When is the last time a festival within Detroit city limits occurred outside of downtown and midtown?
The Quicken Loans Community Fund, the philanthropic arm of Quicken Loans, is bringing its ‘Detroit Out Loud’ free one-day festival to Rouge Park on the city’s west side July 20. The inaugural festival will celebrate Detroit, its neighborhoods, and its communities, in an environment that is family-friendly.
“We really wanted to do something that showed our love for Detroit, its neighborhoods, and its residents,” said Jasmin DeForrest, Director of Community Sponsorships for the Quicken Loans Community Fund. “We have been working on this for a year and we wanted to do something in the neighborhood that honors Detroit, its energy, and the sense of pride it has.”
“We did an extensive search, looking at parks on the east and west side, and Rouge Park seemed to have the best footprint for us. There are so many great areas that can be activated there and the City of Detroit and the communities surrounding Rouge Park made it a win-win situation for us.”
Detroit Out Loud will have activities for all ages, including pony rides from Buffalo Soldiers Detroit, archery by Elite Archery Academy, and camping at the Sierra Club’s Detroit Outdoors at Rouge Park – the city’s largest park and its only active campground. Food trucks will also be available with Detroit-centric cuisine and additional food and drink options will be available for purchase throughout the site, including the Lobster Food Truck, Jackson’s Five Star Motown Bistro, Good Cakes and Bakes, Lush Yummies Pie Company, and Milk and Froth.
KC and DJ Dinero of 105.1 The Bounce will perform at the festival, as well as numerous other local and nationally-acclaimed performers, including SWV, Flint Eastwood, and Larry Lee and the Back in the Day Band.
For those that like to dance, a number of Detroit dance styles will be showcased, including traditional dances in Mexican culture with Ballet Folklorico De Detroit, Hustle lessons with Reveal Detroit, and the city’s signature dance, JIT, with Nick Speed and Hardcore Detroit. There will also be an African Dance and Drum Performance by P.A.T.H African Drum and Dance Collective.
“JIT is our dance, that’s what we do, and we put that on the map,” said DeForrest, who is from Detroit’s west side. “I’m really excited about that portion of the festival and I think Detroiters will be as well.”
Detroit Out Loud will also be the site of the sixth and final mural in the Quicken Loans Community Fund’s third annual Small Business Murals Project. This partnership with 1xRun connects local artists and small business owners who collaborate to create six murals annually throughout Detroit. More than just paintings, the murals created through the Small Business Murals Project both beautify the city and attract attention for the city’s small business community. Internationally renowned artist and Detroit native Sheefy McFly was commissioned to paint the final mural.
“It’s a dope event and I like the curators,” said Sheefy McFly, who has painted murals all over the City of Detroit. “I’m planning on doing a Detroit-themed mural similar to my “Detroit Never Left” mural, highlighting the things that we love in Detroit.”
Neighbor to Neighbor is a program organized by Quicken Loans to fight tax foreclosure through the city, and educates local homeowners in danger of losing their home to tax foreclosure by providing resources, knowledge, and workshops about property tax exemptions. A booth will be on-site to educate Detroit residents about the program.
Rouge Park is Detroit’s largest maintained green space at 1,181 acres and is larger than Belle Isle, Hart Plaza, Campus Martius, Grand Circus and Capitol Park combined. In the 1920s, the City of Detroit paid $1.3 million to purchase land from six farmers at the western edge of the city. Rouge Park now has more than a dozen amenities that are completely unique to Detroit, yet many of the facilities in Rouge Park are underutilized and are in need of funding. At the end of Detroit Out Loud, the Quicken Loans Community Fund will make an investment to Rouge Park to assist in making it enjoyable for the community in serves.
“We are grateful to the Quicken Loans Community Fund for bringing this celebration of Detroit to Rouge Park,” said Sally Petrella, President of Friends of Rouge Park, an organization of stakeholders who advocate for, and promote, programming and future development of the park. “Detroit Out Loud will showcase Rouge Park to the rest of the city, and attendees will see why Detroit’s largest park is also one of its greatest and most historic.”
This article originally appeared in the Michigan Chronicle.