Thursday, the Michigan Chronicle hosted Pancakes and Politics 2017 forum three called Destination Detroit: Creating a World Class Hub for Arts, Culture and Entertainment to discuss Detroit’s rich history in the arts and how promoting this history can propel the city forward.
Panel guests included four of the city’s most influential leaders in the arts all currently working for some of Detroit’s world-class arts institutions. They included George N’Namdi, founder of Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit and N’Namdi Center For Contemporary Art, Juaniita Moore, president and CEO at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Ron Kagan, CEO at Detroit Zoological Society and Salvador Salort-Pons, president and CEO of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
For decades, Detroit has been known as a world-class arts destination. It is art, N’Namdi believes, that encompasses a significant component of the fabric that makes Detroit unique. While many, he said, have recently moved to the city due to revitalization efforts and the attraction of one-dollar homes, many do not stay. He believes it is only those truly understand the city’s originality and grit that make Detroit their permanent home.
“There are many reasons why people move to Detroit. A part of that is our energy. The people who stay in Detroit, get it. “It” is our authenticity. I call it “the Funk!” So, in all our developments we have to be careful not to lose our authenticity. The authenticity we have, we have to maintain it.”
Often, a lack of funding for arts programs and institutions is the reason why many close. With the addition of art in STEM curriculums, now STEAM, Moore said incorporating arts into school curriculums can have a positive affect on learning.
“The arts are woefully underfunded in this country,” said Moore.
“Many of the things we want students to know, they learn through the arts. Whether it’s visual arts, film, music and the other forms of art. Arts play a major role in education.”
Pancakes and Politics 2017 forum four will be held on June 15 at the Detroit Athletic Club. For more information about the next Pancakes and Politics 2017 and to purchase tickets, go to michronicleonline.com.