The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jun 17, 2011

Crowding the house in support of music and poetry

Posted by matthew.piper

This Saturday night, the Circa 1890 Saloon on the Midtown campus of Wayne State University will host “A Crowded House.” The rousing performance  will feature some of the area’s most talented and celebrated poets, spoken word artists and musicians. A whopping 35 individual artists will perform between 7:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., filling the saloon with manifold words and sounds and celebrating the transformative power of music and poetry. (Proceeds from the concert will support the “Poetry and Music as Transformative Media” track of next week’s Allied Media Conference, an annual gathering in Detroit that explores the use of participatory media to effect meaningful social change.)

Organized by local poet/activists Blair, Isaac Miller and Ben Alfaro, the performance will showcase an incredible variety of artists who, nonetheless, stand united in their call for a better and more just world. Click here for the full line-up. Participants include hip-hop sensation and Kresge fellow Invincible, honey-voiced folk singer Audra Kubat, and Jamaal “Versiz” May, a wordsmith whose visceral, yet lyrical, verse hits you where it counts. Videos from each are below.

Amplifying the power of performance by a factor of 35, the evening is sure to be a memorable one. It's all about people coming together; as participating poet Terry Blackhawk puts it, “...We tell / and grow new with every telling, amazed by the space / we shape, the way we regard one another inside it.”

"A Crowded House" takes place on Saturday, June 18, from 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the Circa 1890 Saloon, 5474 Cass Ave., Detroit. Suggested donation is $5.

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