See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Artist shafted 

As Detroit winds down from its annual Hart Plaza electronic music dance party — now dubbed Movement 2003 — Eddie Birtulescu is still smarting from last year’s event. Back then, the event was known as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and Birtulescu agreed to do the artwork to market the event. The College for Creative Studies grad’s poster of a metallic figure with a big hand manipulating a record ended up everywhere: on DEMF T-shirts, schedules, etc.

Problem is, Birtulescu says, he never got paid. He claims Carol Marvin, president of Pop Culture Media, producer of the event for its first three years, said she’d pay him $1,500 if he could complete the artwork one week before it was set to be unveiled; he agreed.

“It’s trashy the way they treated him,” says his lawyer, Paul Hughes, who’s working for free. “The little guy really got shafted.” Hughes says.

“I’m not a money-hungry guy,” says Birtulescu, who claims Pop Culture agreed to use his work only for posters, not for other merchandising. “I thought, OK, this is the DEMF, nobody would pull a stunt like that. It backfired in my face.”

Meanwhile, Marvin is threatening to sue the city, claiming she alone has a permit to use Hart Plaza during Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately for her, Birtulescu joins a litany of festival workers who claim they didn’t get paid on time, if at all — and that group of disgruntled people certainly won’t help her bid to regain control of the festival.

Marvin could not be reached for comment.

Send comments to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit