Mack is Alive
“Mack is ALIVE!” Artina Hardman shouted into the microphone.
The crowd cheered and clapped their hands as Hardman continued to talk about the importance of coming together as a community.
Soulful R&B music flowed through the speakers as children laughed and danced around. People greeted one another with a smile and warm hug. Food tables were set up for guests to purchase meals and snacks. Artists chatted with visitors about their art, which was on display in the designated “Artist Village” off of Fischer Street. The Pewabic Street Team from Pewabic in Detroit was also at Mack Alive.
Art was everywhere, in many different forms, from music and poetry to paintings and pottery.
Mack was truly alive and bursting with love as many Detroiters came together to celebrate the Mack Avenue community.
Design is Everywhere in Detroit
The Design Detroit Festival sponsored Mack Alive’s neighborhood party. The theme of the party was “Design is Everywhere in Detroit” and various forms of “art villages” were set up near the Mack Alive house on Fishcer Street.
Butterfly Garden – Participants personalized rocks to create “Stones of Hope” to design mosaics for the garden.
Artist Village – Artists featured their art pieces for visitors to view and purchase. I even purchased a painting from Errin “Lightheart”.
Entertainment Village – Musical artists performed and writers read their poems for a poetry reading. Shareef Hassan was also the DJ and emcee for the evening.
Face Paintings – A face painting artist painted fun designs on children’s faces.
Pumpkin Patch – A mini-pumpkin patch was available for children to select a pumpkin and then design and paint it.
Educating and Empowering Detroit
The purpose of the neighborhood party was to bring the community together to educate and empower the Detroit design economy. The event was held on Friday, September 29th, at the end of the Detroit Design Festival.
A tour of Mack Alive’s Ambassador Fine Arts Collection (valued at $250,000, which was donated by local artists to experience the unique Butterfly Garden and Circle of Love sculpture, was also offered to guests.
“We are so excited because this is the first time that the Design Detroit Festival has chosen us over here on Mack and Fisher to be apart of this. Lots of art. This is our street happening and we are really excited about it. We’re just trying to bring this community and the city together and art does that.
Art passes all genres, you know, and it’s just awesome! We got the music. We got the art. We got the butterfly garden. We got a lot of good food. We got vendors. And this is a place for people to have a good time.” —Atrina Hardman, Mack Alive Director
“Mack Alive is a community resource center that’s been around for 26 years. Everything we do is free. We have after-school tutoring. We have male and female mentoring. We have Buddies in Business program. We have a computer lab where people can come in and use the computer to do job searching, resume writing. They can put [job] applications in. We do free faxes, free copying.
We’re just here for the community. Whatever they need. We have free food giveaways Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We’re here. Mack is alive!” — Atrina Hardman, Mack Alive Director