Community Programs

InsideOut Literary Arts hosts collaborative workshops, installations, and performances across the city designed to engage diverse audiences in the ways that the written and spoken word can connect to and enrich their lives. 

InsideOut Community Event on the Detroit Riverfront
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Zoo

Community Partnerships

Through partnerships with celebrated cultural institutions like the Detroit Institute of Arts, MOCAD, the Detroit Zoological Society, and others, InsideOut provides young people with opportunities to share their voices and create community connections.

Partnership Spotlight: Detroit Zoological Society

InsideOut has collaborated with the Detroit Zoological Society to create “Thriving Together” a three-year-long environmental justice and creative writing program. In this symbiotic relationship — InsideOut students learn from experts in the fields of conservation and animal care, and in turn, these professionals rely on our students’ expertise in self-expression and the pressing environmental issues in their own communities.

InsideOut student poet Charisma performs against the backdrop of the Detroit River in front of a full audience.

Community Performances and Workshops

We consider requests for local performances or workshops on a case by case basis. Fill out our booking request form to get the ball rolling.

If the River Could Sing: A Celebration of Writing and River

If the River Could Sing: A Celebration of Writing and River with InsideOut immerses a vibrant audience in the power of poetry and the beauty of the Detroit riverfront. Hosted at Robert C. Valade Park in partnership with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, participants enjoy interactive activities including art experiences, engaging with wildlife, wellness activities, and performances by poets, musicians, and the winners of our river-themed poetry contest.

Group of teens sits in an auditorium talking and writing at the 2023 Detroit Youth Poetry Con

Detroit Youth Poetry Con

The Detroit Youth Poetry Con is a welcoming day-long series of writing workshops, open mics, community building, and a performance showcase featuring acclaimed guest writers and InsideOut student poets.

Youth Poet Laureate

From 2017-2020, InsideOut searched for civically-engaged youth poets to promote creativity, literacy, and civic awareness in metro Detroit. The Detroit Youth Poet Laureate designed a community service project, published a collection of poems, and performed across the region.