<![CDATA[Detroit City Limits - Articles]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 05:49:48 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[March 01st, 2018]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:26:18 GMThttp://detroit-city-limits.com/articles/march-01st-2018PictureRemember this? Our first cover in April 2013
Celebrating 5 Years!!!
Time flies when you’re having fun! It’s hard to believe that our dream of 
Detroit City Limits has been alive for 5 years.  
It’s all because of you!
Thank you to all our readers and advertisers for making this milestone possible!

5 Fun Facts about Detroit City Limits on our 5th Anniversary
1. Same owner but just more gray hair!
2. Same graphics person
3. First edition had 8 pages
4. Over 300,000 total papers printed in our 5 years
5. Both partner’s kids are teenagers which contributes to the gray hair!

<![CDATA[V313 to celebrate Detroit’s vegan friendly scene]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:18:51 GMThttp://detroit-city-limits.com/articles/v313-to-celebrate-detroits-vegan-friendly-scenePictureRosie and the Fellas Photo are courtesy of Cyndi Summers
Whether you call yourself a vegan, you like plant-based dishes, or you just like food, you might want to check out V313, Detroit’s Premier Vegan Celebration. The event, on March 8, is the first of its kind within Detroit city limits. 
Eastern Market is set to host V313 in Shed 5 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 8. The event is for sampling and eating, but it’s also for learning more about vegan and plant-based lifestyles. Milton Mills of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Black Vegans Rock, and Mic the Vegan, the prolific science writer and Youtube star, will be two of the main presenters at V313. In addition to the presentations, panel discussions are also on the agenda- Vegans of Color, Plant-Powered Women, VegMichigan, and Local Vegan Resources, a plant-based nutrition support group. 
“We’re excited to bring this first major vegan event to the city of Detroit, whose vegan community is among the most dynamic in the country,” said John Batdorf, event manager and general manager of MI Green Team (MGT), the presenting organization.
Batdorf was inspired to create V313 by the heightened vegan activity in Detroit, he said. The annual Vegfest in Novi has been very successful, but there wasn’t a vegan festival within Detroit’s borders. 
Anywhere from 500 to 1,500 people are expected to be in attendance, and V313 will offer show specials, free samples, giveaways, door prizes and more. Interactive games and demonstrations, like Crazy Vegan Jeopardy and Cooking With Que, are on the agenda to engage and excite guests. Live music by Rosie and the Fellas and Once United are also on the day’s slate. Also, Irene’s Myomassology Institute will give out free massages at V313.
Ever heard of vegan speed dating? V313 will give you the chance to try, at an additional charge, and match with like-minded singles. The event will also feature emcee Cam F. Awesome, the national champion heavyweight boxer, and he’ll offer his plant-strong comedy and inspiration. 
 “The issues are serious, in terms of adopting a healthier, more sustainable and compassionate lifestyle, but the event will be seriously fun,” Batdorf said.
Some of Detroit’s most well known vegan friendly restaurants and food trucks will be featured at V313, including Detroit Vegan Soul, The Nosh Pit Detroit, Crepe Day Twah, The Clean Plate, Shimmy Shack, and other vegan friendly exhibitors.
“Most of all, I look forward to seeing a large crowd celebrating Detroit’s vegan community,” Batdorf said.
You can get tickets at the event or online for $15 and the ticket includes parking on-site. Buying tickets in advance includes $5 in concession vouchers and an entry in the door prize drawing. Both V313 tickets and the special Veg Speed Date tickets can be purchased by visiting www.v313.info. 
For more information on V313 and events like it, visit www.facebook.com/MIGreenTeam.

​~Erica N Rakowicz

<![CDATA[CULINARY HAWAI’I]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:13:39 GMThttp://detroit-city-limits.com/articles/culinary-hawaiiWith a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, fertile soil for cattle, waters teeming with fish, the cuisine of Hawai’i is a wonderful mix of ancient traditional flavors and modern, international influences.  From sunrise to sunset one can find an astonishing array of culinary delights that include enviable regional delicacies.  Whether it be ‘street’ food or ‘fine’ dining, Hawaiians do food right, offering wonderful gastronomic experiences to locals and visitors alike.  If you are a foodie like me, why not plan your next Hawaiian trip to coincide with one of the many food-themed festivals held annually throughout the islands?  There are many offerings to choose from, but here are just a few to get you started on your Hawaiian ‘ono (delicious) food adventure. Enjoy!

