Its five-year mission: To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.
Well, here we are – five years since thedetroiter.com first began unearthing this great American city, and we’ve been doing so steadily, week in and week out, all that time. Along the way, we’ve discovered a lot of interesting new life here – and it doesn’t appear we’re anywhere close to having seen it all. Rather, it seems that the more we discover on this journey, the more we learn just how much more there is to discover. In looking back at the past month alone there’ve been a plethora of new and previously uncharted art spaces and unique events – take Peck Park’s walk-in outdoor theater for example, with a live score by a rock band. (Pictured.) Very cool, and reminder that all around us people are creating – often out of little or nothing except big dreams and determined persistence.
On anniversaries, I always go back and look at where we started. In my very first article in these virtual pages (which talked about Detroit, detroit contemporary, and San Francisco) I wrote, “art can create change in our environment and ourselves. Come be a part of it and watch Detroit bloom.” And it has. Since then, detroit contemporary became home to the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) and now has multiple sites (“Ladybug” gallery and the Carriage House.) The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit has finally arrived, 555 and 4731 emerged, G.R. N’Namdi is growing, U of M is returning to Detroit, just to offer a few examples. Again looking back, “A city changes through the energy of people exploring and creating. This space is devoted to exploring, discussing, showcasing, celebrating, and critiquing, the creative works of Detroiters.” This remains our mission today.
While our initial crew on that maiden voyage was small, we’ve since had a lot of new crewmembers join us on our mission. Some have come onboard for long stays, others only briefly, but all of them have been integral in this continuing journey. A lot of Detroiters have come together to keep this ship sailing.
And so, a few thank yous to the crew:
A huge shoutout to Tom Carbone, arts calendar man extraordinaire. I really don’t think there’s a more comprehensive, up-to-date arts calendar anywhere. It’s that good now, but Tom is always working on it, improving its functionality, making it an essential resource for this community. Besides a list of openings, talks, and other arts events updated throughout the week, other features include a weekly print-and-carry calendar, maps, a listing of all the galleries around town, and more. Do check it out (right here). Do spread the word.
Regular contributor Nicole Rupersburg joined up more recently and serves as events editor, and sometime restaurant critic, among other things – always getting Detroiters up to speed on a host of diverse outings this city offers. You can count on long time contributor William Eric Graham to bring something new to our attention from music to independent film to theater. Lit editor David Bartone picked up the torch lit brightly by former editor Eric Novack, as we continue to feature the works of established and aspiring Detroiters in our monthly lit section.
Frequent contributor Dolores Slowinski has time and time again shared her passionate and insightful perspectives with our readers about art and even the business of art. Leyland DeVito drops in from time to time to offer a strong interview or feature on some of Detroit’s coolest folks and going ons.
We’re also grateful for Andy Malone, creator of the coolest map of arts in the Detroit area (look for version 2.0 soon!) Remi Esordi has been taking us around the globe with him on his travels and sharing photos from right around the corner. Scott Hocking took us to Iceland, and we’re still looking forward to another travel blog from him. Topher Crowder’s offered up some strong interviews of Detroit artists. We thank Vince Carducci for all the support always, as well as a number of folks, who may not be directly contributing, but help make this possible.
We’ve been fortunate enough to have a number of interns over the past year or so, from our first – Heather McMacken to our most recent recruits Christine Stinson and Mark Cusenza (who’s still to make his debut – soon! (Right Mark?) And of course, there’s all of you, the readers, the community that this was created to serve – whether you’ve just come aboard recently or for the few of you who’ve been with us from the beginning – we thank you all for your support. As my grandma always said at Thanksgiving, “Here’s to all those who have come before us, here’s to all of you here today, and to all of you yet to come.” So to that next generation of Detroiters still to come, we can’t wait see what you create.
In our first editorial (buried deep in the archives), my brother John and I explained our reasoning behind creating the web-magazine, “And what better time to launch that site than now? … Motown is more vibrant than it has been in decades.” And furthermore, “But the healthier a city gets, the more its people need to ask of it. We see thedetroiter.com as a Critical Celebration of Detroit.” And so on this anniversary, after a quick look back, we look forward and rededicate ourselves in our sixth year to this critical celebration of this wonderfully complex and diverse place we explore and call home.
Thanks for joining us on this journey.
Remi Esordi offers up two one-of-a-kind photos of our city at night. We hope you enjoy.