Detroit Events: Residents Rebuild City and Create Jobs

Detroit Institute of the Arts

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Arts and Letters - Actors and Authors in Detroit

Two actor-businessmen in particular are growing in popularity as they confront obstacles in the path of the cultural and economic health of Detroit. They live, act, write, and produce in the Motor City, as has Aretha Franklin for decades. From Detroit upward though Bay City, along a living boulevard of musical artists, writers, and actors, are thousands of talented people that back Detroit for the future, with or without the support of government and in spite of government obstacles.

Aretha Franklin maintains that she will stay in Detroit and at least two others will stay to rebuild the culture and wealth of the city - Sean H. Robertson and Shane Carson. Both have appeared in ABC TV's Detroit 187, filming in the city and providing jobs for Detroiters. While building their own careers, they are showcasing and uplifting other talented artists of all genres online and in person.

Detroit enjoys a resurgence in the arts through the work of actor/writer/producer Sean H. Robertson and radio broadcaster Shane Carson. They promote and/or hire local talent, connect workers with employment, and create jobs in the city.

Sean and Shane Fight for the Film Industry with Friends

Sean H. Robertson is an author, actor, producer, and director who formed the new production company 313Wood in Detroit about the time Michigan Governor signed legislation in March 2011 to eliminate film industry incentives/credits in the entire state. This systme of cuts was called a wrong move by many protestors. Sean advocates successfully against teen suicide as well as for the film industry and his City of Detroit, while thousands of people rallyto his efforts Check out his following and his efforts on his blog and Twitter (links below). Join him and help Detroit and a tradition of good films and television stay alive.

Dedicated to family and community, Sean has made himself an unofficial Ambassador for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

I love to ride on the Detroit People Mover.
I love to ride on the Detroit People Mover. | Source

Wow, Shane!

Mr Robertson has acted in the fantastic series that deserves a second season and a second chance: Detroit 187, as has Mr. Shane Carson. Shane operates his own online radio show from Detroit - The WowShane Radio Show- a top notch event every time it broadcasts (links below) and you can listen every Thursday night at 9:00 PM EST and access the archives for more.

The show joins the engaging Detroit auto commercials that highlight the hope and goodness of the city; Shane keeps his Twitter accounts buzzing with the news of Detroit and events you should attend. Do you miss good radio in this country? Listen to Shane Carson and get to know his large team.

In April 2011, we heard via Shane's Twitter streams that the City of Detroit will no longer allow Detroit 187 to be filmed in the city - because of cuts in state incentives to the film industry. This may add power to the dedicated work of some to eliminate the series from a second year of film production for the 2011 - 2012 television season. Someone wants to see it rubbed out.

USA Today reported that Detroit 187 was one of the CBS shows "out" or "on the way out" -- but, so was Star Trek:TOS - twice; and we see how many billions of dollars that franchise has produced. Some of the loc al talent that appeared on Detroit 187 are atttempting to find another network to pick up the storyline.

Surely the history, future, culture, and people of one of the most famous cities in the world - Detroit - might be allowed to do the same. Shane Carson, Sean Robertson and others can help make this happen.

Born in Detroit, Shane Carson is active in community charities and an advocate of literacy. He feels that reading saved his life at an early age.

Detroit Style

"What the French Toast?"

That's what we heard from one of Shane's many followers and friends when she reported on Twitter that Detroit 187 was denied permission to film in its own city for its second season. The comment with a twist shows what kind of imagination and style Shane and Sean's followers have in the industry. They have something to say other than the overused $!#@/, and that goes for all the Arts and Letters professionals in the city.

Detroit Public Library, Main Branch, at a People Mover Stop

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Detroit also Home to Leading Scientists

Detroit is packed with scientific talent as well.

Dr. Mark Hughes of Detroit is the president of Genesis Genetics and Dr. Gary Smith is the co-director of the Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies at the University of Michigan. Together, that have developed two new stem cell lines from already existing embryo-tissue donations (no new embryos were grown and killed) that can help eliminate Hemophilia-B and one of the muscular dystrophies: Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease. Jerry Lewis has been working against that one for a long time.

Both diseases are inherited conditions that might be detected in the womb in the near future, with the help of the doctors' research, and cured before the birth of the infant. These types of miracles are occurring more and more through research in leading cities, funded through MDA and university resources.

Similar research is gaining momentum in the treatment of spinal cord injuries - and recall, please, that Christopher Reeve before his death from an infection, had regained the use of his hands and could walk under his own power with the help of the water-exerted pressure when he was submerged in a pool. We have geniuses in Detroit!-- And this includes the arts as well as science.

