Better than Pinterest: Creative summer arts or craft activities and places in Detroit

Summer is a wonderful time for creativity – and this summer will be more creative than most.

Mint will lead free arts and crafts this year in two Detroit parks this summer, thanks to the Pistons Neighbors and its partners.  And we will be back in our home in Palmer Park too starting in July with some creative activities.

Our Pistons arts and crafts will take place Friday afternoons in Patton Park in Southwest Park and a second park or rec center, starting at Zussman Park next week and moving to Rouge Park in early July.  We hope you will join us and please wear a mask!

Yet you may want to get creative at home, or in your small business, or in other creative places. We have ideas to share there too. Here’s a half dozen ways and places in and near Detroit to bring creative crafts to your team or your children or grandchildren:

Art Connects Kids. This wonderful website was created by students at the Stamps School at University of Michigan and it offers so many art activities and storytelling too.  Try these at home!

Art in Motion.  Join Potters Camp for children ages 7 to 16 and learn to create in clay and ceramics with this wonderful small woman-owned business on Livernois. Cost is $125 and that includes glazes and supplies. Learn more on Art in Motion’s Facebook for this and other  summer children’s activities.

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center –  This suburban nonprofit arts center offers an eclectic variety of children’s, youth and teen art camps on animation, jewelry making, photography and more. Cost varies from $120 to $625 for two-week sessions.  Learn more and register here.

Detroit Institute of Arts.  Their drawing in the galleries seem to be on hiatus because of covid. Instead, bring your own sketch book and draw inspiration from the car designs, the Diego Rivera murals or its African art section. Or see some reproductions through its Inside – Out initiative, in Ferndale, Rosedale Park and many other places. Check out the DIA’s  educator guides online for more ideas for Moms and aunts and uncles.

Improv fun. Get your improv games and storytelling going with The Detroit Creativity Project and build communications and collaboration skills. Mint is so fortunate to partner with the Improv Project this summer and we know the power and joy of improvisation will brighten your summer too.  Jump into their online improv activities here.

Metro Detroit Youth Arts Competition –  Create a poem or a piece of art at
home, in a park or anyplace you feel inspired, using one of our three themes:  Just my imagination, unity and community and Detroit beautiful. If you need inspiration, watch 2020 winner Ice Martin’s poem Silence here. Then create and enter by June 27 and your work could bring you a cash prize of $225, plus recognition, coaching and more.  No cost.

 National Conference of Artists – Its summer art camp will be virtual this year, and middle school and high school students will work on drawing, weaving, print-making painting and more from noon to  2 pm four days a week. The summer program lasts a month starting June 29. Cost is $200 and includes art supplies. Contact or call 313-744-4283.

Or schedule a shopping appointment and head to our friends at Arts & Scraps.  Buy a bunch of supplies, and invite two creative types to develop your own art camp in your backyard.

Some other organizations such as Living Arts Detroit and Project Art may have programs available later in the summer or in the fall.  And the Detroit Neighborhood Arts Corp / Arts Academy  will  return in the fall, with programing by Mosaic Youth Theatre and College for Creative Studies.

Watch your local libraries and your parks and recreation departments or
local art centers for more possibilities and a great site called Discover Your Spark  lists a wide variety of nonprofit programs for children. We know we  missed some summer creative opportunities, so please share them in a comment or email us  details and we’ll share them soon.

Our arts and crafts in Palmer Park will take place Wednesday afternoons near the Splash Park and Palmer Park Community House (AKA the Mint Studios). It starts July 7. Watch our Facebook and Instagram for details.

Now as you look ahead, we know you must be feeling very creative about this summer.