Community Conversations

Community Conversations

Join the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan on Thursday, July 18 at 1 p.m. for our next Community Conversation about Inclusion in the Arts. During this conversation we will be hearing from some of southeast Michigan’s arts and culture leaders who have been implementing efforts to embed inclusion into their programming.

This series of conversations will seek to inform the grantmaking strategy for the Inclusive Arts Fund and drive the narrative around the importance of funding art and artist throughout southeast Michigan. By bringing people together and learning alongside partners in the field, we are building capacity for adaptable and inclusive arts organizations.


Guest Panelists

Miah Davis

Miah Davis received her BFA in Painting from Wayne State University. Throughout her career, Davis has been a passionate advocate for the multifaceted skills that artists acquire in academia and how these skills can be leveraged across various career paths. A distinct facet of her experience lies in the intersection of arts and entrepreneurship, where she is an unapologetic advocate for recognizing the potential of artists to contribute significantly to the economic development and the revival of their communities. This includes developing and implementing programs that equip artists with the business acumen needed to navigate the post-COVID-19 entrepreneurial and creative landscape, and fundraising to provide unrestricted support to artists facing financial hardships. As artists are often left out of the broader discourse on entrepreneurship and economic development, Davis actively works to change this narrative by championing the unique skills and perspectives that artists bring to the table.

A career fundraiser, Davis has led campaigns securing critical financial support for educational and cultural initiatives. Her passion extends to driving institutional change through organizational transparency and equity-centered strategic planning, and she is dedicated to increasing donor awareness of the true needs of nonprofits and how best to serve communities in a holistic and transparent way. Additionally, she focuses on creating equitable spaces for nonprofit employees to grow, thrive, and sustain their careers.

Davis has previously held roles at Wayne State University, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the College for Creative Studies, and BasBlue. She serves on the board of YouthTank Detroit, as  Board Treasurer for E. Warren Development Corp, and as Vice President for Marketing and Communications for the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Dwayne Hayes

Dwayne Hayes is the founder and Executive Director of KickstART Farmington, a multi-disciplinary arts organization serving the community in the Farmington/Farmington Hills-area. Dwayne holds an MSW from the University of Michigan, worked in publishing for twenty years and he founded and published Absinthe, a magazine of European writing and art, and later published the men’s lifestyle magazine STAND. He lives in downtown Farmington with his wife Jessica, their two kids, and two cute but unruly pups. More information about KickstART Farmington is available here:

Billy Mark

Billy Mark is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Detroit and the is Director of the Neighborhood Art School. He’s married to fiber artist, Sarah Mark. His areas of exploration lately have been embodied poetics, experimental liturgies, site-specific music and poetry, and the creative and spiritual resources found in monasticism. A graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, his writing has been published in The Guidebook of Alternative Nows and SEEN magazine. His work has been performed at REDCAT (Los Angeles), Spiel Festival (Austria), Detroit Contemporary, and Bushwick Open Studios (New York).

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Greg Yankee

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Greg Yankee