A local art student group is hosting a poetry reading and community mural event, with donations being given to support the family of Patrick Lyoya.
Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD), in partnership with the KCAD BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) Student Affinity Group, is hosting a poetry night tonight, July 21, from 6-8 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle, 135 Monroe Center St. NW.
The event will feature poetry readings from local poets Somali Bones and Foster from the Diatribe, as well as music and community art.
Large canvases will be painted with community messages and imagery. Attendees can support the mural painting by giving donations, with all proceeds being given to the family of Patrick Lyoya.
“Planning this event was an amazing experience,” said Deja Carter, leader of the BIPOC Student Affinity Group at KCAD. “It feels so good to work with a group of creative individuals to put together an event that is bigger than just ourselves.
“Grand Rapids has been filled with a lot of negativity in the past year, so we’re bringing the community together to hear stories through poetry and spread love through painting. This love for our friends and neighbors will inspire our mural, which we plan to display throughout the community.”
Emily Mohill, assistant to the director of student engagement, said the BIPOC Student Affinity Group creates the opportunity for BIPOC students to connect with each other and to participate in a variety of activities and events as determined by the group
The Diatribe is a group of teaching artists engaging the Grand Rapids community, partnering with schools and prominent organizations in West Michigan, to empower students to tackle large societal issues such as fair housing practices, toxic masculinity, and racism and providing them the space to have conversations surrounding mental health awareness, identity, grief, and loss. The Diatribe is home to visual and spoken artists and focuses on advocating for black and LGBTQ+ voices.