Arts, Culture, & Entrepreneurship

Current ACE Initiatives

Mayor Duggan and Detroit ACE announce plans to activate neighborhood Arts Alleys around the city

Alley in Artist Village before Arts Alleys project. 
Alley in Artist Village after Arts Alleys project. 


  • Funded by $3 Million in ARPA dollars with support from the Ford Foundation

  • Project a key component of Mayor’s Blight to Beauty initiative

  • Artists, alley design to be selected by residents during community engagement process

  • Transformations to include infrastructure improvements for alleys making them renewed and able to be utilized again

DETROIT – Today, Mayor Duggan and Detroit ACE announced a new initiative to transform commercial and residential alleys in five neighborhoods across the city into community gathering spaces where residents can exhibit and experience art.

The project, called the Arts Alley Initiative, is funded with $3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) approved by Detroit City Council. The Arts Alleys project, which is part of Mayor Duggan’s “Blight to Beauty” campaign, is also supported by the Ford Foundation. The Art Alleys project is being conducted first as a pilot for possible future neighborhood alley activations by residents in neighborhoods throughout the city.

The Arts Alleys project will build on work already being done by community groups and neighborhood associations that have activated alleys in their neighborhoods with art and creativity. It also builds on the work being done by the city to clear brush and trash from thousands of alleys across the city. Over the past two years, alleys behind nearly 2,000 residential blocks have been cleared and reclaimed.

“Alleys in our city for years have been havens for illegal dumping and overgrowth and we’re steadily changing that,” said Mayor Duggan. “Activating neighborhood alleys in this creative way is going to help turn them into real community assets and attractions.”

The Detroit Arts, Culture, & Entrepreneurship Office will execute community engagement throughout key areas in the city. The five pilot Arts Alleys will be in:

  • Jefferson Chalmers
  • Old Redford
  • Schulze
  • NW Goldberg
  • Springwells

Next Steps:

ACE will collaborate with residents in these areas, their neighbors and other stakeholders through the summer and fall to develop designs to overhaul an alley in each neighborhood. These transformations will bring new landscaping, improved surfacing, and amenities while partnering together with local artists and residents to imbue these improvements with a sense of history, beauty and imagination.

Sidewalk Detroit, a Detroit-based, Black-owned company is currently working with the city to conduct the community engagement phase of the design process. After the design process for each alley is completed this fall, ACE will issue an RFP for general contractors in early 2023, with improvements to begin later in the year.

The City’s Arts & Culture Director, Rochelle Riley said that beautified alleys will add to residents’ quality of life.

“The Covid-19 pandemic showed us the importance of safe, accessible green spaces in our neighborhoods,” said Rochelle Riley, Director of Arts and Culture for the City. “We want to help communities create their own spaces for activities and enjoyment.”

The objectives of this project are to spur neighborhood development and revitalization, mitigate localized flooding through low-cost stormwater management strategies, create opportunities for the creative workforce, and highlight neighborhood creativity. These spaces will become hubs for small business activations, events, and sources of pride for residents in each community.

For more information, visit

An example of what the same alley may look like after Arts Alleys activation. 


Detroit ACE Selects Four finalists for Farwell Recreation Center Mural

The City Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) has selected four finalists to compete to paint the Community Mural on the front of the Farwell Recreation Center.

The project is a joint effort between Detroit ACE, Councilman Scott Benson’s office and the Parks and Recreation division of the General Services Department headed by Brad Dick.

Ijania Cortez, Cameron Jenkins, Richard Wilson and Fel'le will meet neighborhood stakeholders Friday to discuss the project. The meeting for the Farwell-area neighborhood is at 6 p.m. Friday, July 22 at the Farwell Recreation Center, 2711 Outer Dr. The finalists will answer questions and gain ideas for the next phase of the process: a sketch showing their understanding of the community's vision.

The theme for the mural installation will be the result of engagement with residents in the community, who suggested that it should honor community heroes. A selection committee comprising community members will choose a winning artist by August 5.

The project is among many Detroit ACE is undertaking to better connect artists with Detroit communities and to improve the look of neighborhoods across the city. It also Detroit ACE's contribution to Mayor Mike Duggan’s Blight to Beauty initiative, which includes Detroit ACE’s recently announced Mural City project to identify and inventory every mural in the city. That effort, in partnership with CANVS, a national start-up, will allow anyone with a smart phone to stand in front of any mural in the city and be able to learn the artist and when the mural was painted. Next month, Detroit ACE will launch the Detroit Mural City interactive map, which will allow users to see all of the city’s murals – and biographies of the artists – on the City website.

