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Department of Art Detroit is the visual arts division of Forward Arts. Formerly known as Access Arts Detroit (2010-2012), Department of Art Detroit includes the Belle Isle Art Exhibit in partnership with City of Detroit's Belle Isle Park department, Scripps Park Art Exhibit in partnership with Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corporation (WNDC), and exhibits are held in tandem with our 8-10 week youth arts education program in partnership with Wolverine Human Services, Detroit Public Library and YouthVille Detroit. The program also includes the newly developed Detroit Sees project in partnership with WNDC and AmeriCorps. Our new logo, as always, will be made by Silent Giants. Coming Soon!

Started by Louis Casinelli (former Program Director of Access Arts Detroit) and a friend of his, Access held its first 2 exhibits at Belle Isle Park in 2009. The exhibits showed a total of 24 projects in different areas of the park.

In 2010 Access Arts moved its operations under the umbrella of Forward Arts, becoming it's visual arts program. Two more exciting exhibits were held at Belle Isle Park, and an education program was started with Wolverine Human Services, producing two 8-10 week long art labs. 35 Projects were produced for the exhibit with several pieces from students of our art labs.

Two Scripps Park Art Exhibits, four youth art lab sessions, the Detroit Sees Project (part of the Detroit Design Festival), and a 5th Belle Isle Art Exhibit were all included as part of the program in 2011. Creative’s who took part of the exhibits both at Scripps Park and Belle Isle were funded through various organizations, as were art educators and administrators.

In 2012, a singular 6th Belle Isle Art Exhibit took place, with an emphasis on less installations, but higher quality and much bigger in scope. And then in 2013, we became Department of Art Detroit. We have several art projects on the way and excited to share them with artists and the community alike. One of which has made the Knight Arts Challenge Detroit 2nd round, Arts in the Cut: A Dequindre Cut Art Exhibit. Winners will be announced in the fall. Look out for more news coming later in 2014!

For more information about Department of Art Detroit email


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