360 Degrees of Heidelberg Conference Focuses on Arts & Culture Sustainability

360 Degrees of Heidelberg Conference Focuses on Arts & Culture Sustainability

“At a time when arts and culture are helping define Detroit’s future, we must come together to push for more equitable growth and cultivate champions for our community,” said Heidelberg Project CEO and President Jenenne Whitfield. 

The Heidelberg Project will host Detroit’s first grassroots arts conference from October 10-14th, 2018, 360 Degrees of Heidelberg. This weekend long gathering is an “in-depth exploration of the 32-year journey of the critically acclaimed Heidelberg Project designed to initiate and capture dialogue among Detroit artists, arts organizations, city officials, foundations, institutions, corporations and community members to begin formulating ways to incorporate our creative assets into Detroit’s Future.”

The conference, 360 Degrees of Heidelberg, Exploring New Directions for a Sustainable Arts Community, will initiate dialogue from diverse voices and establish a unified vision for Detroit’s grassroots arts community. The City of Detroit has not had an arts council since the 1980’s and in the absence of a formal organizing entity, the art community has become fragmented, competing for limited resource and lacking guiding parameters.

The conference will offer an in-depth exploration of the 32-year journey of the Heidelberg Project and how it can serve as a model for neighborhood renewal across Detroit and beyond. The Heidelberg Project is a living example of how a community can redevelop and sustain itself, from the inside out, by embracing its diverse cultures and art as the building blocks for an equitable and economically viable way of life.

“This is an incredibly historic time in the City of Detroit and the arts community is playing a critical part in writing the next chapter of Detroit’s history, said Senator Debbie Stabenow whose office will be represented at the conference. “The Heidelberg Project’s leadership in gathering artists, educators and civic leaders together to discuss ways to incorporate the arts more fully in the city’s future is an inspiration.”

The four-day event will take  place at locations across the city including Eastern Market, Solanus Casey Center, SpotLite, MOCAD and the new Heidelberg Headquarters. See additional information below for the weekend of programming activities.

Schedule of Events

Day 1: Thursday,  October 11th

Welcome Event at The Heidelberg Headquarters. Pig Roast, Live Entertainment and a Tour of the new space. 

Painted car hoods. Heidelberg Project, Detroit, Michigan. Each year, over 275,000 people visit the project.

Day 2: Friday, October 12th

Concurrent Sessions including: Driving Social and Community Change, A Local to Global Story, Art as Medicine and Heidelberg 3.0 

Day 3: Saturday October 13th

Artist Round Table, Up Close and Personal Interview with Tyree and Jenenne, MOCAD Celebration and Artist Talk with Tyree

Day 4: Sunday, October 14th

Sunday Brunch and Closing Remarks 

The detailed agenda and list of speakers is available at https://heidelbergconference.org


Founded in 1986 by artist Tyree Guyton, The Heidelberg Project is a Detroit-based community organization that uses art as a catalyst to breathe new life into the community, transforming what others saw as trash into public, outdoor art installations. The nonprofit also offers free art programs to thousands of children in the neighborhood and at Detroit and suburban schools. In August 2016, Guyton announced Heidelberg 3.0, a new vision to transform his childhood neighborhood from an arts installation driven by one man into a self-sustaining arts and culture village. 

Conference partners include The Erb Family Foundation, The Kohler Foundation, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Wayne State University and the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department and a host of sponsors. 

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