The Tuxedo Project Literary Center is a public, community-focused space dedicated to bringing the joy of the written and spoken word to the neighborhood around 7122 Tuxedo, on Detroit’s west side.
It opened in September 2017, and programming began right away.
The center is managed by Rose Gorman, the Tuxedo Project Resident Fellow at Marygrove College. Together with Tuxedo Project founder Stephen Henderson, Gorman has set an ambitious slate of activities, inspired both by the Center itself and other literary arts and community organizations.
And we’re just getting started. Beginning in January, 2018, more and more of our programming will focus specifically on our neighborhood, and our neighbors.
MARYGROVE CREATIVE WRITING CLASS
English 264 is the formal name of the upper-level creative writing class that Rose Gorman taught in her first semester at Marygrove.
But the students were in for far more than they might have expected. The class was held at The Tuxedo Project, and material drew not only from the students’ introspection, but also from the neighborhood itself.
Gorman integrated the Tuxedo Project’s surroundings and neighbors into assignments, and the students’ writings were inspired by what they saw and heard.
Rose Gorman is a co-teacher for WriteSL, a generativememoir writing workshop and retreat in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka. In October 2017, she invited friends of The Tuxedo Project to go along with her.
One lucky attendee won a sponsored trip for the retreat, donated by Gorman and The Tuxedo Project. The seminars will take place over two weeks in December 2017.
Gorman will also co-teach WriteSL in 2018. For more info about how to participate, go to WRITESL
LIPSCOMB UNIVERSITY POLICY & LEADERSHIP
A trip to Detroit was on tap for students Nashville, Tennessee's Lipscomb University graduate class on urban affairs, and The Tuxedo Project played host for a day.
The students attended class in the Literary Center, then had an extended conversation with project founder Stephen Henderson in the afternoon, followed by a tour of the neighborhood.
For most students, this was their first trip to Detroit, and the first time they could see both the decay and the possibilities in the Tuxedo Project's neighborhood.
TUXEDO PROJECT SOFT OPENING
Before the house at 7122 was all done and open, The Tuxedo Project hosted a soft opening event for neighbors and friends. The project was introduced to neighbors - and some key players in the project were reintroduced to the neighborhood.
Founder Stephen Henderson’s family lived in the house at 7122 when he was born, but hadn’t been back to the neighborhood since 1985.
But both his mother, Elaine Beckham, and his sister, Laura Henderson Kelley, attended the soft opening event.
ONE EARTH WRITING
OEW brings tweens and teens together from a diverse array of communities in southeast Michigan to write together, learn about each other, and leverage the power of story to heal.
The Senior Ambassador Program is a 9-month program that brings graduated OEW participants together to continue writing together and learning more about leadership and community engagement.
The Tuxedo Project is hosting the Senior Ambassador Program for 2017-18.
For more information, check out One Earth Writing.