In 2016, Southwest Detroit lost an important community anchor, our local coffee shop. It had come to serve as a “community living room” a place where we gathered, both formally and informally, to discuss community concerns, politics, art, collective identity, and economic opportunities. It was a public workspace and “go-to-spot” when residents, organizers, artist, and entrepreneurs needed a welcoming place to meet others to push their work forward, or just relax in community.
The idea for NOIS stemmed from a desire to not only fill that void and recreate its dynamic, but also expand on it by developing a community-driven coffee shop and collaborative workspace/resource center accessible to both Spanish/English speakers, and designed to support small social enterprise, home-based food/commodities vendors, and artist. NOIS, Neighborhood Office and Incubator Space, is a play off the street name where it’s located, Livernois Ave. Its mission is to ‘create community equity, by making noise together’; nurturing deep conversations about equitable development and artistic expression to leverage positive economic impacts for both individuals and to the developing arts economy in our community.
The concept consists of a 3100 square foot renovation to an existing warehouse/storefront adjacent to the arts and cultural center Garage Cultural. The new space will create a public coffee shop and locally-sourced retail store, art gallery, and 20 affordable cooperative workspaces to provide local entrepreneurs with both the foot traffic and visibility needed to increase their networks and revenue. Our collective vision is to create a fun, energetic, diverse and inclusive space for the local population and next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs can dive deeper into their passions and entrepreneurial endeavors.
Guided by their elders, peers, and other people who share similar life experiences and understandings of what makes growing up in SWD unique. We believe that NOIS will create the synergy to encourage our artist and entrepreneurs to practice hyper-local social responsibility in ways that nurture our community’s social fabric in an atmosphere that is full of art and familiar cultural markings that incite inspiration in both our customers and partners.
Since the initial concept development phase we have received strong local support for NOIS as a new, unique, and exciting community space that will be culturally grounded & accessible. Therefore, we are excited to now share this idea and ask for support from the city of Detroit residents at large via our participation in this year’s HATCH competition!