1)  Hawai’i 
Big Island Chocolate Festival – April
Enjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations at this yummy indoor-outdoor festival that benefits local non-profits.  A chocolate party with a purpose, oh yeah!

Queen Lili’uokalani Festival - September
Celebrate the life of the Kingdom of Hawai’i’s first queen and last monarch with food, art, culture, and more for the entire family.  Indulge in ‘ono foods, buy locally made crafts, and participate in living history walks and traditional cultural activities.

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival – November
This is the oldest food fest in the state, and it honors Kona’s cultural heritage and accomplishments in the world-wide coffee industry. Parades, art strolls, food tasting, coffee picking contests and other competitions, music and dance, and hands-on cultural events await visitors to this popular 10-day event.

2) Maui
Taste of Wailea – June
Set your taste buds on sumptuous dishes prepared by top chefs and sip on the best wines at this annual fete that occurs during the Maui Film Festival.

Kapalua Wine and Food Festival - June
Situated at the beautiful Kapalua Resort, this 4-day event features wine tasting and seminars, cooking demonstrations, and scrumptious food preparations by local and international top chefs.

3)  Oahu
Waikiki Spam Jam – April
A street festival celebrating Hawaiians’ love for that crazy canned meat product.  I don’t get it but, hey, what do I know?

The Parade of Farms – May
Get behind-the-scenes tours to local farms and agribusinesses to learn about locally grown food. Then, you get to feast on some of the best food in the islands.  This is a great experience for persons interested in farm-to-table dining.

Mango Jam Honolulu – June
​Food, beer, craft booths, live entertainment, and a fabulous farmer’s market all highlighting the island’s beloved mango!

Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival – October
Delicious fare from more than 100 international chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers.  This event may very well be the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific.

4)  Kaua’i
Kaua’i Brewers Festival – March
Promotes the microbrewery revolution in Hawai’i with plenty of beer, food, music and more.

Kapaa Coconut Festival – October
Something for everyone can be found on the Royal Coconut Coast.  This annual event  highlights the cultural, social, and historical importance of the coconut with entertainment, cultural displays, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of food featuring unique coconut concoctions.

5) Moloka’i
Ka Hula Piko Hula Festival - June
Dancers and others will love this celebration of the birth of hula, which tradition says began on Moloka’i.  Join in the fun-filled day of ‘ono food, authentic local crafts, music, and lots and lots of hula.

Christmas Light Parade and Ho’olaule’a - December
This annual Christmas parade features only-on-Moloka’i floats and more.  The parade is followed by one great big ho’olaule’a (celebration) with music, entertainment, competitions, food, and fun for all.  What a great Christmas present for the entire family.

6)  Lana’i 
True Hawaiian Spirit Celebration – September
Live entertainment, cultural, demonstrations, keiki activities, crafters and artisans, and, of course, plenty of ‘ono food can be found at this Festivals of Aloha event.  Festival goers can embrace the true Hawaiian spirit.


~The Travel Diva loves helping others experience the world through travel that engages, empowers, enlightens, and entertains.  Contact her at (313) 808-8018 or Traveldiva@star1vacations.com.]]>
<![CDATA[4 Tips To Use Instagram Effectively Create compelling content to tell your story]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:09:24 GMThttp://detroit-city-limits.com/articles/4-tips-to-use-instagram-effectively-create-compelling-content-to-tell-your-storyAs you can imagine, making yourself stand out among the 800 million active daily users on Instagram isn’t easy. But remember, using social media is ultimately about telling your story, so don’t give someone else the pen. You can do this job better than anyone else.
With a few tweaks here and there, you can have a supercharged social media presence in no time. Take a look at these 4 tips to help you use Instagram effectively.

