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 http://www.artefacting.com/blog/2011/09/04/introducing-spire-a-community-art-projectindetroit/
General Artefacting information, videos and photographs at http://www.artefacting.com/blog/2011/07/08/artefacting-detroit/
Posted by Erin Rose at 11:17 AM
New York Times
In the two years since he became chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Rocco Landesman has been trying to make the case that art is an effective linchpin to economic development. Now in a broad effort to build on that thesis, he has helped to enlist an unusual consortium of foundations, corporations and federal agencies that will use cultural enterprises to anchor and enliven 34 projects around the country, from a struggling city block in Detroit to a vacant school in East Harlem.
The projects will receive $11.5 million in grants from the foundations and another $12 million in loans from the corporations under the program that is to be financed through the private sector but coordinated in part by federal agencies. The program, to be announced on Thursday and called ArtPlace, aims to integrate artists and arts groups into local efforts in transportation, housing, community development and job creation as an important tool of economic recovery.
“We really need to scale up the resources in the field,” Mr. Landesman said. “It is not going to be through Congressional appropriation.”
“We felt,” he added, “if we worked together and coordinated our efforts, it would have a multiplier effect.”
So in St. Paul the program will help underwrite efforts to stage more than 100 arts projects along a new light-rail line. In Detroit a stretch of Woodward Avenue will gain a music center, pedestrian greenways, improved museum space and a new building for start-up companies. And P.S. 109 in East Harlem will become a home for 90 artists and their families as well as 13,000 square feet of space for community and cultural groups.
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Posted by Erin Rose at 11:05 AM
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|Darren Calabrese | The Associated Press|
During Friday’s jam-packed press conference at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival, mega-star George Clooney had high praise for both Ann Arbor and Detroit, two locales where he shot parts of his latest movie—“The Ides of March.”
“We loved it there,” said Clooney, in response to my question about how much he enjoyed being in town earlier this year. “First of all, Ann Arbor is an amazing city. We got there on St. Patrick’s Day and everyone was drinking beer and everyone was screwed up, and I was like, ‘This town was made for me.’ "
After that initial bit of glibness, the director, co-star and co-writer of “The Ides of March” continued his Michigan love-fest on a more serious note. “We loved being on the campus, we loved shooting all around Detroit and Ann Arbor," said Clooney. "When you go to Detroit you see a town that is resilient, that’s just fighting to win again, and there’s an energy to that. Just watching a city really fighting to get back on its feet and watching the inner strength of a city is tremendous.”
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Posted by Erin Rose at 11:49 AM