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Founded in 1991, the Arts League of Michigan (ALM dba The Carr Center) has a history of providing strong programming to the community and supporting artists in the creation and presentation of their work. Its mission is to preserve, present, promote, and develop the African and African-American cultural arts traditions within our multicultural community. In 2009, building on a solid legacy of service, the Arts League founded the Carr Center, and it is through the programs that it realizes this mission. The Carr Center leverages the essence of the African American cultural experience to inspire, entertain, challenge, and educate.

To connect with the community even more, The Carr Center created an innovative model: the Carr Center Network of Community Hubs. With locations in Detroit’s downtown, midtown, east side, and a suburban site, the Network is a constellation of venues that affords unique access to arts and brings artists to broader audiences.

As the Carr Center’s first artistic director, Geri Allen’s vision before her untimely passing June 2017, was to continue, expand and nationalize the Carr Center through collaboration and partnerships from local, to regional and to national artists in all disciplines. WIthin the collaborations would be unique mash-ups showcasing phenomenal talents. An example of unique mash-ups are vocals and tap dance or theatre with music and beyond. This vision helps achieve the mission and continue to focus on bringing art, artists and communities together with an African American focus and a global view.

Terri Lyne Carrington and Dee Dee Bridgewater were named as Geri Allen’s successors and co-artistic directors at the Carr Center. They were more than honored to fulfill Geri’s vision.

Dee Dee Bridgewater

“Geri Allen...put simply, is the reason I accepted to co-artistic direct the Carr Center alongside my musical sister, Terri Lyne Carrington. As a Michigander, I feel the importance of bringing the Carr Center’s ideals to fruition. My goal is to work in a collective manner to nurture our youth artiscally, providing a strong backbone for their future.”

- Dee Dee Bridgewater
2017 NEA Jazz Master, 3x Grammy Award winner, Tony winner, 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award winner

Terri Lyne Carrington


“I am honored to continue the vision of my musical colleague and friend, Geri Allen, along with the incredible Dee Dee Bridgewater. We are in alignment with Geri’s vision and hope to bring exciting new ideas as well to Detroit’s leading African American cultural center and community at large.”
- Terri Lyne Carrington
3x Grammy Award winner, drummer, producer and educator

WHO WE ARE

Fueled by Passion

OUR MISSION

The Carr Center is devoted to the preservation, presentation, promotion and development of the African and African American cultural arts traditions within our multicultural community.

Inspire

You cannot touch inspiration but you can feel it. Inspiration is what motivates and drives creativity. Our goal is to inspire creativity in artists, our patrons, and our community through the presentation and teaching of African American cultural arts traditions.

Entertain

To be entertained is a gift from artists and performers to their audiences. It is a gift of emotion, joy and inspiration. In every performance, the Carr Center aims to be a platform for unmerited giving.

Challenge

Challenging someone builds strength, character and confidence. All of these nouns are the ingredients to developing an artist or performer. The Carr Center both challenges and nurtures artists in order to allow them to blossom.

Educate

Education is power. The Carr Center creates opportunities for unique educational experiences in order to preserve African and African American cultural arts traditions and empower future generations to make new traditions their own.

Events