“We hope to help communities embrace artwork that reflects their values and priorities and interests,” said Rochelle Riley, the city’s Director of Arts and Culture. “Our goal is to amplify community assets and elevate the stature of some of the best artists in the country.”

Project Schedule
  • July 22: ACE will host a meeting to introduce the four finalists to the community.
  • August 5: Community will choose the winning artist by this date, with recommendations from ACE
  • August 19: Winning artist sketch is due back to the community.
  • August 22: Construction begins
  • August 30: Painting begins


Detroit ACE partners with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, community groups on three neighborhood musical experiences and a children’s workshop series

The free event is part of the DSO’s efforts to strengthen its commitment to Detroit residents

Detroit - The Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) is proud to partner with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and several community organizations on two neighborhood musical experiences.

DSO musicians will perform at the Clark Park Culture & Arts Festival on July 9 and the Community Arts and Music Festival in Chandler Park on July 16. Musicians also will perform at the Northwest Goldberg Cares Spotlight Park Music in the Park on July 30. 

The concerts are a part of DSO’s commitment to strengthening the growth and well-being of the City of Detroit through the Detroit Neighborhood Initiative, part of a larger Detroit Strategy to invest in and build relationships with Detroit residents.

The DSO Detroit Neighborhood Initiative is a community-driven process of dialogue and planning, resulting in cultural partnerships that enrich neighborhoods and musical experiences that align with the priorities of Detroit residents. Since spring of 2021, the DSO has been listening and co-creating with partners and community members in Southwest Detroit, Chandler Park, Dexter-Linwood and Northwest Goldberg.

The DSO has met with more than 100 community-serving organizations in Detroit, held 20 listening sessions with Detroit residents and held seven Neighborhood Musical Experiences in Chandler Park, Southwest Detroit, Dexter-Linwood, and Northwest Detroit. Musicians have engaged with more than 3,000 community members since March 2021.

These respectful, responsive Detroit Musical Experiences have been made possible through the support of the General Motors Corporation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Clark Park Culture and Arts Festival 1:30 to 4:30PM Saturday, July 9 Clark Park Stage 1130 Clark St. Detroit, MI 48209) Line-up features the DSO with Mariachi Femenil Detroit and Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel. There also will be interactive art workshops and student performances. Sponsored by the General Motors Corporation.

Freedom! The Second Annual Community Arts and Music Festival in Chandler Park 1PM to 4PM Saturday, July 16 Chandler Park (near the old tennis courts) 12831 Frankfort St. Detroit, MI 48213 Hands-on arts and music-making and food and performances from DSO musicians and local artists. Sponsored by the General Motors Corporation.

Music In the Park at Northwest Goldberg Cares Spotlight Park Complete free registration for children's workshops at for a weekly workshop, lunch, and concert series 10:30AM -12:30PM every Friday in July.

Final Music In the Park Celebration 1:30PM to 3:30PM Saturday, July 30 Northwest Goldberg Cares Spotlight Park 5945 Linwood St. Detroit, MI 48208 Sponsored by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation

About the DSO

The acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists and a deep connection to its city.

About Detroit ACE

Detroit ACE is the City’s Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship, which oversees the City’s investments in arts, culture and history. It develops opportunities for residents to experience music and art in neighborhoods across the city and offers support for one of the nation’s greatest creative workforces.



Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship Issues Open Call for Artist To Paint Community Mural on the Farwell Recreation Center



  • Mural is to honor community heroes as well as healing from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Artist stipend is $30,000
  • Deadline to apply is July 13, 2022

The Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) is seeking an artist or collaborative team for a creative place-keeping project on the Farwell Recreation Center.

The theme for the mural installation will be the result of engagement with residents in the community who suggested that it should honor community heroes. A selection committee comprising community members and members of the Detroit ACE team anticipates choosing an artist or team by July 31.

The project is among many Detroit ACE is undertaking to better connect artists with Detroit communities and to improve the look of neighborhoods across the city. It also is a part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s Blight to Beauty initiative.

“We hope to help communities embrace artwork that reflects the values and identities of the communities,” said Rochelle Riley, the city’s Director of Arts and Culture. “Our goal is to amplify community assets and elevate the stature of some of the best artists in the country.”

