Michigan Chronicle Staff Reports
The 9th annual ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day will be the biggest in the history of the event, with more than 250 churches, community groups, block clubs and businesses signed on to participate in the Aug. 1 citywide display of work and pride.
This is the third straight year that Neighborhoods Day registrations have topped the 200 mark.
“It says a lot about the spirit of the people in our neighborhoods,” said Luther Keith, executive director of ARISE Detroit! “The growth in registrations, as well as the strong sponsorship support from businesses, foundations and volunteers is a clear sign that more people are recognizing that creating vibrant neighborhoods is essential for Detroit’s comeback.”
More details of Neighborhoods Day events will be announced at an 11 a.m. news conference, Thursday, July 23, at the Carr Center’s Paradise Valley/Harmonie Park in downtown Detroit.
Neighborhoods Day-related events and activities will be found in every zip throughout the city, stretching from the Detroit Riverfront to Eight Mile Road. Events will also be held in late July and throughout the month of August as interest in participating in Neighborhoods Day, even if not on the actual day, has continued to grow.
For the second year in a row, Detroit Future City is the title sponsor of Neighborhoods Day and is joined by a record number of more than 30 major sponsors. Detroit Future City, through a partnership with AAA Hardware Stores, is funding vouchers for more than 100 organizations to purchase supplies for their Neighborhoods Day beautification and cleanup projects.
Neighborhoods Day will feature numerous festivals, educational events, cleanup projects, garden planting, and volunteer initiatives with local businesses joining hands with city residents and suburbanites.
More than 50 churches and faith-based institutions will participate, along with numerous block clubs, community organizations and small businesses.
“Neighborhoods Day is changing Detroit from the ground up” said Beverly Kindle-Walker of the Friends of Detroit City Airport, one of the Neighborhoods Day participating organizations.
Other Neighborhoods Day highlights include:
-Cleanup and beautification projects: More than 100
neighborhood volunteer cleanup projects by block clubs and various community associations.
–Faith-based support: More than 50 churches and faith-based institutions are doing everything from community cleanups to back to school fairs, youth events and gospel concerts.
-Youth sports: Youth sports tournaments and exhibitions of all kinds, including the Detroit Tigers Home Town Championships, involving over 1,000 boys and girls playing baseball and softball; a youth golf tournament by the Hollywood Golf Institute with a Detroit team joined by a team of 20 youngsters from Harlem, N.Y. There will also youth lacrosse, karate and football events.
–Back to School events: Thousands of backpacks with school supplies will be collected and distributed at several sites across the city.
–Community festivals: There will be scores of festivals and music concerts, headlined by the Gratiot Splash on the lower east side, featuring entertainment by the Mosaic Youth Theatere and presentations by civic leaders, the Bringing In Change Festival in Northeast Detroit and Jazz on the Ave, on Livernois between McNichols and Eight Mile Road.
–Art exhibits: A Sidewalk Performing Arts Festival will be held at the Artist Village in northwest Detroit, featuring more than 30 performers on city streets and a group called DMJ Studios will display special designed artistic doors for the event. The Grandmont Community Association will be hosting its 42nd annual Art Fair in northwest Detroit with more than 50 artists.
VOLUNTEERING FOR NEIGHBORHOODS DAY: Groups and individuals can volunteer for Neighborhoods Day by going to the website, www.arisedetroit.org, clicking the event list and contacting groups that have listed projects that are seeking volunteers. Projects can also be found on www.seeddetroit.org.