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'Corktown' Examines How Gentrification Changed Detroit

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Peck School of the Arts
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“Corktown” is a study of gentrification, the past, present and future of a fallen city. ";s:

Say Detroit and what comes to mind? Urban blight? White flight? Bankruptcy? What about neighborhoods? Many artists and entrepreneurs have moved to Detroit in recent years because they can afford the studio and living spaces and are willing to put up with a deteriorating infrastructure. Their arrival has changed the city, for better or worse. But what about the people who already lived there?

Corktown is the oldest surviving neighborhood in Detroit, though it is only half as old as the city itself. The UWM Theatre Department presents Corktown the play this week. It examines how neighborhoods and relationships change through a city’s economic shifts.

"The play is looking more broadly, I think, at how neighborhoods change, how gentrification changes neighborhoods. And (it) questions who's the author of that change and who do we listen to and how do we move forward with that change," says director Rebecca Holderness.

Holderness and James Tomasello, a graffiti artist, instructor at Milwaukee’s True Skool and the scenic designer for the show, stopped by Lake Effect to talk with Bonnie North.

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.