DXF Challenge Featured in Detroit News Culinary Calendar

July 26, 2017 - The Detroit News

Culinary Calendar: Cookbooks, Food Fets, Pop-ups, More

DXF Challenge in Detroit: The Detroit Experience Factory is challenging folks to visit as many of the city’s 694 bars and restaurants as they can. Kicks off Tuesday and and runs through Oct. 31. Register and get a list at detroitexperiencefactory.org/challenge.

Source: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/entertain...

Detroit Experience Factory To Kick Off 4th Annual DXF Challenge, Encouraging Patronage Of Small Businesses

July 21, 2017 - Detroit Regional Chamber

Detroit Experience Factory to Kick Off 4th Annual DXF Challenge, Encouraging Patronage of Small Businesses

The Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) wants to give you new dinner plans. On August 1, DXF is launching the fourth annual DXF Challenge to inspire locals and visitors alike to experience some of the 694 bars, restaurants and cafes fro DXF’s Bar & Restaurant Checklist. Over the course of three months, participants will compete to win prizes while visiting some of these Detroit culinary destinations.

DXF will be hosting a Detroit birthday party at their 123 Monroe St. Welcome Center on Monday, July 24 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m., in honor of the city’s 316th anniversary – this will also serve as the DXF Challenge launch event. Tania Mackey, a past Challenge grand prize winner, visited 210 bars and restaurants on the checklists during the 90-day timeframe. “It was great to learn about so many small businesses that you wouldn’t really know about unless you take the time to explore. I took my son almost everywhere with me – it can be really kid friendly,” Mackey said. “I’m a lifelong Detroiter but there’s a lot of places I’ve never been. This was a great opportunity to explore home.”

The DXF Challenge is simple: the individual who visits the most places between August 1 and October 31, 2017 will win the Ultimate Detroit Experience Package, valued at over $1,000. Random winners will also be selected for prizes throughout the Challenge – even a participant who visits one destination can be a winner. Participants just have to post a photo on Instagram of themselves and their purchase and include the hashtag, #DXFChallenge. For more details and registration, visit ww.detroitexperiencefactory.org/challeng.

To help people learn about spots they might not already be familiar with across the city, DXF has expanded their summer tour schedule to offer 26 different tours including free neighborhood walking tours, monthly bar tours and more. See the full list of tours at www.detroitexperiencefactory.org/tours.

As an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Detroit Experience Factory uses interactive experiences and innovative resources to help newcomers and locals get more connected to the people, places and projects in Detroit. It operates Detroit’s community based Welcome Center at 123 Monroe and has taken over 90,000 people on tours since it started in 2006. The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) is a nonprofit that strengthens and supports Downtown Detroit through strategic initiatives and programs. DDP convenes business, philanthropic and government partners to create a vibrant, resilient urban core for Detroit and the surrounding community.

Source: http://www.detroitchamber.com/detroit-expe...

How Many Detroit Bars & Restaurants You Can Visit In 3 Months?

July 21, 2017 - Daily Detroit

How Many Detroit Bars & Restaurants You Can Visit In 3 Months?

By Shianne Nocerini

The Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) is mostly known for the tours they offer around Detroit. However they also have an extensive list of the bars and restaurants located within the city limits.

This year they are one again holding their DXF Challenge. This is the fourth year for the challenge.

Those who decide to take part in The DXF Challenge will try to visit as many of the 694 bars, restaurants, and cafes from the DXF’s Bar & Restaurant Checklists in three months. Participants will win prizes during the competition.

If you enjoy getting out and exploring the city this is the challenge for you.

The grand prize winner will receive the Ultimate Detroit Experience Package that is valued at over $1,000. There will also be random winners that will be selected for prizes throughout the Challenge.

The Challenge will take place between August 1 and October 31, 2017. Participants will need to register on the DXF website before getting started.

All you have to do for the Challenge is post a photo on Instagram of themselves and their purchase, tag @WeKnowDetroit and include the hashtag #DFXChallenge.

DXF has also expanded their summer tour schedule to offer 26 different tours throughout Detroit. This includes the free neighborhood walking tours, monthly bar tours and much more. You can find the tour schedule on the DXF website.

Source: http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/07/21/man...

694 bars and restaurants. Three months. One challenge.

July 21, 2017 - Michigan Chronicle

694 bars and restaurants. Three months. One Challenge

By Roz Edward, Michigan Chronicle Managing Editor

Detroit Experience Factory to kick off 4th annual DXF Challenge today, encouraging patronage of small businesses

The Detroit Experience Factory wants to give you new dinner plans. On August 1, DXF is launching the fourth annual DXF Challenge to inspire locals and visitors alike to experience some of the 694 bars, restaurants and cafes from DXF’s Bar & Restaurant Checklists. Over the course of three months, participants will compete to win prizes while visiting some of these Detroit culinary destinations.

DXF will be hosting a Detroit birthday party at their 123 Monroe St. Welcome Center on Monday, July 24 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m., in honor of the city’s 316th anniversary – this will also serve as the DXF Challenge launch event.

Tania Mackey, a past Challenge grand prize winner, visited 210 bars and restaurants on the checklists during the 90-day timeframe. “It was great to learn about so many small businesses that you wouldn’t really know about unless you take the time to explore. I took my son almost everywhere with me – it can be really kid friendly,” Mackey said. “I’m a lifelong Detroiter but there’s a lot of places I’ve never been. This was a great opportunity to explore home.”

 

The DXF Challenge is simple: the individual who visits the most places between August 1 and October 31, 2017 will win the Ultimate Detroit Experience Package, valued at over $1,000. Random winners will also be selected for prizes throughout the Challenge – even a participant who visits one destination can be a winner. Participants just have to post a photo on Instagram of themselves and their purchase and include the hashtag, #DXFChallenge. For more details and registration, visit www.detroitexperiencefactory.org/challenge.

 

To help people learn about spots they might not already be familiar with across the city, DXF has expanded their summer tour schedule to offer 26 different tours including free neighborhood walking tours, monthly bar tours and more. See the full list of tours at www.detroitexperiencefactory.org/tours.

 

As an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Detroit Experience Factory uses interactive experiences and innovative resources to help newcomers and locals  get more connected to the people, places and projects in Detroit. It operates Detroit’s community based Welcome Center at 123 Monroe and has taken over 90,000 people on tours since it started in 2006. The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) is a nonprofit that strengthens and supports Downtown Detroit through strategic initiatives and programs. DDP convenes business, philanthropic and government partners to create a vibrant, resilient urban core for Detroit and the surrounding community.

 

 

 

 

Source: https://michronicleonline.com/2017/07/24/6...

Detroit Experience Factory adds tours to show off city

May 12, 2017 - The Detroit News

Detroit Experience Factory adds tours to show off city

By Candice Williams

A lot has changed in Detroit since the Detroit Experience Factory began giving tours of the city 11 years ago.

In 2006, the recession had not yet hit, Kwame Kilpatrick was mayor and Quicken Loans Inc. founder Dan Gilbert had not yet relocated the business to the city or bought and overhauled dozens of buildings, contributing to the resurgence downtown.

Throughout the changes, Detroit Experience Factory, initially called Inside Detroit, has provided context through storytelling for more than 85,000 visitors interested in learning about the city’s history, architecture and culture.

This summer, the nonprofit is expanding its offerings to include 16 new public tours, bringing the total to 28. The tours, most of which are free, are available almost every day of the week.

“We really showcase the stuff you can’t Google,” said Jeanette Pierce, executive director of Detroit Experience Factory, an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. “It’s the relationships and the personal experience that really make our tours unique.”

Among the new offerings this year are a free QLine tour and walking tours of neighborhoods such as Grandmont-Rosedale, Lafayette Park and Mexicantown.

“By expanding our public tour offerings and constantly creating new private tours focused on all sorts of themes, we hope to continue to show both locals and visitors that there is something for everyone in Detroit,” Pierce said.

Pierce said she expects the QLine tour, which will start in June, to be popular. The streetcar line on Woodward launched for the public on Friday.

“The story we want to tell is of the businesses along the QLine route people haven’t noticed before because they’ve been driving,” she said. “The tours provide history and context. How did what happened in the past bring us to where we are today? Where are we headed in the future?”

The nonprofit will celebrate its expanded schedule at 6 p.m. Saturday with a Summer Kickoff Bar Tour starting at Checker Bar, 124 Cadillac Square.

The tours are not just for visitors, said Pierce, a resident of the city’s east side. The tour guides live in the city and eagerly share their experiences and insights with both tourists and other locals, Pierce said.

“We believe locals knowing more about their community has a great impact on our city,” she said.

Detroiter Christianna Sims said she always learns something new during the tours. The most recent one she took was the Livernois Avenue of Fashion tour, which she said gave her an opportunity to meet store owners.

“It allowed me to have a new experience,” said Sims, a program manager for BUILD Institute, an entrepreneur development organization in Detroit. “I never had a reason to go into those stores. I didn’t have to buy anything just yet. I could go in there and check it out and get to know the owners by name. It was a great thing.”

One recent Friday, Janet Prange brought her art students from L’Anse Creuse High School in Harrison Township to downtown Detroit for an art and architecture tour. The Commerce Township resident and her husband had previously been on the tour, which includes insights into downtown locations, including the Guardian Building, Compuware Building and Campus Martius.

“The biggest thing I got out of it is watching the kids enjoy it,” Prange said. “As a teacher, I am trying to get them excited about things, get them interested in learning something new… get them out of their comfort zone. For many of them, going to Detroit is out of their comfort zone.”

As a local resident, Prange said the tours have helped her develop an appreciation for Detroit.

“I think everybody hears about the bad things about the city, the mismanagement, the corruption that has happened in the past,” she said. “(The tours) kind of renew a sense of pride you have for the city. We don’t need to be the biggest and the best. We have some things to be proud of and a history to be proud of.”

For a complete list of tours and times, visit detroitexperiencefactory.org.

Source: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/loca...

Detroit Experience Factory to offer new tours of QLine, neighborhoods

May 1, 2017 - Crain's Detroit Business

Detroit Experience Factory to offer new tours of QLine, neighborhoods

By Annalise Frank

Detroit Experience Factory is offering 16 new public tours this summer, including a free exploration of the city from aboard the new QLine streetcar system.

The Detroit-based nonprofit, which also offers privately booked tours, is looking to pull in more local residents with a focus on connection and economic and community development, Executive Director Jeanette Pierce said.

"Just because you've been here your whole life doesn't mean there isn't more to learn," Pierce said. "It's not only the facts and figures, but it's the relationships and those experiences you can't really Google that make the tours exciting."

In addition to learning about how the QLine works, those who take the new tour built around the coming addition to Detroit's public transit system will learn more about older businesses along its path.

The organization is also expanding a series of free neighborhood walking tours it started offering last year. The "Beyond Downtown" tours started in neighborhoods like Corktown and Midtown and are expanding to Lafayette Park, the Livernois area, West Village and others.

Other new offerings include a small business tour complete with samples and an art-centric stroll through Eastern Market. The nonprofit has also planned a May 13 summer season launch party to introduce the new tours.

The additions bring Detroit Experience Factory's list of tour offerings to 28.

Since it began offering tours in 2006, the independent program of the Downtown Detroit Partnership has serviced about 85,000 people.

Detroit Experience Factory opened a welcome center in 2015 at 123 Monroe St. in a bid to bring in more pedestrian traffic. The nonprofit also offers the DX-Pass, which gives passholders access to seven Detroit attractions including the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Source: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/print/627021

144 FINALISTS ADVANCE IN 2017 KNIGHT CITIES CHALLENGE

January 17, 2017 - Knight Foundation

144 FINALISTS ADVANCE IN 2017 KNIGHT CITIES CHALLENGE

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JANUARY 17, 2017 BY GEORGE ABBOTT

We didn’t know what to expect when we launched our third Knight Cities Challenge last fall. The response in the first two years was phenomenal; from a total pool of more than 12,000 applications we have named fewer than 70 winning projects. We wondered if civic innovators would bring that same enthusiasm to this round. There is no question that they did that—and more.

This time we received more than 4,500 applications responding to the question, What’s your best idea to make cities more successful? The number even surpassed the applications we received in 2015. Now, 144 finalists will move forward to the next phase of our national call for ideas to make the 26 Knight communities more successful.

The ideas all focus on one or more of the three drivers of city success: talent, opportunity and engagement. There is at least one finalist in each of the 26 Knight communities, along with several projects that would be put to work in multiple cities.

Detroit and Philadelphia once again top the list of finalists, with 21 and 20 proposals respectively, on par with last year, but there are great ideas in the mix from all of the Knight communities, representing the breadth of our country, from San Jose, California, represented with eight projects, to Charlotte, North Carolina, with 12, and every Knight community between.

We’re looking forward to diving into the details. The finalists have until the end of January to submit full applications, which will include budgets, letters of recommendation, renderings and other material, for the next stage of our review process, which includes reviewers from Knight communities as well as national experts. We’ll submit the list of final recommended projects to Knight’s board of trustees later this year, and we’ll announce the winners, who will receive a share of up to $5 million, in the spring. 

