Martina Guzman is a Community Reporter for WDET, Detroit’s public radio station. She has been named Best Individual Reporter by the Associated Press of Michigan. In 2011 her series, The Detroit-Berlin Connection, was awarded best series by the Michigan Broadcasters Association and first place for Best Investigative/Enterprise Reporting from the Associated Press of Michigan. In 2009 she directed the feature documentary "The Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato," which aired on PBS.
Reed Kroloff is no stranger to cities that are in need of a rebirth. As dean of architecture at Tulane University, he was responsible for bringing back 97 percent of the school's student body after Hurricane Katrina. This week, Kroloff is a part of the second annual Detroit Design Festival. He explains why he thinks that the Motor City could be the next design mecca.
According to a report released earlier this year, Latino and Arab communities who live along the border between Canada and the United States are experiencing an increase in instances of racial profiling by border patrol and other federal agents. In response, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is suing the FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for what it claims has been religious profiling and mistreatment of Muslims at the border.
In the rest of America, vinyl may be a dying breed, but it’s alive and kicking in Detroit. Archer Records, one of the few companies left in the world that continues to press records, thrives on a symbiotic relationship with techno DJs.
In Jim Crow America, African Americans were relegated to the status of second class citizens. Through laws and social norms, racism was legitimized and the practice operated as a way of life. Now, there is a museum remembering the era: the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. Our Detroit reporter from WDET, Martina Guzman, spoke with the museum's curator Renee Romano about how his past informed his vision of the museum.
When people think of Michigan's economy, they generally think of places like Detroit and Flint, and of the state's once great automobile manufacturing sites. But Martina Guzmán of WDET takes a closer look at the economic benefits of one of the Great Lakes State's most tried and true resources: water.
Detroit and Berlin both know something about abandoned buildings. After the fall of the wall when the former east opened up, parts of Berlin looked a lot like Detroit today, where scores of buildings stood unclaimed, their purpose unclear. While officials worked on a city’s future, Germans like Dimitri Hegemann, relished in exploring the relics of Berlin’s industrial past.
"We were very curious...so when I could go in… I was curious like a young boy," he says. "What is this building? Oh, it’s empty? Let’s look inside. And this happened 1,000 times. We just invaded. This was, you must understand, the frame of these days. The atmosphere was burning. It was an amazing situation."
You don't have to be an urban planner to know that cheap quality space can mean artists, and artists can mean revitalization. With a video slide show, Martina Guzman of WDET tells the stories of artists who have moved or even returned to Detroit and Berlin, not only for the cheap space, but for businesses and manufacturing infrastructure open to their needs.
Detroit has long been called the birthplace of techno, and helped bring house music to a global stage in the 1980s — the kind of impact that still resonates around the world today, in the form of tens of thousands of auditory permutations. Berlin, which gave rise to "The Berlin School" of electronic music in the 1970s, has been equally influential — and is still a pilgrimage destination for DJs and electronic music aficionados from all over the world. So it's no surprise that DJ Rolando, internationally-known techno DJ from Detroit, is also a favorite in Berlin.
WDET's Martina Guzman spent six weeks in the German city of Berlin, exploring a long-recognized but underreported connection between that former manufacturing giant and the Motor City. In this post, which you can hear from the radio here, she gives a first-person account of visiting Berlin and talking with several people that recognize the connection between the two cities, especially their diminished but still "sexy" industrial prowess.
Two cities, both alike in industry: Detroit, U.S.A. and Berlin, Germany. In a recent series for WDET, Martina Guzman explored the similarities and differences between the two iconic hubs of industry that came into their own in the 20th century.
According to a 2010 study by Global Detroit, an economic development initiative, immigrants in southeastern Michigan are starting businesses at almost three times the rate of non-immigrants. Recent immigrant business ventures range from high-tech and manufacturing firms to restaurants and boutique import companies.
In recent years, Detroit has seen a substantial decline in the number of community hospitals — short-term general hospitals whose facilities and services are available to the public. At least 15 community hospitals have closed in the last decade, leaving a void in community health. But southwest Detroit’s Community Health and Service Center, also known as the Chass Clinic, is stepping up to become a medical home for the entire community as it builds a new multi-million dollar health center.
Detroit is recognized internationally as an automobile city and a music city — definitely not a fashion city. But that might be changing. Detroit designer Bassem Souwaidan has created a clothing line that has global distribution and is putting Detroit fashion into a category called urban chic.
Bassem Souwaidan spends most days overseeing his small but successful clothing line, Al Wissam. Many haven’t heard the name Al Wissam, but the brand is coveted in the world of Hip-Hop. Souwaidan’s designs sell at more than 120 outlets worldwide and his signature line of leather jackets have shown up on television award shows, in music videos and in magazines like Vibe.
The national media frequently paints Detroit as a near constant subject of sad stories during this ailing economy. But there are outliers in every struggling economy, and in this city there is a bright and beautiful outlier: The Detroit Opera House is not struggling at all. It is thriving, thanks in part to the leadership of its director, David Dichiera.