June 24 - January 2017
TheÂ MSUÂ Museum teams withÂ National GeographicÂ to presentÂ â€śTaking Back Detroit,â€ťÂ inspired by the magazineâ€™s recent feature depicting the city of Detroitâ€™s comeback as it emerges from bankruptcy.
â€śTaking Back Detroitâ€ť profiles realÂ DetroitersÂ in their own words, and gives a glimpse at the challenges, hopes, ideas, grit and determination that will help reinvent the city. The exhibit opens in theÂ MSUÂ Museumâ€™s Main Gallery June 24 and runs through January 2017.
From the exhibit: â€śIn less than five decades, the once vibrant Motor City lost more than half its population and gained a reputation as a failed metropolis of abandoned buildings, widespread poverty, and rampant crime. But photos of derelict homes and empty lots can create a misleading impression. The city ranksÂ 69thÂ in population density â€“ people per square mile â€“ amongÂ U.S. cities with more than a hundred thousand people, ahead of Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix, and Portland, to name just aÂ few.â€™
â€śTaking Back Detroitâ€ť expands a view of investors, innovators, young adventurers and die-hard natives who abound, as the nationâ€™s biggest urban bankruptcy is in the rearview mirror.
National Geographicâ€™s â€śTaking Back Detroitâ€ť has manyÂ MSU connections, making it right at home in the science and culture museum at Michigan State University. The exhibit, produced in partnership with theÂ MSUÂ College of Communication Arts and Sciences, premiered in Detroit with Bedrock Real Estate Services and Quicken Loans. â€śTaking Back Detroitâ€ť was written byÂ SusanÂ Ager, anMSUÂ graduate.
â€śNational Geographicâ€™s brand of storytelling has allowed us to produce an accurate, narrative exploration of what has happened to one of Americaâ€™s most important cities,â€ť explainedÂ Susan Goldberg, National Geographic editorÂ and anÂ MSUÂ alumna herself. â€śThe result is a story that, no matter how much youâ€™ve read about Detroit, is a deeper, richer exploration of the city and its people than anyone else hasÂ done.â€ť
Goldberg has been editor of National Geographic magazine since April 2014 and is the first woman to serve as editor of the magazine since it was launched in October 1888. Today, National Geographic is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography,Â archaeologyÂ and natural science, and the promotion of environmental and historical conservation.
Images inÂ â€śTaking Back Detroit,â€ťÂ taken by photographer Wayne Lawrence, and a newly created National Geographic signature map of Detroit make up the exhibit.
Meanwhile, even as â€śTaking Back Detroitâ€ť takes up residence at theÂ MSUÂ Museum, Detroit continues to write its story of revival. To that end opening July 18, the exhibit will also profile the work of Michigan State University faculty, researchers, educators and students who have undertaken community-based projects to enhance quality of life in the region.
Featured research projects include interactive stations exploring neighborhood redevelopment, health and safety: â€śNeighborhoods Impact Our Health,â€ť and work drawn from the departments of Criminal Justice and Geography; â€śNeighborhoods Help Meet Our Needs,â€ť from Geography Environment Spatial Sciences; and â€śNeighborhoods Change Over Time,â€ť with the School of Planning, Design and Construction.
â€śTaking Back Detroitâ€ť continues work at theÂ MSUÂ Museum, which also produced the exhibitionÂ â€śDetroit Resurgent,â€ťÂ a series of photographs and profiles (along with a companion book byÂ MSUÂ Press, 2013) as part of a 25-year, global project exploring work and workers by Paris-based photographer Gilles Perrin and interviewer NicoleÂ Ewenczyk. The project provides a counter-narrative to a broken Rust Belt city, where greatness is a distant memory.
â€śIn this way, exhibitions like these serve as a platform for informal learning, personal discovery and public debate,â€ť noted LoraÂ Helou,Â MSUÂ Museum acting director.
Watch this video to learn more about MSU Detroit Semester, a Spartan engineering co-op in the Metro Detroit Area!