News Column

Arts project in Detroit's North End receives $150,000 grant

June 26, 2014

By Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press

June 26--An arts-driven neighborhood revitalization project designed to breathe new life into a mile-long stretch of Oakland Avenue in the North End neighborhood of Detroit received a $150,000 grant on Wednesday from ArtPlace, a national coalition of foundations, banks and federal agencies.

Spearheaded by architect Anya Sirota and designer Jean Louis Farges, the Oakland North End Mile project promises a series of "interventions" -- the creation of new or renovated galleries, music venues and other spaces to showcase visual artists, musicians and spoken word artists who live and work in the neighborhood. The stretch of Oakland between East Grand Boulevard and Westminster has a long cultural history, including being home to the Phelps Lounge, an important home to soul and R&B acts.

The project's name is the Metropolitan Observatory of Digital Culture and Representation or MODCAR. Sirota said the first step in the project would be transforming a former barber shop into a central office, followed by a series of interventions over the next 18 months.

"The money will allow us to work in novel and radical ways through a truly collaborative process with artists," she said. "It's our favorite way to work."

ArtPlace granted $14.7 million nationwide in this cycle of funding. The money went to 55 organizations working in 79 communities across 31 states.

Contact Mark Stryker: 313-222-6459 or


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Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)

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