1. Power Up Your Pictures: Instagram began as a picture-only platform, so it’s no surprise that photos still enjoy the highest levels of engagement. However, if you don’t want to overwhelm your followers with multiple posts or can’t decide on just one amazing image, use the gallery feature. It allows you to tell your story with up to 10 photos in one post. It’s a great way to create smaller libraries for your followers to enjoy and makes a more cohesive story within your feed. Using humor is one of the best ways to spark engagement, but be sure that you only post photos that help tell your story. Also, always try to use high-resolution photos and keep your images consistent with a relevant theme.

2. Make the Most out of Captions: Although Twitter limits the number of words you can use in a post, Instagram allows you to tell a much longer, more comprehensive story to your followers. However, as with photos, it’s important to stay on message and adhere to relevant themes while maintaining a unique voice. Enhance your captions with relevant hashtags and emojis to build a feeling of excitement and engage people. Also, develop a hashtag for your story in order to personalize and better aggregate your content.

3. Say More with Video Content: Although video content is a relatively new feature on Instagram, it is definitely one of the most appreciated. Since March 2016, users have been able to create 60-second short films. Last February, videos were allowed in the gallery feature which enables up to 10 minutes of video content in a single post. I recommend shooting square or vertical videos because this will allow you to take up as much screen space and grab your followers’ attention. An appealing thumbnail is also important when it comes to standing out in a user’s feed.

4. Make It Personal with Instagram Stories: Instagram’s newest feature is Instagram Stories, and it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular aspects of the platform. It’s similar to Vine and Snapchat in that it allows you to create short, 10-second videos that expire after 24 hours. These stories are a great way to show real-time snippets of the everyday work that goes on in your world and connect with your followers in a more personal manner. Shoot and edit your content within the app or upload videos directly from your camera roll from wherever you are. If you choose to do the latter, keep in mind that you only can feature content that was created within the last 24 hours. Also, if you’d like to save your story and use the content elsewhere, you can easily send it to your camera roll. Then, export it to wherever you want it to go.

~Willie E. Brake]]>
<![CDATA[Becoming More Positive And Happy]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:07:11 GMThttp://detroit-city-limits.com/articles/becoming-more-positive-and-happyOne of the most common things I hear in my sessions with clients, is that they want to be happier and more positive. They don’t quite know why, but despite all the wonderful things that may be occurring in their life, they are unhappy, sad, edgy, and downright irritable.
Happiness and positivity is not something I tell them, that falls from the sky. It is truly a state of mind, and it is often something that we have to practice and develop over the course of time.
As spring is nearing, many folks believe, that here in Metro Detroit, as the flowers start popping, and the buds start forming on trees, that we will instantaneously become happier. This is often not the case. Believe it or not, statistically speaking, the month with the highest rate of depression is April. There are many theories that explain this, but I believe, it is mostly, because of all the hype that we hear advertised about naturally becoming happier with spring upon us. Folks that are not in a happy and positive state of mind, do not just get happy. While the weather shifting can help of course, it is not the end all cure all. Happiness and becoming more positive involves the art of practicing the following steps:
1. Avoid negativity. Easier said than done of course in our world, where we are bombarded daily with the awful, negative things that social media and whatnot are constantly displaying. Aim to decrease the exposure to negativity in the world little by little each day (for example, decrease time on Facebook or other social media account by a ½ hour per day).
2. Give Unconditionally. This can be anything from sporting the homeless man on the street a few dollars, to starting a ‘pay it forward train’ at a drive thru.
3. Exercise. Getting the recommended dose of at least 150 minutes of cardio exercise and strength training a week increases endorphins and has been shown time and time again to make you feel better overall.
4. Talk to strangers. Now, society is always telling us that we should not talk to strangers and to constantly watch our backs. While I am certainly not saying that you should not trust your gut in social situations and listen to that internal voice that senses something is ‘off’ and to be safe, saying a simple ‘Hello’ to someone in a store, or at the gym, or on an elevator can do a lot of good. By nature, we are social creatures. And I genuinely believe, that we have become a nation that is scaring itself to death. This has no doubt had an impact on our state of being.
5. Smile more. Even if it feels fake at first, aim to smile (hint: with teeth) at 5 people a day. After about 21 days it will become more habitual.
6. Practice Gratitude. I cannot tell you the difference that I see in folks when they do this. Writing down at least 5 things a day that you are grateful for, can make a world of difference. I always tell people that there will be some days, when you cannot stop writing. So many wonderful things happened that particular day for you to be grateful for. And other days? It may be more of a struggle. You may have to reach deep, and just be grateful for breath in your body. The important thing, is that you do it on a regular basis. Your mood will thank you.
7. Look at negative thought patterns that you are exhibiting. For example: if you are saying constantly to yourself, ‘Man is my hair awful looking. I hate my hair’. Start redirecting those thoughts. Just like smiling, it may seem fake at first, but come up with an alternative, more positive thought, and start practicing it-whether out loud, or written. An alternative example to the preceding negative thought might be, ‘I have hair. It is what I was given, and I am grateful to have it’.
8. Avoid negative people/influences. If attempting to change the conversation with negative people to being more positive does not typically work, and you are constantly finding yourself saturated in negative influences, you may need to re-evaluate these people in your life. I always tell folks that people that are consistently negative about everything rub off on you. You become almost like a vacuum cleaner-sucking it up. Certainly not healthy if you are striving to be happier and more positive.
I wish everyone a positive and happy spring season!

