Thanks to you: Next Big Thing was one big blast

It came first as a trickle. Then as a steady flow. Finally, it was an avalanche of people drawn to downtown's majestic David Whitney Building for six hours of creative merrymaking.

Around 800 (not all there at once, in case the fire marshal is reading this) attendees were part of that avalanche. It was a heart-warming pleasure to experience. Not to mention heart-racing. The main staging area was beneath the glass-topped five-story atrium and lighted by blue and violet beams. This area was used for a VIP reception, a Q&A session held by Hatch Detroit -- which will open voting tomorrow (Oct. 26) to determine which one of four businesses will earn $50,000 in cash plus $25,000 in services to launch a storefront biz -- and dancing to DJ crews Future Jazz Kartel and Happy Endings.  

People also drifted to spaces on either side of the center to explore exhibits on the east and west ends of the building, where they found an exposition of projects, artists, designers, food and beverage vendors, and each other.  

It was a party, a high-energy Detroit party, that served as a launching pad for a multitude of ideas, visions, voices. It was big fun. Crain's Detroit thought so, too, as noted here. Thank you, Daniel Duggan.  

The expo, which included a vote to award one of the projects a $500 cash prize, was curated by Amy Kaherl of Detroit Soup.

The winner was Belle Isle to 8 Mile, a printed guide to Detroit which will feature a comprehensive selection of more than 600 Detroit attractions, sites, institutions, restaurants, bars, and curiosities from the essential to the obscure. The project is by Emily and Andy Linn of City Bird.

But all are worth noting. Take a look at these, if you haven't already: Detroit DeclarationDetroit Big F DealDetroit City FutbolDetroit Creative Corridor CenterDetroit LivesFreshwater RailwayFriends of Cass ParkGreen GarageHomeslice Clothing71 POPKiva DetroitLet's Save MichiganLOVELANDMarche du Nain RougeMind the GapInsYghtOpen City, PonyRide (no website though physical space is at 1401 Vermont, in Corktown), Power House ProjectRevitalization & BusinessRogue HAASignal-ReturnTechTownThrive DetroitTour De Troit and Woodward Windows.     

Production credits for the Next Big Thing are huge. 

The programming team was led by Melinda Anderson of MeMe Design & Events. Anderson was seemingly everywhere at once (not only the night of the party but for the last six weeks of planning and execution) and was assisted by Jakki Kiroauc and Arsey Miller.

Art, music and video by Marvin ShaouniDave Krieger, Detronik, Jon Hudson, Tom HendricksonTeam DetroitHygienic Dress League, Rogue HAA, Street Culture Mash, One Single Rose and the aforementioned Future Jazz Kartel and Happy Endings. Other services provided by the Display Group, DJ Supply and Colonial Event Rental. 
Key partners included our hosts, the Roxbury Group, urban planning/preservation advocates Cityscape and Paxahau. And many thanks to our major title sponsors HonigmanKnight FoundationMSHDAQuicken Loans and Urban Science.

Hey everybody: Let's do it again. And soon.

Walter Wasacz is Model D's managing editor.

All photographs Marvin Shaouni Photography

Contact Marvin here.

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Read more articles by Walter Wasacz.

Walter Wasacz is a writer and the former managing editor of Model D. You can find more of his writings here.