Artists interested in applying should send a packet to Detroit ACE with the following information:

  • Name, address and phone number
  • Past mural experience and where those murals are located
  • Past construction experience since panels will have to be mounted to the walls.
  • Examples of past work, whether it still exists or not.
  • An artist statement explaining why he/she or they are artists
  • Two references from previous public art clients

The Artist Statement should list all needed materials, resume, and answers to the following questions:

  • What interests you about the project?
  • What are your preliminary ideas for the project?
  • How do you envision working in collaboration with the 43 community and with students?
  • What is your past experience working on complex projects with criteria and constraints dictated by the site owner?
  • How would your project benefit the community?

The Artist Packet should include:

  • Up to five images of past work you consider relevant to this project along with up to two images of proposed mural design (knowing the design might change) Digital images must be JPEG files and must be no more than 300dpi and no larger than 1024 x 768 pixel resolution. Each image must be unlocked and downloadable for viewing. Each JPEG image must be titled with the artist’s name and image number. (Example: SaraSmith001, SaraSmith002).

Project Schedule:

  • July 13                   
  • July 15                    
    • Detroit ACE will choose three finalists and distribute their packets to the community.
  • July 15                  
    • Detroit ACE will host a 6PM community meeting to review/introduce the three finalists to community stakeholders and review their packets.
  • July 22                  
    • Community will meet with the finalists and choose the winning artist.
  • August 5              
    • Winning artist’s sketch is due back to the community.
  • August 12            
    • Community panel makes final decision on mural.
  • August 30            
    • Painting mural should begin by August 30, 2022.

Artist/Artist Team Responsibilities:

The selected artist or artist team will be required to:

  • Work in collaboration with the residents, the General Services Department and the Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship to engage in a series of art and community-based activities and a creation process aligned on themes submitted from the local community.
  • Share their personal practice with the community, as this is, inherently, a group project.
  • Conduct research to better understand the site, the project and the community’s history and current culture, along with any other elements deemed helpful to their creative process
  • Create a final approved concept and design for the mural
  • Host a minimum of one community participation day while creating the artwork
  • Work with the General Services Department to identify and secure the services of suppliers, fabricators, installers, and/or other professionals as necessary to fulfill the artist’s responsibilities in the production and completion of the work
  • Fulfill the responsibilities within the contracted budget and timeline City Walls Detroit responsibilities:


The overall budget for the project is an estimated $43,135 with $30,000 budgeted as a stipend for the artist and $13,145 to construct free-standing panels and buy paint and materials. This budget is all-inclusive, including artist’s fees, artist’s assistant costs, artist’s studio costs, materials and supplies and installation of all artwork.

Artist Selection:

Artists will be chosen by a community panel in partnership with the Detroit ACE and the office of Councilman Scott Benson. The panel will use the following points system:

  • Being a Detroit-based artist                                                      
    • 10 points
  • Preliminary sketches                                                                  
    • 25 points
  • Experience in accomplishing projects of a similar complexity within the budget, timeline and technical constraints presented                                          
    • 25 points
  • Experience in community engagement                                      
    • 15 points
  • Artist Statement                                                                          
    • 25 points

All questions should be directed to Rochelle Riley at [email protected] or 313 480 5265.







Detroit ACE Artist Professional Development Workshops are continuing

The Detroit ACE office, in partnership with ArtOps, will continue entrepreneurship and marketing training for artists in January, thanks to the support of the Kresge Foundation.  

The seminars, which began last fall, will continue on the third Tuesday of the month from 6PM to 7PM. Attendees will learn how to:

  • Run their art practices as successful small businesses
  • Join the ever-expanding network of creative entrepreneurs in Detroit
  • Improve their presence on the internet

The workshops will be led by primarily Attorney Michael Hall with guest appearances from Consultant Jennifer Montgomery and others.

The schedule of workshops is below with links to previously recorded sessions. For upcoming workshops register below the event date.

Aug 17, 2021
Optimizing your Digital Presence

Sept 21, 2021
Do you need a manager?

Oct 19, 2021
Copyright and trademarks

Nov 16, 2021

Jan 18, 2022
Art of Finance Pt. 1

Feb 15, 2022
Art of Finance Pt. 2

Mar 15, 2022
Management Q&A

April 19, 2022
How to Social Butterfly

May 17, 2022
Protecting your Brand Q&A

June 21, 2022
Group Projects: Navigating Art Collectives

July 19, 2022
Brand Wellness