the Carr Center Gallery | the Carr Center Performance Studio 

An Incubator, a Laboratory, a Stage 

The Carr Center is a unique community asset in the city of Detroit and indeed there is no place like it in the cultural landscape of the city. The mission of the Carr Center is to develop, promote, present, and preserve African and African American cultural arts traditions within our multicultural community. The significance of this work in a predominantly black city is that through our programs, presentations, and exhibitions we provide a unique and unprecedented opportunity for our audiences to experience African American art and artists in context.  

In the fall of 2019, the Carr Center will open the Carr Center Contemporary at the Park Shelton in the midtown cultural arts district. The Contemporary consists of two spaces—the Carr Center Gallery which will be a dedicated space for the visual arts, and the Carr Center Performance Studio which will serve as a non-traditional performance and art venue and multidisciplinary art space. As an incubator, laboratory and stage for the exploration and advancement of the visual arts and performance practices the Contemporary balances commitments to tradition and to experimentation and innovation, affirming our mission and promise.  

Our Driving Force 

The Carr Center Contemporary mobilizes a high standard of artistic excellence and creative thinking and doing. The Contemporary aims to create spaces for innovative programs that disrupt and realign standards, rules, and traditions in favor of new dialogues.  More than a gallery; more than a performing space, the Contemporary links art and culture for meaningful impact on Detroit’s communities. 

Our Visitor Promise 

The Contemporary strives to be a place where a diverse audience can find and engage with thought provoking work with confidence. We hope to create a space that deconstructs and exposes the power dynamics, pretense, and subliminal protocols of traditional galleries, museums, and performance venues in favor of intimidation free sites for viewing, experiencing, and talking about visual and performing arts. 

  • Visitors will see art, learn about artists, and discover cultural practices that speak to or from black experience. 
  • Visitors will think differently about the role that institutions can play in creating deep learning experiences. 
  • Visitors will be inspired to ask new questions and start critical dialogues about the role that they play in the creative process.