Crowdfunding campaign launched for ‘Fiber Art on the Avenue’ project in Detroit

Friday, October 9, 2015

$10,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Avenue of Fashion Business Association today announced a new crowdfunding campaign through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The campaign will support Detroit Fiber Works’ Fiber Art on the Ave project in the historic Avenue of Fashion district on Livernois Avenue in Detroit.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $10,000 by Nov. 30, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“Public Spaces Community Places is a great resource for communities to create and activate vibrant public places,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. “We are excited to partner in this project and help spark continued revitalization in the Avenue of Fashion district.”

The Fiber Art on the Ave project is coordinated by Detroit Fiber Works, a fiber arts studio and gallery located in the Avenue of Fashion district. The project will include two components: free fiber arts workshops for community members that will include lectures, field trips and hands-on creation of fiber art; and the construction of an outdoor art installation on the Avenue of Fashion median, created with fiber art made by participants of the workshops and their instructors, with design input from neighborhood residents and area businesses.

The goal of the project is to add excitement to the area, create conversation, reflect the people who live in the community, and become a popular destination that draws visitors to the neighborhood shops and restaurants. The fiber arts workshops will ignite the imaginations and creativity of the participants and expand awareness of fiber as an art form.

All funds will be used for art materials, student transportation, teaching fees, and construction costs. The Detroit Collaborative Design Center at University of Detroit Mercy is generously assisting with the design and execution of this project. The Avenue of Fashion Business Association (501c3) is also lending support.

“The Avenue of Fashion Business Association is pleased to support the Fiber Art on the Ave project because we understand how important public art is to the vitality of an area. Recently, there has been significant national attention on many of Detroit’s public art installations in other areas of the city. With the revitalization that the Avenue of Fashion is currently undergoing, including new shops and restaurants, improved street lighting and median landscaping on Livernois, this is the perfect time for our own public art project,” said President of the Avenue of Fashion Business Association Dolphin Michael. “We are proud that Detroit Fiber Works is both a Knight Arts Challenge and MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places recipient, and confident that the community will be excited and supportive when the free fiber art workshops and collaborative design efforts begin."

Established in September 2013, Detroit Fiber Works evolved from a pop-up competition sponsored by Revolve Detroit and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. The gallery is owned by fiber artists Mandisa Smith and Najma Wilson and showcases their work as well as that of other artists.

In late 2014 Detroit Fiber Works was named a $20,000 winner of the Knight Arts Challenge, which through the Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that foster the arts. The Knight Arts Challenge requires Detroit Fiber Works to raise matching funds equal to the amount of its grant. If the crowdfunding goal is met, the funds raised will serve as matching funds to the Knight grant and allow Detroit Fiber Works to complete its Fiber Art on The Ave project.

To watch a video on the Fiber Art on the Ave project, visit here:

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, MSHDA, Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC and MSHDA. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy. 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.