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Walk & Squawk announces new collaboration between Detroit and South African artists

DETROIT – Walk & Squawk Performance Project announces its latest initiative, "The Walking Project," with three days of special events at the Furniture Factory, June 25 – 27.
The weekend is a culmination of a three-week residency of visiting artists from South Africa and includes theatre and music performances, a gallery exhibition, a performance workshop, a dance party, a voter registration drive and a garage sale.
"The Walking Project" is a performance and cultural exchange project developed in collaboration with U.S. and South Africa-based artists through a series of residencies in Detroit and KwaZulu-Natal through 2005. Conceived by Walk & Squawk Artistic Directors Hilary Ramsden and Erika Block, the project looks at how people make their own paths and the influences of culture, geography, language, economics and love.
The weekend of activities take place at the Furniture Factory at 4126 Third Street (between Willis and Alexandrine) in Detroit. There is a sliding scale of admission for all the activities.
"The Walking Project" explores pathways created by people who walk across fields in South Africa and across vacant lots in Detroit – and what connects them. From examining how changing patterns of movement can alter attitudes and perception to a look at how language alters the actual paths in the brain, "The Walking Project" asks how and why people's paths cross and how taking a different path might alter a life.
South Africa-based collaborators who are in Detroit throughout the month of June include Morwenna Bosch, Arifani Moyo and Omri Nene. US-based collaborators are Erika Block, Blair, Tyler Micoleau and Hilary Ramsden.
A number of community groups and schools in Detroit and South Africa are participating in "The Walking Project." These include Hannan House of Detroit whose elder artists are creating a collaborative installation called "Paths We've Walked" about paths and walking in Detroit. It will open with a reception on June 25 and be on display at the Furniture Factory through the weekend.
Bringing more Detroit artists together is Poet/Singer/Songwriter Blair, who curates the "Walking Project Jam Session" with musicians, DJs, poets and storytellers followed by "Nightwalking: a Dance Party" that will feature Detroit, South African and walking themed music.
The theatrical component of "The Walking Project" is Walk & Squawk's work-in-progress theatre piece, which will be presented on Friday, June 25 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 26 at 8:30 p.m. The audience/artist discussion after the Friday night performance has become a signature feature of Walk & Squawk productions.
During the Saturday and Sunday events there will be a voter registration drive at the Furniture Factory, entitled Walk the Walk: Register to Vote, to honor those who walked from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to ensure the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The weekend concludes with a Sunday afternoon Garage Sale Fundraiser, featuring items from Walk & Squawk's collection of costume & props, furniture, building materials, books, toys and odd artifacts.
For complete information, or to register in advance for the workshops, call 313-832-8890 or visit

Friday, June 25, 5:30 p.m.: "Paths We've Walked" – opening reception
An installation by elder artists from Detroit_s Hannan House tracing their personal histories of Detroit; exhibit on view through the weekend at no charge.

Friday, June 25, 7 p.m.: "The Walking Project"
A work-in-process performance with audience/artist discussion.
Tickets: $5-$10; opening reception is free.

Saturday, June 26, 1 – 4 p.m.: "Walking Detroit:" an interdisciplinary performance workshop
A workshop based on your own personal stories about walking in and around Detroit, combining physical theatre, music, spoken word, storytelling and gumboot dancing, taught collaboratively by Walking Project company members.
Advance registration required; fee is $10-$20.

Saturday, June 26, 8: 30 p.m.: "The Walking Project Performance & Jam Session"
A uniquely Detroit event featuring an in-process performance of "The Walking Project" followed by a Free Form Jam Session with musicians, DJs, poets and actors, curated by poet/singer/songwriter Blair. Featuring poets and storytellers John Sinclair, francine harris, Matthew Olzmann, SailorJ and Elizabeth James; and musicians and DJs Blair, DJ Munk, Invincible, Afeni Ngozi Hill, Audra Kubat, DJ Genesis, Dale Wilson, Djallo Djakate Keita, Chris Winter and Ken Comstock.
Tickets: Performance and Jam Session is $10-$25.

Saturday, June 26, 11 p.m.: "Night Walking: a Dance Party"
Detroit DJs spin South African, Detroit and walking-themed music.
Entry included with Performance & Jam session or $15 after 11p.m.

Sunday, June 27, 1 – 5 p.m.: Garage Sale Fundraiser
Interesting items from Walk & Squawk_s collection of costume & props, furniture, building materials, books, toys and odd artifacts collected through the years. No admission fee.


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