At the end of September we went downtown to check out a really cool spot in Detroit called The Belt. Known as a “culturally redefined alley in the heart of downtown” and named for its physical orientation in a former downtown garment district, The Belt is located between Broadway and Library Street and links Gratiot and Grand River. The project was conceptualized and curated by Detroit-based art gallery Library Street Collective. Even the parking garage walls are painted in a graffiti-larger-than-life comic book style. As you enter The Belt you see various large-scale art installments and murals — each one curated by a different artist — that rotate throughout the years.
When we were there the Country was still reeling from the murder of George Floyd. In response, Dallas-based artist Jammie Holmes initiated a public demonstration, across five U.S. cities. On May 30, Airplanes with banners flying Floyd’s final words connected these cities in a national protest of police brutality against Black Americans.
“The Belt is another example of our growing interest in reimagining underutilized spaces throughout the city. This formerly desolate alley has transformed into one of the most dynamic pedestrian-friendly public spaces in the country.”
— Anthony Curis, founder of Library Street Collective