City of Detroit to commission 200 murals in neighborhoods across the city in quest to become America’s top street art city
The City’s Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) is commissioning 200 murals by young artists across the city in a community-wide initiative to help residents honor neighborhood heroes and history.
Powered by the Public Art Fund and the Ford and Kresge foundations and in partnership with the Department of Neighborhoods, the initiative, Honoring History: Telling the Stories of Our Neighborhoods, will be led by Dr. Hubert Massey, the nationally renowned muralist whose work lives across Detroit.
Dr. Massey and ACE will reach out to young artists and block clubs to jointly create 200 intimate murals that will reflect the passion and culture and history of some of the city’s proud, longstanding residential areas. The murals will live along the city’s thoroughfares and in places sacred to residents.
“What’s important about this effort is that it makes clear that Detroit is a walkable destination and a bike-able destination,” Dr. Massey said. “Detroit is the mecca for mural expeditions. It’s just a good way of showcasing arts and culture and for people to come and see this great city. Our murals are in the small communities outside downtown and downtown. This just opens up a gateway to the city of Detroit’s arts and culture excellence.”
“Detroit is gaining a national reputation for its beautiful public murals and this new partnership is going to build on that success,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “As our city transitions from blight into beauty, we are fortunate to have a muralist the caliber to Dr. Massey to help guide this new effort to bring 200 beautiful new murals into our neighborhoods and commercial corridors.”
Dr. Massey and Rochelle Riley, the City’s Director of Arts and Culture, will be joined at a press conference at 12:00 PM Friday, February 17 by:
- Chuck Rivers, The Neighborhood Association in northwest Detroit’s Schulze neighborhood.
- Marcia Spivey, the Regent Park neighborhood.
- Ray Solomon, Director of the Department of Neighborhoods.
The press conference will be held at Madame Cadillac Hall at Marygrove Arts Conservancy, 8425 W McNichols Rd, Detroit.
The effort is part of Detroit Mural City, an initiative launched last year under Mayor Mike Duggan’s Blight to Beauty campaign. Detroit Mural City features a Mural Map online that will eventually showcase every mural in the city and an app that lets users identify murals on site. Nearly 500 murals live on the map now and can be seen at detroitartsandculture.com.
In August, USA Today readers and a panel of experts named Detroit the 4th best city for creative murals in the country. Rochelle Riley, Director of Arts and Culture for the city, said, the goal is to become No. 1. https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/travel/10best/awards/2022/08/14/10-best-cities-street-art-across-us-according-readers/10288976002/
Riley debuted the pledge to become No. 1 on WDIV Local 4’s “Flashpoint” with the release of this video challenge: https://youtu.be/7dkCgdXzaEs. And she will discuss the initiative in a March presentation at SXSW (South by Southwest), the premiere global conference and series of festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film, music, education and culture.
Detroit ACE and Dr. Massey will issue the open call in March for artists in the largest arts entrepreneurship program in city history.
This summer, Detroit ACE also will begin featuring monthly tours of the City’s murals. On a pilot tour last fall, funders and the media visited 10 major murals. On two stops, Artists Waleed Johnson and Ijania Cortez gave a personal mini lecture on their beautiful work.
Black History Month
This month, Black History Month, the City Mural Map is featuring a collection of murals with significance in Black history. You can visit the map at detroitartsandculture.com.
Any artists interested in joining the Detroit Mural City campaign should send an email to [email protected].
Any businesses, large or small, or property owners interested in murals on their buildings anywhere in the city should call Riley at 313 480 5265 or send an email to [email protected].
The Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship oversees the city’s investment in its creative economy, supports the city’s creative workforce and uses arts and culture as catalysts for neighborhood growth and youth education. Detroit ACE is currently activating arts alleys across the city and promoting Detroit Mural City, the initiative to document every mural in the city and make Detroit the No 1 city in the country in producing beautiful street art and a destination for mural tours.