Our Get Busy events roundup this week is jam-packed with events, whether you’re looking for food, dance or film. For a little bit of all three, you’ll want to check out the JAM3A festival — hosted by the Arab American National Museum, its an incredible (and free) gathering celebrating arts and culture.
We’re also eying the Motor City Comedy Festival, which is bringing plenty of comedians to town to perform, but is also doing some pretty cool programming for the budding jokesters among us. The fest includes more than a dozen workshops covering everything from writing for late night shows to touring to digital content creation — viral TikTok here we come.
Need more? There’s a horseback riding event for the kids, a parking lot tour (yes, really) for the urbanism nerds and an epic dinner infused with storytelling for the hungry. Keep reading to plan your weekend around Detroit.
⛈️ Join Allied Media Projects today for its “Building an Environmentally Just Detroit” community panel discussing the escalating climate crisis in Detroit. This intergenerational coalition of organizers will follow a call from Detroit activist Charity Mahouna Hicks to “wage love” by sharing fellowship, strategies, healing and visions for the future. Free.
🧑🍳 Experience ancestral cooking and oral storytelling at The Speak Easy Detroit’s Family Dinner, today at Lagerhaus No. 5 in Eastern Market. The intimate dinner party starts with a lesson on food indigeneity, sustainability, community and heritage, then will serve up a five-course meal from chefs Mariya Russell, LaMara Davidson, Max Hardy and Nik R. Cole. $85.
🎉 For a more relaxed party in the same vein from The Speak Easy, check out part two — a family heritage-inspired cookout in the North End on Sunday. $35+ for admission.
🤣 Get ready to laugh your [redacted] off at the Motor City Comedy Festival today through Sunday at Detroit House of Comedy and other venues. Guests can watch comedians from around the world, including Hans Kim, Jeremiah Watkins, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Mateen Stewart. Have your own bits to work on or trying to break into the industry? Free workshops are part of the fest. $25+.
🎞️ Southeast Michigan Refugee Collaborative is hosting its first ever Refugee Film Festival with three screenings tonight, Saturday and Sunday at the Detroit Film Theatre and College for Creative Studies. The festival hopes to bring films about perseverance and the contributions of refugees to the big screen, with directors on hand to talk about their work (with Outlier’s own Malak Silmi moderating tonight’s talk). Free.
🎶 The Arab American National Museum hosts music and arts festival JAM3A on Saturday and Sunday with a Friday night kickoff party. The fest celebrates talent and identity from the Arab world and its diaspora, with film screenings, a dance workshop and thoughtful panels. Free.
🏇🏽 Hold your horses! Join Magnolia Stables and Ride Along Detroit this Saturday at Bailey Park for an afternoon of fun with food, face painting, demonstrations, horseback riding and more! Free; accepting donations.
💃🏽 On Saturday, performers and public participants are invited to tap into their senses and interact with the space around them as they experience “concrète”, an outdoor dance performance by Biba Bell, Christopher Woolfolk and Shannon White, with music by Matthew Daher. Meet at the Matéria Gallery in Core City. Pay what you can.
🅿️ Join Detroiters for Parking Reform on Saturday for a walking tour of the surface parking lots that used to be buildings in the District Detroit area. Meet at Cass Park and end the walk at Temple Bar for drinks and reflections on potential collective action to support affordable housing and sustainable urban amenities. Free; donations welcomed.
Summer ending means that spooky season is beginning. On Saturday, FrankenFest heads to Historic Fort Wayne for a day of monster-inspired art, an illusionist and paranormal conversations with Haunted Mitten Podcast and Southern Michigan ParaNormals. Free outdoor artists’ market; $5 for attractions and panels.
📚 If you want to get the kids out of the house for a bit this weekend, head over to Southwest Detroit cafe The Squeeze Station on Saturday for a book-reading picnic. Free; donations appreciated.
🖼️ Detroit Month of Design is well underway and the calendar of events is well loaded. You can watch automotive designers duke it out in ink and pencil at the Middlecott Sketchbattle on Thursday. If you want to learn more about the industry, check out The Business of Graphic Arts virtual discussion on Saturday, before heading to party with this year’s BLKOUT Walls muralists at its end-of-fest block party. Eager for even more? In the next few days, check out the East Ferry Warren: United by Dreams & Design tour and panel or a “Streets for People” global tactical urbanism event. Free.