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Creative firms have designs on Detroit's downtown

Excerpt:

As Detroit reinvents itself, a wave of creative companies — graphic design and film production studios, ad agencies and PR firms — is setting up shop downtown, bringing fresh ideas and a colorful perspective to a city that’s lacked such a wealth of artistic enterprises for a long time.

While PR stalwarts such as Lovio George and Gyro Creative Group have been in Detroit for decades, dozens of creative companies — and hundreds of employees — have moved downtown to support other businesses. City organizations such as the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. offerincentives and other help for such moves, but most business leaders say their decision is rooted in a desire to be part of the energy and spirit found downtown — something they didn’t find in the suburbs.

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How Detroit Can Help Solve America's Student-Loan Crisis: A Political Solution

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The day I paid off my undergraduate student loans felt like a momentous inflection point.

I had just sold my first apartment, which I'd bought in Dupont Circle in 2000 on pretty much the lowest possible income you could make and buy a place in Washington, D.C., in what turned out to be the waning days of the era when you could afford to buy tiny apartments in Dupont Circle on such salaries. Three years of piecemeal renovations later, I sold it for enough that that I was able to turn around after settlement and write the largest check I've ever written, then or since, to the U.S. Department of Education, for the full amount I owed.

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Why Does Detroit Matter?

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Cultural Weekly reached out to numerous leaders within Detroit’s creative community and gave them the opportunity to tell the world one simple thing: Why this city matters. We were happily overwhelmed with responses and are delighted to share the feedback that came in. 

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Announcing Detroit's Knight Arts Challenge winners

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I’m in Detroit this week, and am excited to announce the 56 winners of the city’s Knight Arts Challenge. They’ll receive $2.1 million for their ideas.

The winners are mostly small groups and individual artists—homegrown talent working across a range of disciplines. If they have one thing in common it’s that they keep the community at the heart of their projects. That speaks to why Knight does the challenge: The arts don’t just inspire, they help build community—the kinds of common experiences that get people excited about their neighbors and neighborhoods. With our mission to promote informed and engaged communities, Knight Foundation sees the arts as a way to attract and keep the talent that fuels cities and local economies.

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Detroit Bus Co. moving in the right direction

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Can a bus company that owns only six buses make a significant difference in Detroit?

If you ask Andy Didorosi, the answer is yes. This summer his Detroit Bus Co. began tackling the problem of getting more Detroit kids to take advantage of the summer and after-school programs that might help them stay in school and raise high school graduation rates.

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Forget X Games Detroit. A chat with the "Assemble" team proves they can rise above one defeat

How did two guys who don’t skateboard or ride BMX bikes become the brains behind the X Games Detroit bid?

Well, Kevin Krease and Garrett Koehler became the XG2D team because no one else was stepping up to do it. It all goes back to the duo’s mantra, which goes something like this: “Permission not required.”

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The One Building that Explains How Detroit Could Come Back

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The old Argonaut Building has a big place in Detroit’s history. From 1936 to 1956, it was the home of the General Motors Research Laboratory, the first in-house research & design studio in the automotive industry. The mass-produced automatic transmission was developed there, and over three decades every GM car was designed and styled in the Argonaut building. From 1956 to 1999, the building housed Argonaut Realty, GM’s real estate arm. But for the next decade, the somber 11-story structure, designed by famed architect Albert Kahn and built to support the weight of new cars on upper floors, was empty. So were many of the other buildings where people made, designed, or sold cars, or prepared legal documents, or saw patients, or did much of the everyday work of Detroit.

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Rebuilding Detroit: Social Innovators Stake Their Claim

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It’s early evening of an August scorcher and I’m seated under a much-appreciated tent at Detroit’s Earthworks Urban Farm. Located in the city's east side, the 2.5-acre organic farm grows food to benefit its own soup kitchen and runs a variety of initiatives to promote healthy eating and gardening, believing all residents deserve fair access to nutritional food choices. 

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What do people outside the U.S. associate with Detroit?

Excerpt:

They didn't immediately ask about cars or Motown.

The first thing they thought of when it came to Detroit wasn't gun violence or bankruptcy.

It was another topic entirely that was repeatedly brought to Detroit's representatives in an international gathering of some 250 architects, urban planners, politicians and activists from around the world:

Techno music.

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SXSWi 2014: We're Moving to Detroit, and So Should You

In the SXSW 2013 opening keynote, Bre Pettis said, "When you combine friendship plus tools, you can make anything." He did that in his NYC loft. Next year, Lowe Campbell Ewald will move 600+ employees to a city that just filed for bankruptcy. Why? To make its loft. Despite what you might read in the media, Detroit is quickly becoming rich in creativity, innovation and inspiration. With tech investors like Detroit Venture Partners, it's becoming easy for startups to create an opportunity. And in Detroit, everything needs help, so there are endless opportunities. With a "we're all in this together" mentality, everyone is becoming friends and utilizing their skills to not only help one another, but define Detroit's future. Whether you're a designer, an innovator, an entrepreneur or an investor. The talent is moving to Detroit. And so should you.

This video has been created by Lowe Campbell Ewald for the 2014 SXSW Interactive PanelPicker.

View the video here.

TechTown's SWOT team reaches into neighborhoods in shadow of downtown

Excerpt:

There's a strip on Lahser Road near Grand River Avenue in Detroit where you can find a slice of sweet potato pie that you'll swear was made by your mom, a coffee shop offering piping hot lattes or fruity smoothies, a vintage clothing store for your browsing pleasure and a shoe repair shop that will make your boots look brand new.

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Detroit 2.0: Can Startups Lead the Motor City’s Comeback Charge?

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Detroit may be bruised, but it’s far from broken.

The buckle of the Rust Belt – birthplace of the U.S. auto industry and once the country’s fourth-largest city – is mounting a comeback after decades of decline and decay.

At the heart of the renaissance is a pioneering community of young, high-tech entrepreneurs, many of whom were born and raised in the area and have the Motor City’s “maker” mentality in their blood. These startups and a few of Detroit’s business titans are on a mission to build great companies while rebuilding a great American city, one innovation at a time.

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Creative Detroit: 7 Success Stories for a City on the Rise

Excerpt:

Despite what you’ve heard, Detroit is far from doomed.  While the politicians and banks figure out exactly what to do about the city’s finances, Detroit’s creative class continues to innovate and build toward a future that echoes its past.  It was the city’s own invention, the automobile, that once made it world class.  Right now, the young inventors of today are forging a new story in Detroit, one where craftsmanship, ingenuity and dedication are again the ingredients of success.  Join us to explore seven creative success stories in Detroit today, proof positive that you should never bet against the Motor City.

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As Detroit Flounders, Its Art Scene Flourishes

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The night of June 20 was the Detroit native and photographer Sebastian Sullen’s first art exhibition, a group show called “Art Ethereal: Beauty and the Beast,” named for his contradictory subject: his city’s majestic architecture and scarred urban blight. Part of a monthly event called Third Thursday, the show packed the Detroit Mercantile Company, a retro general store and event space. There were carrot cake, beer from a nano-brewery and, in the storefront, “You Gotta Save Art!” stickers ($2.50) and T-shirts ($25) for sale in support of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

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Detroit Creative Corridor Center announces second class of entrepreneurs

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There are a ton of resources out there for start-up tech firms in Detroit. They are being incubated and accelerated to within an inch of their ROI thanks to organizations such as Bizdom Detroit and Detroit Venture Partners.

Even retail entrepreneurs have their boosters, what with D:hive and Hatch Detroit, among others, teaching them how to build and grow their businesses.

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