Show your support on this Giving Tuesday!


The Numbers House is the heart of the Heidelberg Project and for #GivingTuesday we're asking for help with its renovation. Your support will allow us to give back to the neighborhood and help to create an artist-in-residence program, a new studio and gallery for emerging artists, and an education and event space for neighborhood events and youth programming.

Thank you for helping us inspire the next generation of creative leaders in Detroit! 

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Heidelberg 3.0 begins with renovation of iconic Numbers House


Heidelberg Project to Create Detroit’s First Arts and Culture Village

DETROIT —Heidelberg 3.0, the groundbreaking new vision for the Heidelberg Project is underway. Construction has begun on the iconic Numbers House, one of only two original Heidelberg Project structures standing within the internationally-acclaimed outdoor art installation.

“The reinvention of the Numbers House marks the beginning of a new era for the Heidelberg Project and for the neighborhood we’ve called home for the last thirty years,” said Jenenne Whitfield, president and CEO of the Heidelberg Project. “Rebuilding this structure is the first step toward realizing our vision. We’re not just making a bricks and mortar investment by rebuilding the structure, we are creating a community center for people that will inspire a new generation of creative leaders.”

The renovated Numbers House will feature a premiere artist in residence program, a new studio and gallery for emerging artists, and an education and event space for neighborhood events and youth programming. The current funky, visually-stimulating appearance of the building will also undergo a transformation. Tyree Guyton, the artist and founder of the Heidelberg Project, will select an artist to design a new installation on the exterior of the building, the first of many new artists to be engaged in the collaborative Heidelberg 3.0.

The Numbers House is a few doors from the Dotty Wotty House where Tyree Guyton grew up. The home belonged to Thelma Woods and her family who asked Guyton to paint numbers on the house to help teach her young children to count in the 1990’s. Upon her passing, she shared with Guyton that she wanted her house to remain a part of the Heidelberg Project forever. 

“I can’t believe the house is still standing and that my mother will have a legacy,” said Jeremiah Woods, Thelma’s son and one of the boys that inspired the original Numbers House installation.

Construction of the Numbers House begins almost exactly one year from the date when Whitfield kicked off a $100,000 capital campaign to raise funds for a new roof, windows, and basic plumbing and electrical work. The six-month effort brought in nearly $110,000 to kick-start construction. 

The new roof is expected to be completed this fall and demolition of interior walls has already begun. Construction is expected to start in the spring. Laavu, a Detroit-Based Architectural Design Practice rooted in city-building will serve as the design partner.

“This is only the beginning of Heidlelberg 3.0,” said Whitfield. “This can be a blueprint for how Detroit neighborhoods can be rebuilt with long-term residents and new residents working together to be part of something bigger. Together we are going to reimagine this community, lift it up economically and preserve the legacy of what Tyree built over the last 31 years.”


Founded in 1986 by artist Tyree Guyton, The Heidelberg Project is a Detroit-based community organization that uses art as a catalyst to breathe new life into the community, transforming what others saw as trash into public, outdoor art installations. The nonprofit also offers free art programs to thousands of children in the neighborhood and at Detroit and suburban schools. In August 2016, Guyton announced Heidelberg 3.0, a new vision to transform his childhood neighborhood from an arts installation driven by one man into a self-sustaining arts and culture village. 

In Memory of Betty Jean Guyton

Betty Jean Guyton

Betty Jean Guyton

A note from Tyree Guyton

Dear Heidelberg Family,

My beautiful mother, Betty Jean Guyton,  departed this life on September 25, 2017 at 9:17pm  She went home to be with Yahweh, (God).  It was her time and she is at peace.

Betty Guyton raised 10 kids on her own.  She was a fighter and a force to be reckoned with when it came to truth and honesty.  When we were kids, many times we had no lights in our home but we had candles.  Often the furniture didn’t match but she mixed in her own special way.  No matter what, she was always there.

