The three-year initiative is funded by a $510,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which supports informed and engaged communities. It will be anchored by the annual Detroit Design Festival, which will call on Detroit’s creative community starting in June to submit new ideas for design, business and technology that advance local community interests.
Through an online platform and real-world forums and gatherings, individuals and institutions from across Metro Detroit will be able to pledge financial, leadership, volunteer and marketing resources to the submitted projects. Over the course of each year, DC3 will lead targeted programming that nurtures these connections, ensuring that they result in artistic, retail and digital innovation that improve Detroit’s quality of life.
“Detroit is becoming a leader in creative and civic innovation, but many Detroiters remain unable to participate, support, and engage with this movement,” 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.”
The pilot Design festival in 2011, for example, produced “Mind The Gap,” a contest to improve Detroit’s in-between spaces. The greater community helped shape that contest’s success, and more than 200 Detroiters viewed and rated proposals to transform vacant and under-utilized spaces in Detroit. The winning submission, entered by a high-school student at Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies in Detroit, was shared with hundreds of Detroiters and business and creative-cultural leaders in a series of events that featured the concept.
“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, Detroit Creative Corridor 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.”
About Detroit Creative Corridor Center
The Detroit Creative Corridor Center ("DC3") is a business accelerator focused on helping creative sector businesses grow. Supported by Business Leaders for Michigan and the College for Creative Studies, the DC3’s vision is to establish Detroit as a global center of creative business, creative innovation and creative talent. For more details visit: www.detroitcreativecorridorcenter.com.