Detroit has a long and prestigious history of being in the forefront of design and the creative sector. Now, that heritage is being recognized and enhanced.

The Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) has announced the launch of the 10-year Detroit City of Design initiative. The announcement follows Detroit’s designation as the first and only recognized UNESCO City of Design in the U.S. Detroit is one of only 22 cities worldwide to be chosen as Cities of Design in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

“Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) has long seen the opportunity that exists for the creative sector industries to be an important driver in Detroit’s future. Receiving the UNESCO City of Design designation is an international recognition of Detroit’s promise in this area and provides an opportunity for the city’s stakeholders to work cohesively toward some tangible goals,” said Sabrina Keeley, BLM Chief Operating Officer and DC3 Governing Council member.

The Detroit Cities of Design initiative will kick off on June 28 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). The event will feature Ralph Giles, head of global design at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; Maurice Cox, City of Detroit Planning Director; and Kay Locker, Program Director for Detroit at the Knight Foundation.

The launch event will detail plans to build public awareness and a common vision for Detroit City of Design, recognize early supporters, and offer specific opportunities for corporate and civic involvement in the initiative.

“We are honored that Detroit has received this international recognition for its rich design heritage and commitment to the creative sector around the globe,” said Rick Rogers, President of College for Creative Studies and DC3 Governing Council member. “We hope to inspire our community to begin to think about the impact that Detroit City of Design can have in creating jobs, improving place, and strengthening culture over the next ten years.”

DC3 envisions a sustained community conversation around the power of design to shape the city’s future. Attendees of the June 28th event will also hear more about the 2016 Detroit Design Festival, which now launches under the Detroit City of Design brand.

The festival is a three-day citywide celebration of design that has attracted more than 100,000 people over the past five years. This year, the festival will focus on “Designing Detroit’s Future” and will take place September 22-24.

Additionally, DC3 is releasing its new Engagement Toolkit in order to help businesses, non-profits, and philanthropic organizations build public awareness of the UNESCO designation and help shape the Detroit City of Design initiative.

“Many partners have asked us how they can help propel the Detroit City of Design forward. Sharing the many ways that design can drive Detroit’s future is an important start. This toolkit will enable corporate marketing and communications specialists, Detroit boosters, and design enthusiasts to help us promote the abundant design strength that resides in Detroit,” said Olga Stella, DC3 Executive Director.

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