My mother was very proud of my work with the Heidelberg Project. We would talk about many things but mostly about her faith and about how God had a special plan for me.  She encouraged me to hang in there throughout all of my challenges.   She would sit on the front porch of the polka dot house, and watch me work.   She was always talking about the Heidelberg Project with her nurses and doctors at dialysis. When I traveled, she would leave me a message on my cell phone to call her. Her message to me, “I miss you , when are you coming home, son?”

She lived her life and now she is with her spiritual family.  I inherited her fighting spirit and her love, I will never forget.  Her new home is beyond this world, where there is no more pain and suffering, and time doesn’t exist.  

P.S. I love you always, my beautiful, wonderful mother, Betty Jean Guyton.  You are the first lady of Heidelberg.    

Tyree Guyton

Services for Betty Jean Guyton will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 12pm (Noon)

Transformation Christian Church
89 W. Grand, Highland Park, MI

Repass will follow on Heidelberg Street

NOTE:  If you are so inclined, in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Heidelberg Project in honor of Betty Jean Guyton.  All cards, donations and other expressions of condolences should be sent:

C/O The Heidelberg Project
1005 Parker Unit 1
Detroit 48214

Thank you!

Join us on Saturday, September 30th for Storytime at Heidelberg

Storytime at Heidelberg

Meet us at the Dotty Wotty House on Saturday, September 30th for Storytime at Heidelberg! We will be reading The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater and Magic Trash by J.H. Shapiro at 12:00 p.m. and again at 1:00 p.m.

Join us at our drop-in workshop after the readings, where we will be making junk art fridge magnets inspired by Tyree Guyton's art houses. Our drop-in workshop will begin after the first reading at 12:00 p.m. and continue until 2:00 p.m. 

The Big Orange Splot and Magic Trash books are appropriate for early elementary youth and our drop-in workshop is appropriate for all ages.

We are seeking volunteers for this event! If interested and/or available, please contact HP programming manager Margaret Grace via email at or by phone at (313) 458-8414.

This event is part of Thirty Months of Heidelberg, a series of celebratory experiences and events in conjunction to the 30-year anniversary of the Heidelberg Project. Thirty months of Heidelberg is supported in part by the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

See photos from Detroit LIVE at Heidelberg

Many thanks to everyone who joined us at our Detroit LIVE at Heidelberg block party.

We had a great time!


Tyree Guyton discusses his new Philadelphia installation "The Times" with ART FORUM

Tyree Guyton, The Times

500 Words - Tyree Guyton

What is a monument? The Detroit-based artist Tyree Guyton has long asked this question, beginning with his ongoing site-specific installation The Heidelberg Project, 1986–, which has entailed transforming his childhood neighborhood into a living museum. Now, for Philadelphia’s citywide public art and history project Monument Lab, Guyton is creating The Times, 2017, a massive mural of caricature-styled timepieces on a former factory in the city’s Kensington neighborhood. The work will be on view at the Impact Services building on A Street and East Indiana Avenue from September 16 through November 19, 2017.

THROUGHOUT MY CAREER, I have explored the concept of time from a visual perspective by playing with clocks. As caricatures, these clocks often have no hands, or the numbers are traveling backwards, or are mixed up, or the clocks have no numbers at all. My goal is to help people explore how time factors into our lives and how it sometimes hinders our ability to progress, or accelerates our anxiety about not being productive at all. Both are centered on the illusion of time, to do and not do.

Plato said, “Time is the moving image of reality.” What this means to me is that everything we do revolves around time and yet the only time that we ever really have is the very moment we are in. My challenge with this project is to help people to appreciate the present time as a time to act, think, be, and do, here and now. Yesterday lives only in our minds, and tomorrow is not promised. I believe that we must make the most of time, and the time to do that is now.

In response to the question of what an appropriate monument for the city of Philadelphia would be, I proposed broadening that question to ask, What is an appropriate monument for our country and our world? I’m offering The Times, a project designed to explore the concept of time in our lives. Now is the time to move towards positive change. Often we hear these familiar clichés: I don’t have enough time; time is running out; I don’t have time; I need more time; time is on our side; I wish I could go back in time; etc. Through this work, I’m challenging us to think consciously about what we’re saying.