~Tricia Stehle, LMSW

<![CDATA[SPRING FEVER in the “D”]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:06:01 GMThttp://detroit-city-limits.com/articles/spring-fever-in-the-d]]><![CDATA[Desert Personality]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:04:08 GMThttp://detroit-city-limits.com/articles/desert-personalityYou know, it’s not easy being a cactus. I know what you’re thinking: what the fruit, Spike? You get to work on a beach-ready suntan every day of your life all while having the anatomy to hold water like an alcoholic holds his liquor, and you’re complaining about it? Yeah, well, it’s not as glamorous as it seems. I have a job at the St. Francis Nature Center where people can come experience exact replicas of environments they’d never actually go. So, every day I see countless people with their fanny packs and cameras at the ready exploring a huge room with the heat cranked up to the hundreds and the floor coated with three feet of sand just to see what it feels like to wander a desert without the dread of actually being stranded. 
    Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I seem to have inherited a strange extroversion gene, if that exists. Most other cact-guys I know love their solitude, counting their thorns as a blessing. For me, though, they’re a curse. See, my sole desire, my one wish in this world, is to have a hug. It’s rare to see in a place so hot, but once in a while I’ll spy a little boy wrap those gloriously smooth arms around his mother in a tight embrace that says you are loved. Occasionally, I’ll see a couple with their enviously un-spined arms around each other in an act that screams you are wanted. Why can’t I get some of that? Just because I have the rare misfortune of being the porcupine of the plant world I have to suffer alone, untouched and unloved by anyone? This is discrimination, I tell you!
    Yet, my sorrows will go on. One time, one of the workers put a sign by me that said “Free hugs.” I was ready to tip the man, if I had money. I thought, finally, now I’ll get my wish; but the next day people just laughed at me. The sign remained, and I’ve grown used to the fingers pointed in comedy. Like those people over there. They’ve been laughing for at least five minutes, doubled over in hysteria at my expense. I bet this is how zoo animals feel. That lady over there, though, she needs a lesson in common sense. Come on, who brings ice cream to a desert? It’s already half-melted and she hasn’t even been in here five minutes. And what’s with this new trend of clothes that barely cover anything? Might as well just go naked; it won’t reveal much more than those shorts do, honey. People watching has become my occupational hazard, but I digress.
    A loud gasp cuts through my thoughts, though, and I can see a little girl staring at me. Her arms are outstretched as she runs towards me. Finally, someone who isn’t scared! Yes, yes, hugs! Wait, where are you going? Aaaaanndd she’s chasing a tumbleweed. Figures. If I could sigh, believe me, I’d be ruthlessly expelling breath in an exasperated manner on her behalf. I can’t stay mad, though. If the roles were reversed I probably wouldn’t hug me either.
    Days pass very quickly here, and soon I’m freezing again. I’m pretty sure they just put a negative sign in front of the daytime temperature as soon as the fake moon comes up. It’s beautiful, though. The soft glow of the image can take away the worst of my problems. Maybe I’m just not meant to be hugged, and maybe I can learn to live with that. I’ll just sleep in the daytime, become nocturnal so I’m not tempted by people. They can’t tell if I’m sleeping on the job, anyway, so they won’t care. I’ll give it one more day.
    They’ve just announced closing time in a few minutes, and still no warm embrace. Did that kid just eat a bug? I’ll miss people watching when I’m nocturnal. I hear the door open one last time to a familiar family. Wait, that’s tumbleweed girl! What is she wearing, though? She looks like a sumo wrestler. She’s walking up to me, but I’m not getting my hopes up this time. She’s stopping, now, though.
    “I saw your sign yesterday,” she says. What? I think my water’s boiling, I’m so excited. She shoots me a big smile, and – yes! – wraps her padded little arms around my body. Oh, yes, this is what it feels like to be loved and wanted! Maybe being a cactus isn’t so bad, after all.

