See photos from our Mural Project: Art Speaks field trip

In an inaugural field trip led by photojournalist and mural documentarian Viranel Cleard, students from Southeastern High School visited 11 Detroit area murals and met with Heidelberg Project founder Tyree Guyton in part of our Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy (HALA) program. Muralists featured on the tour include Sydney James, Sintex, Ndubisi Okoye, Bmike, Pat Perry and Swoon.

Using art as a catalyst for change, students in our Mural Project: Art Speaks class will learn about the agency of public art and then work together to identify a problem within their school community and design a mural that positively addresses the issue. Stay tuned for more photos from our HALA program as we will be posting on Instagram and Facebook


Bus transportation for our Art Speaks: Mural Project field trip sponsored by:



THANK YOU for your support!


Tyree Guyton is to receive "White Columns / Shoot the Lobster Award"

Tyree Guyton.jpg

White Columns and Shoot The Lobster are proud to announce the 2018 recipient of the ‘White Columns/Shoot The Lobster Award’: Tyree Guyton, Detroit-based artist and creator of the Heidelberg Project.

The ‘White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award’ is presented annually to individuals who selflessly create a context for the arts communities around them. As the 2018 recipient of this Award, Guyton will receive an unrestricted $5,000 cash grant and a specially commissioned artwork by Scott Reeder, which will be presented to him at a reception in February 2018, hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MoCAD.)

Tyree Guyton has been a practicing artist, educator and community activist for over 30 years, and is best known for his work on the Heidelberg Project. Initiated in 1986, the Heidelberg Project is an ever-changing outdoor art installation located on, and named after, Guyton's childhood street in DetroitMichigan. The project began as a response to the deterioration of his neighborhood, as well as many other Detroit neighborhoods, after the 1967 riots. The installation has since encompassed two city blocks, incorporating found objects, houses, vacant lots, and cars. Guyton paints houses, trees and other stationary structures in bold colors and patterns, and adorns them with artworks and domestic detritus (including discarded toys, clothing, shoes and appliances) sourced from the neighborhood. Over time the Heidelberg Project has evolved into an outdoor museum that attracts 275,000 visitors annually, and a community-oriented space hosting events that provide services for local youth, artists and visitors.

“I want to thank White Columns and Shoot The Lobster for recognizing and supporting what we’ve created,” said Tyree Guyton.  When you come to the Heidelberg Project, I want you to think—really think! My art is a medicine for the community. You can’t heal the land until you heal the minds of the people.”

For 32 years, Guyton has allotted his own resources and labor to the upkeep and development of the Heidelberg Project, which has achieved international acclaim while surviving acts of vandalism, demolition from local officials and arson. In 2016, Guyton announced that the Heidelberg Project’s focus would shift from a lone artist’s installation to a site for an "arts-infused community.”  Guyton has begun dismantling and removing some of the three decade old installation, leaving four of its main structures in place to eventually house a community center, gallery and an artist residency. 

Mark Stryker writes about the Heidelberg Project for the Detroit Free Press:

"It's hard to overstate the significance of the Heidelberg Project. It's a Detroit landmark, a signature public art project and one of the city's most popular tourist attractions... But it has also morphed into a potent symbol of Detroit's vital artistic community, the city's resilience in the face of horrific decay and the power of art — and individual artists — to effect social change."

The Heidelberg Project has been an influential cornerstone of Detroit's cultural renaissance. It has provided a model for other outdoor art installations…and also set the tone for others working at the intersection of art, community building and social justice…

[In its new iteration] Fundamentally, the project's goals remain the same: improving the lives of people and neighborhoods through art.

The ‘White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award’ is generously supported by Shoot The Lobster and administered by White Columns. The recipient of the inaugural 'White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award' in 2016 was Lia Gangitano, the founder of Participant Inc., New York; and in 2017 the award was given to Wendy Yao - the founder of Ooga Booga, Los Angeles. White Columns and Shoot the Lobster would like to thank the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Elysia Borowy-Reeder and Scott Reeder.

About Tyree Guyton: Tyree Guyton (b.1955) lives and works in Detroit, MI.  Guyton studied at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, and in 2009 was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Art. Guyton’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and internationally, and is in institutional collections including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, and the Studio Museum of Harlem. Guyton’s work as an artist has earned him over 18 awards, locally and nationally, and was the subject of the Emmy Award Winning Documentary, Come Unto Me, the Faces of Tyree Guyton. Guyton is the founder and creator of the Heidelberg Project, and now an honorary member of the Heidelberg Project Foundation’s Board of Directors.

For more about Tyree Gutyon visit:
For more about the Heidelberg Project visit:
For more about White Columns visit:
For more about Shoot The Lobster visit:


Iconic Detroit Outdoor Art Environment, The Heidelberg Project, Launches App

Isobar U.S has launched the first ever app for one of Detroit’s most iconic landmarks, The Heidelberg Project (HP). HP is an outdoor art installation founded in 1986 by Tyree Guyton as a creative response to urban blight and decay in the Detroit neighborhood in which Guyton grew up. Over 32 years, HP has served as a community organization that improves the lives of people and neighborhoods through art. The app is designed to guide users through a unique tour of the site leveraging GPS technology.

