The East Dearborn Development Authority (EDDDA), in partnership with the City of Dearborn, is exploring a new and creative, approach to a potential economic development project with Artspace, the nation’s leading nonprofit real estate developer for the arts. The Artspace mission is to create, foster and preserve affordable space that serves the needs of artists and arts organizations of all disciplines. These activities contribute to the continued growth of the arts community thus enhancing the cultural and economic vitality of the surrounding community. This results in these nationwide projects being community driven.

Dearborn has a deep rooted and well established arts and cultural community with many existing cultural resources. Included in these are: the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, Dearborn Youth Symphony, Artist Society of Dearborn, Fair Lane Music Guild, Berkowitz Gallery, Padzieski Art Gallery and Dearborn Community Arts Council. Dearborn is home to amazing attractions and destinations like The Henry Ford, the Arab American National Museum and the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center that draw thousands of visitors each year.

The arts and cultural industry is one of growth and has a direct economic impact on the community. Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations support more jobs then other fields such as accountants, lawyers, public safety officers or teachers. The arts and culture industry attracts audiences, increases tourism, spurs business development and generates revenue. The arts mean business! The arts are a business!

With its distinct and vibrant marketplace of people, food and cultures as well as the $70 million mixed use development under construction at Michigan and Schaefer, the EDDDA is well positioned to support an innovative and creative project such as the proposed Artspace.

Visit the Artspace website at www.artspace.org.to learn more about the organization and its success in other communities. The scope of this project requires a comprehensive strategy in order to move forward. Community involvement from all sectors: financial, civic, arts and culture are all part of the mix that leads to a successful project!

This is a unique opportunity to blend the oft-perceived divergent worlds of art and economic development into a powerful, unified force to achieve sustainable job creation and retention. We must focus on sustaining our community by capitalizing on assets including: the international presence of our diverse ethnic groups, a well defined arts/cultural heritage, and access to substantial economic development resources.

Feel free to contact Melissa Kania of the EDDDA with questions or comments at: 313-943-3141 or by e-mail at: mkania@ci.dearborn.mi.us.