Hart Plaza Underground Railroad Memorial Statue

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Provocation to Thought

The Governor's cuts affected several films already under way in Detroit, along with filming on television's Detroit 187. Excuses by the Governor were to the effect that filming was 'not presenting Detroit in the best light.'

Not only was this an erroneous statement, but I think a falsehood propagated to cover the fact that the money afforded by the elimination of film incentives was coveted elsewhere. In this case, the ploy seems to have been to vindictively erase anything that another party had achieved to help people and arts-related businesses. It is an old story whose results are more destructive to each new generation.

Governor Rick Snyder offered the a state budget that largely decreased business taxes by $1.8 Billion, but which does not help the incoming film industry. This is a shame, since I found flm-related jobs increasing at the top of the heap of employment form 2008 - 2010.

The budget included new taxes of $900 Million on retirement pensions - another blow to Senior Citizens in the nation of the 18 - 49 Demographic.

Another low blow was the elimination of nearly all of the business and individual tax credits (which discourages new businesses in Detroit and Michigan), followed by severely reduced funding to higher education, public schools, and communities.

The Detroit Free Press reported on April 1 that the State of Michigan's largest recent film incentive application, in which producers planned to spend $58.2 Million and hire 2,256 residents is scrapped and producers went to other states.

Michigan officials (Carrie Jones, et.al.) said that Paramount just left on their own. This is incorrect, according to the studio.

Paramount said:

"The application was not withdrawn," Paramount Pictures Corp. spokeswoman Virginia Lam said in an e-mail statement. "Rather, the application for the state's film rebate program was denied."

A total of nine (9) film projects are now no longer under consideration.

These nine were to have spent $155 Million in-state and provided up to 4,730 jobs (all gone now). Only four projects have been approved, for only $17 Million. One is to assist film makers in converting a 2D film to 3D - perhaps not needed at all. This seems a lip service token to the credits program.

The Governor wishes to offer only another $17.9 Million in incentives to big-name films starring actors like Tyler Perry and Johnny Depp, along with Detroit 187, which is now unfairly kaput. Detroit 187 was pre-empted several times in its one and only season, causing the show to lose its momentum to hold viewers in the ratings.

ABC did the same thing to Boston Legal (with Star Trek's® William Shatner) in its second season - viewers came back anyway. BL's David E. Kelley did as he promised and moved to another network, NBC, in 2010 with a similar series, Harry's Law, popular with both the 18-49 and 50+ demographics. Perhaps Detroit 187 can move to NBC - or CBC and film across the river in Windsor.

Some conspiracy thinkers wonder if Disney-ABC is in cahoots with Michigan's Governor to cut film/TV productions that may be a little on the high side in the range of incentives (probably the best of the best as well).

Money cut from the incentives' piece of the pie-chart go to (big-)business tax cuts, although the politicos say it all goes to small business - I hope at least some of it does. Harlan Ellison wrote about the mediocrity of television in the 1970s and I recently read all of his columns - two thick books, all in fine print. He warned us then and the warning stands as fresh as our new war in Libya. Is anyone at the top listening?

Does a large section of Americans really want a businessman in the White House, as they say? Perhaps someone can approach Mr. Donald Trump about supporting arts and culture in Michigan as he has supported them on Celebrity Apprentice in 2011. He set the stage for raising millions of dollars for charities through art - the biggest fund raising result of any of his series. It's an idea.

Isn't government supposed to create a safe environment for citizens? - an atmosphere in which to create culture rather than merely to survive - rather than a rat race in a cage where the corrupt light cigars with 1,000-dollar bills while the rest work 70 hours a week, over-taxed$ until age 70,and drop dead (I already got my must-work-to-70 notice, did you)?

  • I rarely rant about politics, but 2000 - 2014, I have witnessed savage partisan programs designed to undo everything good the previous in-power party achieved, it seems only coincidentally to erase the bad. It's wrong. Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan have been home to these wars.

Follow Detroit on Twitter

@freep - Detroit Free Press
@AmericanConey - Oldest family-run restaurant in Detroit, since 1917.
@OldDET
@real_detroit
@The D187
@Detroit187ABC
@FistofDetroit
@becksdavis
@michmikeblog
@MyClubDetroit
@tigers
@detroitpistons
@DetroitPolitics
@VisitDetroit
@DetroitRedWings
@detroitzoo
@DetroitLionsNFL

Protest Gathering

On Monday April 4, 2011 the Detroit 5,000 March in protest was scheduled. These individuals planned a peaceful but powerful protest of recent legislation that gives Detroit Financial Managers too many powers. It robs the voters of their right to elect these managers as well. Some of the protestors are the Unified Detroit Coalition, Detroit Coalition Against Violence, Black Panthers, and various labor unions, as well as individuals. Collective bargaining is a target for cutting under the bill as well. Mayor David Bing and Governor Rick Snyder both uphold this bill as "fair." It is not fair and people are angry about it.