~Victoria Heitzman

<![CDATA[Project Runway finalist Char Glover discusses reality TV, love for Detroit]]>Thu, 01 Mar 2018 23:56:48 GMThttp://detroit-city-limits.com/articles/project-runway-finalist-char-glover-discusses-reality-tv-love-for-detroitPicturePhoto credit Screen Capture from You Tube
Editor’s note: This interview originally ran in the October 2016 issue of Detroit City Limits. We are running it again in honor of Glover being chosen to compete on Season 6 of Project Runway All Stars. Glover was chosen as one of the top three designers in the first episode but went on to be eliminated in Episode Six, when the challenge was to design a dress for cartoon character Betty Boop.

​Designer Char Glover, a finalist on season 13 of the reality TV show “Project Runway,” has moved to Los Angeles, Calif., but her heart is still with her hometown of Detroit.
Full of twists and turns, Glover has described season 13 as “a roller coaster” in interviews. She was eliminated in episode six but accepted it with grace, saying she was grateful for the opportunity. “I hope I showed the world that Detroit has amazing talent, a strong spirit, and good character. It’s a city that never stops, and I’m a product of that,” she said after her elimination. However, in a surprise move, the show’s co-host and the designers’ mentor used his “Tim Gunn save” – an opportunity once per season to bring back an eliminated designer – on Glover. Glover went on to make it to fashion week, though ultimately another contestant won the top prize. 

Detroit City Limits caught up with Glover to talk about her experience on the show and what she’s been up to since then.

DCL: What did you do before Project Runway and how did you get on Season 13 (aired 2014-2015 on Lifetime)?

Glover: I was already a working designer. I had a clothing line for 15 years, and I dressed a couple of celebrities. Before that, I did hair. I’m still a licensed cosmetologist. I’m a Project Runway fan first and foremost. I was an avid watcher. I actually applied for it three times, and the third time was the charm.

DCL: There was some competitiveness and back-stabbing on the show, but it seemed like you were determined to keep things positive.

Glover: You have 16 people going for one prize, so you know people are going to get a little testy. Designers are all passionate, and you’re fighting for your voice to be heard. I kept repeating the same thing to myself: “I’m a designer before the show, I’m a designer afterward.” I believe how I behaved on the show was consistent with who I was. 

DCL: Tim Gunn seems like a warm and caring person on the show, a great person to have as a mentor. Was he really that sweet in person?

Glover: He’s exactly how you think he would be, very warm, passionate, nurturing.  Tim was originally a teacher, so I believe that’s why you’re seeing that nurturing, caring spirit. You feel that as soon as you meet him. On the first day filming, everybody was nervous and had the butterflies. Tim Gunn walks in the room, and he walked up and greeted everyone by name. It makes you feel warm and welcome.

DCL: During the show, you had an opportunity to go to Rome. What was that like?

Glover: An experience like that stretches you, especially with me being a Detroiter born and raised. There are certain things don’t think you’ll ever accomplish. Rome blew my mind. It basically showed me my possibilities, that anything is possible.

DCL: What are you doing now? I saw that you had a couple of YouTube video series. Are you going to continue with that?

