The Sidewalk Story

Founded in 2012, Sidewalk Detroit is a grass-roots, community arts presenting organization. Sidewalk Detroit celebrates the landscape and culture of Detroit through presentation of original place-based and traditional performance, installation art, and land art. We present radical, interactive works in unique spaces. We carve out spaces for art and performance outside of traditional venues. Activated spaces include alleys, community gardens, parks, parking lots, sidewalks, storefronts, and the street itself. We bring unique and independent performance to places unexpected, featuring local Detroiters and national artists. The quintessential event is Sidewalk Festival an outdoor celebration of performance and installation in the heart of Detroit’s Northwest side.

In addition to the annual festival, Sidewalk Detroit administers and curates “SideTrails” an artist residency program in Brightmoor’s Eliza Howell Park. The SideTrails program pairs artists with residents to create nature based performance and installation works specifically for the landscape of Eliza Howell Park and the culture of the surrounding community.

Lastly, Sidewalk Detroit works to create opportunities for artists by curating site-responsive performances for unique outdoor and indoor spaces throughout Detroit.

Mission + Vision

  • Celebrate the built and natural environment of Detroit by repurposing non-traditional spaces as venues for performance and installation
  • Provide a platform for local, independent and emerging artists to experiment with new, place-based work
  • Promote visibility for Detroit’s independent and alternative performing art community
  • Provide a platform for artists of color who create experimental and avant-garde performance and installation
  • Provide a platform for youth artists to reach new audiences and explore the world of professional arts production
  • Promote walkability and pedestrian traffic on the northwest side of Detroit
  • Build artistic bridges across metro-Detroit neighborhoods, facilitating neighborhood and artistic revitalization through site-specific, participatory performance