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Detroit, Michigan

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Detroit in Michigan.

 

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Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan and the seat of Wayne County. Detroit is a major port city on the Detroit River, in the Midwest region of the United States. It was founded on July 24, 1701, by the Frenchman Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Its name originates from the French word d├ętroit for strait, in reference to its location on the river connecting the Great Lakes.

Known as the world's traditional automotive center, "Detroit" is a metonym for the American automobile industry and an important source of popular music legacies celebrated by the city's two familiar nicknames, the Motor City and Motown.

Culture and contemporary life

Downtown Detroit is growing in its population of young professionals and retail is expanding. A number of luxury high rises have been built. The east river development plans include more luxury condominium developments. A desire to be closer to the urban scene has attracted young professionals to take up residence among the mansions of Grosse Pointe just outside the city. Detroit's proximity to Windsor, Ontario, provides for views and nightlife, along with Ontario's minimum drinking age of 19.

Entertainment and performing arts

Live music has been a prominent feature of Detroit's nightlife since the late 1940s, bringing the city recognition under the nickname Motown. The metropolitan area has many nationally prominent live music venues. Concerts hosted by Live Nation perform throughout the Detroit area. Large concerts are held at DTE Energy Music Theatre and The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Detroit Theatre District is the U.S.A.'s second largest and hosts Broadway performances. Major theaters include the Fox Theatre, Music Hall, the Gem Theatre, Masonic Temple Theatre, the Detroit Opera House, the Fisher Theatre, The Fillmore Detroit, St. Andrews Hall, and Orchestra Hall which hosts the renowned Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The Nederlander Organization, the largest controller of Broadway productions in New York City, originated with the purchase of the Detroit Opera House in 1922 by the Nederlander family.

Movie studios are planned for the metro area. Motown Motion Picture Studios with 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) will produce movies in Detroit and the surrounding area based at the Pontiac Centerpoint Business Campus for a film industry expected to employ over 4,000 people in the metro area.

The city of Detroit has a rich musical heritage and has contributed to a number of different genres over the decades leading into the new millennium. Important music events in the city include: the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, the Motor City Music Conference (MC2), the Urban Organic Music Conference, the Concert of Colors, and the hip-hop Summer Jamz festival.

In the 1940s, blues artist John Lee Hooker became a long-term resident in the city's southwest Delray neighborhood. Hooker, among other important blues musicians migrated from his home in Mississippi bringing the Delta Blues to northern cities like Detroit. Hooker recorded for Fortune Records, the biggest pre-Motown blues/soul label. During the 1950s, the city became a center for jazz, with stars performing in the Black Bottom neighborhood. Prominent emerging Jazz musicians of the 1960s included: trumpet player Donald Byrd who attended Cass Tech and performed with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers early in his career and Saxophonist Pepper Adams who enjoyed a solo career and accompanied Byrd on several albums. The Graystone International Jazz Museum documents jazz in Detroit.

Other, prominent Motor City R&B stars in the 1950s and early 1960s was Nolan Strong, Andre Williams and Nathaniel Mayer - who all scored local and national hits on the Fortune Records label. According to Smokey Robinson, Strong was a primary influence on his voice as a teenager. The Fortune label was a family-operated label located on Third Avenue in Detroit, and was owned by the husband and wife team of Jack Brown and Devora Brown. Fortune, which also released country, gospel and rockabilly LPs and 45s, laid the groundwork for Motown, which became Detroit's most legendary record label.

Berry Gordy, Jr. founded Motown Records which rose to prominence during the 1960s and early 1970s with acts such as Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Diana Ross & The Supremes, the Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas, The Spinners, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Marvin Gaye. Artists were backed by the Funk Brothers, the Motown house band that was featured in Paul Justman's 2002 documentary film Standing in the Shadows of Motown, based on Allan Slutsky's book of the same name. The Motown Sound played an important role in the crossover appeal with popular music, since it was the first African American owned record label to primarily feature African-American artists. Gordy moved Motown to Los Angeles in 1972 to pursue film production, but the company has since returned to Detroit. Aretha Franklin, another Detroit R&B star, carried the Motown Sound; however, she did not record with Berry's Motown Label.

