Championing Design

DC3 earns $1 million grant to focus on excellence and inclusiveness in design

The Detroit Creative Corridor Center has received a $1 million grant from the Knight Foundation to create an urban development strategy that focuses on excellence and inclusiveness in design. This comes two years after Detroit was designated by the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the first US City of Design. Now, DC3 will use best practices from the UNESCO network to launch a multi-year campaign that will mobilize Detroit’s creative industries to strengthen its economy.

“The Detroit City of Design campaign will include activities to raise public awareness about the value of design and creative industries, promote an international exchange of designers and ideas and increase opportunities for Detroit’s creative community,” Olga Stella, executive director of DC3, tells dbusiness. “By breaking down silos between communities, business sectors and creative disciplines, we will build a broad and diverse coalition to champion the role of design and creativity in driving equitable and sustainable development in Detroit.” Stella spoke at IDSA's International Conference 2016 in Detroit.

"If our community doesn't value the intrinsic composition of design, we are never going to move the needle on growing Detroit's creative economy," Stella tells Crain's Detroit Business.

This isn't the first grant earned by DC3. The Kresge Foundation has also awarded $150,000 to support the visioning process and resulting economic strategy, and the Davidson Foundation awarded $100,000 toward the planning process.

DC3 is a partnership between Business Leaders for Michigan in Lansing and the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, and works to strengthen and connect people to Detroit’s creative economy.