Detroit's Avenue of Fashion was once the top destination for luxury shopping, with a musical legacy shaped by American jazz. Over the years, the energy of this once vivacious district came to a lull, but today, this arts and cultural district is on the verge of a renaissance.

In the summer of 2013, WCIP collaborated with Revolve Detroit on an ArtPlace America Placemaking grant. Our goal was to transform a street into a destination. In order to grow the story of this vibrant community, we proposed activating the vacant shops with engaging public art, memorable environments, and rich participatory programming. We selected artists, local and international, to work with entrepreneurs to build out each of their spaces, while developing a rich program of events for our debut night during the Detroit Design Festival. 

Exactly four months after the ArtPlace America grant announcement, we unveiled a dramatic street transformation and the launch of 31 new art and entrepreneurial projects to an audience of over 3,000 people. The impacts of the project extended far beyond the storefronts. Existing businesses were inspired by the new look and increase in attention. Coalitions formed, competing businesses joined together, and new models of collaboration and engagement were developed. Today, all of the businesses we moved in through the project are still operating - and the neighborhood is growing! View the before and after shots on Curbed.

Photos by Mandy Moran