Artists, activists and community organizers are coming together next Wednesday at the Dequindre Cut Greenway for the first annual Earthwork Detroit Music Festival.
This is a free, all-ages event is from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm with a range of performances and activities. This event kicks-off the Summer Concert Series hosted at this space, and is designed to celebrate cultural resilience and the concept of social ecologies. It’s coordinated by hip-hop artist and activist Will See (of Collective Wisdom Detroit) along with artists like Wayne Ramocan (a.k.a. Juuni) and Nique Love Rhodes, who are both co-founders of D.Cipher.
When See talks about social ecologies, he’s highlighting the natural interconnectedness of a community and the potential for creative practices, such as the arts, to support and spread awareness for broad initiatives like clean water access, racial equity and youth empowerment. See is teaming with Title Track, a newly launched nonprofit from singer/songwriter Seth Bernard that seeks to foster engagement with youth and community, and fortify social-ecological systems with a range of programs and events.
Along with hip-hop artist Will See, Bernard will also be performing his blend of indie-folk and rock, as well as Detroit-based folk artist Audra Kubat. Nique Love Rhodes, Bryce Detroit, AADIZOOKAAN, Spirits Rising, and Juuni (Wayne Ramocan) will also be performing. Donations will be accepted to benefit the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.
Before the music begins, the afternoon until 4pm will be focused on youth activities, with workshops on poetry, writing, singing and the importance of agriculture.
The inspiration for Earthwork Detroit came from the long-running Earthwork Harvest Gathering, founded by Bernard, and hosted in the late summer / early fall, up on his family’s farm in Lake City (near Traverse). As a performance facet of the Harvest Gathering’s annual three-day program, Will See has coordinated several Detroit-focused showcases of hip-hop talent. Will See, along with Ramocan and Nique Love Rhodes, have been musical diplomats to the state’s Northwest before, but over the last two years, they’ve been building towards this opportunity to showcase the wide range of talent based here in Detroit, expanding from hip-hop to include folk, funk, soul and rock-n-roll.
Will See, along with D.Cipher and Title Track, are eager to spread the word about the potential for “entertainment justice,” a phrase coined by Bryce Detroit, to underscore the interconnectivity between artists and social movements, and the potential artists have to get involved by creating culture that reflects the reality in which we live and struggle against.
Here’s a playlist of artists performing at the festival.
Earthwork Detroit Music Festival is happening Wednesday, July 10, 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Dequindre Cut Greenway. Admission is free.