By Shelby Clark Petkus
Metro Detroit’s 22nd Annual Diversity Festival, the Concert of Colors, runs July 10-13. The free festival, which had a July 5 opening, fills Midtown Detroit with a variety of sounds from different cultures and music genres.
The festival has certainly grown over the years. When Ismael Ahmen, then head of human services organization ACCESS, created the concert in 1993, the one-day event in Chene Park brought a decent crowd. Now, the five day long event spreads across venues located on or near Woodward Ave. in Detroit and brings in around 80,000 people.
Venues hosting the concert festival include New Center Park on West Grand Blvd. and Second Ave., the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History at 315 E. Warren Ave., The Scarab Club at 217 Farnsworth Ave., the South Lawn of the DIA at 5200 Woodward Ave. and the Max M. Fisher Music Center (presenting both indoor and outdoor performances) at 3711 Woodward Ave.
Some highlights of the festival are the Latin jazz and salsa performance by PanaMO at the DIA at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by “barogue avant garde” at 7 p.m. with Cuddle Magic and Phyllis Chen. Saturday will include kids crafts and a food truck rally, both on Parsons St. by the Max M. Fisher Music Center. The well-known local act, the Howling Diablos, will perform a rock set at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Wolverine Outdoor Stage in the courtyard behind the Orchestra Place building, also on Parsons St.
Artists to look out for throughout the week include Enema Squad, a funk act hitting the Wolverine Outdoor Stage ar 6 p.m. on Saturday. The DSO will host a special gospel and blues show at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday with Thornetta Davis and special guest conductor, John McLaughlin Williams.
Detroit food trucks will be stationed on Parsons St., featuring Detroit BBQ, Thai Street Food, Treat Dreams ice cream, the Pita Post and more.
For more information on performance dates and times, call 313-582-2266 or visit http://www.concertofcolors.com.