Congratulations to the finalists, and thank you to everyone who submitted an idea. We look forward to your being a part of Knight’s national network of civic innovators, and we look forward to connecting with you in your city. We can learn from your ideas and your commitment, and we will share what we learn from these experiments with you.

Thanks also to our team of reviewers, to those who helped select the finalists and to those joining us in exploring the 144 full applications. We can’t wait to review the final submissions, and to announce the winning ideas in spring 2017.

2017 Knight Cities Challenge Finalists

Aberdeen, South Dakota:

The A Place (submitted by Julie M. Johnson): Opening a pathway to more opportunity and civic engagement by creating a one-stop information and assistance center for immigrants and New Americans.

Akron, Ohio:

Decked Out (submitted by Da'Shika A. Wells and Andre Street): Connecting people of different backgrounds through  a recurring dance party in downtown Akron that will encourage engagement while adding to the vibrancy of the city.

Designing Equity in Our Communities by Congress for the New Urbanism (submitted by Lynn Richards): Creating public spaces that are designed for everyone by ensuring public participation in the development of all city projects, including a plan for the city Innerbelt design.

The FREE-FORM Sculpture Project by Groundswell Design Group (submitted by David Fierabend): Bringing new life to downtown Akron with a new art installation that celebrates  the movement of the Ohio and Erie Canal through form, color and wind.

Innerbelt National Forest (submitted by Hunter Franks): Reconnecting two socially and physically isolated neighborhoods by replacing an inoperative freeway in Akron with a lush forest and public space.

New American Enterprise Co-Op by International Institute of Akron (submitted by Susan Wuscher): Increase economic opportunities for New Americans by creating a co-op that will provide entrepreneurial skills including educational and technical resources to the foreign-born community in Akron.

@Play Akron by ART x LOVE (submitted by Mac Love): Encouraging deeper community connections through custom games and recreational activities that highlight the unique history, identity and character of each of the city’s communities.

(Re)Creation Rubber Matches by Stay in Play Recreation LLC (submitted by Andrew Novak): Increasing social and economic vibrancy by rehabilitating two sand volleyball courts in the heart of downtown Akron.

Tree House Village at Hardesty Park (submitted by Bridget Ambrisco): Increasing neighborhood vibrancy and connecting people by developing a neighborhood collaborative project focused on constructing a tree house village and fort in the northeast corner of Hardesty Park.

Biloxi, Mississippi:

Witnessing the Beach by Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (submitted by David Perkes): Engaging the public across race, income and age differences through a series of gathering and community discussion spaces at the beach along the path of the “wade-in” protests, which eventually led to the desegregation of the public beach in 1968.

Boulder, Colorado:

Boulder Pop-Up Spots (submitted by Wes Tate): Helping citizens find new ways to engage with each other by creating neighborhood pop-up spots: temporary, small-scale, easily accessible inviting places where people can meet and connect. Examples include a mini-garden, a bike rack with seating area, and a public parklet.

Park Talk: Community Conversation in Shared Spaces by Warm Cookies of the Revolution (submitted by Evan Weissman): Working with city divisions to encourage greater dialogue between residents and their government by activating libraries and open space parks as gathering spaces for people to connect on civic challenges and opportunities.

Bradenton, Florida:

Bradenton Champions (submitted by Simone Peterson): Connecting people from different backgrounds, who love Bradenton and want to pursue projects that bring improved public spaces, innovation, events and vibrancy to the city.

The Creative Garage ~ A Maker Takeover by Realize Bradenton (submitted by Johnette Isham): Expanding economic opportunity for makers and creative entrepreneurs by transforming the first floor of the city’s new parking garage into a retail and entertainment destination.

Encounter: Recreating Courthouse Square as a Plaza by Realize Bradenton (submitted by Catherine Ferrer): Encouraging greater community connection by transforming a public space in the city center into a Latin American-influenced pop-up plaza that weaves people, place, memory, commerce, culture and generations.

How to Run for Office (submitted by Stephen Boyes): Encouraging more people to play a big role in shaping their city through a new nonpartisan curriculum that trains and educates citizens on how to run for local political office. 

iAMBradenton by Manatee County Government (submitted by Simone Peterson): Encouraging greater civic engagement by opening up avenues for citizens to participate in government decision-making in non-traditional settings such as bus stops, landmarks and other public gathering places.

Charlotte, North Carolina:

Activest by Activest (submitted by Ryan Bowers): Fostering more responsive ways of governing by actively engaging city leaders and city bondholders in dialogue about social practices and policies.

Charlotte Neighborhood Waypoints (submitted by Idara Umoren): Connecting residents to each other and their city by installing wayfinding signage in high pedestrian traffic areas that encourage conversation, community connection and exploration.

Civics Charlotte (submitted by Joshua C. Richardson): Increasing civic engagement through a program that educates people on the law, politics and economics that shape their local area.

Dine With Me CLT by Familiar Workshop (submitted by Katie Lloyd): Fostering community engagement and strengthening neighborhood pride by creating spaces that encourage dialogue between residents through shared meals and storytelling.

Early Voter Poll Party by City of Charlotte (submitted by John Short): Increasing voter turnout and civic engagement by providing entertainment, food trucks and more at early voting polling places.

The Imagine Forest by City of Charlotte (submitted by Eugene Bradley): Creating a space where people can connect by transforming a cove along the Sugar Creek Greenway in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlotte into a natural playground, with paths, trees and other ways to connect with the environment.

Neighborhood SparKit by City of Charlotte (submitted by Monica Carney Holmes): Inspiring  neighborhoods to rethink community meetings and events by providing a ready-made low-cost kit that includes tools and instructions for reenergizing these gatherings. For example, residents can transform the setting of their neighborhood meeting into a Parisian bistro, or host a pop-up playground or outdoor movie night.

Queen City Live! by Charlotte Center City Partners (submitted by Erin Gillespie): Bringing people together and improving neighborhood life with mobile stages that feature built-in instruments and open opportunities for live performances and spontaneous jam sessions.

Rail Trail Connection by Charlotte Center City Partners (submitted by Erin Gillespie): Encouraging economic development and city vibrancy by creating a lively place to connect with nature and neighbors along Charlotte’s light rail line. The space will also help link a retail employment center to the nearest transit stop.

Your Move, Charlotte (submitted by Varian Shrum and Garrett Tichy): Strengthening connections between citizens and local government through a weekly podcast and follow-up roundtable, in which government representatives and millennials engage on local issues.

The ZIP Code Project by Queen City Forward (submitted by Amy Chiou): Increasing community attachment, especially for newcomers, by engaging the city’s creatives to use art and placemaking to share what people love about their ZIP codes. For example, creating a T-shirt with a photograph of an iconic local restaurant and the ZIP code on the sleeve.

Work in the Park! (submitted by Siana Campbell): Promoting innovation and collaboration in Charlotte by transforming city parks into spaces that encourage residents to take work to the park.

Columbia, South Carolina:

Indie Grits: Two Cities by Columbia Film Society (doing business as “The Nickelodeon Theatre”) (submitted by Andy Smith): Increasing dialogue around racial inequality by engaging a team of diverse artists to transform underused spaces into attractive gathering spaces activated through community-generated art projects. The project will include activities such as artist workshops, public forums around racial reconciliation, art exhibitions, film screenings and performances.

Paths to Excellence by City of Columbia Planning and Development Services (submitted by Shane Shaughnessy): Encouraging greater community ownership and recognition of neighborhood schools through a project that will use a school’s logos, mascots and colors to rebrand the school. Rebranding will be done through the use of street painting, signage and streetscaping as recommended by the Safe Routes to School program.

The State’s Front Porch by City of Columbia (submitted by John S. Fellows): Encouraging residents to connect with their government by reimagining the State House as a front porch for all, including seating, events and alternative work spaces throughout the State House grounds.

Columbus, Georgia:

Common Grounds by The Columbus Museum (submitted by Carmen Overton): Fostering community connection by engaging young people to gather stories, impressions and pictures of growing up in the Warren Williams public housing neighborhood or similar areas of Columbus. The project will be shared in an exhibition at the museum.

A “Golden” Opportunity: Civic Engagement on Columbus’ South Commons by Friends of the South Commons (submitted by Virginia Causey): Creating a “civic commons” where diverse residents engage in recreation and entertainment by redeveloping Columbus’ historic South Commons, including a playground, multiuse lawn, benches, trees, and walking and bike paths. 

Detroit:

Atwater Beach by Detroit RiverFront Conservancy (submitted by Jan Shimshock): Further activating the Detroit waterfront by creating an inviting, urban beach along the city’s Atwater Street.

Better Buildings, Better Blocks by Building Community Value (submitted by Chase L. Cantrell): Fostering talent in Detroit, and providing a pipeline for minorities into real estate jobs, by teaching the fundamentals of small-scale property development and providing initial project financing.

Bus Stoplets by Southwest Detroit Business Association (submitted by Greg Mangan): Improving the commute for transit riders by creating inviting bus stops that have the feel of an intimate city park.

Crossing Trumbull by Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corp. (submitted by Angie Gaabo): Bringing together the residents of Woodbridge, often divided geographically and socio-economically, through adult walking and youth biking clubs.

City Asset Map: Mapping Mobility in Motown by Detroit Experience Factory (submitted by Matt Chung): Fostering connection and civic involvement in Detroit by creating a map that highlights cultural, educational and mobility resources, such as libraries, health centers, museums, educational spaces, bike infrastructure and parks.

Design Center in a Box: A Place for Informed Community Exchange by City of Detroit Department of Planning (submitted by Maurice D. Cox): Promoting civic engagement by creating “pop-up” city planning offices where residents can connect with city planning staff and others to exchange ideas and become informed about the design and planning work happening in their neighborhood and the city at large.

Detroit Youth Council of Urban Explorers by Bleeding Heart Design (submitted by Rebecca Bucky Willis): Helping the next generation advocate for good city planning by sending Detroit teenagers to pioneering cities to learn best practices they can execute back home.

Dip ’N’ Dive Detroit by City of Detroit Planning and Development Department (submitted by Maurice D. Cox):

Creating spaces where residents can meet, connect and share experiences by creating pop-up swimming events at a temporary “River Pool” at the Detroit River.

The Discovery Place by Detroit Future City (submitted by Allandra Bulger): Activating open spaces in Detroit as meeting places and libraries run by and for residents who otherwise lack these amenities.

Green Culture Shift by Detroit Future City (submitted by Alex Kellogg): Creating innovative, experiential tools that change how Detroiters think about planning and transforming green spaces in urban neighborhoods.

Happy 18th Birthday! Local Citizenship Kit by CitizenDetroit (submitted by Sandra Stahl): Celebrating Detroiters becoming eligible to vote by sending them a local citizenship kit in the mail on their 18th birthday.

Las Luces de la Noche by Invest Detroit (submitted by Michael R. Smith): Making Clark Park, a neighborhood recreation hub, a safer place for residents to come together through new public lighting and programming.

Mack Lot: A New Kind of Gathering Place by MACC Development (submitted by Ezekiel Harris): Bringing people of different backgrounds together by transforming a vacant 8,000-square-foot lot into a meeting space that will include a performance stage, a playground, rain gardens, public work spaces and space for food vendors.

Mine Your Own Business by Michigan Women’s Foundation (submitted by Carolyn Cassin): Offering education, mentorship and capital for aspiring women entrepreneurs through business accelerators at neighborhood churches.

Motor City Matchbox by Detroit Economic Growth Corp. Small Business/Motor City Match (submitted by Helen Broughton): Making it easier to launch pop-up business and art events in the city’s vacant buildings – and demonstrate what could happen in disinvested areas – by creating a mobile how-to toolkit.

Neighborhood Voice: Increase Civic Engagement by Equipping Community Connectors (submitted by Garlin Gilchrist II): Improving ways to obtain feedback from neighborhoods by supporting the best connected people – such as barbers, bartenders and baristas – to get and share feedback through technology, tools and training.

Reaching Across the Border: Detroit and Grosse Pointe by Mash Detroit (submitted by Marlowe Stoudamire): Inspiring residents near the border of Detroit and Grosse Pointe to collaborate on reimagining their common public spaces by offering mini-grants to teams of residents from both areas.

Shovel Share by Michigan Community Resources (submitted by Lydia Rae Levinson): Sparking neighborhood revitalization by providing community groups with the tools and resources they need to maintain and revamp their neighborhoods.

Sign ON by Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp. (submitted by Martha Potere): Enlivening Grandmont Rosedale by pairing local artists with small business owners to create a “gallery of signage” that treats commercial signs as public art.

Slow Roll – The Power of 25,000 by Detroit Bike City LLC (doing business as Slow Roll) (submitted by Jeff Herron): Exploring why 25,000 Detroiters joined a cycling movement and sharing the learning with other cities so they can replicate the model.

The Table (submitted by Orlando P. Bailey): Giving people a voice in what happens next in their neighborhoods by convening them regularly to share ideas that can move the city forward.

Duluth, Minnesota:

Making Canal Park Pop: A Pop-up Parklet Project by City of Duluth (submitted by Emily Larson): Connecting residents to both Canal Park and to each other by creating a pop-up parklet that will encourage more people to visit.

