Porous Borders Festival: May 16-17, 2015

A free community festival looking at borders past and present

The POROUS BORDERS FESTIVAL is a two-day free public art event taking place May 16-17, 2015 along the HAMTRAMCK/DETROIT border. With spectacle parades, eclectic installations, community conversation-starters, psychogeographic strolls, athletic competitions and more, works reflect and engage the diverse experiences of those living along the border, address the geographic reality of the HAMTRAMCK/DETROIT border, and, in some cases, examine the nature of borders themselves.

Get involved!:
*volunteer for the festival! Contact us at 313 454 1756 for more information!
*join the parade on Saturday, May 16 at 10:30AM in the Hamtramck Housing Projects' Children's Garden just west of I-75

Get orientated!:
*stop by a festival Information Hub on May 16 & 17 from 10AM-8PM. The western hub is located at St. Aubin & Carpenter; eastern hub at Gallagher & Carpenter!

Participating Projects

Our participating artists and neighborhood-led projects



Festival Schedule

Check back here for updates as they occur!

May 9, 7-11PM - Our Ephemeral Life (Public Pool - 3309 Caniff)
The Border Plant Mapping Project (available at PBF Hubs)
Carpenter Audio Tour (download Recho and listen along Carpenter to recordings marked #borderstory)
Food Scavenger Hunt (multiple locations)
Mr. Motin's Garden Manual (available at PBF Hubs)
Are We There Yet? (all along the border; map available at PBF Hubs)
Cutter's Bike Club (2037 Carpenter)
Dickerson Prison Project (Conant between Miller and Manuel)
Here There Be Dragons (Conant at Harold)
Index of Inaccessibility (11628 Conant; printed matter available at PBF Hubs)
Outskirts (roving)
The Portal (Record Graveyard, 2610 Carpenter & Reshmi Sweets, 12170 Conant)
She Saw Seesaws by the Sallan Seashore (lots near 2037 Carpenter)
Sightseeing for the Mind (12195 Jos Campau)
Top Ten Lists (roving)
United Flags of Hamtramck (Carpenter at McDougall)
WAWAD Union Headquarters (Popps Emporium, 2025 Carpenter)
Welcoming Committee of Hamtramck (throughout)
Wonder Wall (lot next to 12133 Conant - Meghna Grocery)
10:30AM Meet for Pollinator Parade (Colonel Hamtramck Homes)
11AM Pollinator Parade down Carpenter Street
11AM-2PM Detroit Party Marching Band
11AM-5PM Street Painting (Mass Bazaar, 11917 Conant)
12-2:30PM NEIGHBORHOOD NAILZ (Walter's parking lot, 12199 Conant)
12-2PM Two Wheel Tour (East side of Conant, starting at parking lot of Outer Limits Bar, 5507 Caniff)
12-6PM Porous Borders Poster Project (lot on Carpenter at Gallagher)
12-6PM Stories on the Divide | Historias en la Brecha (Aladdin patio, 11945 Conant)
12-6PM Upended Teacups with Downtown Boxing Gym and Greater Missionary Baptist Church (2533 Carpenter)
12:30-5PM Detroit Folk Workshop (lots at St. Aubin and Carpenter)
1-1:30PM Oil Change Race (Carpenter at Campau)
2-3:30PM Border Lecture (Popps Packing, 12138 St. Aubin)
2-4PM Pickup Soccer (Bridge Academy lots on Carpenter at Charest)
3-5PM Marsha Music (Play House, 12657 Moran)
4:30-5PM Two Wheel Tour (CMAP House, 2221 Carpenter)
5PM; 7PM Don't Ignore the Messenger (parking garage at 3120 Carpenter)
5-9PM Field-Dance/Send-Return (KEINHAUS, 12159 Lumpkin and lots across Carpenter)
5PM The Golden Horns (Play House, 12657 Moran)
5:30-7PM 1vs1 All Styles Borders Battle (parking garage at 3120 Carpenter)
5:30PM I Was Here (Play House, 12657 Moran)
5:30PM; 7PM The Outer Limits (CMAP House, 2221 Carpenter)
6-10PM Porous Karaoke: Jams on the Border (PLAV, 11824 Jos Campau)
7-10PM Get to Know Me (Red Door, 7500 Oakland)
8-10PM The Breakdown (12141 St. Aubin)
8-10PM Stella's Ghost (Public Pool, 3309 Caniff)
9-11PM Ride'n Movies (lot at CMAP House, 2221 Carpenter)
10:30, 11:15AM - Only a Quartet (porches at 2037 Carpenter)
11AM-5PM Psychogeographic Stroll (departs from PBF Hub at Carpenter and Gallagher; MUST SIGN UP AT HUB TO PARTICIPATE)
12PM Car Wash Conversations (m&m Soft Cloth, 3800 Casmere)
12-3 Community BBQ (Walter's Shopping Place, 12199 Conant)
12PM Destroying Colossus (Carpenter at Fleming)
12-6PM Porous Borders Poster Project (lot on Carpenter at Gallagher)
12-6PM Stories on the Divide | Historias en la Brecha (Aladdin patio, 11945 Conant)
12-1:30PM Wire Car driving lessons (lot on Carpenter at Gallagher)
12-2:30PM NEIGHBORHOOD NAILZ (Walter's parking lot, 12199 Conant)
1PM Destroying Colossus (Carpenter at McDougall)
1-7PM Field-Dance/Send-Return (KEINHAUS, 12159 Lumpkin and lots across Carpenter)
1:30PM Wire Car Cruise down Carpenter (depart from Popps Emporium, 2025 Carpenter)
2PM The Golden Horns at the Magi Club/Our Ephemeral Life (Public Pool, 3309 Caniff)
2-4PM Cricket Lesson and Match (Bridge Academy lots on Carpenter at Charest)
2-4PM Chai House popup teahouse (Bridge Academy lots on Carpenter at Charest)
2PM; 5PM Boat to Nowhere (Play House, 12657 Moran St)
4-6PM Tom Phardel "Inner-Core" Closing Reception and Artist Talk (Popps Packing, 12141 St. Aubin)
5-7PM Yoke/Flex/Extend (Our Lady Queen of Apostles parking lot, Harold off Conant)
7-9PM Shifting Borders Community Dinner Conversation (lot on Carpenter at St. Aubin)
9-11PM Ride'n Movies (lot at CMAP House, 2221 Carpenter)

