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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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    Belle Isle Art Fair anchors annual Neighborhoods Day in Detroit

    Detroit — Holly Morris of Trenton bought a hand-painted denim vest with a lime green peace sign on the back at the Belle Isle Art Fair Saturday, and people were asking the artist about it for hours afterward.

    Where did you get that? — which made a simple $50 article of clothing a fitting illustration of the purpose of ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day.

    “I go to a lot of art shows,” said Morris, a retired flight attendant. “This is one of the best.”

    It’s also one of the more unique, and not just because the Scott Fountain is burbling in the background and freighters are going past on the water. It’s the centerpiece of more than 150 events tied to the 15th annual Neighborhoods Day, designed as both a celebration of what’s good in the city and a reminder that cool and uplifting things are in plain sight 365 days a year.

    People walk around Scott Fountain near the Belle Isle Art Fair, Saturday, August 7, 2021.

    Block clubs held gatherings Saturday. Kids swung golf clubs at Rouge Park. Debris was cleared, weeds were pulled, food and school supplies were distributed, bouncy houses were inflated. In front of Coleman Young International Airport, where that institution’s fan club gathered, paper airplanes soared.

    “We think there’s something universal about getting together. Sharing. Bringing each other up,” said ARISE executive director Luther Keith. His organization serves as a clearinghouse and a connector, linking neighborhoods and nudging aside barriers.

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