One River, Many Stories by University of Minnesota, Duluth (submitted by John Hatcher): Building community through a citywide storytelling project that asks everyone along the 3,600-square-mile watershed for their stories about the iconic St. Louis River.

Seize Duluth Workshops (submitted by Sara Mowchan): Expanding opportunity in Duluth by connecting young residents and job seekers with professional opportunities through workshops in the city’s many unused, historic buildings.

Ft. Wayne, Indiana:

Ft. Wayne Alumni Association by Big Car Collaborative (submitted by Jim Walker): Keeping and attracting talented workers to Ft. Wayne through a digital platform that connects local graduates, with the goal of encouraging those who leave the city to return.

My Town Square by Hoch Associates (submitted by Dan Baisden-Kennedy): Helping Ft. Wayne be a vibrant place to live, work and play by creating #MyTownSquare, a workspace where small and mid-size cities can learn about and test placemaking ideas.

The Porch Project by Bridge of Grace Compassionate Ministries Center (submitted by Réna Bradley): Creating more public spaces for residents to come together through a new community design studio that activates informal gathering spaces, including front porches.

Student Storefront (submitted by Steve Franks): Creating more economic opportunity for youth in Ft. Wayne by opening a student-managed storefront selling student-made products in the heart of downtown.

Gary, Indiana:

Ballpark Plaza Idea (submitted by Brenda Scott-Henry on behalf of Kenneth A. Parr): Bringing life to a vacant lot across from Gary’s baseball park by turning it into an outdoor entertainment center and farmers market.

Gary Ruins Garden Project by city of Gary, Indiana (submitted by Jack Eskin)Making downtown more vibrant by transforming a historic, abandoned Gothic church in downtown into a ruins garden and event space.

In Love in Gary, Indiana, by SmithGroupJJR (submitted by Dana Crawford): Expanding economic opportunity in Gary, and changing the city’s narrative, by establishing the city as a creative and cost-effective urban wedding destination.

Grand Forks, North Dakota:

Global Friends Coalition by Global Friends Coalition (submitted by Cynthia Shabb): Connecting new Americans to Grand Forks and its longtime residents by turning a home into a place where immigrants can learn English, find resources, develop skills and more.

Grand Forks Freezeway (submitted by Nicholas Jensen): Inspiring winter fun and city pride by turning unused bike paths into ice skating paths during winter.

Winterize Grand Forks by Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals (submitted by Corey Mock): Helping residents enjoy winter more with a series of interactive winter programs in public spaces that bring people out of hibernation.

Lexington, Kentucky:

Booths to Bricks by National Main Street Center (submitted by Jodie Hiveley): Promoting entrepreneurship by helping vendors at the popular, monthly Night Market open brick-and-mortar stores.

Build Up by NoLi CDC (submitted by Griffin VanMeter): Opening a neighborhood-owned hardware store that provides tools and services to physically improve the North Limestone neighborhood in addition to providing job training.

Civiclex.org: A Platform for an Informed Civic Democracy by ProgressLex (submitted by Richard Young): Informing and engaging more people about the issues facing city government through a new digital platform.

Plant & Play by NoLi CDC (submitted by Griffin VanMeter): Building an adventure playscape and community garden in Castlewood Park, a 30-acre neighborhood park on the north end of Lexington.

Retrofitting the RETRO: Rediscover Southland by LexArts (submitted by Nathan Zamarron): Reinvigorating a suburban neighborhood by taking a page from urban centers and commissioning site-specific art and pop-up installations along a disjointed strip mall.

That High Lonesome Data by the Office for Creative Research (submitted by A'yen Tran and the Office for Creative Research): Strengthening civic engagement by working with bluegrass musicians in Lexington to demystify civic data through song and performance rooted in Kentucky’s heritage.

Long Beach, California:

Busker Booth by Long Beach Public Library (submitted by Susan Jones): Providing opportunities for the unsung heroes of street music with a portable micro-recording booth for up-and-coming musicians.

Coolidge Down – Under Park by City Fabrick (submitted by Brian Ulaszewski): Connecting neighborhoods adjacent to Coolidge Triangle and increasing access to Coolidge Park by transforming an unused service yard under the Artesia Freeway into 2 acres of public space featuring playing courts, a skate park and roller rink.

The Growing Experience Program (submitted by Jimmy Ng): Engaging youth in underserved neighborhoods and teaching them new skills by inviting them to create an “edible green wall” network that can harvest herbs, flowers, fruit and vegetables throughout Long Beach’s nine council districts.

LA River Stories: Creative Public Engagement Through Local Storytelling by River LA (submitted by Julia Guy): Inspiring public planning that puts the needs of city residents first by promoting human-centered design and policy through a multimedia public engagement project showcasing stories about the diverse residents that use the Los Angeles  River.

POPulated: Parklets for All by Studio One Eleven (submitted by Shannon Heffernan): Providing greater opportunities for community engagement and play by transforming on-street parking stalls into inclusionary public spaces that provide amenities to local neighborhoods.

Macon, Georgia:

Back Lot Drive-In at the Tubman by Tubman Museum (submitted by Jared Wright): Expanding the reach of Macon’s art and museum district by transforming the parking lot of the Tubman Museum into a drive-in theater with screenings that coincide with exhibitions that support the museum’s mission to educate visitors about African-American art, history and culture.

Hammock Time (submitted by Gloria Stanley): Promoting more community connections in Macon by installing pop-up hammocks in parks and other venues in the busy downtown area.

Handsome Town Seeking Skilled Carpenters for Long-Term Relationship by Historic Macon Foundation (submitted by Ethiel Garlington): Creating new opportunities for jobs through the establishment of an 18-month carpentry apprenticeship program that will attract artisans to Macon to fill the demand for skilled carpenters in the workforce.

It’s Hotter Here (submitted by Shannon Fickling): Encouraging more engagement between residents and college students by creating a more inclusive and attractive city pool with programming and updated furnishings.

Pop-Up Garage Park (submitted by Cole Porter): Converting an abandoned parking garage into a vibrant, environmentally-friendly community space by introducing green space, art, tables and event programming.

Miami:

395 Park by Omni Community Redevelopment Agency (submitted by Jason Walker): Giving the Omni community a place to gather by converting three blighted, vacant city blocks into a large urban park with businesses, a skate park, art installations and restaurants.

Dan Paul Park Recreation Center (submitted by Mauricio Velazquez): Transforming Dan Paul Park into an active recreation hub by installing soccer fields, bike paths and a playground.

Green Space Pop-ups by Audubon Florida (submitted by Eric Draper): Creating incentives for developers to lend private vacant land for green spaces in urban Miami-Dade.

Instant City: A micro-urban infrastructure (submitted by James Brazil): Creating a network of mobile pop-up containers to activate underused  public spaces and carparks around the city.

Ludlam Days by Green Mobility Network (submitted by Mari Chael): Building momentum for the Miami Loop, a proposed 70-mile greenway, through a series of events and demonstrations.

Magic City Innovation Challenge by Venture Cafe Miami (submitted by Leigh-Ann Buchanan): Nurturing Miami’s native talent and emerging innovation ecosystem through a competition that challenges college students to solve real-world civic and business problems.

Miami Great Streets Program by Street Plans Collaborative (submitted by Anthony Garcia): Establishing a program within Miami-Dade County in partnership with local transportation nonprofit Green Mobility Network that advances low-cost, quick-build transportation and open space projects.

The MIA Market (submitted by Mauricio Velazquez): Reinvigorating Overtown while creating opportunities for residents and chefs by repurposing a vacant warehouse into a neighborhood market.

OurSchoolYards (submitted by Wifredo Fernandez): Bridging the divide between communities and their public schools by transforming underused school yards into public parks.

Rep(resentative) MIA by Engage Miami (submitted by Rob Biskupic-Knight): Breaking down barriers to civic participation by putting clear, actionable information about local elected officials directly into citizens’ hands.

WiFi Parks @ Overtown by Venture Cafe Miami (submitted by Leigh-Ann Buchanan): Bringing public Wi-Fi to parks in Overtown to improve digital access and encourage people to connect in the outdoors.

Milledgeville, Georgia:

The Year of Voting Dangerously by Twin Lakes Library System (submitted by Stephen Houser): Engaging the community with a mobile voting booth that prompts residents to respond to pressing local issues and initiatives.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:

Meeting, Eating and Jamming on the Rail by City of Myrtle Beach (submitted by Diane Moskow-McKenzie): Creating a venue for better community relations by repurposing railcars at the Myrtle Beach Train Depot for community meetings, catered events and concerts.

Palm Beach County, Florida:

12 for 12: Pop-up to Rent by city of West Palm Beach (submitted by Christopher Roog): Expanding on the success of a pilot pop-up gallery project by inviting local talent to activate 12 empty storefront spaces as an economic catalyst for West Palm Beach.

The Tie Beam by city of West Palm Beach (submitted by Sybille Welter): Connecting east and west downtown residents by creating a public space parallel to the railroad tracks that encourages pedestrian activity and integrates public art, transportation and urban design.

Philadelphia:

24-Hour Philadelphia: City Planning After Dark (submitted by Michael Fichman): Discussing the essential, yet hidden, role of entertainment and nightlife in Philadelphia’s economy through broadcast interviews, highlighting local voices.

APM Pop-up Market Place (PUMP) by Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (submitted by Angel Rodriguez): Developing a sharable method for community members to transform blighted commercial corridors into vibrant creative spaces.

Atlas of Philadelphia Local Elections by DataScribe Consultants (submitted by Megan Gall): Educating high school students about local elections through the creation of a comic book-style atlas for distribution in schools and libraries.  

Chinatown Street Market by Interface Studio (submitted by Stacey Chen): Bridging the Chinatown and Callowhill neighborhoods of the city – physically, conceptually and economically – with a street vendor marketplace.

Collective Power Concerts by Urban Creators (submitted by Jeannine Kayembe): Increasing civic engagement in North Philadelphia by leveraging corporate festival resources to invest in community-driven festivals and redirecting a portion of these resources to local community organizations, stakeholders and artists.

Doors Open PHL: The City Belongs to Us by Center for Architecture and Design (CFAD) (submitted by David Bender): Increasing city vibrancy through a weekend-long, citywide festival that will open more than 75 indoor, outdoor and subterranean spaces with programming and activities around Philadelphia.

Germantown Cooperative Coffee House (submitted by Yolanda Wisher): Establishing the first community-owned and operated coffee house in Germantown where residents can gather and connect.

Just Space Audit by University City District (submitted by Sarah Davis): Creating and deploying an audit tool to assess the accessibility and equity of a public space network.

The Links at Bartram’s Garden (submitted by Pete Angevine): Encouraging civic engagement and participation through a nine-hole artist-designed miniature golf course that will highlight the city’s history.

Mobile Civic Toolbox by New Kensington Community Development Corp. (submitted by Shanta Schachter): Developing a mobile resource kit to support neighborhood organizations and individual residents in creating diverse civic projects.

A Place at the Table by Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (submitted by Pamela Bridgeforth): Launching A Place at the Table, featuring great food, community building and cultural exchange in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.

Philadelphia Before, During and After Redlining by Little Giant Creative (submitted by Tayyib Smith): Highlighting inequality and the negative effects of denying services to specific residents through the practice of redlining with an interactive data map and exhibition.

Philadelphia Mobile Design Lab by Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation (submitted by Liana Dragoman): Providing a space for Philadelphians to design city service solutions with a mobile, participatory city design lab that will travel from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Reimagining Police Plazas as Community Centers by Tiny WPA (submitted by Renee Schacht): Strengthening neighborhoods by transforming often vacant spaces in front of police stations into vibrant places for community engagement and play. 

Resources in Motion (submitted by Laura Deutch): Converting three Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) buses into mobile resource centers for vibrant exchange and creative community building.

Storyboarding Neighborhood Change (submitted by Andrew Jacobs): Installing mural maps depicting the history of surrounding neighborhoods at bus stops with community input; the project aims to provoke an open dialogue about neighborhood change.

Tabadul: Cross-Cultural Exchange Across Philadelphia by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture (submitted by Hazami Sayed): Creating forums for cultural exchange that connect communities and activate public spaces through photographic displays of youths’ expressions of identity.

Turning Corners by The Food Trust (submitted by Jean Wallace): Reinvigorating neighborhoods by transforming vacant lots and nearby bodegas into activated spaces for healthy living.

Up Up & Away: Building a Programming Space for Comics & Beyond by Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse Inc. (submitted by Ariell Johnson): Creating a space where diverse communities of aspiring comic creators can attend workshops and receive professional development.

Vending to Vibrancy: Ethnic Cuisine in the Park by Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association Coalition (submitted by Andy Toy): Providing entrepreneurial opportunities and connecting diverse communities by opening a marketplace for immigrant cuisine in Mifflin Square Park.

San Jose, California:

Local Color by Exhibition District (submitted by Erin Salazar): Activating vacant commercial sites with a creative bazaar featuring artist studios alongside modular, open spaces for multidisciplinary community learning and teaching.

