Detroit’s Youngest Artists to Perform at Starr Summer Youth Festival July 25

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Youth arts fest showcases artistic talent of Detroit's kids as well as their resilient Detroit spirit; internationally acclaimed artist & mentor Tyree Guyton will accept Art of Resilience award.

Urban-Stringzii at last year's Starr Summer Youth Fest.

By focusing on the talents and strengths of our young people, we give them a great chance of realizing their potential.

Rather than sitting at home playing video games or complaining of boredom, hundreds of young people across the city are preparing to showcase their talents at the second annual Art of Resilience Starr Summer Youth Festival on Saturday, July 25 from 12 noon to 8 p.m. The event will be held at Paradise Valley Park (formerly Harmonie Park) and the Carr Center, 311 East Grand River, in downtown Detroit.

Now in its second year, this free, family-friendly event is the only Detroit-based summer festival dedicated solely to showcasing the artistry and resilience of the city’s young artists ages 6-20.

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, at which over 300 participants from over 40 Detroit youth organizations took part, the 2015 festival is expanding to feature:

  • Performances in music, dance and theater on three big outdoor stages in and around the Carr Center and Paradise Valley Park
  • Smaller venues featuring spoken-word poetry
  • An expanded visual arts exhibit area and Young Artists’ Market
  • More hands-on art activities
  • And new this year, a video and film festival

Once again, festival sponsor Starr Commonwealth will partner with Samaritan Homes Inc., a Detroit-based social services agency, and Edibles Rex Catering to provide free, healthy lunches on a first-come basis for young people up to age 18.

Another 2015 highlight is the presentation of the annual Starr Art of Resilience Award, created to recognize those who have given generously of their time and talents to inspire and mentor Detroit’s young artists. This year’s honoree is the internationally acclaimed Detroit artist Tyree Guyton, who will accept the award at the July 25 event. The 2014 award recognized Detroit jazz legend Marcus Belgrave, who passed away last month.

“The Starr Summer Youth Festival showcases the tremendous talents, resilience and strengths of young people in Detroit,” says John Hollingsworth, festival director for Starr Commonwealth, a social services agency that promotes positive youth development and has been serving Detroit children and families for more than 100 years. The festival is part of Starr’s Art of Resilience Project, a long-term initiative designed to promote, support and celebrate the resilience of Detroit’s young people and their communities.

“Resilience is at the core of Starr’s youth development programs, but it is also a central part of Detroit’s identity,” adds Hollingsworth. “The city and its neighborhoods have shown great resilience over the years, and this tenacity continues to help the city to overcome its challenges.”

“By focusing on the positive, the talents and strengths of our young people, we give them a great chance of realizing their potential.”

The Second Annual Starr Summer Youth Festival is sponsored by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Quicken Loans, PNC Bank, the Ford Fund, St. John Providence Health System, Comerica Bank, Cornerstone Schools, StarrVista, Starr Educational Services, Zipcar and Art Works/National Endowment for the Arts.

For information on the July 25 Second Annual Starr Summer Youth Festival, visit

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Cyndi Summers
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