Detroit Creative Corridor Center Receives $1M to Create Inclusive Urban Development Strategy


The Detroit Creative Corridor Center, a non-profit that supports Detroit’s creative industries and stewards its City of Design designation, has received $1 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to create an urban development strategy that focuses on excellence and inclusiveness in design.

In 2015, Detroit received the first City of Design distinction nationwide from the United Nations Educational, Science, and Cultural Organization, a human rights organization that promotes cooperation between cities that use design to create an equitable and sustainable future.

Obtaining a UNESCO City of Design designation has been part of DC3’s five-year strategy to tap into the city’s legacy and support the growth of creative industries, including architecture, graphic design, and product design. With Knight Foundation’s funding, the organization will use best practices from the UNESCO network to launch a multiyear campaign that will mobilize the city’s creative industries to strengthen Detroit’s overall economy.

“The Detroit City of Design campaign will include activities to raise public awareness about the value of design and creative industries, promote an international exchange of designers and ideas, and increase opportunities for Detroit’s creative community,” says Olga Stella, executive director of DC3. “By breaking down silos between communities, business sectors, and creative disciplines, we will build a broad and diverse coalition to champion the role of design and creativity in driving equitable and sustainable development in Detroit.”

As part of this campaign, DC3 is launching a yearlong planning process to create a 10-year vision for Detroit City of Design, including strategies and benchmarks to measure progress. The Kresge Foundation has also awarded $150,000 to support the visioning process and resulting economic strategy.

Additionally, the William Davidson Foundation has awarded $100,000 towards the planning process, specifically the engagement of residents, creative practitioners, businesses, and organizations in the initiative. DC3 has selected a consulting team to support the process and will announce more details about how to get involved in the coming weeks.

DC3 is a partnership between Business Leaders for Michigan in Lansing and the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, and works to strengthen and connect people to Detroit’s creative economy.

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