A Mobile Street Amenity Builder by Better Block Foundation (submitted by Jason Roberts): Developing a mobile unit that includes the resources and tools needed to improve city blocks and construct public benches, wayfinding signage, bus stops, planters and other resources.

Reimagining the city: Chief Architect of San Jose by Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, city of San Jose (submitted by Shireen Santosham): Working to ensure San Jose develops into a walkable, green and engaged metropolis by hiring a visionary chief architect.

San Jose Pedestrian Paradise Project by Concrete Gardens (submitted by Liz Ruiz): Artistically reinforcing the established Pedestrian Priority Zone by further developing a pedestrian-focused environment–including sidewalk murals, vacant storefront installations, wayfinding signs–in downtown San Jose’s core.

San Pedro Square Great Public Plaza by Department of Transportation, city of San Jose (submitted by Laura Wells): Piloting a space for community engagement, the Great Public Plaza on San Pedro Street, to inform the design of a potential permanent plaza.

SoFA Playground by Public Space Authority (submitted by Ryan Sebastian): Creating a meeting place for residents to meet and connect with a food truck playground in the heart of San Jose’s arts and culture district.

#TogetherWeVote > Together We Are San Jose! by PACT (People Acting in Community Together) (submitted by Akemi Flynn): Deepening ongoing civic engagement by engaging new and first-time voters in discussions to learn about their experiences with voting; the project will also use community events as a forum for sharing how voting makes a difference and how to become more civically involved.

Young Placemakers by City of San Jose Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (submitted by Zacharias Edward Gabriel Mendez): Facilitating youth-driven neighborhood improvement projects, by creating opportunities to learn, design and execute ways to enhance and activate public spaces.

St. Paul, Minnesota:

Black Market MN (submitted by Tana Hargest): Advancing a deeper awareness of black creativity and culture with a digital directory of black artists and organizations; the project aims to better connect the black creative community with other civic and public organizations interested in diversifying their boards, staff, vendors and programming.

Lily Pad Gardens: Frogtown Residents Grow Beauty, Economic Opportunity (submitted by Patricia Ohmans): Transforming a lot on Frogtown’s main artery, Dale Street, into a space, offering both beauty and economic opportunity, by providing public seating and room for food trucks, and greenhouse space for Hmong women to grow vegetables and flowers for extra income.

Little Africa InsideOUT by African Economic Development Solutions (submitted by Tayler Nelson): Expanding economic opportunity in St. Paul’s Little Africa by working with business owners to design better street visibility for African businesses, including façade improvements and streetscape updates.

Pop-up Hot Pot (submitted by Osberg): Inspiring winter fun and connecting people, with a bicycle-powered hot tub fleet accompanied by programming in wellness, art and ecology.

Sharing Pop-up Meeting With the People by city of St. Paul (submitted by Catherine Penkert): Creating a suite of fun civic engagement tools that give St. Paul residents the power to design their own community meetings.

State College, Pennsylvania: 

State College Outdoor Social Dance Festival by Fraleigh Dance (submitted by Dana Ray): Creating new community connections through a regular outdoor, social dance festival. 

Tallahassee, Florida:

Capital City Night Market (submitted by Mike Field): Building stronger neighborhoods and expanding economic opportunity with the Capital City Night Market, which will act as an incubator for small businesses.

The Secret Life of Benches by Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency (submitted by Megan E. Doherty): Helping to create engaging public spaces by studying how seating such as park benches encourages or limits neighborhood life, and determining if all seating is truly created equal.

Tactical Urbanism Toolkit (submitted by Devan Leavins): Bringing together resources and tools that help residents launch fast, fun projects to improve their neighborhoods.

Wichita, Kansas:

Horizontes (submitted by Armando Minjarez): Connecting two neighborhoods by painting murals depicting neighborhood residents through an industrial corridor that separates them and engaging residents to reflect on what a “new horizon” for the neighborhood would look like.

ICT Initiation (submitted by Thea Pajunen): Engaging young professionals that are new or returning to the city through a formal “Welcome to Wichita” program.

Yellowbrick Street Team (submitted by Alex Pemberton): Encouraging greater civic engagement by mobilizing an army of urbanists, who will implement small-scale projects to make Wichita more livable and lovable. 

Multiple Cities:

Creative Cities Lab Convenings by Little Giant Creative (submitted by Tayyib Smith): Building more equitable communities by launching a series of convenings across several cities where decision-makers, social entrepreneurs, activists and innovators discuss equitable community development.

Design to Better [Our City] by Creative Reaction Lab (CRXLAB) (submitted by Antionette Carroll): Empowering and challenging community members to design and solve problems to address racial disparities in communities.

Celebrating Our City’s Streets: Open Streets Events for Knight Cities by CicLAvia Inc. (submitted by Romel Pascual): Convening and engaging Knight cities to plan effective, scalable, replicable open streets events, which repurpose streets for people rather than vehicles.

Civic Incite: Citizens Setting the Agenda (submitted by Civic Incite): Inspiring civic engagement with an online platform that tracks public meetings and legislation across cities to promote in-person engagement with local governments.

Tuning In and Scaling Up: Increasing Open Streets Frequency by 8 80 Cities (submitted by David Simor): Developing a replicable model to reduce known financial and administrative barriers to open streets programs, which repurpose streets for people rather than vehicles.

George Abbott is director of community and national initiatives at Knight Foundation.

Source

North American International Auto Show begins in Detroit

January 9, 2017 - The Telegraph

North American International Auto Show begins in Detroit

By Andrew English, motoring correspondent 

9 JANUARY 2017 • 12:17PM

What joy a road trip from Michigan to Nevada would have been, but sadly the Detroit Auto Show which opens today (January 9th) is separated from last week’s Las Vegas-based Consumer Electronics Show by more than just miles, romance, weather and a couple of days. Instead we flew. Not unpleasant, just no fun.

Where CES is a vapid celebration of the effulgent digital technology, Motown is unashamedly analogue, where metal matters and helmet-haired executives talk numbers.

Not that the auto industry has been a complete force for good in this battered old city on the river between Lake St Clair and Lake Erie. It's been tough in Detroit for as long as I've been covering this beat. The city went bankrupt in 2013, but its finances have always been parlous. At least you can walk the freezing streets, as I did on Sunday, carrying my prized purchase of Blue Note vinyl records – not so long ago, Detroit vied with Washington to be Murder Capital USA.

As explained by Robin Boyle, professor of urban studies at Wayne State University, the city's problems are manifold, complex and still around. "It's an uphill struggle," he said of attempts to cure Detroit's structural issues.

There is a new spirit abroad, however, evinced by Jeanette Pierce, executive director of Detroit Experience Factory, which seeks to make tangible differences to the 714,000-strong population of the city as well as promoting its worth to visitors. It's part of the re-greening projects, education into the arts and promoting small businesses that can help make a local difference. "What makes it real this time," she says, "is the cross-section of people wanting to make it happen, from companies, the non-profit sector and the government."

Fresh starts are a bit of a pastime in Detroit, we've seen loads of them through the years, though this does have a credibility and humanity I've not seen before.

But the question at the auto show is whether president elect Donald Trump's policies will bring auto-making back to Detroit.

Boyle says: "That's a really difficult question. It is possible. But if what's happened since November 8th gets more manufacturing industry back into the States, where will that manufacturing take place?"

He doesn't blame the auto industry for Detroit's woes, but says the riches of Motor City's pomp didn't get spent wisely. "The auto industry made us lazy," he says. "The city became dependant on it and it didn't diversify - Detroit is still the number-one cluster of automotive industries in the world."

It's been a good year in the US auto industry, with light car sales of 17,539,052, just surpassing 2015's record-breaking 17,482,841 total.

A softening is expected, however, and there's an eerie calm as everyone waits to see what Trump will do. His threat to tear up the North American Free Trade Association (Nafta) is being taken very seriously.

David Zoia, editorial director of Ward's Automotive, says: "No one really knows what direction he'll go in. The elements are positive from an industry side, but challenging Nafta could have a significant negative impact. He says one thing one day, but then seems to go in the opposite direction."

Nafta makes it financially attractive to build cars in Mexico, where Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen all have factories and BMW is looking at one. Cars such as the Ford Fiesta, Honda HR-V, Nissan Note and Volkswagen Golf are made there and imported into the United States.

Ford has cancelled its plans for a $1.6 billion car factory in Mexico, which will help protect Michigan jobs but the promise of punitive border taxes on cars will threaten Mexican jobs and encourage immigrants across the border - the Peso has fallen dramatically since the election.

It might help with clarity if the president elect took pains to understand the motor industry a bit better before he tweeted. His most recent attack on Toyota for its plans to build the Corolla in a brand new Mexican plant showed he didn't know that Toyota already builds the Corolla in the US at its Mississippi plant; that attack has now turned into a diplomatic incident.

In an almost static year individual car makers' gains were modest, but Jeep's 6.1 per cent growth is good and Jaguar managed to almost double its US sales to 31,243. Nissan, Subaru, Honda and Hyundai had solid three- to five-point growth and Toyota, the largest import brand, is claiming a good year with 2.45 million sales, though that's two per cent down on 2015.

"General Motors and Ford have done well," says Zoia, "especially financially, since they've downsized and lowered their break-even."

As usual, it's a headlong rush into crossovers and SUVs that pose the main market trends, though with petrol so cheap, full-sized pickup trucks continue to sell and make solid profits.

Detroit Show debuts include Audi's new Q8 SUV coupé, Lexus's replacement LS, Kia's GT, VW's Tiguan Allspace and no less than three concepts from GAC, the first Chinese manufacturer to take floor space in Detroit’s Cobo Hall exhibition centre. Rumour is we'll see yet another Microbus from Volkswagen, while Ford usually surprises us with something.

Detroit is slightly embattled, bearing a few scars and faces uncertain times, but it's a spirited fighter and its motor show is still relevant and fun; I wouldn't be writing its obituary quite yet.

Source

21 Detroit proposals selected as finalists for Knight Cities Challenge

January 17, 2017 - Crain's Detroit

 

 

Almost two dozen Detroit applicants are among 144 finalists in the third and final installment of the Knight Cities Challenge, a competition to fund ideas to stimulate communities.

Some 21 Detroit projects will be considered by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to receive a share of a $5 million grant. Submissions included solutions to improve civic engagement, develop public recreations, connect people of diverse backgrounds and affect economic growth. One finalist proposes to develop a vacant lot into a space for a playground, public work spaces and food vendors.

The Knight Foundation will announce winners this spring.      

"The finalists use creativity and inventiveness to tackle community challenges and realize new opportunities, proposing ideas that are unique to their city, but also hold lessons and inspiration for civic innovators across the country," Knight Foundation Director for Community and National Initiatives George Abbott said in a news release.

The Knight Cities Challenge focuses on ideas that help cities to attract and retain talented people, foster opportunities for economic growth and racial unity and encourage civic involvement. The foundation launched the three-year challenge in 2014 to invest $15 million in 26 communities with which Knight has partnered.

A total of 69 winning applicants were selected in its first two years.

Following are the Detroit project finalists:

