Home Census Census of the arts aims to get more funding for Detroit

Census of the arts aims to get more funding for Detroit


The Detroit Bureau of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship and the Marygrove Conservancy have joined forces to conduct a city-wide arts-focused census to find out how many Detroiters are making a part or their entire life in the arts.

The information will be used to seek further artistic funding for the city of Detroit and help artists from all fields find and maintain lasting work.

“The city was without an arts and culture bureau for over 20 years, so there has not been an accurate reflection of the scale of our creative workforce,” said Rochelle Riley, director of arts and culture of Detroit. “The best way to get support and give him the passion and attention he deserves is to prove how big he is. What we want to do with Marygrove Conservancy is take that information and fund the artistic workforce as nobody’s business. By the time this census is completed, I bet we’ll find that our creative workforce is as important as our automobile, if not more. “

The census is a revolutionary initiative for a major American city. Quantifying the number of artists living and working in a large city could lead to major changes in the way the country approaches artists and their needs.

“About a year ago, when the Marygrove Conservancy started reinventing its work and programming around arts and culture, people kept telling me, ‘You need to talk to Rochelle Riley! She thinks about things in a very similar way! ‘ “said Racheal Allen, chief operations organizer for Marygrove.” On our side, we were thinking of doing an artists ‘census, and they were like,’ She’s looking to do that too. ”

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According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 873,000 U.S. citizens were employed in manufacturing roles by the automotive industry as of June 2021, while more than 2 million were in roles in the arts, entertainment, and recreation. . The month-over-month numbers are steadily rising as artistic opportunities return after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the country.

In 2019, arts and culture economic activity accounted for 4.3%, or $ 919.7 billion, of U.S. gross domestic product, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The American Automotive Policy Council says automakers and their suppliers account for 3% of GDP.

“When Rochelle and I finally got the chance to connect,” Allen said, “we saw that a lot of our projects were very synergistic, and it made a lot of sense to team up, especially to do this. census of artists.

“Work has been done by other organizations over the years to capture some of this information, so to complement that we have sought to approach this from the perspective of the Marygrove Conservancy and its neighborhood-based approach,” but also at city level. By having the two organizations approach this issue from two different perspectives, we’re optimistic that we can get the right kind of support to collect the data we need to make a difference.

Riley said, “We want to make sure that we support this industry. People support the industries they know, and since we are the Motor City, people think of the automobile first when they think of us. we’re also a creative city, and quite frankly we want to do whatever artists ask us to do: provide valuable workspace, resources, training, networking opportunities, funding. We want to create an environment where our artists can be nurtured and nurtured here instead of having to go elsewhere to create. We have a world-class artistic community, and it’s time we fully supported it. “

Allen agreed, noting that “the creative economy in Detroit is strong.”

“So we said to people, ‘We can’t support you if we don’t know you’re here and we don’t know what kind of work you’re doing,’ so hopefully that data will come up and really make a case for that. our artists are getting the level of support they need and deserve. When we look for new official funding we will be asked, “How did you reach out to the community? What’s the data telling you? ‘ We know anecdotally what artists in Detroit need, but thanks to the census, we will be able to use this data-driven approach to support and achieve that. “

The census requires the participation of everyone involved in the arts, Riley said.

“If you are a painter, gaffer, dancer, songwriter, someone who directs for plays … if you work in the administration of an arts organization, if you have something to do with arts and culture in Detroit, please go fill out the census, ”she said.

All members of the Detroit artist community are encouraged to complete the online census at http://bit.ly/ART4313 by August 2.

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