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Images & Voices of Hope | December 2, 2020

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How the arts are ‘cultivating community resilience’ in Detroit

How the arts are ‘cultivating community resilience’ in Detroit

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In April, Damian Woetzel of the Aspen Institute Arts Program convened a strategy group that brought together Detroit artists and leaders in arts, community development, education and policy.

Creative Exchange, a website featuring stories about arts in the community, published an interesting story this week about the gathering and the various artistic efforts taking place in Detroit.

The story, written by Anna Clark, explains why these efforts are important in a city that’s trying to revitalize itself in the face of difficult times:

“In Detroit, art isn’t just something to look at. Neither is it something to consume. Rather, it is an active part of civic life, cultivating community resilience by connecting people and places across the city’s 139 square miles. In a city where municipal bankruptcy and deindustrialization has shredded both the public and private sectors, artists and organizations have an unusually large impact—they are literally changing the landscape. Tens of thousands of vacant lots and buildings here mark the daily lived experience of citizens: artistic intervention, whether it is a mural painted on an empty building or an organized program, interrupts the disheartening pattern.

“…When it comes to arts in Detroit, the collective creative impact broadens residents’ sense of what is possible for the city, tells the city’s story to others around the world, and facilitates imaginative re-thinking about what citizens have to contribute the place they call home.”

The full story, which offers examples of various arts-related projects in Detroit, is well worth the read.


Related: Photographer Bill Rauhauser has captured decisive moments in Detroit for more than 80 years | Write A House aims to fix up vacant Detroit homes, give them to writers | Two new media projects aim to play a role in Detroit’s recovery