The TIME machine is still churning out content over there in West Village. Steven Gray pumped out an interesting piece that certainly tells the consistent tail of Detroit’s issues, but follows it up with ample evidence that Detroit is certainly not alone as it attempts to pick up the pieces and start again. Gray rambles off a baker’s dozen worth of other cities across the nation in dire circumstances with budget deficits, necessary infrastructural improvements and things like tax bases that don’t support necessary public services. Hmm. So it is set up quite nicely that Detroit is positioned quite well right now to be a leading example of how these problems can be addressed all across the country. Kind of similar to something Toby Barlow said in a DL! interview, all cities, at some point, are going to be in Detroit’s shoes– and as Gray points out in the TIME article, there may be more than we think. So, if we take the lead right now, we could be looked at down the road for quite some time as a model of re-invention for struggling cities across the country. Quite a nice prospect. Time to get to work.
So, the film is showing again on the BIG SCREEN February 25 at the Main Art in Royal Oak, 730pm. Jeffrey Dechausse, the mind behind “American Auto”– a doc about an honest used car salesman in Detroit– will be screening the Detroit premiere of his film and ‘The Farmer and the Philosopher’ will be the opening screener. Jeffrey’s documentary has been written up by Karen Dybis, one of the three bloggers with TIME’s Assignment Detroit. The film centers on Tom, the owner and operator of American Auto Sales in Warren. He actually is a pretty down-home, good guy, wanting to give an honest deal at the end of the day. The film is a refreshing look at the fact that hell or high water, there are still people chasing the good ol’ American Dream– even in Detroit. Come and check out the film next Thursday, 730pm at the Main Art in Royal Oak.
The New York Times gives another nod to Detroit entrepreneurship featuring all the big hitters around town– Burton Theatre, Leopold’s Books, Bureau or Urban Living, Good Girls Go to Paris, Curl Up and Dye. It’s a worthy salute to the faces that make Detroit a vibrant place to be.
There was also a little chatter this morning about the film screening on Thursday, 14 Jan. As a reminder, there will be a little DIY screen printing station for some added pizzaz. Bring a piece of clothing, cardboard, plywood, masonite, an old window frame, whatever. Just bring something to print on if you want to take part. The design available for printing will be something new for the event. Go, go, go gadget COOL!
Just yesterday the Washington Post released an article revealing some findings from a survey conducted in the area. And yes, some gaping holes are revealed in participant’s desires versus what Detroit is actually offering right now, BUT, the most staggering revelation comes with the realization that even on paper a shitload of people believe in Detroit. That is, 63% of those surveyed are optimistic about the future of the city (see a visual map of the full survey). Talk about getting some mmomentum going! It can start right there. Karen Dybis, writer with the Time’s Assignment Detroit blog, was also quite exhilirated over the figure. And so perhaps it all starts with that vision, that desire.
Attribution Detroit is setting out to accurately reflect the creative genius that resides in Detroit. So, how they doing that? Well, a few weeks ago, TIME started a contest, a call to arms of sorts amongst the ad agencies in the area, to create compelling ad copy that accurately reflected Detroit’s creative culture. The results were seen across the table as sort of less than ideal, and as a result Attribution has set out to change the game. The group, headed by Metro Times arts and culture editor Travis Wright, is now commissioning local artists and others to create new ads that are more accurate in their portrayal of Detroit. Work is underway as we speak, the website is launching soon and the press seem to be receptive to what Attribution is trying to do (hear this interview). And so where will this take us? Will the local papers run the ads? Will some major international periodical pick up the content to piggyback on all the hooplah around Detroit? Just have to wait and see. The good news is that in the meantime there will be a launch party of sorts to celebrate the release of the first round of ads. Never a bad thing, hoss. Never a bad thing.
They are selling Detroit! Uhh, what? Detroit is always aiming to bring the creative, blast-off-worthy, young folks in to set up shop within the city borders. A feature from CNN Money calls for an actual ad that is a call to arms for those folks. These are the results from multiple agencies and individuals around Detroit. You can vote on a winner and a formal announcement will be made on December 2 to determine the gold medalist. Leo Burnett’s ad featuring Kid Rock showcases a dusty Kid sporting potentially the most powerful mirrored lenses this side of the Mason-Dixon. Doner’s contribution and its simplicity is quite sexy, although it’s up for debate who would want to respond to that ad. The Campbell-Ewald message is enticing and straightforward, though does the aesthetic follow? The McCann Erickson attempt has oodles of firepower in the way of examples– that’s for certain. Chances are even your grandmother is listed in one of those letters. DL!’s multiple versions of such copy will be on display at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair this weekend– 11/21, 10am-7pm, Majestic Theatre.
Detroit has a land bank? What is a land bank? Essentially an authority to manage and develop foreclosed property. Bing recently appointed Deborah Younger the treasurer of this authority and is now faced with having to raise the money to get the land bank off the ground. Now, Darrell Dawsey, one of the three writers from TIME’s Detroit Blog, interviewed Deborah. In two parts, she discusses the current issues that have warranted creating the land bank and then the opportunities that lie in Detroit’s future when the land bank develops a vision for Detroit. It is a stunning interview in the sense that it gives some very specific visibility in to the workings of renewal. Suddenly, we are able to gain a vantage point and understand some of the components of what will make Detroit work. And it’s all accessible stuff, not some distant cryptic developer talk. And it’s all substantiated. It feels like making the land bank work could be a colossal force in re-invention. If you don’t have the time to read both parts, at least read part two. Part 1. Part 2.
Articles covering Detroit are here, there, everywhere.Â El Senor Daniel Okrent, the gentleman who wrote the TIME cover story, discusses Detroit and its prosperous future with NPR. Thomas Morton, the feller who wrote the Vice article that helped coin Jim Griffioen’s “ruin porn” slang, is interviewed via podcast for NPR’s segment “On the Media.” Assignment Detroit is still chugging along, dancing between topics of blight and hope. Their blog is getting reviews from near and far as they continue to report on Detroit… in Detroit. This concludes our segment of link-droppping. Thanks for reading.
Yes, there is oodles of content gushing out of all the talk from the folks involved with Assignment Detroit. The blog has been pumping out material and providing occasional insight in to the potentially off-the-cuff and innovative ways that these journalists are going to attempt to live up to the project’s tagline of “One year. One city. Endless opportunities.”
On a totally different note, it’s hard not drenching yourself in nostalgia every now and again. I mean come on! This stuff is COOL. Like hearing grandpa’s old stories about working on the line? Get a load of this! Or how about the grandaddy of them all?
Finally, DL! is proud to announce its participation in this year’s first TEDxDetroit event. In general, the idea is that the area’s big thinkers are coming up with ideas for Detroit and the rest of the world while gathering for the event. There is a whole list of speakers and such recently announced, all of which are sure to bring some interesting insight.