Several Detroit community organizations are holding workshops and presentations aimed at educating people about blight removal efforts in Detroit.
The 2016 Blight Bootcamp will be held today at Wayne County Community College’s downtown Detroit campus. Organizers say the event is designed “to equip attendees with hands-on blight removal experience.”
Individuals and organizations who have submitted funding requests will pitch community development projects to attendees during the event, and participants will vote to determine the winners. Awards of $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 will be granted.
Participating groups include Impact Detroit and Detroit Future City.
Detroit Free Press Staff, June, 25, 2016, Detroit Press Free
The DFC Implementation Office continues to catalyze Detroit’s transformation using the recommendations in the DFC Strategic Framework to influence systemic changes from a citywide scale, to a neighborhood-by-neighborhood, lot-by-lot or resident-by-resident basis. By taking this approach, the DFC Implementation Office has the ability to drive equitable transformation so that all city stakeholders, residents, community groups, partner organizations and government are equipped with information and resources to address quality of life for Detroit today, while setting a platform for realizing the Framework’s 50-year vision.
This summer, several DFC Implementation Office initiatives demonstrate how technical assistance, community engagement, and capacity building are the keys to creating inclusive vacant land transformation and adaptive reuse opportunities in Detroit.
The DFC Implementation Office’s Vacant Building Reuse Initiatives
Brick + Beam Detroit
Brick + Beam Detroit is a partnership between Preservation Detroit, Michigan Historic Preservation Network and the DFC Implementation Office, and a winner of the 2015 Knight Cities Challenge. This initiative works toward creating a community for building rehabbers of all levels, facilitating opportunities for engagement and supporting local talent by providing an integrated support network. A recent crop of new residents are planting roots in Detroit, buying vacant or neglected structures and investing sweat equity into rehabbing them. Brick + Beam Detroit offers residents opportunities for community sharing through classes, how-to demonstrations, online forums, rehab storytelling events, social networking, physical support kits called “Launch Boxes”, and more. Brick + Beam Detroit partnered with 8 Mile Blvd Association to present the first Detroit Home Expo, which featured do-it-yourself classes, vendors, informational workshops and a skilled trades job fair at the State Fair Grounds on May 21.
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The DFC Implementation Office’s The Buzz initiative is a collaborative opportunity for Detroit-based barbers and mowers—whether professional landscapers, block clubs who know how to mow, or grounds crews from across the city— to work together through a series of activities to create barber-inspired mowing patterns for vacant lots in Detroit. The Buzz will lift up existing, neighborhood-based entrepreneurs who are interested in showcasing how a multitude of voices, professions and skills can viably contribute solutions to Detroit’s land management strategies through a dialogue about the potential of vacant land in Detroit.
Mowers and barbers will come together for a meet and greet informational session to facilitate a dialogue about style trends and land management in June. The Buzz will host a workshop that pairs off mowers and barbers for a work day where participants will design, test and cut creative mowing patterns in July. Later the same day, there will be a community celebration to showcase the newly developed mowing patterns and to continue the dialogue regarding land stewardship in the community. In August, the DFC Implementation Office will host a gallery presenting photos, videos and profile bios for all participants.
The Buzz is funded through the Knight Foundation’s Cities Challenge, and is a partnership that includes Urban Neighborhood Initiatives, the East Side Community Network, and the City of Detroit’s General Services Department.
For more information or to get involved with The Buzz, please email email@example.com or call 313-259-4407. Follow The Buzz on social media using hashtag #dfcBUZZ.
The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office is a finalist for ArtPlace America’s 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund. More than 1,300 applications were reviewed by Artplace. The applications were narrowed down to 80 projects that are being considered for a total of $10.5 million.
ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program that invests money in communities across the country in which artists, arts organizations, and arts activity will help drive community development projects that are addressing challenges or opportunities related to agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health, housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.
The DFC Strategic Framework calls for the transformation of Detroit’s 24 square miles of vacant land into productive uses, such as renewable energy to turn a liability into an asset and stabilize neighborhoods which will help to fight blight, address a root cause of childhood asthma, stabilize energy costs, reduce the city’s carbon footprint, and attract and retain talent interested in clean energy that can power our city’s growth.
Through a hands-on design process in the Hope Village community, an artistic solar art installation will be constructed to provide clean electricity to the neighborhood. Working with the Focus:HOPE and Land Art Generator Initiative to design and install, this project will take a social practice approach that engages Detroit residence. A local artist will lead the design, working with 20–30 youth who will get an education in energy science, planning, policy, idea and form generation.
ArtPlace is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partners foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, which describes projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development.