Patti Smith writes on Detroit as a place for young artists to go. Because NYC rent are too high. There is a nostalgia to Patti Smith's tone here. I lived in Philadelphia myself, right after college. Rent was cheap and it was easy to live there as an artist (I could work part time as a doorman at a hotel and enough to live on.) One of the things Patti Smith bemoan, that many New Yorkers bemoan is that the city has become to expensive for artists to live in.
Such is the inevitable path of gentrification, and an assumption about the place of a creative class in the life cycle of a city. Artists use their optimism and sweat equity to fix up old buildings, open galleries, coffee shops, be in bands. This provides great energy for the city, and a beacon to a middle class that has often fled the city for the suburbs. They come back in, rents go up, artists move out.
But there's more to the story, and the more is frequently overlooked, namely that in the path of gentrification countless individuals and families are edged out as rents rise.
My question and challenge: How can artists be part of the creative city of Detroit in an integral and meaningful way so that the city and all its citizens can rise together?