People publicly claim to be offended by certain monuments that stand today, but I’m not so sure that this is the case. Social media is a vehicle where people can hide their true feelings while presenting another face to the public. Our current political climate feels like we are living in a pre–civil rights era. What I am asking with this particular work is, What time is it? Kensington, the community where I am working in Philadelphia, has one of the worst drug epidemics in the country, but it’s just one of many distractions. What about being drunk or high on artificial enhancements, prescription medication—or hate, greed, or power? So the question I am asking is not only to the folks in this community, but also to all people. It’s time to challenge the norm. To create a spectacle that is so striking and offbeat that it forces you to look, see, and think.

READ the original article at Art Forum

Join us at our block party on August 26th

Detroit LIVE at Heidelberg

On Saturday, August 26th Detroit LIVE and The Heidelberg Project is hosting a free block party, showcasing live music, art, vendors, food, movement classes and children’s activities: 


12pm Detroit Body Garage Workout with Terra Castro 12:45pm Yoga with Yoga Dan


Michigan Science Center 12pm-6pm

House of Soul: Remix collage activity 12pm-6pm

Face Painter 1pm-3pm

Grassroots Detroit Bubble workshop and team building activities 12pm-6pm

Breakdance workshop and demonstration by Maurice Archer of Geechi Crew 5pm-5:30pm


12:00pm DJ Stayce J

12:30pm Detroit Youth Volume

1:15pm Anna Burch

1:45pm Intermission: Councilwoman Mary Sheffield

2:00pm Stevie Soul + Omar Aragones

2:45pm Drummer B

3:30pm Sheefy McFly

4:15pm Belve

4:30pm Open Mic

5:00pm Rah the Son

6:00pm John Collins ‘

7:00pm Clear Soul Forces

Produced by Detroit LIVE and The Heidelberg Project 

Movement Partners: Detroit Body Garage and Yoga Dan Gottlieb
Children's Activity Partner: Michigan Science Center
Sound Partner: Audio Rescue Team


THANK YOU Heidelberg Project Board of Directors and Team Wellness Center for sponsoring Detroit LIVE at Heidelberg! 

This event is celebrated in part of Thirty Months of Heidelberg, a series of celebratory experiences and events in conjunction to the 30-year anniversary of the Heidelberg Project. Thirty months of Heidelberg is supported in part by the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

The Heidelberg Project is ready to create Heidelberg 3.0

it's time


READ MORE: Heidelberg Project starts petition to acquire 40 parcels (Detroit Metro Times) 

READ MORE: Heidelberg’s property bid sparks spat with Detroit (Detroit News) 

READ MORE: Heidelberg Project launches petition, calls Duggan, city 'uncooperative' (FREEP) 

Help the Heidelberg Project! Tell the Detroit Land Bank Authority that it's time to sell us the properties we've maintained for 30 years by signing our letter.

Support the HP by signing our petition

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The Heidelberg Project owns 13 properties around the internationally recognized art installation including the iconic Numbers House and Polka Dot House.  Heidelberg Project Founder and artist Tyree Guyton and his team also maintain an additional 40+ lots around the Heidelberg Project, most of which are owned by the Detroit Land Bank.

The Heidelberg Project applied to purchase the properties from the Land Bank to bring the neighborhood together and create a community driven arts community centered on ART, EQUITY and DIVERSITY in Detroit.

Our application was denied twice without an explanation.

The Heidelberg Project is a Detroit institution that has taken care of a neighborhood that was forgotten by the City of Detroit and turned it into a destination that has attracted and inspired millions over 30 years.

Mayor Duggan says that every neighborhood has a future and that those who stayed in Detroit have a voice in how their neighborhoods redevelop. It is time he live up to that promise. Tell the Detroit Land Bank to connect the dots and allow the Heidelberg Project to purchase the properties they have maintained for more than 30 years.