By Amber Ogden
The Arts Alley Initiative will soon be coming to the Springwells neighborhood. The alley beautification project is part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s Blight to Beauty initiative and will create community gathering spaces and allow local artists to display their work. Local residents will be able to exhibit and experience art right in their own community. There will be new landscaping, surfacing, and amenities included all while keeping the beauty, history, and creativity constant.
This mural makeover is happening with $3 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in conjunction with the Ford Foundation. Springwells will be one of the first five neighborhoods in this city-wide pilot initiative.
The Art’s Alley project is helping to cultivate a creative community already in progress. Initiatives such as The Alley Project (TAP) are creating safe learning spaces for young up-and-coming artists. Artists will also continue to build on work in alleys that have been activated with local artistry.
Sidewalk Detroit, a Detroit-based, Black-owned company is also involved and will be helping to strengthen community engagement during the design process. The City of Detroit’s Arts, Culture, & Entrepreneurship office (ACE) has a timeline of community improvements as early as 2023 and others to begin later this year.
Neighborhood development and revitalization are some of the current objectives of the initiative. The goal is for these spaces to create hubs for small business activations, events, and sources of pride for residents in each community. The Art’s Alley Project is a pilot program with the hope to spread throughout neighborhoods and alleys across the city of Detroit.
Amber Ogden is a Detroit native that eats, breathes, and sleeps Detroit. She has published work freelancing for multiple publications locally and across the country such as Chevy in the D, Model D, Rachel Ray Every Day, and Forbes.