It’s official. CriticCar Detroit is coming to the streets of the Motor City. You’re going to be able to give your critique of a play, art show, concert, auto show, whatever and let the world know what you think.
CriticCar is becoming a reality thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. They just awarded up to $80,000 to Jennifer Conlin, a long-time contributor to the New York Times, and Dan Shaw, former New York Times reporter and co-founder of the online cultural magazine RuralIntelligence.com, to get the project moving.
You may recall we wrote about this idea last October when it was called iCritic and Jennifer and Dan had just made it to the final round for the award. Their idea and two others … one in Charlotte, North Carolina, and another in Philadelphia … were chosen from 233 applications.
“This is exciting for Detroit and the artistic community we have here,” Conlin says. She says CriticCar will help show the diversity of Detroit’s artistic community and show how much art influences a city’s transformation.
So here’s how it works. After you come out of a play, art show, concert, auto show … whatever …you can stop at the CriticCar Detroit mobile video booth parked in front of the event and record your review. It’ll be posted on local websites and shared on social media channels. It’ll crisscross the city and be at different kinds of events, large and small, so under the radar performances will be showcased as well as those that are better known.
In short, you’ll become part of the conversation about Detroit’s vibrant arts scene. Conlin says they hope to have CriticCar on the road by the end of summer.
“The critiques generated through CriticCar will not only create buzz about cultural events, but will document in words and images the diversity of Detroit’s cultural life and audiences, and help connect residents and visitors to local arts organizations,” Conlin said in the application.
CriticCar also hopes to go to schools and involve kids in learning how to be good critics. If all goes according to plan they will be taught by a few local professional critics so they can learn how to do good, honest, interesting critiques.
“We hope lots of people will participate and that this will go viral,” Conlin says. “We want people to start making road trips and come to Detroit and enjoy the art scene.”