The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, which returns to downtown Detroit June 2-4, today announced a multi-year community partnership and engagement program.
With the support of eight community-focused corporate partners, the new Grand Prix initiative is designed to create opportunities for small businesses, highlight the work of local artists, and build a presence in the neighborhoods across Detroit leading into race weekend, and beyond.
The partners supporting the Grand Prix community engagement initiative include American Axle & Manufacturing, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Delta Airlines, Delta Dental, Henry Ford Health, Huntington Bank, Lear Corp., and PNC Bank.
In addition to the specific community engagement elements focused on arts, culture and entrepreneurship, small business empowerment, and youth enrichment, the support of the partners allows the Grand Prix to open up more than half of the event’s footprint free of charge throughout race weekend.
“We met with over 1,000 people across the city when we were considering bringing the event back to its original home on the streets of downtown Detroit, and one of the most important questions we heard was, ‘How can we bring the Grand Prix into the neighborhoods and communities to connect with residents, engage with young students, and create opportunities for small businesses?’” says Michael Montri, president of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear.
“With the help of these eight companies, the Grand Prix is opening doors throughout all the districts in Detroit to invite the residents and businesses of our city to become an important part of our event. We want the Grand Prix to be an open and welcoming event for everyone in Detroit to enjoy.”
One of the key components of the Grand Prix’s community partnership program provides an opportunity for young local artists to show their creativity to the world. Working with the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan (BGCSM), the Grand Prix helped educate young students about the rich history of racing in Detroit and the impact that the Grand Prix has made in the Motor City.
From there, the students in the BGCSM art program were commissioned to create digital murals reflecting the neighborhoods across Detroit and celebrate the return of the Grand Prix to downtown.
The large student-designed murals will be printed and displayed trackside during Grand Prix weekend in front of the multiple free viewing platforms located along Jefferson Avenue and extending to Hart Plaza.
The final mural designs will be unveiled in early May when the build out begins on the new nine-turn, 1.7-mile street circuit around General Motors Co.’s world headquarters at the Renaissance Center.
With more than 260 businesses located within walking distance of the new racing circuit, the Grand Prix will help boost the local economy with increased foot traffic and race attendees. The event is also committed to supporting small businesses located outside of the downtown district.
Through the Grand Prix’s Small Business Straightaway, located in Cadillac Square two blocks north of the temporary track, more than 30 businesses representing all districts in Detroit will have the opportunity to market and sell their products and services to event attendees on both Saturday and Sunday of race weekend.
The Community Partnership program will also build enthusiasm for the racing weekend within the neighborhoods across the city.
Working with local businesses and community leaders in each of Detroit’s seven districts, the Grand Prix will produce promotional signage, host lead-up activities, and bring some of the stars and personalities competing on race weekend into the neighborhoods to connect with city residents.
The Detroit Grand Prix is a 501(c)3 organization and a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. The June 2-4 races will return to the streets of downtown Detroit for the first time since 1991.
The Grand Prix will include the Chevrolet IndyCar Grand Prix featuring the cars of the NTT IndyCar Series, the sports cars of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, the rising stars of racing competing in Indy NXT by Firestone, and the muscle cars of the Trans Am Series presented Pirelli.
For more information, visit www.DetroitGP.com.