Garage Cultural seeks to expand public art festivals in Southwest Detroit

The group responsible for facilitating some of the most iconic large-scale murals in Southwest Detroit — think Dasic Fernandez’s Mano de Obra on the side of Hacienda Mexican Foods, for instance — is hoping to create an even bigger impact and bolster their public art initiative with an influx of cash.

Local nonprofit Garage Cultural began their public mural partnerships a decade ago. Since then, the organization has formalized its commitment to public art with the creation of the annual Art on the Block-Arte en la Cuadra festival.

This and next year’s festivals stand to grow in scope and size with the announcement of Garage Cultural partnering with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and its Public Spaces Community Places program.

Should Garage Cultural successfully raise $50,000 by Wednesday, Oct. 16, the MEDC will contribute an additional $50,000 in the form of a matching grant.

"The MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program provides an amazing platform for Art on the Block-Arte en la Cuadra to gather local investment and community support for the continued development of this resident-led public arts initiative in Southwest Detroit," says Amelia Duran, director of Garage Cultural.

"This grant will empower our residents to play a significant role in AOB efforts by maximizing the value of each dollar contributed."

The money raised will help fund five or more large-scale murals, mural inaugurations and block parties, legacy mural restorations, memorial murals, art contests for and exhibits from local students, a pop-up arts festival, and much more.

"With MEDC’s support, art and cultural activities produced locally will continue to elevate local narratives, curb geographical and cultural displacement, and uplift aspirations for deeper forms of collective self-expression," Duran says.

The crowdfunding campaign is being hosted online on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform, which is available here.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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