Local artists and bands rose to prominence in the 1960s and 70s including: the MC5, The Stooges, Bob Seger, Amboy Dukes featuring Ted Nugent, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Rare Earth, Alice Cooper, and Suzi Quatro. The group Kiss emphasized the city's connection with rock in the song Detroit Rock City and the movie produced in 1999. In the 1980s, Detroit was an important center of the hardcore punk rock underground with many nationally known bands coming out of the city and its suburbs, such as The Necros, The Meatmen, and Negative Approach.

In 1990s and the new millennium, the city has produced a number of influential artists, including Eminem, the hip-hop artist with the highest cumulative sales, and hip-hop producer J Dilla. Detroit is cited as the birthplace of techno music. Prominent Detroit Techno artists include Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. The band Sponge toured and produced music, with artists such as Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker. The city also has an active garage rock genre that has generated national attention with acts such as: The White Stripes, The Von Bondies, The Dirtbombs, Electric Six, and The Hard Lessons.

Tourism

Many of the area's prominent museums are located in the historic cultural center neighborhood around Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies. These museums include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Science Center, as well as the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Other cultural highlights in Detroit include Motown Historical Museum, the Pewabic Pottery studio and school, the Tuskegee Airmen Museum, Fort Wayne, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID), and the Belle Isle Conservatory. In 2010, the G.R. N'Namdi Gallery opened in a 16,000 sq. ft. complex in Midtown. Important history of Detroit and the surrounding area is exhibited at The Henry Ford, the U.S.A.'s largest indoor-outdoor museum complex. The Detroit Historical Society provides information about tours of area churches, skyscrapers, and mansions. Inside Detroit, meanwhile, hosts tours, educational programming, and a downtown welcome center. Other sites of interest are the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle, and Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills.

The city's Greektown and three downtown casino resort hotels serve as part of an entertainment hub. The Eastern Market farmer's distribution center is the largest open-air flowerbed market in the United States and has more than 150 foods and specialty businesses.[53] On Saturdays, about 45,000 people shop the city's historic Eastern Market. The Midtown and the New Center area are centered on Wayne State University and Henry Ford Hospital. Midtown has about 50,000 residents and attracts millions of visitors each year to its museums and cultural centers;[55] for example, the Detroit Festival of the Arts in Midtown draws about 350,000 people.

Annual summer events include the Electronic Music Festival, International Jazz Festival, the Woodward Dream Cruise, the African World Festival, the Detroit Hoedown, Noel Night, and Dally in the Alley. Within downtown, Campus Martius Park hosts large events, including the annual Motown Winter Blast. As the world's traditional automotive center, the city hosts the North American International Auto Show. Held since 1924, America's Thanksgiving Parade is one of the nation's largest.[56] River Days, a five-day summer festival on the International Riverfront lead up to the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival fireworks, which draw super sized-crowds ranging from hundreds of thousands to over three million people.

An important civic sculpture in Detroit is Marshall Fredericks' "Spirit of Detroit" at the Coleman Young Municipal Center. The image is often used as a symbol of Detroit and the statue itself is occasionally dressed in sports jerseys to celebrate when a Detroit team is doing well.[59] A memorial to Joe Louis at the intersection of Jefferson and Woodward Avenues was dedicated on October 16, 1986. The sculpture, commissioned by Sports Illustrated and executed by Robert Graham, is a 24 foot (7.3 m) long arm with a fisted hand suspended by a pyramidal framework.

Artist Tyree Guyton created the controversial street art exhibit known as the Heidelberg Project in 1986, using found objects including cars, clothing and shoes found in the neighborhood near and on Heidelberg Street on the near East Side of Detroit. Guyton continues to work with neighborhood residents and tourists in constantly evolving the neighborhood-wide art installation.

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