Once upon a time, the Cass Corridor was Detroit's arts hub, with proximity to Wayne State and the Cultural Center Historic District contributing to its bohemian appeal. But let's be honest, with the rise of Midtown — and the price of rent — those days are over. And that's not a bad thing: It just means artists need a new neighborhood. Affordable housing and a walkable community have made Hamtramck a destination for artists, with galleries like Popps Packing, Public Pool, the Atomic Cafe, and the 9338 Campau Gallery hosting top-notch shows. In recent years, the city has hosted both an annual studio crawl with the Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival and its own music festival with the Hamtramck Music Festival. Plus, artists should be able to find plenty of inspiration in the city's myriad bars.
Several locations in metro Detroit; guitarcenter.com
For any musician in metro Detroit, Guitar Center is like a gas station — it's always going to be there for your needs. With multiple locations, one of the shops is likely within a short drive from your home. Guitar strings, drums, DJ equipment, whatever you need, it's almost certainly here.
Hart Plaza, Detroit; movement.us
Things sure got confusing last year, so let's set it straight: This is the festival formerly known as DEMF, and it is big and bold and filled with loud and often beautiful music. There is talk of DEMF itself perhaps returning, but unfortunately at this point it is still just talk. This is a Detroit institution, and readers voted last year's event the best festival in the area (and the year before that). The festival will run from May 23-25, and this year's lineup includes Carl Craig, !!!, Method Man, Danny Brown, and Derrick May.
Once again, we must hand it to the Dizzy Dames, who continue to mesmerize Detroit with their puckish brand of burlesque. Led by Lushes LaMoan, these lovely ladies keep the art form alive.
18 S. Perry St., Pontiac; hauntedpontiac.com
Brothers Ed and Jim Terebus practically built this massive, 15-year-old, four-story haunted attraction from the ground up. Sure, the building was already there, but the two designed every part of the hellish world that now lives inside, including the sets, the costumes, and the props. Don't expect a single stretch of black hallway, there's always something coming at you inside Erebus.
5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org
Would anyone argue if we called this cultural institution the crown jewel of Detroit? Lovingly known as the DIA, this monument to all things art is a piece of, well, art. Enjoy the Kresge Court, Diego Rivera's iconic murals, or stroll through the maze of artwork that occupies every room.
1410 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-744-6505; innerstategallery.com
This Eastern Market gallery continues to pull in hip, contemporary exhibitions. In the past year, the gallery has hosted celebrated local artists like Jeremy Deputat and Tyree Guyton, as well as a good share of internationally renowned artists like Bask and Meggs.
Barr's paintings are a window into a pop noir world, whether he's painting seedy nighthawks in a strip club or riffing on '60s cartoon characters. Either way, Barr has a knack for creating hip, playful paintings that has earned global praise from fans of all things lowbrow.
Gall didn't just earn the "Camera Jesus" moniker for his flowing locks and beard combo — this guy works miracles with a camera. With an eye on Detroit, Gall's photos have appeared in the pages of Rolling Stone and Penthouse. Even Rihanna appears to be a fan, having snagged a drone photo Gall took of her Comerica Park double-bill with Eminem for her Twitter profile wallpaper shortly after the gig.
Schultz always brings a high-quality polish to every project, recently creating videos for acts like Critical Bill, Nadir, Epoch Failure, and more. As part of Collective Detroit, Schultz has shot for all manner of clients, from TV spots to short films to PSAs.