Crowdfunding campaign launched for “Art on the Block-Arte en la Cuadra” project in Southwest Detroit

Friday, August 16, 2019

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Southwest Detroit will celebrate its fourth year of Art on the Block-Arte en la Cuadra, a public art initiative that will bring murals and events to the neighborhood through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and local nonprofit Garage Cultural announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by October 16, 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:

“Locally led public art initiatives like Art on the Block do so much more than create beautiful pieces; they create a sense of place and connection in the area,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

Over the last 10 years, Garage Cultural has collaboratively created 15 large-scale mural installations in Southwest Detroit, with support from community partners, sponsors, friends, residents and talented local and international artists. The murals help to uplift the cultural identity of the diverse community. The collaboration has led to the formal creation of Art On The Block-Arte en la Cuadra (AOB).

AOB became a public art initiative in community placemaking and keeping through an annual festival, led by longtime residents. AOB seeks to elevate local narratives and curb geographical and cultural displacement by highlighting the processes through which each piece is created. The emphasis builds on the positive social impacts public art has on local youth and residents.

Aside from the production of high caliber art in the public sphere, AOB provides activities and events. The events foster unique opportunities for locals and emerging artists to see themselves as the next generation of leaders capable of steering their own "arts economy" in Southwest Detroit. The funding from this campaign will allow for the creation of more than five new large-scale murals, mural inaugurations and community block parties, engaging panel discussions, two memorial murals for recently departed community members, a popup arts festival and more.

“The MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program provides an amazing platform for Art on the Block – Arte en la Cuadra to gather local investment and community support for the continued development of this resident-led public arts initiative in Southwest Detroit,” said Amelia Duran C, director of Garage Cultural. “This grant will empower our residents to play a significant role in AOB efforts by maximizing the value of each dollar contributed. With MEDC’s support, art and cultural activities produced locally will continue to elevate local narratives, curb geographical and cultural displacement and uplift aspirations for deeper forms of collective self-expression.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, in which 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. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“Enhancing a community’s arts and cultural offerings is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Art on the Block-Arte en la Cuadra will accomplish that through an engaging short-term festival with long-lasting impact on the area’s artists and public art installations.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of August 5, 2019, MEDC has provided $6,698,196 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 223 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $7.9 million raised from 41,179 individual donors.

Contact Amelia E Duran, Co-Director-Garage Cultural, 313.475.7414,

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.