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How the arts inspire change in Detroit

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In Detroit, art isn’t just something to look at. Neither is it something to consume. Rather, it is an active part of civic life, cultivating community resilience by connecting people and places across the city’s 139 square miles. In a city where municipal bankruptcy and deindustrialization has shredded both the public and private sectors, artists and organizations have an unusually large impact—they are literally changing the landscape. Tens of thousands of vacant lots and buildings here mark the daily lived experience of citizens: artistic intervention, whether it is a mural painted on an empty building or an organized program, interrupts the disheartening pattern.

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