  • Atwater Beach by Detroit RiverFront Conservancy (submitted by Jan Shimshock): Further activating the Detroit waterfront by creating an inviting, urban beach along the city's Atwater Street.
  • Better Buildings, Better Blocks by Building Community Value (submitted by Chase Cantrell): Fostering talent in Detroit, and providing a pipeline for minorities into real estate jobs, by teaching the fundamentals of small-scale property development and providing initial project financing.
  • Bus Stoplets by Southwest Detroit Business Association (submitted by Greg Mangan): Improving the commute for transit riders by creating inviting bus stops that have the feel of an intimate city park.
  • Crossing Trumbull by Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corp. (submitted by Angie Gaabo): Bringing together the residents of Woodbridge, often divided geographically and socio-economically, through adult walking and youth biking clubs.
  • City Asset Map: Mapping Mobility in Motown by Detroit Experience Factory (submitted by Matt Chung): Fostering connection and civic involvement in Detroit by creating a map that highlights cultural, educational and mobility resources, such as libraries, health centers, museums, educational spaces, bike infrastructure and parks.
  • Design Center in a Box: A Place for Informed Community Exchange by City of Detroit Department of Planning (submitted by Maurice Cox): Promoting civic engagement by creating "pop-up" city planning offices where residents can connect with city planning staff and others to exchange ideas and become informed about the design and planning work happening in their neighborhood and the city at large.
  • Detroit Youth Council of Urban Explorers by Bleeding Heart Design (submitted by Rebecca Bucky Willis): Helping the next generation advocate for good city planning by sending Detroit teenagers to pioneering cities to learn best practices they can execute back home.
  • Dip 'N' Dive Detroit by City of Detroit Planning and Development Department (submitted by Maurice Cox): Creating spaces where residents can meet, connect and share experiences by creating pop-up swimming events at a temporary "River Pool" at the Detroit River.
  • The Discovery Place by Detroit Future City (submitted by Allandra Bulger): Activating open spaces in Detroit as meeting places and libraries run by and for residents who otherwise lack these amenities.
  • Green Culture Shift by Detroit Future City (submitted by Alex Kellogg): Creating innovative, experiential tools that change how Detroiters think about planning and transforming green spaces in urban neighborhoods.
  • Happy 18th Birthday! Local Citizenship Kit by CitizenDetroit (submitted by Sandra Stahl): Celebrating Detroiters becoming eligible to vote by sending them a local citizenship kit in the mail on their 18th birthday.
  • Las Luces de la Noche by Invest Detroit (submitted by Michael Smith): Making Clark Park, a neighborhood recreation hub, a safer place for residents to come together through new public lighting and programming.
  • Mack Lot: A New Kind of Gathering Place by MACC Development (submitted by Ezekiel Harris): Bringing people of different backgrounds together by transforming a vacant 8,000-square-foot lot into a meeting space that will include a performance stage, a playground, rain gardens, public work spaces and space for food vendors.
  • Mine Your Own Business by Michigan Women's Foundation (submitted by Carolyn Cassin): Offering education, mentorship and capital for aspiring women entrepreneurs through business accelerators at neighborhood churches.
  • Motor City Matchbox by Detroit Economic Growth Corp. Small Business/Motor City Match (submitted by Helen Broughton): Making it easier to launch pop-up business and art events in the city's vacant buildings — and demonstrate what could happen in disinvested areas — by creating a mobile how-to toolkit.
  • Neighborhood Voice: Increase Civic Engagement by Equipping Community Connectors (submitted by Garlin Gilchrist II): Improving ways to obtain feedback from neighborhoods by supporting the best connected people — such as barbers, bartenders and baristas — to get and share feedback through technology, tools and training.
  • Reaching Across the Border: Detroit and Grosse Pointe by Mash Detroit (submitted by Marlowe Stoudamire): Inspiring residents near the border of Detroit and Grosse Pointe to collaborate on reimagining their common public spaces by offering mini-grants to teams of residents from both areas.
  • Shovel Share by Michigan Community Resources (submitted by Lydia Rae Levinson): Sparking neighborhood revitalization by providing community groups with the tools and resources they need to maintain and revamp their neighborhoods.
  • Sign ON by Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp. (submitted by Martha Potere): Enlivening Grandmont Rosedale by pairing local artists with small business owners to create a "gallery of signage" that treats commercial signs as public art.
  • Slow Roll – The Power of 25,000 by Detroit Bike City LLC (doing business as Slow Roll, submitted by Jeff Herron): Exploring why 25,000 Detroiters joined a cycling movement and sharing the learning with other cities so they can replicate the model.
  • The Table (submitted by Orlando Bailey): Giving people a voice in what happens next in their neighborhoods by convening them regularly to share ideas that can move the city forward.

Source

Visiting Detroit's bars, restaurants can land you a prize this summer

 

August 17, 2016

AUG 11, 2016- FOX2NEWS

 

(WJBK)  - If you're looking for a new way to experience or see the city, check out Detroit Experience Factory.  The company offers both walking and bus tours. Executive Director Jeanette Pierce says these aren't your average tours with scripted information. All their tour guides live in Detroit so they have a personal touch of their experience with the city to add to the tour.   Visitors from more than 100 countries have taken their tours, but Jeanette says they love giving tours to locals as there's always something new to learn about Detroit.      For the locals, Detroit Experience Factory has issued a challenge to get out there and visit the more than 600 bars and restaurants in Detroit. They have a checklist on their website. You have three months to complete the challenge and everyone is invited to participate. All you have to do is visit the bar or restaurant, take a picture with what you bought and post it on Instagram with a specific hashtag and by tagging Detroit Experience Factory.  The grand prize winner gets the Ultimate Detroit Experience Package, which includes a private bar tour for up to 12 people, a dinner at Angelina and an overnight stay at Marriott Renaissance Center.  The contests closes September 30, 2016.  You can get more information on their website,  www.detroitexperiencefactory.com .      http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/188597599-story#   

(WJBK) - If you're looking for a new way to experience or see the city, check out Detroit Experience Factory.

The company offers both walking and bus tours. Executive Director Jeanette Pierce says these aren't your average tours with scripted information. All their tour guides live in Detroit so they have a personal touch of their experience with the city to add to the tour.

Visitors from more than 100 countries have taken their tours, but Jeanette says they love giving tours to locals as there's always something new to learn about Detroit.

 

For the locals, Detroit Experience Factory has issued a challenge to get out there and visit the more than 600 bars and restaurants in Detroit. They have a checklist on their website. You have three months to complete the challenge and everyone is invited to participate. All you have to do is visit the bar or restaurant, take a picture with what you bought and post it on Instagram with a specific hashtag and by tagging Detroit Experience Factory.

The grand prize winner gets the Ultimate Detroit Experience Package, which includes a private bar tour for up to 12 people, a dinner at Angelina and an overnight stay at Marriott Renaissance Center.

The contests closes September 30, 2016.

You can get more information on their website, www.detroitexperiencefactory.com

 

http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/188597599-story#

 

Source: http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/188597...

Visit 622 Bars & Restaurants in 3 Months to Win DXF Challenge

July 7, 2016 - Downtown Monitor

Visit 622 Bars & Restaurants in 3 Months to Win DXF Challenge

Have you ever said, “There’s nowhere to go!” Or do you think you’ve been to every bar or restaurant in Detroit? Join the Detroit Experience Factory’s (DXF) 3rd Annual Bar & Restaurant Challenge and see what you’ve been missing!

This July, DXF is bringing back the Challenge to inspire you to spend the summer experiencing the food and drinks at some of the 622 bars, restaurants and cafes on DXF’s Bar & Restaurant Checklists.

“I’m a lifelong Detroiter but there’s a lot of places I’ve never been. This was a great opportunity to explore home,” says Tania Mackey, the 2014 Grand Prize Winner. “It’s also been great to learn about so many small businesses that you wouldn’t really know about unless you take the time to explore. And I take my son almost everywhere with me – it can be really kid friendly.” Tania visited 210 bars and restaurants on the checklist during the 9 days of the DXF challenge.

The 2015 Grand Prize Winner, Merissa Kovach, who visited 200 places said, “I enjoyed participating in the DXF Challenge because it allowed me to track what I was already doing....and we met so many people along the way!”

The DXF Challenge is pretty simple: the individual who visits the most places between July 1st and September 30th will win the Ultimate Detroit Experience Package, valued at over $1,000. There will also be random winners selected for prizes throughout the challenge so even if you visit one place you can be a winner. Participants will have to post a photo of themselves at the bar or restaurant on Instagram and use the hashtag, #DXFchallenge.

For more details and to register visit detroitexperiencefactory.org/challenge. To help people learn about spots they might not already be familiar with, DXF has tripled their Summer Tour Schedule to include Strolling Suppers, Bar Tours and more!

See the full list of tours at detroitexperiencefactory.org/tours.

 

DXF Challenge Featured in Eater Detroit

July 7, 2016- Eater Detroit

 

Challenge , which encourages Detroiters to explore more than 622 dining spots in the city. Between now and September 30 competitors can track their visits on a checklist. The person with the most Instagrammed locations marked with the hashtag #DXFchallenge at the end of the three-month challenge will receive a $1,000 Ultimate Detroit Experience Package. Find more details and register  here . [EaterWire]

Challenge, which encourages Detroiters to explore more than 622 dining spots in the city. Between now and September 30 competitors can track their visits on a checklist. The person with the most Instagrammed locations marked with the hashtag #DXFchallenge at the end of the three-month challenge will receive a $1,000 Ultimate Detroit Experience Package. Find more details and register here. [EaterWire]

Source: http://detroit.eater.com/2016/7/7/12121554...

Take DXF challenge: How many Detroit bars, restaurants can you hit?

July 6, 2016 - Detroit Free Press

Take the DXF Challenge: How many Detroit bars, restaurants can you hit?

By Mark Kurlyandchik

Not including fast-food joints, there are more than 600 bars and restaurants within Detroit city limits, according to the Detroit Experience Factory (DXF).  And the third annual DXF Bar & Restaurant Challenge gives you an excuse to try as many of them as possible between now and the end of September.

The challenge premise is simple: Register online at www.detroitexperiencefactory.org/challenge, visit a bar or restaurant on DXF's checklist, take a selfie with your favorite menu item, post it to Instagram with the proper tags and repeat as many times as you can.

The person with the most places visited by Sept. 30 wins a grand prize package valued at $1,000 that includes a DXF bar tour for 12 people, a hotel room at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center and a $100 gift certificate for dinner at Angelina Italian Bistro.

DXF founder and lifelong Detroit resident Jeanette Pierce describes it as a way for locals to discover new places in the city.

"We're all creatures of habit," Pierce says. "It's easy to go to the same three restaurants that you really like. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but if you don't go to other places you don't know about, maybe there's a new favorite place out there."

Pierce founded the nonprofit DXF in 2006 and has since taken 75,000 people around the city, two-thirds of whom have been locals.

"One of the first things we started doing was strolling suppers and bar tours," Pierce says. "People hear 'tour' and think, 'Oh, God.' But when you say 'bar tour' or 'strolling supper,' we bring in people using food and drink as a lead."

Pierce says she created a checklist of downtown Detroit food and drink establishments a decade ago as a response to those who would say that there's nowhere to go or that they'd been everywhere. And while there's certainly more downtown offerings now, there were places to have a drink or a meal in the relatively small area back then, too.

"The best feeling in the world is seeing people's eyes light up when they see this list and say, 'Wow! I didn't know that existed,' " Pierce says.

This year, the checklist has grown to include neighborhoods outside of downtown and lists everything from Dutch Girl Donuts and the ubiquitous coney islands to the more upscale Craft Work in  West Village.

In addition to the grand prize, random winners will be selected weekly for prizes that include gift certificates and free tours.

But if you want a shot at the big prize, you'll have to be strategic and have a some time on your hands. Both previous big winners visited 200-plus bars and restaurants during the 90-day challenge.

 

Source: http://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/d...

Detroit Experience Factory Kicking Off Third Annual Bar And Restaurant Challenge

June 30, 2016- Daily Detroit

 

There’s a lot to do in Detroit if you know where to look. If you read Daily Detroit on the regular, we’re always sharing something to do, another place to check out or experience.  One group of people that has been dedicated for years (under different names in previous iterations) to getting people to explore Detroit is the folks at the Detroit Experience Factory (DXF). So when we heard they’re doing their third annual bar and restaurant challenge, we had to share it along  For background, the Detroit Experience Factory is an affiliate of the nonprofit Downtown Detroit Partnership and uses interactive experiences and innovative resources to help newcomers and locals get more connected to the people, places and projects in Detroit.  On July 1st, DXF is bringing back the Challenge to inspire you to spend the summer experiencing the food and drinks at some of the 622 bars, restaurants and cafes on  DXF’s Bar & Restaurant Checklists.   “I’m a lifelong Detroiter but there’s a lot of places I’ve never been. This was a great opportunity to explore home.” says Tania Mackey, the 2014 Grand Prize Winner. “It’s also been great to learn about so many small businesses that you wouldn’t really know about unless you take the time to explore. And I take my son almost everywhere with me – it can be really kid friendly.” Tania visited 210 bars and restaurants on the checklist during the 90 days of the DXF challenge.  The 2015 Grand Prize Winner, Merissa Kovach, who visited 200 places said, “I enjoyed participating in the DXF Challenge because it allowed me to track what I was already doing and we met so many people along the way!”  The DXF Challenge is straightforward. The individual who visits the most places between July 1 and September 30 will win the Ultimate Detroit Experience Package valued at over $1,000.  There will also be random winners selected for prizes throughout the challenge so even if you visit one place you can be a winner.  Participants will have to post a photo of themselves at the bar or restaurant on Instagram and use the hashtag, #DXFchallenge. For more details and to register visit www.detroitexperiencefactory.org/challenge .  To help people learn about spots they might not already be familiar with, DXF has tripled their already busy Summer Tour schedule. See the full list of tours at www.detroitexperiencefactory.org/tours .   You can find DXF at their Welcome Center at 123 Monroe Street in Detroit.

There’s a lot to do in Detroit if you know where to look. If you read Daily Detroit on the regular, we’re always sharing something to do, another place to check out or experience.

One group of people that has been dedicated for years (under different names in previous iterations) to getting people to explore Detroit is the folks at the Detroit Experience Factory (DXF). So when we heard they’re doing their third annual bar and restaurant challenge, we had to share it along

For background, the Detroit Experience Factory is an affiliate of the nonprofit Downtown Detroit Partnership and uses interactive experiences and innovative resources to help newcomers and locals get more connected to the people, places and projects in Detroit.

On July 1st, DXF is bringing back the Challenge to inspire you to spend the summer experiencing the food and drinks at some of the 622 bars, restaurants and cafes on DXF’s Bar & Restaurant Checklists.

“I’m a lifelong Detroiter but there’s a lot of places I’ve never been. This was a great opportunity to explore home.” says Tania Mackey, the 2014 Grand Prize Winner. “It’s also been great to learn about so many small businesses that you wouldn’t really know about unless you take the time to explore. And I take my son almost everywhere with me – it can be really kid friendly.” Tania visited 210 bars and restaurants on the checklist during the 90 days of the DXF challenge.