Glover: I’m a YouTube slacker, but it’s something I want to revisit in the future. Since Project Runway, I’ve been focusing on Rockn Remix, my new line. I also started a sister label called Char Glover. Rockn Remix is street style, and Char Glover is high end.

DCL: I heard you were leaving Detroit.

Glover: I lived in L.A. for a year and a half, and then came home to Detroit for a while before Project Runway. But I moved back to L.A. in December 2015, and I’m getting my stuff into a showroom there. I like the L.A. lifestyle, the weather, and the networking opportunities. There are so many fabric resources, and there are chances to dress celebrities. I felt it was time to switch it up, stir the pot. I said to myself: Detroit, you’ve had 39 years of my life. I did come back to Michigan Sept. 18 for a pop-up shop at Blue Jean Blues in Royal Oak, though.

DCL: Speaking of Detroit, what do you appreciate about the city?

Glover: One of the things I wanted to do on Project Runway is create a positive portrayal of Detroit. It can get a bad rap sometimes, but I wanted to be a reflection of goodness, spirit, and fight. Growing up in Detroit definitely builds your resilience. When I think of Detroit, I think “tough,” not in a bad way, but as in “strength.” I feel like Detroit is home, is family, is love. It’s the Motor City, and it has such a rich history, and such great music. I’m honored to be from a city with that rich history. Detroit has amazing people, first and foremost. Detroit is transitioning, resurging, transforming, and that’s the best time to be a part of something. Detroit has a spirit, and no matter where I’m at, people sense that I’m a Detroiter. I think it’s a certain way we carry ourselves, a certain flare. I’m a proud Detroiter. No matter where in the world I am, I always represent Detroit. 

DCL: Besides your Facebook page, where else can we find more updates about you and your designs online? 

Glover: Rocknremix.com and charglover.com. 

~Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in southeast Michigan. You may reach her at sarahrigg1@gmail.com.

<![CDATA[Steve’s Soul Food]]>Thu, 01 Mar 2018 23:51:39 GMThttp://detroit-city-limits.com/articles/steves-soul-foodPicturePhoto courtesy of Russell Bisinger
If you’re looking for a Detroit legend that serves amazing soul/comfort food ... look no further than Steve’s Soul Food. Originally started in the 1980’s, their cool new home is located at 1440 Franklin Street, East of the Renaissance Center, between Jefferson & the Detroit river. Steve’s Soul Food is housed in a really cool old brick building with lots of character. They have a lot across the street, as well as street parking. The food is served up cafeteria style by helpful staff. When I was there, they had half carry out customers and half dine in customers. I ordered the BBQ chicken combo with mac n cheese and greens. The BBQ chicken was an amazing tasty, fall off the bone treat. My mac n cheese was superior with chunks of bonus cheese throughout. The greens were the best I ever had. To top it all off, my meal came with a corn muffin that was moist and delicious. If you find yourself downtown and your in the mood for some really good food, check out Steve’s Soul Food.

Russell Bisinger

<![CDATA[Mint Artists Guild helps young artists showcase and sell their work]]>Thu, 01 Mar 2018 23:31:43 GMThttp://detroit-city-limits.com/articles/mint-artists-guild-helps-young-artists-showcase-and-sell-their-workPicturePhoto from the Mint Artists Guild's Facebook

A Detroit nonprofit group called Mint Artists Guild works to not only provide creative opportunities for area teens, but to also equip young learners with career, business and community skills. The well-rounded experience with Mint Artists Guild makes way for students to showcase and benefit from their own work in their own way. 

The group was constructed by Vickie Elmer, the executive director of Mint Artists Guild, and her co-founder Mark Loeb. The group was built by a community of artists and entrepreneurs looking to help engage young artists to explore creative careers.

Mint Artists Guild came to be after Loeb, who organizes art fairs in the city, found that many students were interested in getting involved in the art fair to sell their work but they weren’t really sure how to do so. Elmer, a journalist and entrepreneur herself, was doing a lot of writing around careers and how people launch their own. She’s also worked as an editor with young people and interns, and she even started her own Italian Ice cart where she’d employ area youth for the summer. After the meshing together of her and Loeb’s recent experiences with Detroit youth, the two decided to start inviting young artists to workshops and to get involved with upcoming art fairs.

