Cultural Living Room

Detroit Institute of Arts

Funding Received: 2012
Detroit, MI
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
April 3, 2013

This March, ArtPlace caught up with Bradford Frost, Special Assistant for Community and Economic Development & Detroit Revitalization Fellow at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) about the DIA’s ArtPlace project, The Cultural Living Room. This month we talked about the long term effects of ArtPlace for the DIA.

ARTPLACE: How will the work you've begun be sustained after your ArtPlace grant?  

FROST: The beauty of The Cultural Living Room project is its design is deliberately durable – we expect the core space transformations in Kresge Court and the South Lawn on Woodward to last at least 20 years or more.

The multi-modal investment into pilot programs, including new community based happenings – from happy hours to drum circles to lawn games – and the tactical marketing strategy of placing physical towers into high traffic lobbies throughout the city and region may be shorter lived as these are pilot activities meant to add intrigue and to reintroduce Kresge Court and the lawn to regional residents and professionals as places to connect for coffee, a meeting or reflection and to be inspired by the art and creative exchanges taking place at the museum.

These jolts of activity will be recast depending on their success and remolded with the expertise and opportunities identified year in and year out after the ArtPlace grant period based on the community and public programming arms as well as the DIA’s outreach and audience development goals.

But, that frame of short term activation in the context of fully rethought public spaces was always the grant intent.  The core investments, however in these spaces are generational in scope. It’s truly exciting not to know how the spaces will be activated by museum professionals years out from now, but to hold on to the core fact that these will be community spaces with great ambience and exciting menus – from the food and drinks to the performances and happenings being led through the museum team as well as third party partners all across Southeast Michigan.

ArtPlace: How about some physical examples of the more “permanent features.”

Frost: Sure thing, just look at these concept renderings of the furniture plan indoors (top of page) and outside.

march inline 2