The 2015 Grand Prize Winner, Merissa Kovach, who visited 200 places said, “I enjoyed participating in the DXF Challenge because it allowed me to track what I was already doing and we met so many people along the way!”

The DXF Challenge is straightforward. The individual who visits the most places between July 1 and September 30 will win the Ultimate Detroit Experience Package valued at over $1,000.

There will also be random winners selected for prizes throughout the challenge so even if you visit one place you can be a winner.

Participants will have to post a photo of themselves at the bar or restaurant on Instagram and use the hashtag, #DXFchallenge. For more details and to register visitwww.detroitexperiencefactory.org/challenge.

To help people learn about spots they might not already be familiar with, DXF has tripled their already busy Summer Tour schedule. See the full list of tours atwww.detroitexperiencefactory.org/tours.

You can find DXF at their Welcome Center at 123 Monroe Street in Detroit.

Source: http://www.dailydetroit.com/2016/06/30/det...

25 Fun Things To Do In Detroit This Summer That Are $5 Or Less

June 10, 2016- Daily Detroit 

 

Look, we’ve all been there. You want to get out of the house, but you think there’s not enough money to leave to the house. But you still want to have fun, right? Or find a good deal and enjoy Detroit? Fear not, we have 25 cheap, inexpensive and/or free things to do in Detroit and the surrounding area to make sure that even though you’re close to broke you can still have a good time.   1. Bike The Expanded Dequindre Cut   It’s a really fun ride now and has been extended all the way to Eastern Market. Pick it up either at Milliken State Park or at the Wilkins Street Plaza just east of Russell Street in Detroit.   2. Early Bird Breakfast Special At Rose’s   This place was featured in a bunch of food magazines and the prices are usually a bit on the higher side. But Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. they have $5 specials.   Facebook  – 10551 E. Jefferson, Detroit       3. Dollar Beer Wednesdays at Nancy Whiskey   This North Corktown place has a new patio and everything, but on Wednesdays, it’s $1 PBR beers. There’s jenga, too.   Website  – 2644 Harrison Street, Detroit    4. Grab Coneys   $2.35 each at Lafayette. Around the same price at the other place (American). Also highly recommend the other pair of dueling coneys, Duly’s or Columbo’s, if you’re feeling more adventurous.  Lafayette: 118 West Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit  American: 114 West Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit  Duly’s: 5458 West Vernor, Detroit  Colombo’s: 5414 West Vernor, Detroit   5.   The Detroit Institute of Arts   If you live in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb County, you can get general admission into great museum for free.   Website  – 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit    6. Picnic And Watch The Skyline From Belle Isle   It’s really cool and peaceful – a good thinking spot to take a look at the city. If you bike, bus or walk on the island, it’s free – otherwise, you will need a state pass for your car. That’s more than $5, but you’ll use it over and over again, not to mention the access to the free stuff on the island – and you might have already paid for it when you renewed your plates.   7. Dossin Great Lakes Museum   If you’re already on the island, there are three cool things to check out that are free (though, if you have a buck, throw it in the box). You can see the bridge of the frieghter William Clay Ford, a room from a steamship the U.S.S. Detroit, and more.   Website  – 100 Strand Drive, Detroit    8. The Aquarium   At one point America’s oldest continuously running aquarium, it was shut down for awhile but it’s finding new life thanks to a great group of volunteers. Only open on Saturdays and Sundays.   Website – 900 Inselruhe, Detroit       9. Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory   This is a historic and beautiful cornucopia of plants from around the world. It’s like a tropical trip without the airfare. Well, kinda.   Website  – 7000 Inselruhe, Detroit    10. Hit The Awesome Backyard Of The Old Miami (when there isn’t a show)   Go a time there isn’t a cover, grab yourself an inexpensive beer or well drink and sit and enjoy one of the tucked away gems of Detroit. The patio is best in the warm afternoons anyway.  3930 Cass Avenue, Detroit    11. Drive and see the awesome houses of a neighborhood or two   Try Sherwood Forest, Grandmont Rosedale, or Indian Village for some awesome, architecturally neat houses.  Various locations    12. Check Out A Pure Detroit Architectural Tour   They’re free on the weekends and you get your choice of a Guardian Building, Corrado Parducci, or a Fisher Building tour.   Facebook events  – Various locations    13. All The Things At New Center Park   Their programming is completely free and has everything from theatrical acts to movie nights. –  Website  – 2998 West Grand Boulevard    14. Go For A Walk Or A Bike Ride In A Historic Cemetery   Our suggestions off the bat for the novice would be  Woodmere  or Elmwood, both having all kinds of people from Detroit’s past.  Woodmere:  9400 West Fort, Detroit   Elmwood:   Website  – 1200 Elmwood, Detroit      Photo via Detroit Historical Museum   15. Check Out The Old Streets Of Detroit At The Detroit Historical Museum   Speaking of history, step in a time machine and hit the Detroit Historical Museum. In the basement, they have an entire setup of the old streets of Detroit. It’s kind of amazing. There’s the rest of the museum to check out, too.   Website  – 5401 Woodward, Detroit    16. Rockin’ On The Riverfront Concerts    There are six between July and August  right by the GM Rencen and this year include Grand Funk Railroad, Starship, and Blue Oyster Cult. Hey, they’re free.   17. Exhibitions At The Scarab Club   If you want to be cultured but the DIA is too mainstream for you (or you’re looking for something different), this is one of Detroit’s oldest creative institutions, and you can check out their gallery for free Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Their next exhibition is Whitney Snow, starting June 29. Some of their other events area also free.   Website  – 217 Farnsworth, Detroit    18. River Days   The three day festival from June 24-29 has everything from performances to an air show. It’s just $3 before 3 p.m. and $5 after 3 p.m. to support the non-profit Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. Some of the things inside it may cost, though.   Website  – The Riverwalk    19. Detroit Soup   If you want to get dinner AND help a great cause, then Detroit Soup is your answer. There is a main “Soup” and soups around the city. The basic idea is the event is free but the $5 goes to the elected winner after a series of pitches for neighborhood or creative projects. The food is potluck, so no menu – but hey, it’s $5 and a great way to meet people at interesting places all over the city!   Website – Various locations    20. Select Detroit Experience Factory Tours   So these tours aren’t of a factory; they’re of the sights and scenes of Detroit. On weekends, their Best of Downtown tour is free at 2 p.m. and on Mondays there is an art and architecture tour at 6 p.m.   Website  – 123 Monroe Street, Detroit    21. The Heidelberg Project   It’s on a public street on the east side – and it’s a crazily creative, open air art exhibition to see. It’s one of Detroit’s most popular tourist attractions, we’re told. Summertime is the best time to see this because it’s nice out.   Website  – 3600 Heidelberg in Detroit    22. Detroit Sports Zone   Although there are some camps that cost money, you can get a quick game in or some competition in 9 a.m. – 9.pm. daily on the open courts.   Website  – Next to Campus Martius Park    23. Events At The MOCAD   The Museum Of Contemporary Art and Detroit has a ton of events happening – and when they open up the big garage doors of the space, it’s a breezy fun experience.   Website  – 4454 Woodward, Detroit    24. The Palmer Park Splash Park   Targeted to open June 24, the Palmer Park Splash Park is a fun way to cool off in the summer. Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.   Website  – Located on Merrill Plaisance, between McNichols (6 Mile) and 7 Mile Roads.    25. Sit On The Beach At Campus Martius   Look, one of the things Detroit doesn’t have a lot of is beaches. It’d be great if our waterfront was opened up more from those ugly steel barriers, but it is what it is. Enjoy the sun and lay out on the Campus Martius Beach in the middle of the city. Often, there are free concerts going on as well.  Website  – Woodward at Michigan avenues, Detroit    

Look, we’ve all been there. You want to get out of the house, but you think there’s not enough money to leave to the house. But you still want to have fun, right? Or find a good deal and enjoy Detroit? Fear not, we have 25 cheap, inexpensive and/or free things to do in Detroit and the surrounding area to make sure that even though you’re close to broke you can still have a good time.

1. Bike The Expanded Dequindre Cut

It’s a really fun ride now and has been extended all the way to Eastern Market. Pick it up either at Milliken State Park or at the Wilkins Street Plaza just east of Russell Street in Detroit.

2. Early Bird Breakfast Special At Rose’s

This place was featured in a bunch of food magazines and the prices are usually a bit on the higher side. But Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. they have $5 specials. Facebook – 10551 E. Jefferson, Detroit

 

3. Dollar Beer Wednesdays at Nancy Whiskey

This North Corktown place has a new patio and everything, but on Wednesdays, it’s $1 PBR beers. There’s jenga, too. Website – 2644 Harrison Street, Detroit

4. Grab Coneys

$2.35 each at Lafayette. Around the same price at the other place (American). Also highly recommend the other pair of dueling coneys, Duly’s or Columbo’s, if you’re feeling more adventurous.

Lafayette: 118 West Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit

American: 114 West Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit

Duly’s: 5458 West Vernor, Detroit

Colombo’s: 5414 West Vernor, Detroit

5. The Detroit Institute of Arts

If you live in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb County, you can get general admission into great museum for free. Website – 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

6. Picnic And Watch The Skyline From Belle Isle

It’s really cool and peaceful – a good thinking spot to take a look at the city. If you bike, bus or walk on the island, it’s free – otherwise, you will need a state pass for your car. That’s more than $5, but you’ll use it over and over again, not to mention the access to the free stuff on the island – and you might have already paid for it when you renewed your plates.

7. Dossin Great Lakes Museum

If you’re already on the island, there are three cool things to check out that are free (though, if you have a buck, throw it in the box). You can see the bridge of the frieghter William Clay Ford, a room from a steamship the U.S.S. Detroit, and more. Website – 100 Strand Drive, Detroit

8. The Aquarium

At one point America’s oldest continuously running aquarium, it was shut down for awhile but it’s finding new life thanks to a great group of volunteers. Only open on Saturdays and Sundays. Website– 900 Inselruhe, Detroit

 

9. Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory

This is a historic and beautiful cornucopia of plants from around the world. It’s like a tropical trip without the airfare. Well, kinda. Website – 7000 Inselruhe, Detroit

10. Hit The Awesome Backyard Of The Old Miami (when there isn’t a show)

Go a time there isn’t a cover, grab yourself an inexpensive beer or well drink and sit and enjoy one of the tucked away gems of Detroit. The patio is best in the warm afternoons anyway. 3930 Cass Avenue, Detroit

11. Drive and see the awesome houses of a neighborhood or two

Try Sherwood Forest, Grandmont Rosedale, or Indian Village for some awesome, architecturally neat houses. Various locations

12. Check Out A Pure Detroit Architectural Tour

They’re free on the weekends and you get your choice of a Guardian Building, Corrado Parducci, or a Fisher Building tour. Facebook events – Various locations

13. All The Things At New Center Park

Their programming is completely free and has everything from theatrical acts to movie nights. –Website – 2998 West Grand Boulevard

14. Go For A Walk Or A Bike Ride In A Historic Cemetery

Our suggestions off the bat for the novice would be Woodmere or Elmwood, both having all kinds of people from Detroit’s past.

Woodmere: 9400 West Fort, Detroit

Elmwood: Website – 1200 Elmwood, Detroit

 

Photo via Detroit Historical Museum

15. Check Out The Old Streets Of Detroit At The Detroit Historical Museum

Speaking of history, step in a time machine and hit the Detroit Historical Museum. In the basement, they have an entire setup of the old streets of Detroit. It’s kind of amazing. There’s the rest of the museum to check out, too. Website – 5401 Woodward, Detroit

16. Rockin’ On The Riverfront Concerts

There are six between July and August right by the GM Rencen and this year include Grand Funk Railroad, Starship, and Blue Oyster Cult. Hey, they’re free.

17. Exhibitions At The Scarab Club

If you want to be cultured but the DIA is too mainstream for you (or you’re looking for something different), this is one of Detroit’s oldest creative institutions, and you can check out their gallery for free Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Their next exhibition is Whitney Snow, starting June 29. Some of their other events area also free. Website – 217 Farnsworth, Detroit

18. River Days

The three day festival from June 24-29 has everything from performances to an air show. It’s just $3 before 3 p.m. and $5 after 3 p.m. to support the non-profit Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. Some of the things inside it may cost, though. Website – The Riverwalk

19. Detroit Soup

If you want to get dinner AND help a great cause, then Detroit Soup is your answer. There is a main “Soup” and soups around the city. The basic idea is the event is free but the $5 goes to the elected winner after a series of pitches for neighborhood or creative projects. The food is potluck, so no menu – but hey, it’s $5 and a great way to meet people at interesting places all over the city! Website– Various locations

20. Select Detroit Experience Factory Tours

So these tours aren’t of a factory; they’re of the sights and scenes of Detroit. On weekends, their Best of Downtown tour is free at 2 p.m. and on Mondays there is an art and architecture tour at 6 p.m. Website – 123 Monroe Street, Detroit

21. The Heidelberg Project

It’s on a public street on the east side – and it’s a crazily creative, open air art exhibition to see. It’s one of Detroit’s most popular tourist attractions, we’re told. Summertime is the best time to see this because it’s nice out. Website – 3600 Heidelberg in Detroit

22. Detroit Sports Zone

Although there are some camps that cost money, you can get a quick game in or some competition in 9 a.m. – 9.pm. daily on the open courts. Website – Next to Campus Martius Park

23. Events At The MOCAD

The Museum Of Contemporary Art and Detroit has a ton of events happening – and when they open up the big garage doors of the space, it’s a breezy fun experience. Website – 4454 Woodward, Detroit

24. The Palmer Park Splash Park

Targeted to open June 24, the Palmer Park Splash Park is a fun way to cool off in the summer. Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Website – Located on Merrill Plaisance, between McNichols (6 Mile) and 7 Mile Roads.

