Updated: Apr 20
Summer 2022 is already kicking off to be quite the season for Detroiters looking to dip their toe into creativity. The prospect of the world opening back up, pandemic willing, has built our community’s appetite for accessible recreation in-city.
Amidst the pandemic, we’ve seen cultural organizers start to compete with longstanding stakeholders that generally overlook black and brown folk. Resolved, we’re emerging from a pressure-cooker with creativity and community heating up here in Detroit.
Platforms like Duffe are now open-door incubators that invite the community to enjoy art, networking, recreation right in their community. Through drinks, socializing, and suspension of tradition, programming can be anywhere and anything.
Duffe is a creative enterprise formed by Howard University graduate Kya Shipman, Billy Morgan and friends dedicated to placemaking art projects in Detroit. At the heart of the project is curiosity, and expanding what our perception of creativity can be for folk in our community.
Duffe’s people focused lens provides both visibility and resources to beginners, seasoned creators, and residents alike– inviting all of these identities to share space together.
Last Summer, I got to see this framing firsthand, stopping by their artists showcase at Eastern Market Brewing Company. This is where I had the pleasure of meeting Shipman and her team for the first time.
I kinda got a handle of what Duffle events look and feel like– curious and easygoing. They’re meant to invite us into creation without fostering the imposter syndrome and restlessness that often befalls us in commercial art spaces.
…Something Shipman describes simply as “Help”.
Such holds true for other projects of Duffe. Within the past year, Duffe has supported our community financially, providing its very first microgrant to The Free Store Project, and supporting For The People Detroit with mutual aid fundraising. “Heavyweight Champs” is also a narrative campaign launched by Duffe this spring that spotlights creatives that are making waves within their disciplines (learn more on the “Heavyweight Champs” first recipient).
But Duffe has also been hard at work on more programming. For the past few months, they have been hard at work on ‘Centerfold’, a one-night-only, multidisciplinary art exhibition at the Russell Industrial Center on May 13. The project is a collaboration between Duffe and curator Chris Pizana sponsored by Ace of Management.
Shipman described Centerfold as a “come as you are” space that will facilitate untraditional conversations about art. For anyone interested in attending, you will have to RSVP online for the room location and more info on the event, which you can do here.
Attendees can look forward to seeing art from: Taylor Childs Studio, Ju Mbamah, and Trashcan Terry. Event organizers Kya “KV The Alchemist” Shipman and Chris Pizana will also be displaying art of their own as well. The event will feature Dj Jay Parry on spins.
We're certainly excited for both this exhibit, but also what lies ahead for Duffe as they continue to build capacity. You can keep up with this event by either following Altnubian’s ‘Events’ page or Duffe on social media.