Detroit to start yearlong celebration of arts and culture

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DETROIT – A yearlong celebration of arts and culture in Detroit will focus on the city’s contribution to American creativity.

The UNDEFEATED begins Monday with the city hosting a week of virtual events to start Black History Month.

Mayor Mike Duggan will call for a citywide read of the Detroit-based novel “Black Bottom Saints.” He is expected to interview author Alice Randall Monday about her tale of Detroit when the city’s Black Bottom neighborhood thrived.

The UNDEFEATED campaign is made possible in part by $176,000 in support from the Troy-based Kresge Foundation and comes as artists have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, not just by illness but by the loss of income, according to the Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (ACE) which began an emergency grants program last spring.

“We have an overabundance of talent here, and we want the city, the region, the state and the world to see it, to see all of it,” Arts and Culture for Detroit Director Rochelle Riley said in a release. “As we work our way forward from the pandemic, we want to bring our entire creative community with us.”

ACE will accept submissions of videos and samples of performances and work in every genre. They will appear in a monthly showcase highlighting the city’s talent. The showcases also will give artists opportunities to sell their work and performers chances to be booked for virtual events.

The showcases will be featured monthly throughout the year on Channel 22 and the city’s Facebook and YouTube channels.