The March coincided with the 43rd Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. back in 1968. He was defending union collective bargaining rights for sanitation workers in Memphis at the time and was killed that day. The Michigan bill cuts similar collective bargaining rights in this state.

The rise of Temp Agencies in the 1980s gave large and small businesses the incentive to hire labor and avoid paying benefits, pay lower wages, and avoid negotiating with unions. Next, companies hired "full-time" workers without benefits, at under 35 hours weekly, thus avoiding Unemployment Compansation premiums as well. Many businesses have eliminated health and medical insurance coverages for 40-hour workers, decreased vacation and sick days, and eliminated some official holidays from the work calendar. In short, part of the American workplace has been reduced to a certain fast food system of the late 1970s - long hours, no breaks, no meals, no benefits, and no raises above minimum wage.

Although unions arose to protect workers from the atrocities of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and its reports on the meat packing industry. We find similar horrors today brought to light by Fast Food Nation and Nickel and Dimed. I've seen packing house and slaughter floor workers in psychological treatment after Workers Compensation claims in the recent past and know that the books named above are true. Some of our nation's unions are still badly needed at the same time that the relevant unions need to do a better job of helping meat packing and slaughtering employees.

American Coney Island Restaurant - See them on Twitter

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© 2011 Patty Inglish

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Comments from Detroit and Elsewhere 11 comments

Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

You never fail to write an incredble hub. Thank you, Patti


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

I've met some incredible people to give me the information to put into it! Hubber rmr is from the Detroit area and he's a freelancer, on at least one movie script too, I think. Up Detroit!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago

Blessings to you Patty!

I've never paid much attention to Detroit, yet your Hub has made me fall in love! What a GREAT story! Thank you for sharing!

Also, CONGRATULATIONS! I just saw you reached 5,000 official Hub Followers above! Quite an accomplishment my dear!

Blessings always, EarthAngel!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Thank you very much, EarthAngel! And it is incredible to have a list of some many followers, so I will continue to bring some fresh ideas and situations to HubPages as I continue to write. Your support and that of many others is a Godsend. Thanks!

I travel to Michigna 4-5 times yearly to visit friends and check up on martial arts classes, and visit Detroit every 6 months. I spent one fantastic summer afternoon in the main library and had a salad in a great restaurant a block or so away. I walked throughout Downtown and enjoyed the bus station architecture and the People Mover. Some of the hotels were being upgraded. Next time, I'll return to the zoo in Royal Oak.

Thanks again!


tritrain profile image

tritrain 5 years ago from United States

It sounds like some really short-sighted legislation. I'm glad to hear that there are people, including yourself, who are fighting to keep the jobs in Detroit.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Wow Patty thanks for highlighting both some of the great people in Detroit and the struggles that our "great" new Governor is doing. He is trying to destroy our school system and unions here as well and as a teacher we are really worried about the cuts that our students will soon face in our schools. We must have been thinking along the same lines because I wrote two hubs for the writing/30 in 30 challenge that highlight some great places within the city of Detroit. Wish I could vote this up more than once!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for posting your info, cardelean. I always have a good time in Detroit.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

I have not been to Detroit in ages, so I am happy to see it has such strong supporters. I mixed with the people when in Detroit, and found them to be very friendly and helpful. I spent a day with a family of 13 in a run down Californian Bungalow on one hundred and something street who worked for GMH. They were a fantastic eye opener for me, and were very loyal and supportive of each other in hard times.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

13 in one bungalow - that's amazing crowding and will to survive. There;s a core group of people dedicated to being things to the good. I have faith in them. Thanks for sharing this, earnesthub.


PETER LUMETTA profile image

PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

Hi Patty, I'm from Detroit and I've seen it at its best and its worst. Its where I'm from. But what is going on in Detroit and Michigan right now is a crime. The funds that were used for chldren, the old and the handicapped is a moral travesty. And the rich get richer. Excellent HUBs Bravo


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for posting, Peter! My hopes are that the friends, families, and business owners I know up there keep at their good work and turn things around. I just heard about extra money being appled to the railroads, especially between Detroit and Chicago - $200 Million. I should be getting up to Detoit this summer and having another look around.

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