Map: Detroit Design Festival and the Myth of the Blank Canvas



The long and short of this post title is that artists are among the first line of gentrifiers. It is true artists often have very lower incomes, transient housing, and suffer from a lack of understanding from a majority of the public – however, most, if not all, artists come into various cities and urban settings with a great amount of privilege. Choosing to attend art school is privilege number one when others often lack the ability to pursue art at mostly expensive, private schools. The map shows that over the years the Detroit Design Festival (DDF) has become more concentrated in specific areas as well as increased the number of hosted “happenings” or events in those concentrated areas.

In Detroit you can see this blessing and curse all bound up in the idea of “doing something good” in the city’s “blank canvas” of opportunity. While artists attempt to be…

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