Reflections on our 20th Year

Due to a somewhat fortuitous structural issue in our office basement, the Living Arts team got to spend a few afternoons this spring going through decades-old organizational boxes in preparation for construction to begin. Together, we sifted through photos of youth from 1999, hand-written lesson plans integrating visual art and science, and teaching artist rosters of familiar names and folks gone by. We found “3rd Annual Showcase” posters, fundraising events that we’ve outgrown, old board meeting minutes, grant receipts from some of our longtime partners, and copies of very meager annual budgets. We laughed about some of the dated work and were left with great admiration of the people who have built this organization to where it is today. Living Arts is still a very clear and steadfast reflection of all the things we found just a little bit bigger. 

Youth Dance Ensemble Dance Intensive

In preparation for the new season, Living Arts Youth Dance Ensemble (YDE) hosts an annual dance intensive and company auditions. For one week, dancers attend daily classes with Out-of-School Arts Teaching Artists and special guests where they focus on learning new dance techniques and choreography. Following the completion of all classes, dancers are invited to audition for a spot in the Youth Dance Ensemble.

Music, Play and Storytelling for Caregivers

On August 31, Living Arts hosted our second workshop for Southwest caregivers! Led by professional recording artist, musician, and Teaching Artist Alesha Brown, those who are involved in the very important work of taking care of our children were invited to learn storytelling through music. Participants were given a guitar to use during the workshop and learned how to match chords and notes with images to engage youth in a storytelling dance.

Creating Meaningful Partnerships: An Interview with Teaching Artist Katy Schoetzow

One of Living Arts’ core values is partnership. By cultivating relationships with schools, educators, families, and institutions, Living Arts creates collaborative and creative learning experiences for Detroit's youth. One such partnership is between Living Arts, Shulze Academy, and Teaching Artist Katy Schoetzow. As we enter the fifth year of this partnership, we interviewed Katy about her work and collaboration with her students and the Shulze faculty.

Seeking a Contract Event Planner!

Living Arts is searching for a contract event planner to help us execute our April 2020 event!

The contractor will manage all aspects of this annual event including venue negotiation, budget development and management, event committee coordination, invitations and RSVPs, and program development with guidance from Living Arts’ Development Director.

Reflections on Sofrito of Cultures

For three weeks, students of Living Arts' Youth Dance Ensemble studied under visionary master teachers Madame Penny Godboldo, Chi Amen Ra and Ozzie Rivera to understand the cultural connection between Black American and Afro Latinx communities (The African Diaspora). As the Living Arts Teaching Artist brought in on this project, I was honored to even be in the room with these incredibly decorated artists that I'd heard about for years. The importance of using dance as the catalyst to discuss these connections is a conversation I've had many times with various students, parents and fellow teachers. In Afrocentric and Indigenous culture dance is often used as an archive.

Arts Workshops for Southwest Detroit Caregivers

We’ve partnered with Congress of Communities, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, and Mathematica to present a series of workshops for caregivers who provides care or babysitting to pre-school youth ages 0-5 in Southwest Detroit communities.

Living Arts Dancers to Perform Sofrito of Cultures with Penny Godboldo at the Wright Museum

Living Arts’ Youth Dance Ensemble, under the direction of Master Teacher and Dance Artist Penny Godboldo and Living Arts’ Teaching Artist Miryam Johnson, with musical accompaniment by Chinelo "Chi" Amen-Ra and Ozvaldo "Ozzie" Rivera, will present a free community performance graciously hosted by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on August 8, 2019 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm.

Here's Why You Should Come to Open Arts Fest!

Hi! I’m Diamond and I’ve been with Living Arts as a dancer, photographer, and artist for over five years.

And I’m Bailee and I have been dancing at Living Arts for four years. I was originally introduced to Living Arts when me and my mom stumbled upon it, and I have been coming ever since. During my time here I have taken all types of classes like ballet, tap, point, jazz, hip hop, salsa, and Afro-Latin.

Living Arts Launches Sofrito of Cultures with Penny Godboldo

This summer, Living Arts will launch a two-week dance intensive, Sofrito of Cultures. Lead by Master Teacher and Dance Artist Penny Godboldo and Living Arts’ Teaching Artist Miriyam Johnson, 12 participants will engage in five hours of daily training from July 22-August 2 in the Dunham Technique of dance, which blends European ballet, modern, jazz, and classical African movement. 

Closing Out the Season: 20th Annual Student Showcase

On a moderate Sunday afternoon, families, friends, and supporters gathered at Cass Technical High School for the Living Arts 20th Annual Student Showcase. The program opened with Program Manager, Zack Bissell, who welcomed the audience and thanked the event’s supporters.

A culmination of the 2018-2019 season of programming through the Out-of-School Arts (OSA) program, Showcase featured a mix of dance, visual arts, video animation, and music composition. The program featured a special guest performance by Ballet Folkórico de Detroit and an intermission performance by Mariachi Femeníl de Detroit.