Detroit nonprofit organization brings art to community, even during pandemic

The Carr Center makes art accessible for everyone

Art from the Carr Center (WDIV)

DETROIT – A Detroit nonprofit organization is making art accessible for everyone in many different ways, and it has some big names on board to help make it possible.

Right in the heart of Detroit, next to the DIA, is a special place to all of the arts. In fact, it’s a place where the community and the arts come together.

“The Carr Center is a multi-disciplinary arts organization,” said Sarah Norat-Phillips, from the Carr Center. “We perform. We do performances. We produce concerts. We have dance classes and we have music classes. We run visual arts programming, which is where we are right now.”

Norat-Phillips is the Carr Center production manager at their Kirby Street visual arts gallery in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood. They’ve been serving the community for 30 years.

“For us, the arts are the lifeblood of the community,” Norat-Phillips said. “It’s how we record our history. It’s how we teach each other to think, how to analyze. How to see the world through other people’s eyes. So for us, there’s nothing more important for the development of a child or the development of a community than how strong their arts and culture programming is.”

Inside the art space, you’ll find all kinds of incredible pieces on display. It’s no coincidence the Carr Center is located in the city.

“There is no better place than Detroit for the development of original work, right?” Norat-Phillips said. “Everything here is intensified so that -- there’s a reason Motown grew up in Detroit. There was a creative energy that had to come out.”

One person who continues to get involved in Detroit’s art scene is actress, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen. She’s part of the Carr Center’s faculty and runs the summer’s dance intensive.

“I think people recognize that there’s this talent that is just dying to be recognized and to come out, and for us, it has been just a very rich community in which to do our work and to train the future artists of Detroit,” Norat-Phillips said.

The nonprofit provides music and dance classes free for students, with a minimal fee for concerts and other artistic events. If you have a love for any type of art there’s something for everyone.

“We want to be accessible to as many people in Detroit as possible," Norat-Phillips said.

The organization isn’t letting the COVID-19 pandemic stop it from keeping the community engaged in art. The Carr Center has set up an incredible virtual art gallery. You log in, view the art, then there’s a chat room where you can go and chat with others about the exhibit in real time all from the comfort of your own home.

Click here for more information and to get involved.