25. Sit On The Beach At Campus Martius

Look, one of the things Detroit doesn’t have a lot of is beaches. It’d be great if our waterfront was opened up more from those ugly steel barriers, but it is what it is. Enjoy the sun and lay out on the Campus Martius Beach in the middle of the city. Often, there are free concerts going on as well.Website – Woodward at Michigan avenues, Detroit

 

Source: http://www.dailydetroit.com/2016/06/10/50-...

How Detroit Plans to Become This Summer’s Vacation Hotspot

May 31, 2016-  Fortune News

 

This time of year, the State of Michigan is usually just promoting Sleeping Bear Dunes, a breath-taking national lake shore on Lake Michigan, or the 650+ public golf courses as “America’s Summer Golf Capital.” But the state is spending about $1 million of a $12 million national ad buy for its ongoing “Pure Michigan” campaign to bring people to — the City of Detroit…in summer.  To many Michiganders, let alone Detroiters, it seems like an iffy proposition. After all, the city: is in bankruptcy, the largest American city ever to file for Chapter 9;  has the second highest murder-rate in the U.S .; and is in the national news for shutting off water to many of its residents for not paying their bills. The only vacationing in Detroit that would occur to many inside and outside the city, would involve orange vests and hard-hats, and a walking tour of “ruin-porn” of some of the thousands of abandoned buildings in the Motor City.  The TV ad that is running now, called “ Can a city have a soul?” spotlights: Tiger Stadium; the always packed Slows BBQ; The Shinola company, which has gained national attention for its Detroit-made watches; Eastern Market, which provides produce and Michigan-made comestibles; urban street art; lush urban gardens; and Diego Rivera’s murals at the Detroit Institute of Art.  The new spot, in 30- and 60-second versions, runs on YouTube and cable stations, including the Travel Channel, TLC and the Food Network. Actor/comedian and Michigan native Tim Allen intones“…There’s nothing like experiencing the unmistakable sounds, the memorable sights, and the limitless energy of a city called Detroit.” And he’s not joking.  “This is more than a leisure travel campaign — this is really about challenging and shifting people’s perceptions of Detroit and celebrating America’s great comeback story,” Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp  told the Detroit Free Press.   Despite Detroit’s awful crime statistics and lingering problems, though, the city has been attracting investment and showing signs of progress. On May 26, Nike opened its first Detroit store, 22,000 square feet of retail space. A Whole Foods has gone in downtown near Wayne State University, and Shake Shack and Walhburgers are also opening. The Detroit Redwings are getting a new arena. And it would surprise many to learn that Detroit claims to have the second biggest live theater district in the U.S. outside of New York City based on seats in its downtown theater neighborhood. Who knew?     A new ad campaign promises “unmistakable sounds, the memorable sights..”  This time of year, the State of Michigan is usually just promoting Sleeping Bear Dunes, a breath-taking national lake shore on Lake Michigan, or the 650+ public golf courses as “America’s Summer Golf Capital.” But the state is spending about $1 million of a $12 million national ad buy for its ongoing “Pure Michigan” campaign to bring people to — the City of Detroit…in summer.  To many Michiganders, let alone Detroiters, it seems like an iffy proposition. After all, the city: is in bankruptcy, the largest American city ever to file for Chapter 9;  has the second highest murder-rate in the U.S .; and is in the national news for shutting off water to many of its residents for not paying their bills. The only vacationing in Detroit that would occur to many inside and outside the city, would involve orange vests and hard-hats, and a walking tour of “ruin-porn” of some of the thousands of abandoned buildings in the Motor City.  The TV ad that is running now, called “ Can a city have a soul?” spotlights: Tiger Stadium; the always packed Slows BBQ; The Shinola company, which has gained national attention for its Detroit-made watches; Eastern Market, which provides produce and Michigan-made comestibles; urban street art; lush urban gardens; and Diego Rivera’s murals at the Detroit Institute of Art.  The new spot, in 30- and 60-second versions, runs on YouTube and cable stations, including the Travel Channel, TLC and the Food Network. Actor/comedian and Michigan native Tim Allen intones“…There’s nothing like experiencing the unmistakable sounds, the memorable sights, and the limitless energy of a city called Detroit.” And he’s not joking.  “This is more than a leisure travel campaign — this is really about challenging and shifting people’s perceptions of Detroit and celebrating America’s great comeback story,” Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp  told the Detroit Free Press.   Despite Detroit’s awful crime statistics and lingering problems, though, the city has been attracting investment and showing signs of progress. On May 26, Nike opened its first Detroit store, 22,000 square feet of retail space. A Whole Foods has gone in downtown near Wayne State University, and Shake Shack and Walhburgers are also opening. The Detroit Redwings are getting a new arena. And it would surprise many to learn that Detroit claims to have the second biggest live theater district in the U.S. outside of New York City based on seats in its downtown theater neighborhood. Who knew?  Trying to lure people in from the ‘burbs  About 15 million people visited metro Detroit in 2015, according to the Metro Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau. Those numbers are driven heavily by people coming to the city and surrounding suburbs by the auto industry, trade shows and casinos. The campaign is as much directed at people who already come to Detroit for business now, encouraging them to do more and spend more once they are here, as it is aimed at people in the region whose notion of a broken city were formed years ago and have yet to change.  Jeanette Pierce is executive director of  The Detroit Experience Factory , a decade-old company that gives some one dozen different themed tours, such as a downtown walking tour, and an art and architecture tour that spotlights a collection of outdoor murals created by international artists. Pierce puts together custom tours for groups of company employees like Nike and Bosch, but she says more than half of the people who take her tours live in Michigan, and are curious about the development and new energy they read about happening in the “The D.”   So-called “ruin porn” and urban archeology is still a popular draw, however. Jesse Welter runs tours from his  Motor City Photo Workshops  , which allows people to capture often disturbing images of Detroit’s underbelly. Just as Rome has its ancient baths and stadia, so Detroit has churches, hotels, theaters and schools that haven’t held students, patrons or worshipers in decades, and have fallen into a state of decay that many shooters find irresistible–the abandoned United Artists Theatre, the Packard plant, which has been bought by a developer but remains as photogenic as the Titanic wreck; and more.      Welter guided his first tour in late 2011, and his clients pay $45 for a three-hour tour. His tours are booked many weeks in advance. Typical of the patrons are travelers from abroad who visit Detroit on business, have seen some the pictures on the Internet and want to see for themselves before its gone.  For the more independent minded, you can choose from a menu of self-guided walking, driving and bike tours provided through an effort at  One Day In Detroit  by Loveland Technologies, which specializes in mapping cities like Detroit for investors and developers, and a firm called Dandelion that assists clients with projects intended to impact communities in a positive way. These tours include those conceived by Detroiters for Detroiters and will take you, for example, on a statue tour of Detroit, a “hacker and maker” tour, and a tour that will take you to some of the weirder efforts to beautify Detroit like the Heidelberg Project, a 25-year-old neighborhood-sized art installation made largely of found objects like plush toys and car parts. Nearly everything in the two-block area, from trees to houses to fences, is adorned with eclectic objects; don’t miss the installation of hundreds of shoes scattered in the street. This is what New York magazine rightly dubbed “Oddball” Detroit.  Maybe so, but its that gritty character that is attracting Millennials to the city in droves to live and play. Steven Cullen is a 27 year old who grew up in the posh Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield, but who makes his home now downtown in an apartment near the  University of Detroit Mercy  for $850 a month. “There is nothing to do where I grew up,” says Cullen. “All my friends are down here.”  Cullen, a video producer and self-described theater geek, takes in shows in the downtown district, but recently went to see a show at The Detroit Repertory Theatre, which has been operating in a fairly dodgy neighborhood , filled with empty lots where homes and businesses once stood, without interruption since Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House. On his recent visit, the theater’s owners in a pre-show talk with patrons were giddy about the city restoring streetlights to their neighborhood for the first time since the 1990s. “How great is that, and yet a little sad that we are celebrating streetlights,” says Cullen.  The Pure Michigan ad may well rattle perceptions about Detroit held by those living in Michigan beyond the city borders, as well as outside the state. But perhaps Detroit is ready for a brighter light to shine on what is moving people to invest there, move there, and even take a holiday there.  http://fortune.com/2016/05/31/detroit-tourism-vacation/   

This time of year, the State of Michigan is usually just promoting Sleeping Bear Dunes, a breath-taking national lake shore on Lake Michigan, or the 650+ public golf courses as “America’s Summer Golf Capital.” But the state is spending about $1 million of a $12 million national ad buy for its ongoing “Pure Michigan” campaign to bring people to — the City of Detroit…in summer.

To many Michiganders, let alone Detroiters, it seems like an iffy proposition. After all, the city: is in bankruptcy, the largest American city ever to file for Chapter 9; has the second highest murder-rate in the U.S.; and is in the national news for shutting off water to many of its residents for not paying their bills. The only vacationing in Detroit that would occur to many inside and outside the city, would involve orange vests and hard-hats, and a walking tour of “ruin-porn” of some of the thousands of abandoned buildings in the Motor City.

The TV ad that is running now, called “ Can a city have a soul?” spotlights: Tiger Stadium; the always packed Slows BBQ; The Shinola company, which has gained national attention for its Detroit-made watches; Eastern Market, which provides produce and Michigan-made comestibles; urban street art; lush urban gardens; and Diego Rivera’s murals at the Detroit Institute of Art.

The new spot, in 30- and 60-second versions, runs on YouTube and cable stations, including the Travel Channel, TLC and the Food Network. Actor/comedian and Michigan native Tim Allen intones“…There’s nothing like experiencing the unmistakable sounds, the memorable sights, and the limitless energy of a city called Detroit.” And he’s not joking.

“This is more than a leisure travel campaign — this is really about challenging and shifting people’s perceptions of Detroit and celebrating America’s great comeback story,” Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp told the Detroit Free Press.

Despite Detroit’s awful crime statistics and lingering problems, though, the city has been attracting investment and showing signs of progress. On May 26, Nike opened its first Detroit store, 22,000 square feet of retail space. A Whole Foods has gone in downtown near Wayne State University, and Shake Shack and Walhburgers are also opening. The Detroit Redwings are getting a new arena. And it would surprise many to learn that Detroit claims to have the second biggest live theater district in the U.S. outside of New York City based on seats in its downtown theater neighborhood. Who knew?

 

A new ad campaign promises “unmistakable sounds, the memorable sights..”

This time of year, the State of Michigan is usually just promoting Sleeping Bear Dunes, a breath-taking national lake shore on Lake Michigan, or the 650+ public golf courses as “America’s Summer Golf Capital.” But the state is spending about $1 million of a $12 million national ad buy for its ongoing “Pure Michigan” campaign to bring people to — the City of Detroit…in summer.

To many Michiganders, let alone Detroiters, it seems like an iffy proposition. After all, the city: is in bankruptcy, the largest American city ever to file for Chapter 9; has the second highest murder-rate in the U.S.; and is in the national news for shutting off water to many of its residents for not paying their bills. The only vacationing in Detroit that would occur to many inside and outside the city, would involve orange vests and hard-hats, and a walking tour of “ruin-porn” of some of the thousands of abandoned buildings in the Motor City.

The TV ad that is running now, called “ Can a city have a soul?” spotlights: Tiger Stadium; the always packed Slows BBQ; The Shinola company, which has gained national attention for its Detroit-made watches; Eastern Market, which provides produce and Michigan-made comestibles; urban street art; lush urban gardens; and Diego Rivera’s murals at the Detroit Institute of Art.

The new spot, in 30- and 60-second versions, runs on YouTube and cable stations, including the Travel Channel, TLC and the Food Network. Actor/comedian and Michigan native Tim Allen intones“…There’s nothing like experiencing the unmistakable sounds, the memorable sights, and the limitless energy of a city called Detroit.” And he’s not joking.

“This is more than a leisure travel campaign — this is really about challenging and shifting people’s perceptions of Detroit and celebrating America’s great comeback story,” Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp told the Detroit Free Press.

Despite Detroit’s awful crime statistics and lingering problems, though, the city has been attracting investment and showing signs of progress. On May 26, Nike opened its first Detroit store, 22,000 square feet of retail space. A Whole Foods has gone in downtown near Wayne State University, and Shake Shack and Walhburgers are also opening. The Detroit Redwings are getting a new arena. And it would surprise many to learn that Detroit claims to have the second biggest live theater district in the U.S. outside of New York City based on seats in its downtown theater neighborhood. Who knew?

