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Winners Announced for Art + Retail on the Ave.

After receiving nearly 100 proposals, 30 winners were selected to participate in the revitalization of Detroit’s historic Avenue of Fashion. Winning proposals include four permanent businesses, eight pop-up businesses, eight art installations and 10 arts-based events. Together artists, entrepreneurs and the community are collaborating to transform a two block area in the heart of the business district. The new art installation and businesses will make their debut September 20, 2013 when Livernois is also set to host the Detroit Design Festival for the day.

Winners of Art + Retail on the Ave can be found at www.revolvedetroit.com

A call for entries produced a huge response from the arts community in Detroit and from around the world. Proposals were received from places like Paris, London, Bucharest, New Orleans, New York and Baltimore. Detroit entrepreneurs submitted many strong proposals for pop-up and permanent businesses, with some of the strongest coming from neighborhood residents.

To begin the selection process, a panel of Detroit leaders in art, business, local universities and community organizations was assembled to review the proposals. The review panel paired renowned local artists like Charles McGee with local leaders like Kim Tandy of University Commons and business owners like Hugh Smith of Bakers Keyboard Lounge. Together the review panel provided critical evaluation of business and artist proposals to select 45 finalists.

Next, proposals from the finalists were displayed in a temporary art gallery within a former vacant storefront transformed into a community hub. Local residents weighed in with nearly 1,000 instances of feedback on the proposals they liked best and shared their memories and visions for the area. Feedback from the review panel and the community was compiled for project managers and building owners to select the winners.

A Glimpse of What’s Ahead

Some of the art projects include murals, textiles, and photography. Contemporary painter from Baltimore, MD, Michael Owen, will be doing a mural honoring African-American musicians from Detroit. Mandisa Smith, a neighborhood resident, will be opening Detroit Fiber Works with her business partner, Najma Wilson. It will be a collaboration of artists with a focus on community service who will work in a variety of fiber techniques and will offer classes as well as sell their work.

Pop-up and permanent businesses will include street wear, women’s fashions, books and gifts, specialty bakery, a coffee shop and more. Katrina Studvent will be opening Social Ice Cream Bar. She is collaborating with an artist collective to curate the retail experience and design.

Next Steps

Build-out and activation of the spaces is in full-swing. Artists and entrepreneurs are working together to source materials, prepare spaces and problem solve all in time to debut their projects for the September 20 Detroit Design Festival.

Two recent press releases highlighting the project include:

  1. http://usffda.tveyes.com/MediaDownload/2214681.6506/WJBK_08-11-2013_06.38.54.mp4
  2. http://deadlinedetroit.com/articles/6039/the_huge_list_of_new_things_coming_to_livernois#.Ug0zdxZVZG7

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