From the Top...
1955 : Rosa Parks makes history; Tyree Guyton is born.
1967: Detroit Infamous 1967 Civil Unrest (riots) begin.
1986: Guyton founds the HP with wife, Karen and grandfather and mentor Sam (Grandpa) Mackey. Guyton introduces the concept of found object art in his community.
1988: The HP receives national media attention from People and Newsweek magazines. 1989 Guyton receives "Spirit of Detroit" Award. The first children’s program is introduced on Heidelberg Street in partnership with the city of Detroit’s New Detroit program.
1990: Guyton exhibits a one man show at the Detroit Institute of Arts and simultaneously his first solo exhibition at the Ledisflam gallery in New York.
1991: Artist appears on the Oprah Winfrey Show with opposing neighbor Otila Bell. Shortly after, Detroit Mayor Coleman Young orders the demolition of four Guyton house installations.
1992: Grandpa Sam Mackey passes in June. Guyton receives the Governor’s “Artist of the Year Award” from Governor John Engler and is recognized nationally in "Who's Who in Black America."
1993: Jenenne Whitfield joins the Project in June as Executive Director, spearheading renewed activity and direction. City elects Dennis Archer as its new Mayor.
1994: The HP hosts its first official street festival. Council member Maryann Mahaffey and Motown Museum Founder, Esther Gordy Edwards are guest speakers. Martha Reeves performs and Spain Marching Band. Heidelberg Project registers and receives its first three copyrights.
1995: Guyton and Whitfield meet regularly with Mayor Dennis Archer to discuss future of the HP. Work begins on a documentary about Tyree and the HP. The HP establishes educational tours of the HP.
1996: Guyton & Whitfield take the HP to Germany. Guyton commissioned to create Soul People, the Shoe House, in Minneapolis MN. A photo exhibition of the HP travels throughout Europe. Guyton is featured in Time and Essence Magazines. The HP begins art and education programs at Bunche Elementary school.
1997: The HP receives its first substantial grant from the City of Detroit Cultural Affairs Dept. for the development of a Cafe and Welcoming Center. In October, certain council members attempt to have the HP demolished. Guyton is featured on “The Today Show.” HP sets up first office in the Motor City Blight Busters headquarters
1998: The HP is determined to be the third most visited cultural destination in Detroit, with over 275,000 visitors annually and presented on WDIV News Carmen Harlan. Guyton and Whitfield travel to Hungary to share the vision. The HP film, Come Unto Me: the Faces of Tyree Guyton premiers at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The HP legal team files and receives a restraining order issued by Judge Morcom preventing demolition of the HP.
1999: Judge Morcom is not re-elected. Newly elected Judge Hathaway lifts restraining order and within one hour the city begins tearing down part of the HP marking the 2nd demolition of three Guyton house installations on Heidelberg street. HBO in New York licenses the HP, Come Unto me: the Faces of Tyree Guyton for one year. Tyree Guyton and Councilwoman Kay Everett battle it out on Court-TV.
2000: Guyton and Whitfield take Heidelberg to Harvard University, Three Rivers Art Festival (Pittsburgh), and Ecuador. Detroit’s historic Scarab club invites Tyree to become an Honorary Member. Guyton and Whitfield travel to Ecuador to represent the United States in “Artist in Embassy Program.” The HP’s documentary, Come Unto Me: the Faces of Tyree Guyton, wins 10 awards locally, nationally and internationally including Honorable Mention at the Sundance Film Festival and an Emmy Award.
2001: Tyree is invited to the Detroit Institute of Arts' celebration of Detroit's 300th birthday to create a house installation entitled Open House. Guyton is commissioned by Pelham Art Center to create an installation in Mt Vernon NY where Guyton proposes to Whitfield. September 11th shocks the world. In October Guyton and Whitfield return to NY for wedding and make the NY Times Society Page.
2002: Kwame Kilpatrick elected mayor of Detroit (known as the first hip hop Mayor). Tyree Guyton is commissioned by the City of Detroit Cultural Affairs Department to participate in the City of Detroit’s historic Thanksgiving Day Parade with an artistic-styled garbage truck on wheels called “Tic Tock on the Spot.”
2003: Guyton receives the Wayne County International Artist Award from the Wayne County Council for Arts, History & Humanities. Idea commences for the development of the House that Makes Sense. Guyton exhibits in NY in a show called D’troit. The HP introduces takes it vision to suburban school, Scotch Elementary where over 700 children paint Faces of Scotch. 2004 The HP receives the prestigious Environmental Research and Design Award (EDRA), Oklahoma, OK for Place Design in
2004: (www.edra.com). Guyton travels to Australia for his biggest project to date, Singing for that Country, spearheaded by internationally renowned performance artist Aku Kadogo. Heidelberg Project receives three-year commitment for support from Hip Hop mogul, Russell Simmons of Rush Philanthropic in NY. Young Adults of Heidelberg (YAH) program is introduced. HP moves its office to Franklin Wright Settlement.
