BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival Returns to Detroit This Summer

Second Annual Festival provides Detroit youth and International and local muralists of color an opportunity to reinvigorate the North End community of Detroit, September 7-September 17, 2023

BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival 2021 Max Sansing

2021 Mural in Progress by Artist Max Sansing

 The BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival was conceived by Sydney G. James of Detroit, Thomas Evans (Detour303) of Denver, and Max Sansing of Chicago. The festival was created as a direct response to their shared history of participating in mural festivals throughout the country. Experiencing time and time again that these festivals occur without remuneration for the participating artists, and most exhibit limited racial diversity among the artists represented, the trio set out to create a festival to offer diversity to the community and economic support to participating artists.  

These artists agreed to kick off the festival in James' hometown of Detroit, Michigan in 2021 which resulted in 25 incredible murals being brought to life in the historic neighborhood of North End Detroit. The annual, family-friendly event BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival will occur September 7-September 17. The festival will be a 10-day, all-black-produced project. The BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival will provide an opportunity for muralists of color from across the United States to take part in a recurring collaborative endeavor that encourages the artistic and economic reinvigoration of the North End community of Detroit while providing the participating artists with expanded avenues of expression. 

At BLKOUT Walls, you can expect to see 25 large-scale murals. One mural installation will be painted by festival organizer and founder Sydney G. James and the 24 other breathtaking installations will be painted by invited International, National and local multi-cultural artists. Additionally, new art installations will be strategically placed throughout the community to amplify BIPOC voices and stories and beautify the underutilized spaces throughout the city to encourage neighborhood walkability and tourism to Detroit. Guests will enjoy live art illustration events, guided mural tours, and conversations with some of today's most sought-after muralists. Guests will see featured art from All City Art Club, Bakpak Durden, Bird Cap, Brittany Williams, Cailyn Dawson, Darius Barber, Demien De Yonte, Grace Ryan, Habacuc S. Bessiake, Ijania Cortez, Jason Garcia, Joseph Cazeno, Kobie Solomon, Miah the Creator, Mohammed Awudu, Mr. Cliff Note, Rick Malt, Ryan Adams, Sheefy Mcfly, Taj Francis, Tknaff, Toonky Berry, Torrence Jay, and others.  

Our fiduciary partner, the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP), has agreed to support the BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival by recommending DAPCEP students to participate in the festival. DAPCEP's mission to prepare underrepresented youth for careers in STEM has expanded to include the arts (STEAM), and their participation in the BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival will ensure youth engagement and growth within the arts. 

Our other corporate and foundation heroes include The Kresge Foundation, City Walls, Vans, Detroit Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship, The Knight Foundation and Chroma.  

Contact Information:
Laura Milanes
Executive Producer
[email protected]

Original Source: BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival Returns to Detroit This Summer
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