The Detroit Sanctuary Project.
Taking a picture of every house of worship in Detroit,
together, one block at a time.
Detroit is known for it's spirit and it's soul. The connections and communities in Detroit have brought incredible change and heart to a universal audience.
Detroit is also known for having one of the greatest densities and diversities of houses of worship in any major metropolitan area in the United States. From grand cathedral-like palaces to humble store-front temples.
Each one bringing sanctuary to it's community.
The Detroit Sanctuary Project is going to capture a photograph of every house of worship in Detroit. These photographs, taken by members of the participating public, will be compiled into a photo-based website, a map, a poster, a photobook and a large mural made of artists canvas that will be put on public display.
The estimated number of churches, temples, synagogues, and other houses of worship in Detroit range from 1200-2500, the exact number is unknown. This inventory will be the first complete photographic collection of these special spaces, simultaneously bridging and celebrating all the things that make them unique and bringing them together as one family in spirit.
The funds from this campaign will go towards the creation, installation and exhibition of the mural, the publication of the photobook, as well as hosting the community photography day and helping connect the public to participate in this project.
The Detroit Sanctuary Project is the baby of Jennie Kay, communications specialist/designer by trade and community buildier and arts organizer by passion. For the past several years she has worked in the Monterey Bay, California area running her own creative business, as well as working with the Burning Man organization and local Burning Man community to facilitate safe spaces for expression and connection.
That's all great, I'm still reading, tell me more!
So, you want to be a part of The Detroit Sanctuary Project, right on! There are lots of ways to get involved and be a part of the team:
- Tell your friends! Share this video and the www.detroitsanctuary.com website and let people know this is happening and how they can get involved!
- Are you going to be in the Detroit area in the next few months? Be a photographer! Anyone with a digital camera or smartphone can get involved and be credited with being a part of this historic project!
- Volunteer! We will need people to help out with the Community Photography Day picnic, communicating with the public and helping facilitate the process for everyone involved. If you have skills that you can contribute to help make this project a success, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
- Make a financial contribution. Every dollar that comes towards The Detroit Sanctuary Project will help make this a reality. You can get a cool t-shirt, an awesome poster featuring all the houses of worship, a copy of a really amazing photobook about the entire project, including all the images of both the houses of worship and their signage, and the warmth of heart knowing you are part of an incredible project.
- Become an in-kind sponsor. The Detroit Sanctuary Project has some specific needs to help make this a reality. If you have a space in Detroit that can host the picnic for The Community Photography Day or would be interested in hosting the mural once it has been completed (apx 500ft2), please contact email@example.com directly and let's talk! Spirit Airlines has been generous to come on as a travel sponsor, and we are thankful for these sponsorships that make this project a complete reality.
This thing...this community thing? It really does make a difference.
Detroit has been one of the hardest hit cities in the United States and seen a population decline of over 60% in the past forty years. Despite a recorded unemployment rate of almost twenty percent, people continue to give. They continue to come together, provide sanctuary for each other and keep the spirit of the City, and each other, alive.
Bringing this complete collection together has the ability to not only bring a phenomenal community of individuals together and create something of strong social impact, this opens up the conversation about why sanctuary is important in our communities and what these safe spaces provide in the fabric of our society.
Already, the emails that have come in about the project, and how this is affecting people, are beautiful, and humbling. It shows how important it is this that this project be shared, and communicated.
We were blessed to have Fox 2 Detroit News feature The Detroit Sancutary Project on a broadcast. Watch here. From this broadcast, we were fortunate enough to have the Fredrick Douglass Prepratory High School's GIS class volunteer to handle all the mapping for the project, and Stone Restoration Services out of Troy, Michigan volunteered to donate a $10,000 stone restoration to one congregation in Detroit.
It will be exciting to see where this goes, and it's even more exciting that you are invovled.
Video Production and Art Direction: Jennie Kay
Photography: Dan Haddad, Doxie Kaltz, Tracie Davis, Jennie Kay