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Go to Detroit, Young People

Perception is everything.

And if some major musical icons believe Detroit is cool…are we that far from the rest of the world feeling that way?

Had to share some stories that are being swapped around the Web. The first is about Patti Smith on why Detroit is the new New York. The second is about David Byrne's latest trip to the city. The other is about a scholarship program Kid Rock is helping to fund for Michigan college kids studying music at Wayne State University.

Maybe this kind of “positive” press will help alleviate the nation's misconceptions about this region. Or maybe these articles will help our own low-self esteem. Or maybe they're just good reads. Anyway…

This is from the New York Observer:

All you creative young things eager to make it in the big city, Patti Smith has a suggestion: get out. "New York has closed itself off to the young and struggling,” Ms. Smith said. “New York City has been taken away from you ... So my advice is: Find a new city." She suggests Detroit.

This is from David Byrne's Journal, in which he writes an extensive entry about the city.

So the current Detroit on the ropes isn't just the result of a single blow: this city took multiple hits, and was in the unfortunate situation of also having one principal industry. I look around and realize that any other town with one main company is similarly in peril, even if they're doing OK at the moment, or think they are. … However, one can imagine that if the city center here can become more of the focus then a much smaller town with vibrant life might emerge. Forget much of the urban sprawl (or turn it into farmland) and see if the wonderful stuff can be encouraged and supported. Again, it could be arts and theater and music that spurs some of that—there were 3 movies and a TV show shooting when we where there; Matthew Barney was preparing a large scale performance involving molten metal not too far away, and local artists and musicians have always gone their own dark ways here—so the interest is there. The skies here are bigger than in New York.

I added the emphasis. Isn't that a great line? Kudos, Mr. Byrne, for your continued talent with words.

And in the Kid Rock department, he and Wayne State University are doing a music scholarship worth $25,000, partly funded through “Made in Detroit” t-shirt sales. Thanks, Mr. Richie! Bulldog pride!

“The words, ‘Made In Detroit' mean something,” explained Thomas Dubak, president of Made In Detroit. “They tell a story about hard work, believing in your dreams and being proud of who you are and where you come from – the same message expressed through Kid Rock's music. That's why he felt it was important to establish a scholarship at a time when Michigan's economy has been hit hard and families can't afford college. This music scholarship at Wayne State helps to ensure that our future musicians will get an education, and it speaks volumes about how much Detroiters care about each other.”

Detroit as cool hub of creative greatness. I like the sound of that.

Finally, check this one out too: Craftzine has a great series of links and videos along with this blurb:

It's becoming obvious that Detroit is becoming the place for artists to live and work. There have been all sorts of articles on the subject this year and as a Mitten resident, it's so inspiring to see all this talent around town.

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