#rpDetroit Speaker Rochelle Riley: Detroit is a city where the arts are a way of life

Rochelle Riley is an author, essayist and photographer who spent nearly a quarter century as a news columnist when she left in 2019 to focus on arts, culture and entertainment. She is the Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Detroit. She left journalism with a bang, getting inducted into the North Carolina Media and Journalism Hall of Fame and receiving the National Headliner Award for best local columns, both in 2019. Rochelle travels the country hosting conversations about the burden that America still bears because it refuses to deal with the aftermath of American enslavement.

What message do you want to share at re:publica Detroit?
Our city's new Office of Arts and Culture is open for business. That business has three missions: to celebrate and promote the world-class talent in our city, to promote and support our multi-million arts, culture and entertainment industry and to increase opportunities for entrepreneurship and education and creative place-keeping.

In one word, what does access mean to you?

You cannot enjoy what you do not know and you cannot take advantage of unknown opportunities. So for audiences, clients and fans, we will promote what exists and what is possible. For artists and creatives, we will promote what possibilities exist for funding and support. We want to improve communication between the city and artists and programs as well as between artists and programs and each other. I also hope to make sure that if there are possibilities for support, everyone has access to those opportunities.

What are you looking forward to most at re:publica Detroit?
First, shouting to the world how amazing Detroit is and what exists here and second, learning about the creativity and programs that exist outside Detroit that we can bring to Detroit. We are open for business, and we mean business about transforming the way art and artists are seen and treated.

Detroit is a city where the arts are a way of life... the birthplace of Motown and Techno, birthplace of world-class artists and future geniuses. It is worth celebrating - and growing!