Communicating and Building Trust Through Art

Over several weeks last fall, more than 30 women and girls gathered around red onion skins, dried eucalyptus leaves and buckets of indigo dye to create beautifully printed silk scarves and vibrant blue canvas tote bags. The collective art project, called Common Bond, was hosted in Hamtramck and the adjacent Detroit neighborhoods of Banglatown and East Davison Village, home to approximately 15,000 immigrant residents. The women hailed from Bangladesh, Yemen, Haiti and Barbados, as well as long time Detroit and Hamtramck residents with Polish and African heritage.

The series was designed to create a comfortable and collaborative space for women and girls of all ages, religions, cultures and ethnicities. Global Detroit recognizes the importance of such opportunities to strengthening communities. In the workshops, Global Detroit’s Gracie Xavier facilitated dialogue that drew out patterns present in everyone’s lives. The series concluded with an exhibit at Oloman Cafe. Participants are eager to find more ways to collectively create while learning new skills, and Global Detroit will continue to work with the women to realize this vision.

Common Bond is part of Global Detroit’s Opportunity Neighborhoods program, through which we aim to achieve economic prosperity for all residents in Detroit’s largely immigrant neighborhoods.

“Common Bond is designed to build a more connected community. We need to get to know each other and sometimes we have to find ways that bring people’s guard down.” Gracie explains. “In the process of creating we’re communicating and building trust.”

Global Detroit’s Opportunity Neighborhoods program connects Detroit’s immigrant communities with homeownership and home repair programs, community engagement opportunities, small business support and other resources they need to put down roots and thrive here in Detroit. Show your commitment to a more vibrant and connected city with a donation to Global Detroit.

Be a part of Detroit’s inclusive future. Donate today!

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