KickstART Farmington wins grant for photo exhibit connecting Farmington and Farmington Hills

There’s a bit of a long running, hyper local joke shared between the communities of Farmington and Farmington Hills, says local resident Lindsay Janoch, where sometimes the borders between the neighboring communities can seem a little, well, fuzzy.

“We share things like the Arts Commission. We share a school district. I live in Farmington Hills but I consider downtown Farmington to be my downtown. And I’m also on the board for KickstART downtown,” Janoch says. “So we do a lot of things together but there’s still these distinct personalities between the two [communities].”

With so many of the events and gatherings that draw us together having been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, KickstART Farmington has come up with a new and creative way to bring people back together again. It’s called ONE: Two Cities, One Community, a photography exhibit featuring the diverse array of faces and voices of Farmington and Farmington Hills.

KickstART Farmington was recently awarded a $1,500 grant from the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs to help finance the project.

ONE: Two Cities, One Community is meant to start a dialog. It’s a way to bring us all back together,” says Janoch, who serves as vice president on the KickstART board. “Our mission at KickstART has always been to support artists and show the good things happening in our community.”

KickstART Farmington aims to strengthen the community through the arts. The organization hosts events like the Greater Farmington Film Festival and runs the KickstART Gallery & Shop in downtown Farmington. Its current exhibition, At Home on Earth, features the work of local artists Nancy Kozlowski and Gail Borowski.

The organization is currently seeking photographers to execute the ONE photo exhibition, which will make its debut later this summer.

“The hope is that we can take interesting photos of people that wouldn’t usually be found hanging up in a gallery. At the D.I.A. (Detroit Institute of Arts), you’re used to seeing portraits of kings and queens and landholders. We want this to be about the everyday people of our community,” Janoch says.

“We have people of all different walks of life living here. We want to find that common community that connects each other.”

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.