Photos by Claire Lindsey
The Detroit meetup we hosted this November was a unique form of a community event. People from all over Midwest gathered downtown to network and make connections, expand their artistic horizons, and challenge themselves by working with a vast array of creatives. A harmonic blend of both friends and unfamiliar faces, attendees of the meetup used their most passionate craft to revive the artistic energy in what once was a dying city.
“I came to the Hub meetup in Detroit wanting to connect and be inspired by creative individuals like myself. I not only was able to do just that, but I was also given the opportunity to meet great people that I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet if it wasn’t for the Hub.” –Marisa Kimmel (Chicago)
A main mission of the Core hosts’ advertising efforts was to create a space that welcomed all people interested in learning about art through photography and modeling. We wanted to make it clear that you don’t have to exclusively be a member of H in order to attend and discover the community the collective holds. Because of this, the turnout for the event went above and beyond expectations, with many attendees driving across the Midwest or even flying in for the event.
“My decision to drive from Minneapolis to Detroit came on a whim. I had recently been to my first H Meet a few weeks before and I wanted to continue creating with other motivated artists from as many different places as possible. Being a spontaneous person, I booked a hotel room and committed to driving over the moment that I saw the post inviting us to join the group in Detroit. Later on, I looked at how long of a drive it would be and (more than once) thought about cancelling the trip. I wondered if it would be worth driving eleven hours just to meet people and take pictures. I can say that it was 100% worth it! I had an amazing experience meeting great people, creating awesome photographs, and I was able to find even more inspiration from so many talented individuals.” –Emmanuel Akosa (Minneapolis)
By promoting the meetup in this specific way, the experience level of attendees was a true variety. The group was made up largely of new and aspiring creatives, in addition to the more consistent local meetup crowd. Instead of artists focusing on shooting just with friends they were already familiar with, we were ecstatic to see more experienced creatives working alongside ones who had never shot before, and people jumping at the chance to help others around them by sharing their strengths, talents, or props in certain areas of their craft.
“Last weekend was my first time attending a Core H Meet up, and coincidentally my first time modeling. I came to support a friend of mine and watch her do her thing. In going I did not know what to expect or what it would entail. But I am so glad I attended the Detroit Core H Event. Not only was everyone receptive of me not being a model but encouraged me to try it out for the day. The energy and vibes were so strongly positive, I had no choice but to ride wave. I had a great experience and met some of the best people from photographers to models. The demographic was so diverse for there were people from all over with different perspectives it made every picture special in their own. All I can say I’m glad I was able to be a part of such a great experience.” –Charles Hayden (Detroit)
Not even the worst of Michigan’s infamous weather of the season thus far could stop over 50 artists from exploring and inspiring each other the whole day. Photographers shared rubber bands to secure their plastic bags around their cameras and freezing rain dripped down models faces as they set down their umbrellas to pose for a shot.
“As a social media influencer, it can always be hard to find other local creatives. With the help of H-Collective, I made amazing connections and artwork. Rain or shine we all showed up. If that’s not commitment I don’t know what is. Until next time…” –Remy Lewbel (Detroit)
We carefully chose the meetup locations around landmarks that are unique to Detroit’s identity, including its more recent rebirth. Historical Greektown, the Belt, Comerica Park, the Fox Theater, Campus Martius, Sky Tunnels, Guardian Buildings, and Hart Plaza. These locations reflected the historical richness, new tourist developments, and hidden photo gems embedded within the city.
Along the route, smaller groups would occasionally break off when they found something off-course that struck them as inspiring, and naturally some people ended up getting lost. But even with the temporary separation, we reunited again in Hart Plaza, concluding the event together as a group. We closed on a note of gratitude, and reiterated H’s commitment to connection for those who were not already aware of the Hub’s search system and community platform.
“It was amazing to meet so many people from another state and just fully immerse myself in a new community. The Detroit Community is so accepting and I can’t wait to go back!” –Bri Flasch
Through these unique experiences, attendees were able to unite and really appreciate the space that so many of us call home. A previously tarnished reputation of Detroit’s had forgotten the rich history that comes from the Motor City, the home of Motown. Detroit is one of a kind, a timeless mark in America–a pioneer in the industrial revolution. We were grateful to honor the beauty between the cracked walls, and encourage the creative community to put Detroit back on their travel bucket list.