Capacity Building for D-town Sound

Raising Voices! Film Collective is currently in between development and pre-production ob D-town Sound, a six-episode documentary series highlighting the experiences of LGBTQI musicians of color as they navigate the Detroit music scene—an axis of music innovation that has brought the world Motown, Techno, and Hardcore Punk. After receiving funding from the Detroit Narrative Agency in September of 2016, the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation in April of 2017, and the Rudolf Steiner Foundation in May of 2017 we began to lay down the groundwork for our project D-town Sound. Participating in a sustainable network, through which our communities can share equipment and resources, we have been able to greatly reduce overhead costs for ourselves, other local organizations, and artists while working collaboratively on varying projects.

Since it’s inception D-town Sound has garnered much support and interest in recognition of the need for a project like this to address concerns in our community, which have not yet been. The influence of LGBTQI people of color, from Detroit in particular, on the global music scene has been critically under-recognized and under-documented, and D-town Sound was developed to correct the record through education and the media arts. Showcasing and providing workshops around the project, beginning at the Allied Media Conference, will allow us to engage in face-to-face dialogue as part of our community outreach initiative, receive feedback about how to holistically represent the multifaceted lives of LGBTQI community members, and counter harmful ideologies about LGBTQI people as portrayed in popular media.

Based on feedback and the high level of willingness of community members to participate in the project D-Town Sound has already begun to make a positive impression in our local network and shift the narratives embraced by LGBTQI people of color in Detroit. Our target audience is the LGBTQI community at large, since they stand to benefit the most from the affirmation and positive visibility this project will project. Through film, we work collaboratively with community members who share these marginalized identities. D-Town Sound in particular will provide a platform for LGBTQI musicians of color from Detroit to share their music widely and to speak out about the intersections of the personal and creative.