Detroit. What went wrong? How can we heal it? Where are we going? The DetroitYES! Project takes on these questions by providing a cyberspace setting where an audience of those who care can meet, discuss, and discover the way forward toward resolution of the complex and evolving issues facing the struggling Detroit-Windsor international metropolis.
You are invited to join the ongoing discussions of the DetroitYES! forums that began in 1999. Click HERE for free registration for the DetroitYES Forums.
Imagine a massive evolving painting of Detroit that hangs in an
art gallery that can easily be visited by anybody in the world.
Imagine an art exhibition opening that never ends, where
throngs of visitors continually stream through its doors to view
an ever changing painting. Imagine the audience picking up
virtual brushes and adding its vision and expression to the
painting through words and images.
You have entered the
DetroitYES! Project and its effort to use the medium of the
World Wide Web of the internet as a new 'paint and canvas' to
create the ultimate portrait of that Detroit.
DetroitYES! began with a 1997 website tour entitled "The
Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" by Detroit fine art painter Lowell
Boileau. A cyber continuation of his decades of an urban
landscape paintings, the 300 page tour guided visitors through
the "fabulous and vanishing ruins of my beloved Detroit."
Decades of economic decline, social and racial divisions, and
loss of population had left tens of thousands of structures in
the once fabulously wealthy city abandoned and in ruin.
From massive skyscrapers, to its historic automotive plants,
elegant schools and churches, richly appointed mansions, even to
its humble working class homes and corner stores, silence and decay had fallen
over wide areas of 1997 Detroit. A poignant and disturbing
vision emerged, a portrait of extreme beauty, bearded by nature
and beaten the elements and man -- a vision that begged
Detroit. What went wrong? How can we heal it? Where are we going?
1997 Sep - "The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" website appears
1998 Mar - "The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" featured in the
New York Times.
1998 Oct - "The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" declared a Yahoo
Pick of the Week, 150,000 visitors overwhelm the site and
server. Thousands of email responses pour in.
1998 Dec - "The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" is featured in
full page article in WIRED magazine.
1999 Jan - "The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit" declared a 1998
Yahoo Pick of the Year.
1999 Oct - The Discuss Detroit forum commences and grows
2001 Dec - Forums and Web tours united under the
DetroitYES.com domain name.
2001 Feb - "Fabulous Ruins Night" at the Cass Cafe brings
together in real life members of the DetroitYES forums. 400 show
up including from Dallas and St. Louis.
2002 - Members of the DetroitYES forum spontaneously begin
weekly meetings a various pubs in Detroit. Later they informally
dub themselves as the Forum Social Club, then simply as the FSC.
2002 - DetroitYES named as Best Detroit Website - Detroit
MetroTimes, Best of Michigan - Best Culture Website - Detroit
2002 - Annual visitor session rate tops one million per year.
2003 - DetroitYES named as Best Detroit Website by Hour
Magazine and again Best Detroit Website by Detroit MetroTimes.
2004 - DetroitYES forum members spontaneously organize a
picnic gathering on Belle Island which becomes an annual event.
DetroitYES continues to grow in content and conversation and
is considered a leading independent media voice in
Detroit and its blogosphere. Annual visitorship approaches 2 million and over 1.5 million posts have been written over the life of its forums.