If I had to choose one word to describe Detroit’s creative scene, it would be hustle.
Hustle: “To work rapidly or energetically.” – Dictionary.com
Hustle isn’t a new word to the people of Detroit. As a city that was, in my opinion, left for dead, hustle is a word that has been used to describe the city and its residents for ages.
Detroiters have had to hustle to survive…literally. From the 1967 protests to filing for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history in 2013, and now dealing with poverty, a failing school system and a dozen other issues as a result. Detroit and its creative scene continue to hustle to this day.
As creatives, we have to hustle to make a name for ourselves in a city that isn’t particularly known for breeding the next big rapper, artist, poet, or photographer.
As a creative, who has been to cities like LA, I can say first handedly that we are not the same. In my experiences, LA creatives don’t move like we do in Detroit. They don’t know what it feels like to have to constantly be grinding.
To move with intention, to spend an entire day working on a project just to wake up the next morning and do it all over again.
We know that we are not Chicago or LA. We know that things aren’t handed to us, and we know that we have to put in countless hours of work to have our talent recognized.
I think all of this is what makes Detroit’s creative scene unique. We never stop moving or creating. We find beauty in the ashes of our city that was burnt to the ground. We are inspired by our past and never stop pushing the boundaries of our future.
I’m proud to be a Detroit creative. I’m proud to find inspiration in a city that was left to die. I’m proud to hustle and grind every day and I know that one day Detroit and its creatives will receive the recognition we deserve.
Anna Robb is a photographer and content creator for Rock Ventures and Opportunity Detroit. Check out Anna Robb on Instagram at @AnnaRobbxo.