Detroit Narrative Agency

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Detroit Narrative Agency

Detroit Narrative Agency Story


The stories we tell about a place form a kind of DNA-- shaping what that place is and what it can become.

For too long, the stories that circulate about Detroit have defined it as broken, violent, and in need of saving from itself. In recent years, and especially since Detroit’s emergence from bankruptcy in 2014, we see a new strand of stories about Detroit: stories of resurgence led by white billionaires, scrappy entrepreneurs, and pioneering artists. Invisible from that narrative is the Detroit that was saving itself along, the Detroit that is pushing back against marginalization and erasure, the Detroit that has a vision for the future based in liberation and justice.

The Detroit Narrative Agency is amplifying that Detroit, incubating quality and compelling stories that will shift the dominant narratives about this place towards liberation and justice. Our current fellowship program is supporting a cohort of Black and Brown filmmakers in Detroit to develop short films and accompanying community impact strategies.


DNA 2.0
Photograph by Kashira Dowridge, courtesy of DNA and Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab 


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