2005: The HP wins the Silver Medal Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (Cambridge, MA). Guyton has solo exhibition at the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, An American Show.
2006: The HP celebrates its 20th anniversary with an international “Connect the Dots” festival directed by Aku Kadogo (Australia). Work begins on a multi-authored book published by Wayne State University Press entitled, Connecting the Dots, Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project. Guyton exhibits An American Show at Michigan State University Law School.
2007: Connecting the Dots, Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project wins two awards, the Michigan Notable Book Award, the Eric Hoffer Award. Wayne State University and Guyton wins Joyce Award celebrating the 20th anniversary of the HP. Guyton exhibits at Western Michigan University and receives a Pollock Krasner award.
2008: Businessman Dave Bing contributes metal for new Guyton sculpture, Invisible Doors installed on the grounds of Wayne State University. The HP represents the United States in the Venice Architectural Biennale, Venice, Italy. Guyton’s one man 20th anniversary exhibition travels to the Marshall Frederick Sculptural Museum in Michigan. Council President, Ken Cockrel, Jr. becomes Mayor following Kilpatrick scandal. Bunche School Closes. HP launches the Art, Community and Environmental Education (ACE2) program in Detroit schools. ACE2 serves more than 600 students over the course of the next three years.
2009: Guyton receives one of 20 inaugural Kresge Fellowship awards. Guyton’s exhibits at the McColl Center for the Arts, Charlotte, NC. Guyton and Whitfield embark on a five-city European tour sponsored by Daimler Financial. Guyton creates an installation at Handwerk Vocational School in Bolzano, Italy. Heidelberg receives first major grant in 12 years from the Erb Family Foundation. In May of 2009 Guyton receives an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art (DOFA) from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit Michigan. Dave Bing elected new Mayor of Detroit.
2010: Guyton receives 2009 Community Leadership Award from Wayne State University. Guyton exhibits a one-man exhibition in Switzerland (Bern). Following the decline of the auto industry, the HP leads a new resurgence of art in Detroit. The Oprah show contacts the HP to explore 25 years after Guyton’s 1991 appearance. Heidelberg receives major support from the Kresge Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan. HP Emerging Artist program begins.
2011: Guyton invited to Basel to serve a prestigious one-year residency at the Laurenz Haus, founded by Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmman. As a special bon voyage, The Erb Family Foundation commissions “the Heidelberg Suite,” an original jazz composition by notable Detroit Jazz artists featuring Marcus Belgrave.
2012: The HP makes the front page of Crain’s Detroit Business after Williams College revealed that the HP pumps 3.2 million dollars into Detroit’s Wayne County region and 2.4 million to Detroit proper—on a modest budget of $410k. Opponent of the HP for 25 years, Otila Bell, joins forces and becomes a supporter. Guyton and Whitfield lecture in Aix en Provence, United Kingdom, & London (Ont). The HP receives support from Rauschenberg Foundation.
2013: Guyton/Whitfield invited to Bochum, Germany to give keynote address at a conference “This is not Detroit.” The HP experiences arson for the first time in its history—an unprecedented 8 fires beginning in May through Dec 2013. Mike Duggan elected Mayor of Detroit (first Caucasian mayor in nearly 40 years). The Number House gift shop opens on Heidelberg street.
2014: Four more fires rock the HP site, bringing the total number of arsons to 12. HP board and staff struggle to hold the organization together. Guyton receives awards by the National Conference of Artist and the Michigan Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture (AIA). Whitfield lectures at the AIA’s annual retreat and receives first standing ovation in the retreats history. The HP launches the One313 Workshops, a series of drop-in workshops for youth at the HP site. The POST-HAB gallery opens inside the Number House and hosts its first rotation of exhibitions.
2015: Tyree Guyton partners the James and Grace Lee Boggs school to transform a blighted home adjacent to the school into the House of Stars. Two exhibitions held at the University of Michigan in honor of the HP’s 30th anniversary: University Michigan Museum of Art and the Department of African American Studies. Bloomberg Philanthropies joins Heidelberg’s list of supporter. Tyree Guyton introduces a new artistic vision for Heidelberg Street in honor of 30 years. Work begins on the HP’s 30th anniversary documentary.
2016: The Heidelberg Project celebrates 30-years. Guyton to begin to transform the HP site to make way for a new vision, called Heidelberg 3.0. The HP launches a campaign via www.heidelberg30.org to make major renovations to the iconic Numbers House on Heidelberg street. Guyton is commissioned to create “Gold Street” mural in part of Murals in the Market and exhibits “Face-ology” at Inner State Gallery.