Fall is once again upon us, and with it comes Hamtramck's finest seasonal festivity: the Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival.
Saturday, Oct. 8 is the occasion for this one-day event. In its sixth year running, the HNAF transforms the traditional festival format into a walking tour of Hamtramck, punctuated by visits to galleries, artist studios, and celebrations in its signature DIY style.
Interested parties can find information on events and open houses on the Hamtrack Arts page on Facebook, or turn up to grab a map at one of the galleries that serve as anchors for the festival — and the Hamtramck art scene in general. 9338 Campau, Hatch Art, Popps Packing, and Public Pool will all have maps detailing locations off the beaten track, including many artist studios and private residences, as well as the Power House Productions suite of installations in the blurred-borders Banglatown neighborhood — home to Play House, Jar House, Sound House, Squash House, and Skate House, as well as the Ride It Sculpture Park. The maps also give clues to find bands and DJs performing on porches and backyards.
Official activity begins with a kickoff brunch at Bumbo's from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and ends with an after-party at Trixie's. Exhibitions at the Hatch Art, Public Pool and 9338 Campau galleries will be open from early to late afternoon. Bank Suey, on the corner of Jos Campau and Caniff, will show poster art by local illustrator/musician Richie Wohlfeil and have a pop-up coffee bar. The new Olo Man Cafe will also feature coffee and live entertainment. Hamtramck Disneyland — the infamous folk art installation which recently received $100,000 in donations for renovations and programming — will be host to an opera staged by Hamtramck-based multi-instrumentalist James Cornish, plus open studios by artists now living there. Klinger St. Studios will have poetry readings in collaboration with the Detroit Poetry Workshop and an after-party for the Detroit Art Book Fair, which is being held in Eastern Market.
On the north end of town, Popps Packing has a cluster of activities slated, including "Sound Alley," featuring ambient musical performance on the north side of Carpenter, and the third installment of the annual fruit-inspired group show organized by Alice Schneider, PEACHES! —which opens on Oct. 7. Across the street, kicking off with a musical performance at 7 p.m., the newest issue of Stupor zine will be launched with great (and very inebriated) fanfare, with a reading starting at 8 p.m., at 12123 St. Aubin St. These are just a few of the touchpoints for a day of spontaneous and homegrown festival fun.
"I have both attended and participated in the Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival," says Schneider, who serves on the HNAF Organizing Committee, along with co-founders Steve Panton of 9338 Campau and Steve Hughes of Public Pool.
"I enjoy opening my home and studio to the public and meeting new artists and finding new neighbors," she says. The HNAF has 57-plus venues on the map this year, so bring your walking shoes and prepare to see the Hamtramck art scene at home!
Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival takes place on Saturday, Oct. 8. For more info go to facebook.com/HamtramckArts.