On Tuesday, April 23rd, (Shakespeare’s
birthday) our speaker was Sam White, the founder of Shakespeare in Detroit.
Shakespeare in Detroit is a nonprofit charitable organization formed in 2013. Its mission states that it “enhances and supports the culture, education and financial growth of Detroit.with professional theatre created through a conscious lens of equity, diversity and inclusion.” Its vision is that “it will produce the classics, musicals, contemporary and new works in equal measure throughout each season as the official Shakespeare organization of the city.” Since 2013, Shakespeare in Detroit (SiD) has produced 14 of Shakespeare’s plays. Many of them were presented in open-air settings, and others have been seen everywhere from a recycling center and a historical mansion to parks and an old film studio, in addition to several theaters around the city and state. Beginning by Labor Day, 2020, when their new studio has been completed near the Detroit riverfront, they will produce a musical as well as continuing their progress through Shakespeare’s canon.
On April 9th, Richard Rogers, the President of The College for Creative Studies for nearly 25 years, spoke to us about the history and mission of the College. The College for Creative Studies was founded in 1906 as the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. Its original purpose was to encourage good and beautiful work as applied to useful service. It still pursues that purpose but as one of the nation’s leading art and design colleges. CCS is fully accredited and enrolls more than 1,400 students. It focuses on arts education, offering both Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. CCS, located in midtown Detroit, strives to provide students with the tools needed for successful careers in the dynamic and growing creative industries. The College also offers free art education for more than 4,000 Detroit youth annually through its Community Arts Partnerships program. In addition, the College’s Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies is a public charter middle and high school enrolling more than 800 students in a high-performance academic curriculum with a special focus on art and design.