Power House Productions
Since 2009, Power House Productions (PHP) has been working to establish unexpected spaces for presenting arts and culture in our diverse Detroit neighborhood.
Power House Productions (PHP) is an artist-run neighborhood-based nonprofit organization founded by Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert in 2009. Through a network of project houses, art installations, and dynamic programs, PHP integrates contemporary art and artistic practices into the daily life of our diverse Detroit neighborhood, creating public spaces for the exchange of ideas, opinions and experiences.
To embed contemporary art practices into the area, with the neighborhood itself as a site of cultural and artistic production. Projects are driven by artists who live and work in the neighborhood, while open to an exchange of work from the national and international art world. Strategic partnerships with other groups that share our goals allow the organization to remain small and nimble while having greater impact. Through programs that cross cultures and genres, we engage fellow residents on multiple levels including research and feedback, as active audience members, and through project participation. PHP provides opportunities for artists to push their practice in new and meaningful directions while raising the outlook and expectations of neighborhood residents.
Long-term audience building is a core component of our work
This is done through daily relationship building with fellow residents that allows neighbors the opportunity to stop us on the street for information or to ask questions about contemporary art and design; to knock on our door and pitch an idea for programming or use of a space; and a comfort level for new experiences in dance, theater, film or performance. We use these relationships and the knowledge that comes from conversations and shared experiences in the neighborhood to inform our organization’s decision making.
Achievments & Highlights
We strategically target vacant land and property in our Detroit neighborhood, teaming up with other artists, designers, and cultural collaborators to rethink how this housing stock can better serve our community. This focus has resulted in the following public projects:
- Play House: a rehearsal, performance, and event space. Home to experimental theater group The Hinterlands and Bangla School of Music;
- Sound House: a sonic and visual experience merging the work of 4 artists: Richard Colman, RETNA, Jon Brumit, Sterling Toles;
- Squash House: community space designed by artist Graem Whyte and architect Charlie O’Geen, centered around squash, the sport and the vegetable;
- Jar House: an information exchange for neighborhood residents and visitors alike, housing a rotating library, guest rooms, our office space, and various neighborhood meetings;
- The Power House: an off-grid 1920s bungalow for contemporary art thinking and making;
- Ride It Sculpture Park: a skateable public landscape along the Davison Expressway.
On-going partnerships with:
- The Hinterlands
- Bangla School of Music
- Zimbabwe Cultural Center of Detroit (ZCCD)
- Détroit Paris Détroit
Programs at these spaces and throughout the neighborhood include:
- Music concerts and performances;
- Film and video nights;
- Dance, performance training, design, and puppet building workshops;
- Picnics and food-based performances and cultural exchanges;
- Public art commissions;
- Annual participation in the Neighborhood Arts Festival and co-production of the Porous Borders Festival;
- Pancake dance parties