Michigan Glass Project
Takayla Patterson Black Sheep Collective (First Question)
Allison Key, CEO of Michigan Glass Project.
How did you, along with the “Black Sheep” collective become involved with the Michigan Glass Project?
Takayla Patterson: I previously worked with Chris Goldstein, owner of SisterJam, on the Impossible Burger Launch at the Garden Bowl a few months ago. I helped push RSVP's for the launch and bring lots of taste-makers out to try the new meatless burger made from soy, vegetables and hemoglobin from plants. It was a great time. Following the event, he was satisfied with the work, so he re-hired me to assist with the Michigan Glass Project. I'm very fortunate to work with such a great group of people for a great cause.
Art imitates life. How does this statement relate to the core of MGP?
Allison Key: MGP works because a lot of people join for a common goal. Most of the art that is created at the event are collaboration pieces. There are glass pieces created that would not happen anywhere else because we've gathered so many artists into one room. That phrase really claims that creative work is inspired by true stories and at our event, this is the case. In the big picture people are joined together to reach a common goal to raise a ton of money for the cause. On the pure creative level, groups of artists are creating pieces together to be donated to reach that goal. The act of how they are creating really mimics the power of collaboration on a huge scale.
AK: I also think that much of the work that is created here is inspired by the experience that that the artist is having at MGP. The event space is very special. When you gather that many people in one place in honor of a goal that is based in love and giving, that force can be very powerful and drive the individual, especially when they are creating.
Artists such as Kool Keith, Nick Speed, and more will perform at MGP. Knowing that they call Detroit home, talk about how their presence brings character and balance to MGP.
AK: We talk a lot about collaboration and MGP was created by a strong core group of Detroit based artists who had been living here for a long time. It took a lot of muscle, and faith, and diligent work to get to where we are, and I don't believe we could have done it in anywhere but Detroit. We persevere against odds with a hustle mentality and we know that it takes doing things together to get that done. Bringing in musicians who know that mindset as well is important to us. They know how it feels to rise to the challenge and to overcome obstacles we've faced in Detroit for so long. Being a Detroiter builds character in such a unique way and it is important to us that Detroit musicians get to share their energy at this event. Musicians who know Detroit, can connect with the mission better than anyone because they understand the grassroots effort it takes to make change here in this city. If they resonate with the purpose of MGP, I think it will show in their set. It’s all about connecting on a heart level.
A percentage of tickets sales for MGP go to the continuation of art programs in Detroit Public Schools, which has experienced substantial cuts over the years. As a member of a creative collective, how important is it for arts to be in public schools?
AK: It’s not only ticket sales. All the profits from MGP are donated to Art Road nonprofit, to help them return art to Detroit Public Schools. Whether it be ticket, bar, or booth sales, along with all the art that is created at the event and then sold at auction.
AK: I believe that art is a necessary outlet for children. Many children have a tough time relating to science, math and reading. They should be granted the opportunity for art to be what they excel at. Removing art from the curriculum can be hindering and detrimental for a child whose brain functions best on an artistic level. The public-school system needs to be well rounded. When you remove art and music, you remove integral parts of a children's opportunity for growth. I also believe that here in Detroit, with the challenges we face, these children need to be able to express themselves and the feelings they may be facing in their home life. Art allows you to be you with no hindrances. Your artwork is an extension of yourself and no one can tell you that it is right or wrong. Art is empowering, and the children of Detroit should have the opportunity to learn that its available to them. We want the children of our future to be well rounded and able to find their calling, so they can be the best version of themselves as they grow into adulthood.