Week 3 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 3

At my organization and during outings with other DCERP students, one thing I noticed about Detroit is its vibrant mural culture, especially in Southwest Detroit. I learned about prominent mural artists such as Freddy Diaz and Elton Monroy Duran, both of which painted some of the most famous murals in Southwest Detroit. At SDBA, I am currently in charge of contacting artists to showcase in our building which means a lot of research on art in Detroit. This research allowed me to explore the unique landscape of Detroit art and also the cultural significance of many specific murals. It often represents a community.

The pandemic definitely impacted my organization. Like many other companies, SDBA began to adopt a hybrid schedule that it still follows today (3 days in person, 2 days virtual). SDBA also had a huge staff change as many began to look for new opportunities which brought a nice change of pace and new and fresher perspectives. I like to think that SDBA pre-pandemic and SDBA post-pandemic are two separate non-profits with the same goal: to help the local community flourish.

SDBA definitely provides some opportunity to interact with community members. For instance, I usually run the reception desk once or twice per week which allows me to meet business owners along with local partners. Sometimes I even see UofM students there! There are also some local events that I will attend such as the festival down at the police station last week. I met many families who were involved with SDBA and also people from other non-profits (most notably Brenda and her mentor).

2 thoughts on “Week 3”

  1. It is interesting reading what you have learned about the murals in Southwest Detroit as well as how the pandemic impacted your organization. I hope we will all be able to go together to see some of the murals!

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