Concert of Colors Expands To Four Days With Rosa Parks Tribute

Dearborn (Michigan), USA – The 15th Concert of Colors will be a four-day affair, running from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, July 22 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit. It’s the first time metro Detroit’s beloved free diversity festival has expanded beyond three days.

Lead sponsor DaimlerChrysler returns to the Concert of Colors for 2007, while Michigan-based Meijer debuts as a major sponsor, joining Comerica Bank, AT&T and DTE Energy in that role.

That this event is expanding at this time is incredibly significant for our region,” said Ismael Ahmed, Executive Director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), the Dearborn-based nonprofit human services organization that co-sponsors the festival. “At age 15, a public celebration of diversity through music is gaining momentum. Metro Detroit audiences have come to expect high quality, multicultural live music in an inclusive setting, and sponsors have responded.”

The Opening Day program on July 19 features the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s performing of Dear Mrs. Parks, a 57-minute orchestral tribute, with multi-ethnic choir, to the late Detroit civil rights icon Rosa Parks, composed by Grammy Award winner Hannibal Lokumbe on commission from the DSO.


On July 20, highlights include the 2nd annual Community, Culture & Race Forum, which last year drew representatives of more than 100 local arts organizations to a discussion of arts’ impact on issues of race and community.

The Concert of Colors has become one of the highlights of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s summer season,” said Anne Parsons, President and Executive Director of the DSO. “Our partnership with ACCESS continues to grow, and the expansion of the festival to four days reflects that. This event promotes cultural diversity through music, a mission that the DSO mirrors throughout the year, especially with our new World Music Series. We are especially thrilled, this year, for the Orchestra to perform the remarkable Dear Mrs. Parks to open the festival. This moving work speaks to unification and universality, so it is ideally suited to kick off the festival.”

The Concert of Colors is produced in partnership by ACCESS/Arab American National Museum and New Detroit, Inc. and its Cultural Exchange Network, a consortium of 50 community-based organizations representing metro Detroit’s communities of color. New Detroit, Inc. established the event in 1993 at Chene Park on Detroit’s riverfront; ACCESS joined as co-sponsor in 1999. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra came on board in 2006 when its Max M. Fisher Music Center became the host venue.

We’re proud to be in our 15th year of bringing together diverse communities throughout southeastern Michigan to present world culture in an exciting, respectful, and entertaining way,” said Shirley Stancato, President & CEO of New Detroit. “It is our hope and belief that communities will continue to network and promote positive race relations in this region.”

The full musical lineup for the 15th Concert of Colors will be announced on May 23. Visit for a detailed history of the event; program note and composer bio for Dear Mrs. Parks, and further information.

The Arab American National Museum documents, preserves, celebrates, and educates the public on the history, life, culture, and contributions of Arab Americans. It serves as a resource to enhance knowledge and understanding about Arab Americans and their presence in this country. The Arab American National Museum is a project of ACCESS, a Dearborn, MI-based nonprofit human services organization. Visit to learn more.

New Detroit is the coalition of Detroit area leadership addressing the issue of race relations by positively impacting issues and policies that ensure economic and social equity. Learn more at

Founded in 1914, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performs September through June in Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, offering a variety of concert presentations appealing to people of all ages and musical tastes. It is currently the most widely heard orchestra in America, reaching millions of listeners weekly through its national radio broadcast series on XM Satellite Radio and on terrestrial radio stations across the country. Since the opening of The Max in 2003, the DSO has expanded its diverse programming to include poetry slams, chamber music, world music and other special events. The DSO is also the only orchestra in the country to partner with a public school system (Detroit Public Schools) and with a public television station (Detroit Public Television) to provide unique educational opportunities to high school students. For more information on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s programs, initiatives and concerts, visit

Author: World Music Central News Department

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