Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Detroit Drumline Academy: Impacting Detroit with education and entertainment

Aug. 22, 2014, 9 a.m., Posted by Robert Gordon

This month, five Detroit arts groups are vying for the Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award, a $20,000 prize the winner can use for a project of their choice. The award is one of the ways Knight aims to bring attention to small arts organizations and their impact on the city. Here, KnightArts.org has a quick word with Robert Gordon of nominee the Detroit Drumline Academy, a group that wants to prepare the next generation of percussionists by teaching and mentoring middle and high school students.To vote for them, text Detroit5 to 22333 and learn about the other nominees at knightarts.org/peopleschoice.

Q. What do you love most about your arts group?
A. What I love about my organization is our ability to affect our community using education and entertainment that gives our youth life skills and experiences they'll never forget.

Q. What would you do with the $20,000 People’s Choice Award?
A. If I win the $20,000 I am going to do three things: pay a portion of it to a few other music mentorship programs, develop an alternative music instructors group to provide instruction throughout Detroit, and throw the first Music Education Production & Business seminar at COBO Hall sponsored by my company Artisthead.

Fusion Interactive Team pushes boundaries of storytelling

Aug. 21, 2014, 12:59 p.m., Posted by Carolina Wilson

Mariana Santos, the interactive and animation director for the Fusion Interactive Team, welcomes guests at the team's show-and-tell at Fusion's Doral headquarters. Credit: Carolina Wilson.

Once upon a time, storytelling may have been defined by the use of words, images or video.

But by using digital innovations such as games the Interactive Team at Fusion, a television and digital network, refuses to consider storytelling as creating content for mere consumption; the innovators want to change the way people interact with stories.  

“As Fusion says, it’s all about the fusion,” said Mariana Santos, the interactive and animation director for the team. “We want to fuse some of the core principals of technology and an editorial and data team with design and narrative.”

The interactive team is the newest addition to Fusion, a joint venture between Univision Communications and the Disney/ABC Television Network. Santos and her team shared updates on their latest projects during a Hacks/Hackers Miami Monday meet-up at Fusion’s Doral headquarters.

Educational, memorable and entertaining: the Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel

Aug. 21, 2014, 9 a.m., Posted by Maria Luis Carrillo

This month, five Detroit arts groups are vying for the Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award, a $20,000 prize the winner can use for a project of their choice. The award is one of the ways Knight aims to bring attention to small arts organizations and their impact on the city. Here, KnightArts.org has a quick word with Maria Luis Carrillo of nominee Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel, which wants to bring the traditional dances of Mexico’s La Huasteca region to Detroit. To vote for the dance troupe, text Detroit4 to 22333 and learn about the other nominees at knightarts.org/peopleschoice.

Q. What do you love most about your arts group?
A. Performing and expressing through dance the rich culture and history of Mexico.

Q. What would you do with the $20,000 People’s Choice award?
A. Our goal is to increase our dance knowledge and in turn amplify our dance program and continue to take it to all pockets of the community and beyond.  This would be attained by inviting professional dance instructors from Mexico to come to Detroit and collaborating with our extensive folklore network.