. The event takes place the night before Halloween which has become a city-wide rally of community involvement over the years. This follows years of Detroit’s struggle with an epidemic of crime and arson on Devil’s Night, the eve of Halloween. A plague that peaked in the mid-80′s led to efforts in the 90′s to organize and relieve the city’s neighborhoods of the horror associated with Devil’s Night.
TAP’s annual Angel’s Night celebrations merge themes of social justice, civic engagement, mentoring and honoring those who came before us, and children and family. These themes acknowledge the season of celebration and collaboration in the neighborhood during a week that hosts Angel’s Night, Halloween, All Saints Day, and Dia de Los Muertos.
This year TAP’s Angel’s Night celebration coincided with Grace In Action’s Open Mic night and so were merged for an evening of food, entertainment, and family fun. A blessing was offered for the newly completed Healing Wall mural on the broad side of the building, located on Lawndale at Lane. Young Nation and Grace In Action’s constituents came together as their youth, artists, neighbors, families, acts and local entrepreneurs shared spaces and made memories together in the tradition of the themes above.
The Healing Wall at Grace In Action is a mural commemorating the transition of the building from a funeral home to a community center. It was created through a series of interactions with neighbors and artists and explores themes of death, grief, life, healing, seasons, and community. Local artist-activist Sacramento Knoxx facilitated the mural development process with support from GIA and Young Nation and their artists.
The mural is the newest addition to The Alley Project’s series of alley murals and serves to bookend TAP from GIA to Studio Luevanos and the lots. Freddy and Phil work on the mural together with apprentices while youth and neighbors drop in during several warm Fall days this week. The programming (community outreach, artists mentoring young artists, etc) and artistry that went in to this mural were made possible by our generous sponsors Krabby Painters servicing Metro Detroit with local Southwest Detroit employees and by El Asador restaurant right around the corner on Springwells!
Young Nation celebrated with neighbors, friends, and partners on Friday. The plans for the Elsmere-Avis Plaza were shared and feedback was gathered as the project moves closer to beginning construction. Entertainment was provided by Raices Mexicanas, Motor City Rockerz, and DJ Clay and food was provided by Esto’s Garage.
Back To School time is right around the corner! In between playing hard and watching artists create murals the youth decorated the fronts and backs (and some insides) of notebooks for school with collage.
SUAMP (Southwest Urban Arts Mural Project) spent some casual time at TAP this week as Benny and his son performed some routine maintenance to the benches.
fter work this summer several SUAMP artists have been coming over to paint and this time their instructor, Ms J, came with them.
She will be leaving Michigan very soon and her youth (and community partners) are grateful for the passion and excellence that SUAMP has displayed with her leadership.
Open Studio returns to Friday evenings from 6-8p at #TheAlleyProject. Crayons, cameras, and puppets animated the lots today.
The ELCA’s Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE) visited The Alley Project today for some history, a tour, and workshop.
The youth are in town for the ELCA’s large gathering in Detroit this week that will have 25,000 youth from around the nation in town for workshops and service projects
Thanks for spending time with us and hope to see you again soon.
Live in the community and looking for an original location to have your child’s birthday party? TAP would love to host with art instruction and activities, space, and anything else you may need from us. Here’s some pictures from this young lady’s birthday party today at TAP. TAPpy Birthday!
This week marks 5 years since around 30 supporters from The Alley walked from Avis and #Elsmere to Lawndale and #Vernor to cast their community vote to support the project. This was the beginning of our transition from The Alley, started in 2004, to The Alley Project!!
Mary Luevanos leads Open Studio in week two of getting comfortable working with clay. Parents, youth, and elders took turns talking to amongst themselves and with each other in the garage, alley, and lots.
Had a BEAUTIFUL day at Open Studio today! Freddy came by to paint, Joyce tended to the gardens along the alley, Mary was inside the garage making smores, young participants put in work, TAP friends of old came through and even showed their younger siblings around, and peer-to-peer mentoring and positive youth-adult relationships were happening. Come out next week and be a part of TAP! Hope to see you all soon.
We were honored to host Grandmont Rosedale’s youth summer program a couple weeks ago at The Alley Project! We would love to have any or all of you back at any time. Stop by and say hello during an Open Studio on Friday’s from 6-8p. Thanks for your interest and hope to see you all soon.
In 2010 iSWD/TAP visited 5Pointz in Queens, NY in support of the development of The Alley Project. Here’s a few photos from the visit.