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10 essential networks for Detroit creatives

Co-working at Bamboo Detroit

 
Metro Detroit is home to a thriving creative economy, and the numbers prove it. According to the Creative State of Michigan’s 2014 report, there are over 74,000 creative jobs in the state, which can include everything from industrial designers, architects, to graphic designers and marketers. Oakland and Wayne Country are the top two counties in the state for creative jobs. Additionally, our region boasts the renowned College of Creative Studies, some of the world’s top advertising agencies, and new and fast growing technology companies.
 
Whatever role you play in the creative economy, an abundance of local creative networks and resources exists to support you. Our community of creatives at Bamboo Detroit is constantly sharing these resources and connections, so we recently curated a list of 101 Creative Resources. We have distilled that to the following list of 10 essential creative networks.
 
Art Detroit Now - Interested in art or showcasing your own work? Art Detroit Now is your source for the latest events, shows, and gallery openings. On the third Thursday of every month galleries stay open late to celebrate art in Detroit.
 
Co-Lab Detroit - Freelance creatives and entrepreneurs often work from home, a cozy coffee shop, or one of Detroit’s many co-working spaces. Co-Lab Detroit is a network that allows members of any of those co-working spaces to utilize other spaces for free, aiming to foster collaboration across the city.
 
Detroit Drunken Historical Society - This community revels in all epochs of Detroit history through storytelling, presentations, lectures, and, of course, booze.
 
Freelancers Guild of Detroit - Are you a writer, designer, or consultant breaking out on your own? There’s a lot to learn to get your new creative business off the ground. The Freelancers Guild of Detroit helps local freelance professionals connect with one another and learn about important topics such as tax preparation.

Detroit Startup Drinks - Meeting monthly, this networking group is open to all who are interested in startups, technology, and innovation. The group describes itself as having “No Agenda. No Speakers. Just Community.” Detroit Startup Drinks events meet at local bars and co-working spaces throughout the city.

Drinks by Design – The perfect network for design lovers and practitioners, Drinks by Design hosts monthly networking events at art galleries, studios, co-working spaces, and other venues throughout the city. The events aim to point a spotlight on design talent working in Detroit.

DNew Tech - A monthly meetup in metro Detroit, DNew Tech invites local high-tech and non-tech startups to share ideas. The meetup provides a platform for companies to pitch and share their work to the community.

FoodLab Detroit - A network for food entrepreneurs in the city, Foodlab Detroit helps its members grow their businesses by connecting them with access to shared commercial kitchen space, educational events, and general business support.

Literary Detroit - Detroit can claim many literary greats, including the likes of Philip Levine, Elmore Leonard, Robert Hayden, and Joyce Carol Oates. Literary Detroit is on a mission to create a literary culture in the city worthy of its literary past. Keep an eye out for their next event.

Motown Writers - Michigan has its own statewide literary group, the Michigan Literary Network, and Motown Writers is its local chapter. This group hosts events throughout the region, including educational workshops for the professional writer.
 
Find more creative resources inside the free downloadable guide 101 Resources for Creatives in Metro Detroit.
 
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Amanda Lewan is the editor of Michipreneur, an online publication built to empower entrepreneurs, encourage investment, strengthen small business, and foster talent retention in Michigan. She is also the "leading lady" at Bamboo Detroit, a co-working community in downtown Detroit. Follow her on Twitter @Amanda_Jenn.

Read more articles by Amanda Lewan.

Amanda Lewan is the CEO at Bamboo Detroit. Find her on Twitter @Amanda_Jenn.
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