Youth Programming

Through its youth programming the Center for Craft & Applied Arts will empower Detroit teens and young adults to have agency over the built environment around them, transform materials into salable goods, and express themselves through a creative medium. CCAA will kick off its after school program in the fall of 2018. Thereafter, CCAA will run after school programs in spring and fall along with a summer program, each serving approximately 40 students per session. CCAA has partnered with Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation, Mint Artists Guild, and Venture School to recruit students, provide support services, and curriculum integration. Local artists and craftspeople will teach these classes and mentor students. We estimate 12,320 annual youth education classroom contact hours.


Mint Artists Guild, a CCAA youth programming partner at the Palmer Park Art Fair.

Workforce Development

CCAA’s Workforce Development Program will assist Central Detroit neighborhood residents in acquiring skills to work for craft businesses, start their own business, or seek further study in craft apprenticeship. Following community outreach programming in Central Detroit in the first half of 2018 we will train our first cohort in the fall of 2018. The 250 hour curriculum will be designed in consultation with craft professionals, academic experts, and potential employers.


A CCAA metalworking class being taught by Paul Mergen, a metalsmith with 55 years of experience. The CCAA Craft Workforce Development Program will rely on local teaching artists and craftspeople. It will take place in a new facility similarly equipped to the one pictured here.

Community Outreach

The Center for Craft & Applied Arts will engage our Central Detroit neighbors through demonstrative and interactive craft-based outreach programming. We will partner with local and national artists whose practice can sensitively engage our constituency with culturally relevant subject matter in order to present craft as a relatable, viable, and empowering career. While our Workforce Development Program will be introduced as a path to acquiring demonstrated skills, our primary goals are to introduce craft as a creative cultural outlet and to provide culturally enriching experiences to our neighbors. Ongoing outreach will promote accessibility and maintain an authentic connection with our community.

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CCAA’s artist-led community outreach programming will help contextualize Craft's cultural relevance to Detroit residents. This program will offer opportunities for further engagement with hand skills, craft materials, and educational programs at the CCAA. 


The Center for Craft & Applied Arts will mount 2 to 3 exhibitions per year in their new 3,000 sq ft gallery space on the 9th floor of Chroma. These exhibitions will bring notoriety to skilled creative production—highlighting craft, design, and art—that is currently underrepresented in Detroit’s visual arts landscape. Moreover, our inclusive curatorial approach will produce exhibitions that explore issues, artists, and themes relevant to our community and our region with the ultimate goal of making craft accessible and of interest to our neighbors and enthusiasts regionally and nationally. Currently being planned are exhibitions of works made by Detroit artists from locally sourced materials, and an exhibition of Contemporary West African Jewelry. 


Milling a freshly cut tree for use by local artists in our upcoming ‘Now. Here. This.’ exhibition.