April 2019

Honoring Danny: Kalamazoo’s Dana Hudson creates healing space for artists and organizers

On March 21, Southwest MI folks celebrated the life and legacy of Daniel Steven Redd (aka Danny Rosea) at For The Good, a monthly healing space for artists and organizers, cultivated by poet Dana Hudson. Danny was a poet and musician, who worked with area youth. He meant a lot to the artist community in West Michigan and his death a little over a year ago left the community reeling. His death also served as a wake up call for many, Dana especially. It was clear to her that folks in the community needed to do a better job of supporting each other. So Dana set out to cultivate a space where they could do just that.

At the West MI workshop, in June 2018, Dana discussed with others her intention to cultivate For The Good into a healing space, that could support both artists and organizers as they work to create, build, and sustain. Today, the open mic night continues to draw talent from across West Michigan. Artists and organizers alike utilize the space, not just to be entertained, but to breathe deeply in a space that is safe and supportive.

According to West Michigan Regional Organizer, Shannon Sykes-Nehring, the success of the Kalamazoo County warming shelters, which kept the homeless community safe and warm during the polar vortex, could never have happened if not for the healing space created by For The Good. “Everyone was just so exhausted heading in to January. If we hadn’t spent my birthday at For The Good that month, having our spirits rejuvenated, I don’t see where we would have found the energy to pull of the warming shelters just a short while later.”

Thanks to Dana, and the legacy left behind by Danny Redd, organizers in West Michigan have a monthly place to go for healing. And thanks to financial, training, and organizing support from We The People and Midwest Culture Lab (a WTP partner), For The Good has been able to build a strong foundation to ensure that it will continue to be a “breathing” space for healing and restoration, dedicated and held for activists, organizers, and marginalized identities as they work to further the survival of their communities and themselves.

To support the ongoing work of Dana Hudson, and For The Good, check out Dana’s Patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/forthegood

Megan Collier Hess