Panelists discuss artists, business in Downtown Dearborn

Build Institute, in partnership with Metromode, presented Dearborn Open City in Downtown Dearborn on Thursday, June 20 at Fishnet Artist Studios. The topic of discussion? Connecting Dearborn creatives and business in East and West Dearborn

We spoke with panelists to get their thoughts.

Here's what some of the panelists had to say about the conversation.

Andrea Bogart, Embrace Creatives


The thing I really want to talk about with people is protecting the artists. What opportunities are available for artists? Who do they contact and how can they make sure that they are not taken advantage of, that they're walking into an opportunity where they can be, if not profitable, at least build really good relationships and not walk away feeling that they were taken. And it really is that symbiosis, that community. How do we build that community here in Dearborn that connects artists with business owners so that everyone could have that little piece of Dearborn and feel that they're really doing something important with the thing that they're passionate about?

Everyone wants Dearborn to succeed, but they want to do it in a creative way and they want to use the creative ecosystem because they understand our value and they want to help us find our value and be part of the community and be sustainable within the community.

Daniel Downey, Downey Brewing Company

Daniel Downey.Photo by STEPHEN KOSS

We want to just give our business a little bit of exposure and then at the same time connect with artisans and creatives because as we are rehabbing our building, this is something that we want to incorporate as we grow. Our building is in east Dearborn on Prospect Street, near Michigan and Schaefer. We've got a little red door. But you'll blink and you'll miss it.

I really enjoy was just connecting with different, various members of the community, the art studios, members of the local government, the chamber, and the DDA. That's awesome.

Carl George, Artist

Carl George. Photo by STEPHEN KOSS

My focus really is about social engagement in the arts, arts, and education and students coming to studios to see how artists work and opening up the idea to students, to young people that art is a viable option as a profession, as a field of study. That they can want to be a doctor or a veterinarian, but that they can also be an artist.

I feel that there is a genuine willingness to promote this idea of social engagement by the Chamber and by the DDA. So I felt that there was a genuine, willingness to make that happen and that felt really good. And also the idea that that there is also a willingness on their part to talk to other building owners and business owners about the idea of engaging with artists and possibly opening up their buildings for artists' studios.

Sunshine Durant, Artist

Sunshine Durant. Photo by STEPHEN KOSS

The most important thing I wanted to bring to the panel was an understanding that, that we as a community have to be a community and actually build off each other and bridge more art opportunities throughout your work.  I'm really glad to know that people are really interested in bringing more art events, even if it's not just art per se, like fine art, like cooking or activities or whatever else is entailed in that into Dearborn and infusing them in businesses.

I really want to have a pop-up gallery, and having these businesses be open to having us come in and having like, um, really contemporary art shows here and bringing the art that we see elsewhere to Dearborn is a main idea that I got out of this panel and want to see happen.
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