rogueHAA is pleased to announce the next event in its 2011-2012 panel discussion series: “Provocations: Challenging Detroit’s Design Discourse”

August 17, 2012
Panel Discussion: 7pm-9pm
Reception to follow
Art Effect Gallery
1420 E Fisher Freeway, Eastern Market, Detroit

ART, THE AVANT GARDE, AND THE REALITIES.  Historically, the role of art within the development of revitalization of cities can be seen cynically as one of unwitting accomplice to gentrification and complicit partner to the exploitation of creative capacity.  In this interpretation, art exists only for a moment as a noble avant garde, free of encumbrances before becoming instrumentalized by the very elements it sought to move beyond.  From past examples such as the South of Houston district in Manhattan (SOHO) and Southwark in London, to contemporary illustrations in places like Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati, a leading edge of artists and other creative types begins to give way to something potentially more banal than the squalor and disinvestment that had previously existed.  This is a story we all know very well.

But what if art and other creative forces in Detroit could overcome this seemingly predetermined path?  Could the enormity of Detroit’s challenges, its collective resolve to address them, and its uniquely integrated blend of artists, designers, and allied professionals bridge a gulf that has contributed to the “punch line” results that emerged previously.  How might these groups actually leverage the knowledge base of one another to effect change, retain the integrity of their intellectual projects, and create a new model for collaboration that contradicts the implicit Darwinistic growth regime model so many attribute to “revitalization” in a capitalist economy?

To discuss these issues within the relationship between art, culture, design, and the revitalization of Detroit, we have convened a panel with diverse backgrounds and perspectives:

Philip Lauri – Detroit Lives!
Mike Han – Street Culture Mash
Jela Ellefson – Eastern Market
Oya Amakisi – Film, US Social Forum
Dan Kinkead – Moderator, rogueHAA

The panel is part of the MICROFEST USA, a learning exchange-think tank, hosted by the national arts service organization the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET). The three-day festival, which takes place at various locations across Detroit kicks off Friday, August 17at Eastern Market with panel discussions and a performance from rapper/poet/activist Invincible.  In an effort to further the conversation about art’s impact on Detroit, MicroFest USA hopes to engage various constituencies in an effective and measurable way. “I see this as a bridge point between artists, urban planners, and community organizers,” says MicroFest Event Coordinator, Ashley Sparks. “MicroFest is contributing to national case-making around the arts being as vital as a hospital to a healthy community.”  Tailored to celebrate Detroit’s success stories and to connect like-minded groups who could benefit from alliance, Micro-fest USA will tour various galleries, gardens and community hot spots to highlight the ways artists are creating opportunities for social, economic and civic mindedness in their own communities.