The Metro: ‘DCleated’ art installation for NFL Draft to benefit local charities

Each of the 20 artists selected for the project were chosen through a competitive open call process, according to the city.

The "DeCleated" sculptures on display throughout downtown Detroit leading up to the NFL Draft will be auctioned off to benefit local charities.

The "DeCleated" sculptures on display throughout downtown Detroit leading up to the NFL Draft will be auctioned off to benefit local charities.

Detroit’s City Walls program is getting in on the NFL Draft festivities and highlighting the work of several Detroit artists with the DCleated Art Project

Huge football cleat sculptures were painted by selected artists and will be displayed at locations downtown throughout the month of April. The works will then be auctioned off for charities. 

Among them will be a piece by long-time Detroit artist Trae Isaac, who will reveal his “D-Cleated” installation at The Children’s Center on Tuesday. Isaac joined The Metro on Monday along with Nicole Wells Stallworth, chief executive officer of The Children’s Center, to share more about the project.

Isaac said he chose to partner with The Children’s Center because of his own experience “turning trauma to triumph” after his baby brother and mother died of cancer in the span of two years. After a career in boxing for 10 years, these two traumatic losses turned his world upside down and he turned to art as a way to cope, he said.

“I bring up the boxing background, because I feel like without that foundation of having some type of discipline or consistency I would not be able to execute or be the artist that I am today – being able to tell the stories I’m able to tell through, you know, the art and the aesthetics that I choose,” Isaac said. 

Isaac’s work speaks to a lot of work being done at The Children’s Center, Wells Stallworth said.

“It really does give a lot of visibility to our kiddos that we serve, but also raises awareness about mental health, social emotional health, and total well being for children, so we’re grateful to Trae for that,” she said.

More headlines from The Metro on April 1, 2024: 

  • A federal court approved the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission’s newly redrawn state House districts maps for Detroit and its surrounding suburbs, set to take effect this November. Bridge Michigan reporter Lauren Gibbons joined the show to compare the new maps to the ones previously deemed unconstitutional in court.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched a new function on the MI Bridges website to allow applicants to monitor their benefits status instead of waiting for a determination letter or having to call a local health department office. Robin Grinnell, community and education resources manager for MDHHS, joined the show to discuss the benefits of this new feature.
  • There is a plan in the works for every Michigan high school graduate to get two years of tuition-free community college. As part of WDET’s weekly series MichMash, Cheyna Roth and Alethia Kasben from Gongwer News Service sat down with Michigan Community College Association President Brandy Johnson to discuss the likelihood of this plan coming to fruition.

Listen to The Metro weekdays from 11 a.m. to noon ET on 101.9 FM and streaming on-demand.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »