Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is the Porous Borders Festival?

A: It’s a two-day arts and culture festival happening about and along the border between Detroit and Hamtramck. There are art pieces, fun and eclectic events, and performances all happening for free on Conant and Carpenter.

  1. What is the point of this festival?

A: It’s an opportunity for us (the festival organizers) as neighborhood residents to meet our neighbors in low-key art events and connect through conversation over the things that we have in common: the borders that run through our lives and community. That includes municipal borders, cultural borders, and even metaphorical borders here and elsewhere, past and present.

It’s also an opportunity to bring other Detroiters into our special neighborhood to get to know us and a little bit more about the unique resources and concerns that we have here in this area, and to swap stories about the forces shaping our lives. We see this event as a stepping off point for future conversation, collaboration, and appreciation.

  1. Do you have permission to be here?

A: Yes. We have the full support of the City of Hamtramck and City of Detroit’s District 3. Both the Hamtramck Police and the Detroit Police are aware of the activities taking place. All events – except the opening parade on Saturday and wire car cruise on Sunday – are taking place on privately owned land, with the permission of the property owner.

  1. Who is putting on this festival?

A: The Hinterlands, a theatre company based at 12657 Moran Street (Moran and Lawley) is putting on the festival. Project partners include Power House Productions (located on Klinger Street at Lawley), Popps Packing (located at Carpenter and St. Aubin), and Carrie Morris Arts Productions (located at Carpenter and Lumpkin). We also have over 50 participating artists and businesses supporting this event.

  1. Did my tax dollars pay for this?

A: A little bit. $20,000 of the festival budget came from the National Endowment for the Arts, which represents 0.012% of total federal discretionary funding. So your share in this festival was about $0.0002, or 1/50 of a penny. Thank you for your contribution!

Remaining funding came from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Detroit Knight Arts Challenge, and the locally-based Erb Family Foundation.

  1. Why are you doing this on Carpenter?

A: We (The Hinterlands) live and work just north of Carpenter, so it’s a border we cross every day. We love our neighborhood and think Carpenter is a very interesting place, and so we wanted to bring more people to the street to learn about its past and present, and to collectively imagine great ideas for its future.

  1. Will there be bathrooms?

A: There are port-a-potties at the two information hubs (the lot at Carpenter at Gallagher and the lot at Carpenter at St. Aubin). You could also support local businesses by grabbing food at a restaurant nearby and use their restroom there, if that’s more your style.

  1. Where can I park?

A: We recommend parking on the side streets off of Carpenter (Klinger, Moran, Gallagher, Lumpkin, St. Aubin, Fleming, etc) or on Conant. Festival events stretch around two miles from end to end, which is walkable for some and might be a stretch for others. There are also bicycles for rent at information hubs if you’d like to park and then bike from event to event.

  1. Where can I get a drink of water?

A: We have cups for water available at no cost at our Information Hubs. If you’re more of a bottled water person, you can pick up a bottle of water at one of the businesses nearby. The corner stores – Meghna, Shukria Market, Walter’s, etc – all have bottled water available for sale.

  1. Is there anything kid-friendly?

A: Yes! Thanks for asking. There are lots of kid-friendly events. On Saturday, kid-friendly events range from our opening parade to two different puppet shows to interactive art installations Jump.Sway.Turn.Pray, the See Saw, the Wonder Wall, and Here There Be Dragons to the Porous Borders Poster Project and the Detroit Folk Workshop Stage. On Sunday, the wire car cruise is kid-friendly, the Field/Dance dance party is also a fun activity for kids, and the Iyengar Yoga event is another interesting family-friendly event.

  1. Is there a religious mission to this?

A: Nope. There are a few churches involved as site partners, but there is no religious affiliation to the Porous Borders Festival.

  1. What’s happening and where?

A: Most of the events are taking place along Carpenter and Conant. We have a festival map available for you to take with you, and there is a digital version that is searchable on the homepage.

  1. Is this the first year this has happened?

A: Yes. It’s not an annual festival, but we (The Hinterlands) are very interested in the question of borders, and will continue to host programming that examines borders in our neighborhood and larger community. Also, this project is a part of the Carpenter Exchange, a long-term series of initiatives led by organizations rooted in the neighborhood (Power House Productions, Popps Packing, Carrie Morris Arts Productions and The Hinterlands) that highlight Carpenter Street. Other projects that will be taking place later this summer include an outdoor summer puppet series at 2221 Carpenter, a skill share exchange and pop-up store at 2025 Carpenter, and a teen girl video training camp. More information is available on our map and carpenterexchange.org if you’d like to get involved.

  1. Where can I make a complaint?

A: You can leave your complaint and a contact email or phone number at pbf[at]thehinterlandsensemble.org we will make sure it gets back to whoever needs to address it.

  1. Where can I make a donation?

A: You can make a cash or check donation here today at the Information Hubs – please leave your contact information (name, email, phone number) so that we can properly thank you. Otherwise, you can make a donation online via our fiscal sponsor, the Miami Foundation, here (the “Select a Designation” line will read The Hinterlands Fund). Thank you for your donation!