Public art project bringing huge murals to Detroit before 2024 NFL Draft

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Have you noticed some new public art popping up around downtown Detroit? They’re part of a massive “Be The Change” campaign that will welcome visitors to the city for the NFL Draft.

The murals are the result of a partnership between the City of Detroit, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, and a global nonprofit.

Known as the Detroit Fine Art Mural Exhibition, it is being curated and produced by Street Art for Mankind (SAM) in October 2023 and April 2024.

According to the city, SAM travels the country transforming downtowns with inspiring murals spotlighting social and environmental issues. The art is designed to usher in the 2024 NFL draft, as well as be a lasting gift to Detroit residents.

Thousands of people are expected to visit Detroit for the draft next spring.

Artists began working on the project last week. The project is being completed in two phases. First, this month, artists from around the world came to Detroit. In April, Detroit artists will join SAM artists to paint murals celebrating the resilience and strength of Detroiters.

The mural project is being co-sponsored by the City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, and the City Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship. The initiative also benefits from the support of UN Global Compact member Diageo. The City’s contribution to the project was $140,000.

Each mural will be featured on SAM’s free “Behind the Wall” app, which works like an audio guide where artists talk about their pieces and artistic process. They also will be featured on the Detroit Mural Map, which the City is using to document every mural across Detroit.

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