5401 Woodward Ave
Detroit Sound Conservancy and the Struggle to Preserve Detroit’s Musical Legacies
From City Hall to international exhibitions, Detroit Sound Conservancy and its community partners have consistently raised the alarm that our sound needs salvaging. Whether it’s historical sites at risk of demolition, recordings disintegrating in basements, or musicians with inspiring stories yet to be sung, the time to organize and act is now. This exhibition (open now through April 7th) documents the Detroit Sound Conservancy’s vision and journey through historical artifacts, storytelling, inspirations, photographs and ephemera, as well as online oral history recordings and music. Mobile artifacts shown here include a refurbished jukebox salvaged from Jordan’s Barber & Beauty, the salvaged and renovated Blue Bird Inn Stage and elements from the Club Heaven Sound System. In addition, the exhibition follows projects dating back to 2012, including photographs, posters and artifacts salvaged from the former Graystone International Jazz Museum & Hall of Fame, materials that pay homage to the struggle to protect United Sound Systems Recording Studios from demolition and the plan to create a Detroit Sound Hall of Fame.
The exhibit also includes a pop-up Preservation Factory highlighting the need for ongoing preservation of Detroit’s musical legacies and foregrounds the organization’s current plan to purchase and reimagine the Blue Bird Inn at 5021 Tireman with the support of The Kresge Foundation and Detroit’s West Side community.
Salvaging Sound is dedicated to singer, poet, activist, and friend LaVell Williams (1967-2018).