Sunday, October 27, 2019

Detroit Arts City


It is time to propose one-credit honors colloquia for next fall, and I was beginning to think that my next topic should be Detroit, with a focus on the role of the arts in the social and economic development of the city. My kid -- an accomplished artist and honorary geographer -- had introduced me to the importance of this question a few years ago, with a brilliant paper in response to the proposed liquidation of some of the city's great museum collections.

The decision was made for me just now, by an instructive review of Detroit's proto-punk scene on PRI's Studio 360. As part of its American Icon series, journalist Pedro Rafael Rosado makes a convincing case for the pivotal importance of the 1962 one-hit wonder 96 Tears by Question Mark and the Mysterians.
Visual arts will figure just as prominently in our colloquium,
including Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry Murals,
completed thirty years prior to the music featured above.

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