Monday, January 28, 2013

MOTOWN CITY REVIVAL


“The mission of Artist Village and Public Art Workz (P.A.W.Z.) is to create bold, innovative community redevelopment projects that use the arts, culture, creativity and innovation, as a catalyst for reinventing and revitalizing the communities of Old Redford and Northwest Detroit, Michigan, into a multi discipline, arts, education, entertainment and cultural community.” [1]

            Detroit’s Artist Village and Public Art Workz are non-profit art organizations that partner with other Detroit organizations, local coffee shops and the community of Detroit. Blight Busters is the founding organization that created Artists Village and Public Art Workz. Motor City Blight Busters was established with the vision to help clean up Detroit and create respectable, decent neighborhoods that have been neglected for decades. Their projects involve tearing down old abandoned houses with the intent to rebuild a better community. Blight Busters then believed that the city needed beautifying and established Artists Village and Public Art Workz to bring poetry, spoken word and singing to different coffee shops and murals to the walls and buildings of a run down Detroit. Whether tearing down, building up or fostering creative expression, it is all done with the same goal in mind – to stabilize and revitalize the city of Detroit. Blight Busters was fabricated and successful because they have found people that have to the heart, the talent, spirit and attitude to recreate a better Detroit and Blight Busters empowers volunteers to cultivate their own passions. Empowering volunteers and people of the community to do what they do best, results in getting the best out of them, without having to encourage them everyday because ultimately it is their passion.
One of the projects the Blight Busters has acquired was taking a historic half mile long wall, built during the 1940’s in Detroit’s west side on 8 mile -- a wall that has a racist past but nevertheless, a wall that native’s felt is an important part of Detroit’s history. The wall was created by a white builder to separate a white subdivision from a black neighborhood. Instead of tearing it down locals have advocated to beautify the wall with the hopes of bringing awareness to Detroit’s history and culture, primarily turning something that was negative into a positive; while, healing the community and bringing people together. What makes the Motor City Blight Busters even more amazing is that all of their work is done through donations, volunteers and community involvement.
            Through community involvement and the belief that it takes a village to change and enhance a major city, noticeable transformations have occurred and I think Detroit has the arts to thank for that. These organizations have established a coffee shop culture, sometimes more commonly known as the cafĂ© culture (a lifestyle characterized by individuals that socialize regularly in cafes and subsequently enjoy different artistic expressions) throughout the city of Detroit.  Along with the arts these organizations promote chess and house chess camps in the Artists Village – believing that chess provides strategic thought preparing its players to think ahead. They have established a broader awareness to Detroit’s overall history and instilled a new found sense of pride for the residences of Detroit. Cultivating, nurturing and inspiring art, artistic expression, and art education to rebuild, rejuvenate and restore a quintessential Detroit.  



[1] Davis, Becks. "The Colorful Artist Village in Detroit - Detroit Moxie - ." Detroit Moxie - . Curve Detroit, 15 Aug. 2010. Web. 28 Jan. 2013. <http://www.detroitmoxie.com/home/2010/8/15/the-colorful-artist-village-in-detroit.html>.

1 comment:

  1. As a citizen of Detroit, I couldn't be more elated to have stumbled upon this blog post. The writer seems to be more than in touch with the current educational/cultural climate in Detroit. Blight Busters and Public Art Workz have done and continue to do great things for our fine city! Thanks for making this known to those that aren't here to see it for themselves.

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