Porous Borders Partners

Hinterlands by Justine Tobiasz

The Hinterlands


Theatre-makers living and working north of Carpenter Street.

carpenter map

Carpenter Exchange


Four organizations partnered as one to highlight and strengthen Carpenter Street.

Contact pbf[at]porousbordersfestival.org or call 454-1756 for more info!

Tell Us Your Border Story

Share a memory, story, question, hope for the future about borders - here, near, or far - at a PBF information hub or add one on Recho and tag it #borderstory

Join the Parade

Meet May 16 at 10:30AM at the Colonel Hamtramck Housing Projects to walk Carpenter Street with us! Full info here!

Document Your Experience

Share your photos of the border - and the festival - with the #PorousBordersFest hashtag.

Take an Audio Tour

Download Recho to take an audio tour of the Carpenter St. border. Here's how!


Art Works
Knight Foundation
Erb Family Foundation

Thank you to:

Carpenter Exchange (Power House Productions; Popps Packing, Carrie Morris Arts Production); the City of Hamtramck; Scott Benson, District 3 City Council Representative Office; Greater Missionary Baptist Church; Our Lady Queen of Apostles; St. Florian's Parish; Skyline Travel and Advertising; Aladdin Cafe & Sweets; Arabesque Translation Services (George Khoury); Al-Haramain International Foods; Kristine Taylor and Paul Biundo; Bridget Michaels; Bill Ciesliga; Midwest Creative Investments; Downtown Boxing Gym; Mass Bazaar; Reshmi Sweets and Cafe; Record Graveyard; CJAM; Hamtramck Free School; HATCH Artist Collective; Delite Cafe and Deli; Bangla School of Music; City Tire