The City of Detroit and City Walls announces DCLEATED - a colossal cleat art installation for 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit

  • 20 colossal cleats to soon hit the streets of Detroit, Detroit’s artists and the NFL Draft
  • Cleats to be auctioned to benefit area charities following the NFL Draft
  • City Walls led project with support from Visit Detroit and DMC


City of Detroit Deputy Chief Operating Officer Jessica Parker, City of Detroit’s City Walls program, the Detroit Medical Center, Visit Detroit & SpaceLab Detroit are gearing up for the 2024 NFL Draft with a unique and impactful art installation project: DCLEATED. In football when you make a big impact hit it is called a “decleating”. This project is trying to do the same, using local artists to paint huge cleat sculptures and then auctioning them off after the draft to benefit charities selected by City Walls or the artists themselves.

As up to a million fans descend upon Detroit for the highly anticipated event, DCLEATED will showcase the talent of local artists while raising awareness and funds for vital Detroit-based causes. We know these colossal cleats will have an immense impact. 

DCLEATED exhibit pic1


“Over the course of the past decade, Detroit has become known as more than the Motor City and Motown, we have become internationally known for our art scene,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “The City Walls program has worked with talented Detroit artists to turn more than 200 walls across Detroit into beautiful works of art, and now it’s bringing murals on cleats to the streets of Downtown Detroit to celebrate the NFL Draft.”

Twenty huge football cleats, fabricated by Detroit-based Prop Art Studios and clear coated by Detroit-based Double Jay’s Collision, served as canvases for 20 Detroit artists to unleash their creativity. Each artist, selected through a competitive open call process, partnered with a local non-profit with a mission they are passionate about, integrating their story and message into their cleat design.

“I applied for the City Walls “DCLEATED” project representing The Children’s Center (TCC) because of the correlation between me finding art as a means to psychologically and emotionally cope with the grief of losing my younger brother (age 7) and mother (age 37) to cancer between the years of 2006-2008 and the work that TCC does for the youth by sharing the process of transforming trauma into triumph through the various services and programs they offer,” said Detroit artist Trae Isaac.

DCLEATED exhibit pic3


“Along with supporting a cause that aligns with my personal passion and purpose, the opportunity to have a chance to be part of The City of Detroit’s collective effort to welcome the participants, organizers, and fans of the coming NFL Draft was something I could not miss as a personal and professional milestone. I am truly grateful for the City of Detroit for continuing to implement visual arts into the development and evolution of our strong community, and also thankful for The Children’s Center for allowing me the chance to represent their mission and vision through my artwork on such a platform.”

“The Children’s Center is excited to be a part of this incredible art installation throughout the City of Detroit,” said Nicole Wells Stallworth, Chief Executive Officer at The Children’s Center. The Children’s Center, based in Midtown, was founded in 1929 and provides evidence-based clinical therapy to children who deal with a range of mental, behavioral, and emotional health challenges or may have experienced trauma, abuse, or neglect. “We are very grateful to Trae Isaac for having selected us as beneficiaries of his creative inspiration and the auction sale of these cleats. I do not doubt that this art installation will improve quality of life outcomes for Detroiters by reducing mental health stigma and raising awareness of our agency’s mission of helping children and families shape their own futures.”

For the month of April, these eye-catching creations will be prominently displayed in and around the heart of downtown Detroit, immersing visitors in the artistic spirit of the city and the causes it champions.

DCLEATED exhibit pic2


Visit Detroit has been instrumental in the success the DCLEATED project and the upcoming charity auction by securing hotel locations and maximizing fundraising opportunities for the selected charities. Visit Detroit streamlined the process and took the lead in contacting Downtown Detroit hotels to confirm locations for DCLEATED. This collaboration with the Detroit Hotel Association through Visit Detroit has provided a smooth experience for all partners.

Visit Detroit has procured the online auction services and will be managing the online auction for the DCLEATED cleats. By leveraging their extensive network of partners and stakeholders, they are reaching a wider audience to raise more funds for Detroit-based charities. This collaboration between Visit Detroit and City Walls will make a significant contribution to Detroit's charitable organizations.

“The "DCLEATED" program fosters creativity, innovation, and cultural identity in Detroit by combining art, sport, and philanthropy,” said Harriett Carter, Vice President of Customer and Partner Services at Visit Detroit. “This initiative showcases the city's creative spirit and enriches the experience of residents and visitors. It's inspiring to see City Walls x City of Detroit investing in their local artists, and "DCLEATED" is a shining example of community-driven initiatives surrounded by a significant event such as the NFL Draft.”

The Detroit Lions is excited to be a host location for one of the cleats, with a mural painted by internationally acclaimed artist Fel’le. “We are thrilled to partner with DCLEATED and their team of artists on this city-wide installation to celebrate the NFL Draft in Detroit,” said Caine. “This artistic expression is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the important work Detroit’s nonprofit space is doing and dedicated to in our community.”

The auction will go live the first week of April online and will conclude following the NFL Draft's at an event celebrating the artists and their charities, sponsored by the Detroit Medical Center. At a private event celebrating the artists and charities, the cleats will be displayed, and the auction will close, with all proceeds directly benefiting the corresponding local cause.

“The NFL Draft will shine the spotlight on the City of Detroit, the heart of the DMC’s core focus and priority,” said Brittany Lavis, CEO of Detroit Medical Center. “We are proud to be involved in the DCLEATED initiative and are fortunate that the Children’s Center and Children’s Hospital of Michigan will benefit from this effort. At the DMC, we believe healthcare is better together and we are proud to partner with the City of Detroit to engage our community and visitors to help make our community a happier and healthier place.”

City Walls' Bethany Howard is thrilled about DCLEATED's potential impact. “The project has connected artists and stakeholders through art that reflects their energy, celebrates Detroit's talent, and amplifies local causes. Connecting with the artists and meeting the passionate leaders behind these causes is an experience that'll inform our community engagement going forward,” said City Walls Project Manager Bethany Howard. “Artists inspire with their work, and the entire process has already fostered collaboration and community spirit.” Howard hopes the joy of these sculptures is contagious long after the draft.

Meet the DCLEATED Artists - their cause/charity/non-profit - location:

Detroit Charity / Non-Profit / Cause


Cleat Location


Chazz Miller

Motor City

Casino Hotel

Detroit Hives, Inc.

Cameron Jenkins

Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney

American Indian Health & Family Services

Joshua Mulligan

Fort Pontchartrain

Detroit Impact

Andrea Slomczenski

Courtyard Marriott

New Era Community Connection

Rick Williams aka Metal Feet

Shinola - Parker’s Alley

Kids Without Cancer

Juliana Rabban

Coleman A. Young International Airport

Belle Isle Conservancy

Jess Fend

MGM Casino

The Doc Dennard Fellowship

Caleb Moss

Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center

Rags Remembered

Wendy Popko

The Westin Book Cadillac Hotel

The Children's Center

Trae Isaac

DMC Children's Hospital

Ride for Ride, Inc.


Godfrey Hotel

Girl Scouts of SE MI

Laura Mettam & Kay Blair

Detroit Foundation Hotel

United Negro College Fund

Marlo Broughton

Wayne County Airport – Evans Terminal

Gleaners Community Food Bank

Tony Whlgn®

Wayne Country Airport – McNamara Terminal

Project Play

Phil Simpson

Huntington Place

Beyond Basics

Jennifer Maples


Teen Hype

Tiera Knaff


Hotel Lobby

Blight Busters

Robin Speth

Capitol Park

Motor City Street Dance Academy

Richie Blanko


Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance

Kenyada Kelsaw (Fel'le)

Ford Field