Detroiters are invited to help create a public artwork, which is part of an international multi-media documentation project featuring aspects of Detroit. The sponsor is Artefacting, a New York City-based nonprofit dedicated to using art to bring awareness to social issues. On September 18, between 1 pm and 4 pm, Detroit residents are encouraged to bring their own personal flag (any material, size, or color) or to make one onsite as a peaceful protest against the murders and negative community activity. An abandoned and charred house with a history of murder will serve as the canvas for the interactive public artwork called SPIRE: Beacon of Hope. The event address is 4232 Chene, Detroit.

Alex White-Mazzarella, artist and founding director of Artefacting explains, “This is one segment of an international project focusing on how people who they feel are not being taken seriously and who feel hopeless in their economic outlook can use art to make a statement and change their situations. We will use the flags of hope to transform the house.”

According to White-Mazzarella, Spire is the culmination of Artefacting’s six-week Detroit mission. Along with other team members from Holland and Brazil, White-Mazzarella is engaging Detroit’s inner-city community through interviews, research, community service, and discussion groups with at-risk residents. The international team’s research and findings provide the impetus of the artwork for SPIRE, which serves as their social contribution to Detroit’s regeneration.

“What makes working with Detroit different is how open and willing to share residents have been with us but they are not that way with each other,” shares Artefacting photographer and co-director Arne de Knegt. In contrast, de Knegt says, “Mumbai was like a bee hive, very connected and collaborative. They have a lot of social wealth.”

Already documented or “artefacted”are the following locations: Mumbai, India; Rome, Italy; and Lillestrom, Norway. Next the team will move to Queens, New York. This November the Detroit segment will be on exhibit in New York City.

Artefacting is a fiscally sponsored project of the Brooklyn Arts Council in New York, New York. Locally, the team is partnering with the Heidelberg Project in using art to engage and address social issues. They are also coordinating with the Mt. Elliott Business and Community Association and the. 

More information at

General Artefacting information, videos and photographs at


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