This Labor Day weekend, Play House will host Washington D.C. artist Carmen C. Wong's installation, A Tactile Taste of Banglatown. Banglatown, a neighborhood that rides the line between North Hamtramck and Detroit, is home to a thriving arts community, in large part due to Power House, a community art group that owns several Detroit houses-turned-performance-spaces. One of these, Play House, serves as home to both the experimental theatre troupe The Hinterlands and to the Bangla School of Music.
Wong spent months in Detroit researching the area, a center for Bangladeshi culture and immigrant settlement, and has developer a presentation including audio, a guided tour and and food from the neighborhood to create the a fully realized Banglatown experience. On Friday, Sept 4 (6-9 p.m.) and Sunday, Sept 5 (5-9 p.m.), visitors to the Play House installation will get an interactive taste of the town, complete with stews and tea.
Play House is part of a collection of houses purchased by Detroit artists Gina Reichert and Mitch Cope starting in 2002. The pair operates Power House and its satellite performance and art houses/spaces, including Play House, while another is Sound House, a recording studio. Skate House aims to combine an indoor facility with the adjacent Ride it Skate Park. The idea of house and neighborhood based public art projects has strong roots in Detroit. Detroiter Tyree Guyton created one of the nation's most famous folk art installations, The Heidelberg Project, in 1986, starting with painting large, brightly colored dots on his grandparents' 100-year-old East Detroit home.
During Taste of Banglatown performances at Play House, attendees in groups of 15 will tour the installation with a guide, enjoy the foods Wong prepared for the event, and learn about the area's thriving Bangladeshi food and art scene. Reservations are required, and limited spaces are available. For more information, call Play House at 313-454-1756 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. With a suggested donation of $5-$10, this experience costs far less than dinner and a show while offering…dinner foods and an art show.
Public art in Detroit builds safer, stronger neighborhoods [The Christian Science Monitor]
·Art and arson on Detroit's East Side [The Airship]
·The Hinterlands [The Hinterlands]
·Play House [Power House Productions]
·A Tactile Dinner [Banished Productions]
·Power of the Pickle: Building a Community [Life In Historic Anacostia]