“We created a group of young people, which was about three years ago, and we didn’t think it would become a nonprofit,” Elmer said. “We just thought we’d try it. We had about 11 people the first year. We did some workshops and they really liked it.”
The art community is getting older, Elmer said, and there’s the obstacle of not knowing how to get started that has a potential to stop interested, young artists.

Interested artists apply to be part of Mint Artists Guild online by introducing themselves and their art and detailing why they want to join the group. Elmer and her team then review the applications and pick candidates who are making art already and who may have the kind of drive and attitude to make it as a young artist.

Elmer wants young artists to understand that art can be done and worked on in many capacities, some of which even require math and science knowledge, she said. 

“If you’re an artist at General Motors and designing cars, you have to know the STEM concepts as well,” she said. “We kind of put it in context; if you’re a video game artist and designer, you have to understand a bit about the technology.”
This means that artists may use paint brushes for their art or they might use a digital program where they’ll need to learn the ins and outs of it in order to make their best and most inspired work.

“We also try really hard to be clear,” Elmer said. “There are lots and lots of artist careers and some of them are self-employed artists, and some of them are in the federal government or in a big company. We can’t tell them which one makes sense for them.”
Elmer and her team let artists know that they might be doing other jobs and gigs to make money for a while. 

“You might be a nurse, a teacher, handling the marketing questions for a company,” she said. “It doesn’t mean everything you do is purely based on art.”
Aside from teaching artists to build a business or other opportunities from their art, Elmer said Mint Artists Guild helps build confidence, too.

“I’m impressed with the young people and how committed they are to art,” she said. “It definitely builds confidence. I was so surprised to see the change in some of our young artists.”

The group puts on workshops designed around business and career topics. The artists do most of their art on their own time, Elmer said, and Mint Artists Guild teaches artists how to protect their work, understanding copyright laws, how to price your work, how to set goals for yourself, how to build business plans, and how to navigate a contract. 

The transformation and the confidence the artists develop through practice and being around other artists and seeing that everyone shares a common interest is really helpful to the group, Elmer said.

“It’s really fun,” she said. “It’s really fun to see what we can do and help them with and also help them understand that whatever kind of crazy label you have or put on yourself, it’s not the only thing that you are. You don’t only have to be one thing, you can be a few things.”

Creative elements are also added to the workshops and Elmer and her team use the idea of improv to teach them about how to relate to and communicate with other people. Each workshop features a guest speaker so that the young artists can hear about where a working artist first started and how they made it to today. The young artists hear from people who only sell their work in galleries, people who do design work with products, and a variety of other professionals. 

Members of the Mint Artists Guild don’t pay to get involved because they don’t want to restrict access to anyone. Each artist is asked to donate a piece of their art toward something called the Mint Collection, to show the talent of the groups Elmer works with. The Mint Collection is showcased in different coffee shops and community areas throughout the area. Additionally, when a young artist has their work in an art show, they’ll sell the piece and 20 percent of the proceeds go to Mint Artist Guild to help keep programming running.

“We’re trying to make sure that its accessible to anybody who has a passion for art who can make art,” Elmer said.
Elmer and her team started a summer jobs program in 2016, where they hire teen artists in the summer who get paid to paint and do creative work. Mint Artists Guild donates many of the paintings the artists make to local nonprofits as part of their effort, Paint Detroit with Generosity. To date, they’ve been able to donate 25 paintings.

“I’m really proud of the effort we’re trying to do to really encourage our teens to be active volunteers,” Elmer said. 
Mint Artists Guild does volunteer projects about once a quarter where they’ll go and run an arts and crafts table at an event or go to a school and work with elementary kids in the school.

“I believe that if you do community service, it’s good for your soul, but it’s also good for your career and to have opportunities open up,” Elmer said. “If you’re out there doing volunteer work, opportunities will come to you.”

To keep an eye on what Mint Artists Guild is doing throughout the community or for volunteer opportunities, follow them on Facebook and Instagram at www.facebook.com/mintartistsguild/ and www.instagram.com/mintartistsdetroit.

​​~Erica N Rakowicz​​