Upon downloading the app, visitors get a birds’ eye view of the full art installation. Viewers then have the opportunity to deep dive into key landmarks within the exhibit, exploring content tied to the history, construction and inspiration. Isobar crafted the app by marrying two technologies quickly gaining momentum: React Native, which allows iOS and Android to share a common client platform and Firebase, which made the creation of a full services layer much faster. The mobile app is designed to give visitors to the property better context and help to tell Guyton and the Heidelberg Project’s story.

Isobar has been working with HP for over a year out of its Detroit office, and this new app is just one of the projects birthed out of the partnership which intertwines art and technology.

“The Heidelberg Project inspires creativity and embodies our ideals of spreading innovation” said Dave Meeker, VP at Isobar. “When we first started working with The Heidelberg Project we didn’t know what the output would look like, rather we’d work with their team to understand the needs of such a unique organization and then design and build things that help them do what they do and make a positive impact on society. We are impressed by what they have done and continue to do with public art and creative inspiration and we are proud to be able to collaborate with them and bring forward new ways to further their mission. “

“This app gives visitors to the Heidelberg Project an insider’s look at the stories behind some of the Tyree Guyton’s most iconic works,” said Heidelberg Project President Jenenne Whitfield. “The app will provide a digital experience consistent with the spirit of innovation and art that has defined the Heidelberg Project for more than 30 years.”

The Heidelberg App is now available for free, and is available on the Apple AppStore and the Android Market. This release comes at an opportune time as the Heidelberg Project continues on its journey with Heidelberg 3.0, a transformation from an art in-stallation driven by one man into a self-sustaining arts and culture village. In the future, the app will include past exhibits while guiding visitors to check out newly launched art work.

Download our walking tour app to experience the Heidelberg Project
and to learn more about key installations at the site!

Join us as we look back on 2017

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It's been a transformative year for us here at the Heidelberg Project! We moved our offices out of Midtown and Giant Steps came down, clocks from Heidelberg street traveled to be part of The Times installation in Philadelphia, and together we raised more than $100k to renovate the iconic Numbers House. Our vision for Heidelberg 3.0 is now taking shape and thanks to you, we will reach new heights in the year ahead. THANK YOU for your support! 

Donate Now

We are looking for a Graphic Designer at the HP!

stone faces.jpg

Call for Graphic Designer at the Heidelberg Project

Employment Type: Contractual, as needed basis
Rate of pay: negotiable

Graphic design needs for print and digital content include:

  • Corporate sponsorship packets
  • Annual reports and other external reporting materials
  • Brochures and event flyers

If interested, please send your resume / portfolio to no later than January 5th, 2018.

The Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy (HALA) is to launch in January, 2018

Doors of Opportunity (Photo, HP archives) 

Doors of Opportunity (Photo, HP archives) 

The Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy (HALA) is a free in-school or after-school arts education program designed to empower students in grades 4 through 12 with the tools they need to be active change agents in their community.

HALA's mission is to empower students through arts, cultural and academic enrichment, STEAM education and social justice projects that cultivate potential and inspire active leadership. 

In partnership with Martin Luther King High School, Southeastern High School, Marcus Garvey Academy and Cesar Chavez Academy East, the Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy will reach more than 100 students through in-school and afterschool programs in 2018. 

HALA will officially launch in January, 2018 with a 9-week session followed by a second 9-week session in April. HALA course offerings for 2018 will include: Art through Hip Hop, Writes of Passage, and Art Speaks: Mural Project. 

Learn more about our HALA program by downloading our brochure

Support our HALA program by donating now

Max M. and Marjorie Fisher Foundation awards $150K, 5-Year capacity building grant to HP

HP Taxi

As the Heidelberg Project (HP) embarks on a new vision, the support and partnership of a five-year capacity building grant from the Max M. and Marjorie Fisher Foundation will make our strides that much stronger!

During a time when arts and culture are more vital than ever, the Fisher Foundation set out to address demand for the growth and sustainability of local arts organizations, and the HP is one of them. With the intention to transform the world renowned project site into a larger arts center for and by the community and expand programming in supplemental K12 education and community development, the HP is well poised to fully utilize the support. Leveraging this capacity building partnership will be the implementation of a three-year strategic organizational plan beginning in January 2018 and developed by the talent and expertise of select HP board members, Candace Jackson and Jules Polk.

The Max M. and Marjorie Foundation Capacity Building Initiative will take place beginning January 2018 through to the end of 2022, and will include evaluation support by Detroit-based firm JFM Consulting Group.   



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! 

Donate NOW

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.