Trying to lure people in from the ‘burbs

About 15 million people visited metro Detroit in 2015, according to the Metro Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau. Those numbers are driven heavily by people coming to the city and surrounding suburbs by the auto industry, trade shows and casinos. The campaign is as much directed at people who already come to Detroit for business now, encouraging them to do more and spend more once they are here, as it is aimed at people in the region whose notion of a broken city were formed years ago and have yet to change.

Jeanette Pierce is executive director of The Detroit Experience Factory, a decade-old company that gives some one dozen different themed tours, such as a downtown walking tour, and an art and architecture tour that spotlights a collection of outdoor murals created by international artists. Pierce puts together custom tours for groups of company employees like Nike and Bosch, but she says more than half of the people who take her tours live in Michigan, and are curious about the development and new energy they read about happening in the “The D.”

So-called “ruin porn” and urban archeology is still a popular draw, however. Jesse Welter runs tours from hisMotor City Photo Workshops, which allows people to capture often disturbing images of Detroit’s underbelly. Just as Rome has its ancient baths and stadia, so Detroit has churches, hotels, theaters and schools that haven’t held students, patrons or worshipers in decades, and have fallen into a state of decay that many shooters find irresistible–the abandoned United Artists Theatre, the Packard plant, which has been bought by a developer but remains as photogenic as the Titanic wreck; and more.

 

Welter guided his first tour in late 2011, and his clients pay $45 for a three-hour tour. His tours are booked many weeks in advance. Typical of the patrons are travelers from abroad who visit Detroit on business, have seen some the pictures on the Internet and want to see for themselves before its gone.

For the more independent minded, you can choose from a menu of self-guided walking, driving and bike tours provided through an effort at One Day In Detroit by Loveland Technologies, which specializes in mapping cities like Detroit for investors and developers, and a firm called Dandelion that assists clients with projects intended to impact communities in a positive way. These tours include those conceived by Detroiters for Detroiters and will take you, for example, on a statue tour of Detroit, a “hacker and maker” tour, and a tour that will take you to some of the weirder efforts to beautify Detroit like the Heidelberg Project, a 25-year-old neighborhood-sized art installation made largely of found objects like plush toys and car parts. Nearly everything in the two-block area, from trees to houses to fences, is adorned with eclectic objects; don’t miss the installation of hundreds of shoes scattered in the street. This is what New York magazine rightly dubbed “Oddball” Detroit.

Maybe so, but its that gritty character that is attracting Millennials to the city in droves to live and play. Steven Cullen is a 27 year old who grew up in the posh Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield, but who makes his home now downtown in an apartment near the University of Detroit Mercy for $850 a month. “There is nothing to do where I grew up,” says Cullen. “All my friends are down here.”

Cullen, a video producer and self-described theater geek, takes in shows in the downtown district, but recently went to see a show at The Detroit Repertory Theatre, which has been operating in a fairly dodgy neighborhood , filled with empty lots where homes and businesses once stood, without interruption since Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House. On his recent visit, the theater’s owners in a pre-show talk with patrons were giddy about the city restoring streetlights to their neighborhood for the first time since the 1990s. “How great is that, and yet a little sad that we are celebrating streetlights,” says Cullen.

The Pure Michigan ad may well rattle perceptions about Detroit held by those living in Michigan beyond the city borders, as well as outside the state. But perhaps Detroit is ready for a brighter light to shine on what is moving people to invest there, move there, and even take a holiday there.

http://fortune.com/2016/05/31/detroit-tourism-vacation/

 

Source: http://fortune.com/2016/05/31/detroit-tour...

Detroit By The Numbers: Detroit’s Bars and Restaurants [MAP]

March 3, 2016- WDET

 

If you ask Jeanette Pierce, the executive director of the  Detroit Experience Factory , where to grab a bite or a libation, she’ll have an answer.  For a decade she’s tracked the growing number of bars and restaurants in downtown Detroit. Now, she’s adding the neighborhoods.  She shared her list with WDET, and we made a map.  Oddly enough, as of today, there are  313  establishments downtown. Get it, 313?!  Jeanette will join WDET’s Sandra Svoboda on Detroit Today to talk about the growing number of places downtown, how she’s tracking them in the rest of the city and a few of her favorites.  Also, tell us if we’re missing any! On Twitter: @WDETSandra or @WeKnowDetroit  To track how many you’ve been to, visit the Detroit Experience Factory for the  Downloadable Checklists .

If you ask Jeanette Pierce, the executive director of the Detroit Experience Factory, where to grab a bite or a libation, she’ll have an answer.

For a decade she’s tracked the growing number of bars and restaurants in downtown Detroit. Now, she’s adding the neighborhoods.

She shared her list with WDET, and we made a map.

Oddly enough, as of today, there are 313 establishments downtown. Get it, 313?!

Jeanette will join WDET’s Sandra Svoboda on Detroit Today to talk about the growing number of places downtown, how she’s tracking them in the rest of the city and a few of her favorites.

Also, tell us if we’re missing any! On Twitter: @WDETSandra or @WeKnowDetroit

To track how many you’ve been to, visit the Detroit Experience Factory for the Downloadable Checklists.

Source: http://wdet.org/posts/2016/03/02/82634-det...

Detroit Experience Factory showing off the city to Detroit Auto Show visitors

January 14, 2016 - FOX47 NEWS

(WXYZ) - Jeanette Pierce from the Detroit Experience Factory joined Stephen Clark on WXYZ's Detroit Auto Show Webcast to discuss showing off the city of Detroit to the thousands of visitors for the North American International Auto Show.  She talked about how the Detroit Experience Factory was hired by the auto show to set up an information booth inside the press center to help show off the city to visitors.  On their website,  weknowdetroit.org  , you can sign up to see the public tours of Detroit this winter, or even customize your own Detroit tour with the help of the Detroit Experience Factory.  For more information, watch Jeanette's interview in the video player above and visit  weknowdetroit.org  .     http://www.fox47news.com/news/detroit-experience-factory-showing-off-the-city-to-detroit-auto-show-visitors

(WXYZ) - Jeanette Pierce from the Detroit Experience Factory joined Stephen Clark on WXYZ's Detroit Auto Show Webcast to discuss showing off the city of Detroit to the thousands of visitors for the North American International Auto Show.

She talked about how the Detroit Experience Factory was hired by the auto show to set up an information booth inside the press center to help show off the city to visitors.

On their website, weknowdetroit.org , you can sign up to see the public tours of Detroit this winter, or even customize your own Detroit tour with the help of the Detroit Experience Factory.

For more information, watch Jeanette's interview in the video player above and visit weknowdetroit.org .

 

http://www.fox47news.com/news/detroit-experience-factory-showing-off-the-city-to-detroit-auto-show-visitors

Source: http://www.fox47news.com/news/detroit-expe...

Detroit ‘Ambassadors’ May Help Auto Show Attendees Get Outside Cobo Center

January 14, 2016- WDET

 

Soumya Dev is smoking a cigarette outside Cobo Center. He works on social media for Ford in Bangkok. This is his first time in Detroit.  “I haven’t seen much of the city,” says Dev. “So far it’s been from the hotel to the Cobo Center every day and back to the hotel.”  For most of the professionals visiting Detroit during preview week, the trip isn’t a vacation… it’s work.  But this Thailand native says he’ll finally get a little time to explore Detroit this evening.  “I want to go downtown. And definitely go to Slows,” says Dev.  His friends who have been to Detroit before recommended Slows to him. Nothing against the Corktown barbecue joint, but locals know it’s not the only restaurant in town.  And that’s why more than a dozen people have been hired to be Detroit “ambassadors” at the auto show. Jennifer Ruud is one of them.  Can I Take an Uber to Windsor?  “People will say, ‘What do you suggest?’ and I’ll say, ‘Well, what are you interested in?’ because there’s so much to choose from,” says Ruud.   She’s standing in the lobby area with an iPad in hand.  “We’re basically helping individuals find their way around Cobo and if they’re interested in going to any place outside of Cobo for dinner or entertainment or anything, we’re kind of helping guide them in that way,” she says.  Ruud estimates she’s answered over 100 questions in her first day and a half, including everything from, “Where’s a good place to get a drink?”… to, “Can I take an Uber to Windsor?”  If attendees have a question about the cars inside Cobo Center, she can connect them to industry experts using the iPad.  The First Step  Planners of the auto show came up with the idea for the ambassadors and helped put together a partnership to bring them to fruition. Ruud and her cohort from the  Detroit Experience Factory  are being paid by Motor Trend.  The Detroit Experience Factory is a local organization that runs a welcome center and employs knowledgeable Detroiters to take people on excursions. There are a couple of tours planned during the show, but here at Cobo Center, the DEF staffers are basically just standing around answering questions. So, what’s the big deal?  Jeanette Pierce is the Detroit Experience Factory’s executive director. She says what they’re doing inside Cobo matters because it is a first step to meaningful engagement.  “Some people want to have a deeper conversation, right?” says Pierce. “They might start with ‘Where can I go for this?’ and then you start talking with them… then they leave with a better understanding of what’s happening in Detroit.”  More Than a T-shirt Slogan  Michelle Ortali is perusing souvenirs at the Detroit Shoppe inside the convention center. She’s the executive director of an auto company in Brazil called Miksom. She’s paused at a display of T-shirts  “I’m shopping (for) a T-shirt for my uncle… Because he loves cars, Detroit,” explains Ortali.  Ortali decides on a navy blue tee with a logo that’s made to look old. In white and red cracked lettering the shirt reads “Motor City Detroit, established 1701.”  For Ortali, who hasn’t had time to explore the city, this generic message might be the only thing she’ll take home about Detroit. The hope is that as the ambassador program continues, more industry professionals will be able to bring home their own personal report from an actual experience with the city.   That is, of course, assuming they have the time.   The “Ambassadors” will be available to answer questions next week, as well.  The North American International Auto show opens to the public on Saturday and runs until January 23

Soumya Dev is smoking a cigarette outside Cobo Center. He works on social media for Ford in Bangkok. This is his first time in Detroit.

“I haven’t seen much of the city,” says Dev. “So far it’s been from the hotel to the Cobo Center every day and back to the hotel.”

For most of the professionals visiting Detroit during preview week, the trip isn’t a vacation… it’s work.  But this Thailand native says he’ll finally get a little time to explore Detroit this evening.

“I want to go downtown. And definitely go to Slows,” says Dev.

His friends who have been to Detroit before recommended Slows to him. Nothing against the Corktown barbecue joint, but locals know it’s not the only restaurant in town.  And that’s why more than a dozen people have been hired to be Detroit “ambassadors” at the auto show. Jennifer Ruud is one of them.

Can I Take an Uber to Windsor?

“People will say, ‘What do you suggest?’ and I’ll say, ‘Well, what are you interested in?’ because there’s so much to choose from,” says Ruud. 

She’s standing in the lobby area with an iPad in hand.

“We’re basically helping individuals find their way around Cobo and if they’re interested in going to any place outside of Cobo for dinner or entertainment or anything, we’re kind of helping guide them in that way,” she says.

Ruud estimates she’s answered over 100 questions in her first day and a half, including everything from, “Where’s a good place to get a drink?”… to, “Can I take an Uber to Windsor?”  If attendees have a question about the cars inside Cobo Center, she can connect them to industry experts using the iPad.

The First Step

Planners of the auto show came up with the idea for the ambassadors and helped put together a partnership to bring them to fruition. Ruud and her cohort from the Detroit Experience Factory are being paid by Motor Trend.

The Detroit Experience Factory is a local organization that runs a welcome center and employs knowledgeable Detroiters to take people on excursions. There are a couple of tours planned during the show, but here at Cobo Center, the DEF staffers are basically just standing around answering questions. So, what’s the big deal?

Jeanette Pierce is the Detroit Experience Factory’s executive director. She says what they’re doing inside Cobo matters because it is a first step to meaningful engagement.

“Some people want to have a deeper conversation, right?” says Pierce. “They might start with ‘Where can I go for this?’ and then you start talking with them… then they leave with a better understanding of what’s happening in Detroit.”

More Than a T-shirt Slogan

Michelle Ortali is perusing souvenirs at the Detroit Shoppe inside the convention center. She’s the executive director of an auto company in Brazil called Miksom. She’s paused at a display of T-shirts

“I’m shopping (for) a T-shirt for my uncle… Because he loves cars, Detroit,” explains Ortali.

Ortali decides on a navy blue tee with a logo that’s made to look old. In white and red cracked lettering the shirt reads “Motor City Detroit, established 1701.”

For Ortali, who hasn’t had time to explore the city, this generic message might be the only thing she’ll take home about Detroit. The hope is that as the ambassador program continues, more industry professionals will be able to bring home their own personal report from an actual experience with the city. 

That is, of course, assuming they have the time.

The “Ambassadors” will be available to answer questions next week, as well.  The North American International Auto show opens to the public on Saturday and runs until January 23

Source: http://wdet.org/posts/2016/01/14/82278-det...