CriticCar Detroit, arts journalism project by Jennifer Conlin and Dan Shaw, wins grant

From The Huffington Post

When summer dies down and fall arts events pick up, be on the lookout for a brightly painted van roaming Detroit streets: The drivers want to hear what you have to say.

CriticCar Detroit is a cross between citizen journalism and art review, mixed in with the excitement of an ice cream truck, according to Jennifer Conlin, one half of the team behind the project. The mobile video booth will appear at local arts and culture events, soliciting reviews and opinions from attendees that will be collected on a website.

"When I would be reporting in Detroit, the things people were saying were more interesting than anything I would say," explained Conlin, a New York Timescontributor and Ann Arbor, Mich., resident. "I wanted to get all in ... I wanted to come up with something that gave people a voice.”

The Knight Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts on Thursday awarded $80,000 to Conlin and partner Dan Shaw for the CriticCar Detroit project, part of the Community Arts Journalism Challenge. Their project was one of three winners from a pool of 233 applicants in eight communities.


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit