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Promotional graphic for the 2018 Kresge Artist Fellowship film series titled "Never Silent. Never Still."

Twenty Detroit Artists, Three Detroit Filmmakers
And Kresge Arts in Detroit Featured at 2019 Freep Film Festival

“Never Silent. Never Still.” shines a light on the lives and artistic practices of a group of 20 Detroit artists, each a 2018 Kresge Artist Fellow, whose creative work spans film, music, and performance art. Each artist is deeply embedded in the local community and expresses the individual challenges and opportunities of creating art in Detroit.

The film brings together the vision, artistry, and distinct points of view of three filmmakers into a seamless articulation of Detroit’s vibrant artistic community.  Members of Gold House MediaSpace Monkey Productions, and The Committee  worked with producer Ben Friedman and Kresge Arts in Detroit, to explore what drives the artists’ work, and how it reflects their perceptions of the past, present, and future of Detroit.

Following the screening, there will be a live performance by 2018 Kresge Artist Fellow and internationally-renowned singer Thornetta Davis.

Tickets: $10 advance / $12 door

More information on the 2018 Kresge Artist Fellows here:


Friday, April 12
7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Film Length: 51 minutes


Beacon Park Detroit
1903 Grand River Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226


Artists featured in the film include:

    Detroit-based singer whose career spans 30 years and continues to produce magic. Her album “Honest Woman,” which she wrote and produced, received critical acclaim, including eight Detroit Music Awards, a Blues Blast Magazine Music Award for “Best Soul/Blues Album,” and a Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine Award for “Coolest Blues Song.” Thornetta garnered worldwide attention in 2018 when she won the “Best Blues Album” award from France’s La du Jazz.
    Liza Bielby and Richard Newman began collaborating as The Hinterlands in 2009, developing an extensive shared physical vocabulary over years in the studio. Their visceral and challenging work delves into identity from national to neighborhood-specific. Using an explosive physical training practice and a lengthy research process, The Hinterlands engage an interdisciplinary pool of collaborators to create works that explore the possibilities of theatre and push audiences into unknown spaces. The Hinterlands’ work includes psychedelic Westerns and border-crossing street festivals. Their work has been seen across the US and abroad, including at the Flynn Center (Burlington), p! (NYC), the Shanghai Biennale, and the Berlinale.
    A Detroit-based harpist, singer, artist, and organizer. She earned her degree from Wayne State University, where she was the principal harpist for the Wayne State University Wind Symphony in 2011. She has performed extensively in Detroit, and internationally in Scotland and Canada. Ahya’s versatile approach to harp and vocal artistry includes classical, jazz, and soul. She is also an emerging filmmaker and was awarded a Knight Sundance Fellowship in 2018. She is currently developing “Femme Queen Chronicles,” a web-series sponsored by the Trans Sistas of Color Project and the Detroit Narrative Agency 2.0.
    A storyteller who has performed live on stage at several venues throughout the greater Detroit area. He is the author of two self-published books, a novel, “Mother’s Milk,” and a book of romantic poetry, “Forever My Heart Desires.” He is planning to release a third book of poems in the fall of 2018 which represents a collection of his work assignments from a class of poets dealing with varied aspects of everyday life – nature, love, death, and happenstance. He also authored a play, an unfinished work that he hopes to produce and bring to the stage within the next two years.
    A playwright and performer who began her theatre career playing 15/16 of the characters in Nilaja Sun’s “No Child.” She is an ensemble member of Shakespeare in Detroit and an alumnus of Mosaic Youth Theater in Detroit, the University of Michigan CRLT Players and UMetc. Her stage play “Portrait of A Wise Woman,” won Audience Favorite in the 2015 Two Muses Women’s Playwriting Festival. Her stage play “Waking Up Alive” won Jury’s Choice at the 2015 Detroit Fringe Festival. It had a staged reading at Interlochen Center for the Arts during her 2017 MITTEN Lab Fellowship. Morgan is a 2017 UMS Artist-in-Residence.
    A collaboration between co-directors Sherrine Azab and Jake Hooker, A Host of People, makes original theater that is site-responsive, multimedia, interdisciplinary, and experimental. They create imaginative experiences for audiences that are at once intimate and epic, contemplative and participatory, artful and entertaining. A Host of People has created work in a former hair salon in Berlin, a storefront window in Times Square, eight community gardens in Detroit, their own home, and in traditional performance venues in Detroit, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans, Cleveland, and beyond.


The Freep Film Festival highlights films that are about or relevant to Detroit, the region and Michigan in the hopes of fostering engagement and discussion about the issues and challenges Detroiters face while at the same time celebrating what makes Detroit unique.