In 2010, we talked less of incubating ideas and more of turning ideas into action. It's what Detroit does best: getting a steam of energy behind it and making some bold moves. That energy, that action by a growing number of makers and doers made headlines in Model D this year. Oh, sure, if people had good ideas that could be seeded for a better future for Detroit, we were listening, reporting and writing about those, too.
Our feature and news writers, our photographer Marvin Shaouni and videographer Tom Hendrickson, were on the hunt for people doing interesting things in one of the world's most interesting places: yep, that's Detroit. Along the way they bumped into researchers, reporters and feature and documentary filmmakers from all over the world. Sometimes the media attention became the story -- especially in our Buzz
section, which dedicates itself to that very thing week after week.
Our Innovation & Jobs wing of Development News evolved into Startup, which follows the bouncing ball from project concept to project realization.
Throughout the year, we continued evolving, overall, into a media vehicle that has its eye on all the potential and opportunity we see breaking out across the city. Once a month, we organize that energy into a speaker series event that brings prime movers -- and our readers -- together. We are out front, looking to find what's next, bringing it back to you as quickly as we can process it.
Our top picks in Dev News, authored by Kelli B. Kavanaugh, covered a large range of neighborhoods across the city:
In East Riverfront, the Elevator Building
made news, while hacker space OmniCorpDetroit
became part of the growing creative life of Eastern Market. Once-vacant houses got some attention and new life through efforts of Grandmount Rosedale
Development Corporation on the city northwest side. Artist Jerome Ferretti's Monumental Kitty
sculpture settled into a new home in North Corktown, where Hostel Detroit
also announced plans it was opening in spring of 2011.
Other top news hits included a piece on the Dequindre Cut extension
, Wayne County Port Authority starting wharf construction
by the end of this year, the City of Detroit landing $21.5M in grants, loans and investments for the Woodward Corridor
, an update on Midtown's Green Alley
and the exciting news that Detroit-bred (OK, make that Oak Park-bred) Don Was
is to open a Detroit recording studio at a former Detroit Public School property on MLK Jr. Blvd.
Startup News -- which also contains innovation and growth content -- featured more than 10 solid stories, but here are writer Jon Zemke's top choices: Blue Cross Blue Shield
moving 3,000 staff downtown; GalaxE Solutions
hiring dozens for new downtown location; Urban Science
expanding its Ren Cen space for 23 new positions; in TechTown
, the Bank of Ann Arbor injected new capital with a financing deal; Stunt3 Multimedia
converted documentary film projects into jobs downtown; GM Ventures
invested $3.2 million in Ann Arbor-based Sakti3, downtown-based Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
closed out a $50 million investment vehicle and Detroit Venture Partners
made moves to grow a downtown tech hub.
We reported that Quicken Loans
was going Google creative with new downtown offices and NextCat
collected $100,000 in seed capital from Ann Arbor SPARK's Boot Camp.
In features, former editor Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey did a memorable Q&A with an insect in BEE Green buzzes through Detroit.
Dennis Archambault caught up to Detroit Free Press journalist John Gallagher, who authored a visionary book on reimagining Detroit
, for another Q&A. Southwest politician-activist Steve Tobocman essayed a piece on how immigration is key to building a Global Detroit
, and Dev News specialist Kavanaugh penned an important piece on the status of Woodward light rail
and caught the pulse of where the action is with a piece on how the Power House project is turning Art into action
in a neighborhood on the Detroit-Hamtramck border.
We had some great food and drink stories in 2010. Two of the best were Rachel Harkai's What Detroit Drinks
and Liquid Assets
, Nicole Rupersburg's piece on the long-awaited opening of downtown's MotorCity Wine boutique. Two video features showed the range of what we cover: Tom Hendrickson's piece on CreateHere
, the Tennessee-based group that organized a weekend of thought-into-action conversion at Corktown's Roosevelt Park; and Terry Parris Jr's story on the Detroit Futbol League
, a neighborhood-pride-building phenomenon that was a huge hit this summer (with buzz already starting for next season).
I did two stories that I especially liked: Hanging in Midtown
, about the power of flowers making the Forest Arms rehab come alive; and a piece on Popps Packing
, another art space/project in the Detroit-Hamtramck borderlands pushing our creative communities forward.
It was a "wow!" kind of year for the multiple local vibes that inspire us all. It leaves a taste of something better beginning. We'll keep following that bouncing ball into the new year and beyond, rest assured.Walter Wasacz is Model D managing editor. He plans to bounce through the holidays and come back refreshed and ready for more action in 2011.
All photographs © Marvin Shaouni Photography
Contact Marvin here
New developments begin in Roosevelt Park
Vistas Nuevas Headstart at Clark Park
Detroit Works Project held at the Charles Wright Museum
Detroit Restaurant Week
Power House Project
The abandoned Roosevelt Hotel lights up with a new installation, created by the art duo known as the Hygienic Dress League.
First ever Detroit Chicken Race
Detroit City Futbol League
Motor City Wine
Ruth Ellis Center
Haute to Death