Preservation Detroit, founded in 1975, is Detroit's oldest group dedicated to historic preservation. Over the past three decades, the architectural preservation organization has become a leading advocate for the protection and rehabilitation of Detroit's historic abodes, skyscrapers, and culturally rich sites. They have used a variety of educational and research programs, along with advocacy and awareness campaigns to help grow support for the conservation Detroit's built heritage. Part of this mission includes encouraging the redevelopment of neighborhoods throughout the city around these historic structures, providing an anchor for residential areas and helping increase economic investment.
An all-volunteer organization, Preservation Detroit's staff continues to nurture their community's passion for historical treasures through lectures, seasonal newsletters, and tours. The organization continues to live up to its name; it recently helped conduct a historic preservation resource survey that recorded property-by-property information in six historic Detroit districts.
Raindance Filmmaking's practical filmmaking and writing workshops break the daunting cinema-creation process into digestible lectures as industry professionals lead talks to elevate the aptitude of independent filmmakers and artists. Courses replete with script-format guides, sample CVs, and storyboard templates accompany prolific producers' various lectures. Students can select courses that teach film industry basics including how to build a budget, choose a camera, and promote themselves without having to change their names to Spike Spielberg. Some classes conclude with networking sessions at local bars where participants can trade business cards to further their cinematic pursuits.
The Detroit Institute of Arts takes the “s” at the end of its name seriously. The immense Beaux Arts building on Woodward Avenue isn’t only a setting for a top-tier collection of visual works that include Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry frescoes, a van Gogh self-portrait, and ancient sculptures from Africa and Asia. It also opens the doors of its lecture halls, event spaces, and auditoriums for craft workshops, wide-ranging talks from historians and people who know how to draw really good cubes, film, and music. The latter two art forms find a home in the Detroit Film Theatre, a gilded, neoclassical auditorium that preserves a sense of coziness amid the grandeur.
As memory cards replaced film reels, many photographers—both professional and amateur—felt befuddled by the new technology. That's where Digital Photo Academy stepped in. Since 2007, the business has facilitated workshops that explore all aspects of digital imagery, from operating cameras and uploading digital files to editing images and airbrushing realistic mustaches. Seasoned professionals lead the courses, helping understudies hone their use of light, framing, and timing. Students furnish their own cameras, and can tote along any ancillary equipment such as tripods, laptops, and flashes that relate to the course at hand.
Whether she’s snapping shots of Lil Wayne’s sparkling grin, the urban landscape of Detroit, or the Arab American National Museum, photographer Asia Hamilton inspires people to view the world from a new perspective. Her photography raises awareness on issues of waste and consumption, and strives to unmask the beauty hidden in a cityscape.
When she’s not on a globetrotting, eye-opening adventure, she’s teaching aspiring photographers at her studio, Nozomi Live Photography & Design. She demystifies photography concepts such as lighting and composition before taking shutterbugs out on urban excursions, where they can practice techniques in the bustling city. She helps her protégés feel more comfortable using their cameras’ manual settings, making the picture-snapping devices feel like an extension of their bodies without duct tape or cybernetic surgery.
In the 1980s, Preston Jackson Sr. and his wife Anna had a vision to equip women from all walks of life with the tools and skills necessary for a career in cosmetology, manicuring, and aesthetics. In the spirit of that inclusive philosophy, Preston and Anna didn't just open a beauty school here in the United States—they also opened the first ever beauty school in the West African nation of Togo. Two decades after that illustrious beginning, the institution known today as P&A Scholars is not just a certified beauty school, it's also a place where clients can get professional-level hair, nail, or skin treatments from supervised senior students before they graduate to work their magic in high-end salons or the wig rooms of the rich and famous.