Meet the Creative People Fueling Detroit’s Future

NPR’s Michel Martin & WDET’s Travis Wright explore the creative forces fueling Detroit’s future.


NPR’s Michel Martin is traveling the country to tell the stories of people and cities that are shaping the national dialogue, but whose voices are seldom heard in the first person. 

On Thursday night, in collaboration with WDET, Martin brought together some of Detroit’s most innovative chefs, performers, artists, and craftsmen at The Carr Center for a live, on-stage conversation that explored the many challenges and triumphs they’ve encountered while striving to redefine life in the city. 


Photos by Ali Lapetina for NPR News


Michel Martin was joined by WDET’s Travis Wright and Dr. June Manning Thomas, Centennial Professor at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan to lead a conversation with a panel of guests.


Panelists of Movers and Do’ers:

  • jessica Care moore, Executive Producer of Black Women Rock!
  • Rola Nashef, Filmmaker, “Detroit Unleaded” 
  • Charketa Glover, Fashion designer 
  • Samantha White, Theatre Director – Shakespeare in Detroit theater director 
  • Aaron Cozadd, Executive Chef for Union Joints restaurant group
  • Kate Daughdrill, Artist and urban farmer 
  • Bridget Russo, Shinola’s marketing director
  • Juan Atkins, Techno music pioneer


This group of movers and do’ers encouraged listeners to recognize Detroit’s cultural and industrial history as inspiration to create places, experiences, and things that help to build relationships and strengthen the metro Detroit community. Motor City Drive concluded with a performance by gospel choir Larry Callahan & Selected of God, recognized for their performance in the Chrysler 200 Superbowl XLV commercial

Motor City Drive was also powered by a live Twitter Chat using #MotorCityDrive, where over 700 posts by a panel of digital influencers, audience members, and those streaming online brought new context to the conversation. View the Twitter Chat with Storify »





Keep the conversation going. What’s your best example of Detroit’s creative spirit in 2015?  #MotorCityDrive