Creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit thrive in Detroit. "Design in Detroit," an online platform and annual festival, will allow individuals and institutions across Southeast Michigan to connect and partner with the entrepreneurial community.
"Detroit is becoming a leader in creative and civic innovation," said Rishi Jaitly, program director/Detroit for Knight Foundation. "We hope this project will help foster an environment where all people and institutions can share in the city’s social entrepreneurial momentum and advance the success of the movement itself."
This three-year project is led by Detroit Creative Corridor
(DC3) and funded by a $510,000 grant from the Knight Foundation
. It will be anchored by the annual Detroit Design Festival, which next month will call on Detroit’s creative community to submit new ideas for design, business and technology that advance local community interests.
In 2011, the pilot design festival produced "Mind the Gap," a contest to improve Detroit’s in-between spaces. More than 200 Detroiters viewed and rated proposals to transform vacant and under-utilized spaces in the city. A high school student from Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies
in Detroit entered the winning submission. It was shared with hundreds of Detroiters and business and creative-cultural leaders in a series of events that featured the concept.
The online platform and real-world forums will allow people and institutions to pledge financial, leadership, volunteer and marketing resources to the submitted projects. Over the course of a year, DC3 will lead programming to nurture the connections, ensuring that the results improve Detroit’s quality of life.
"'Design in Detroit' will result in a unique digital and physical infrastructure for the local creative movement to showcase its skills and ideas to the broader community," said Matt Clayson, director for Detroit Creative Center. "We’re looking to create a global model here, one that respects the authenticity of local creative movements in Detroit while encouraging deeper engagement and more meaningful connections."
Sources: Andrew Sherry of Knight Foundation and Matthew Clayson, Detroit Creative Center
Writer: Leah Johnson