Artrain - delivering discovery
National Medal for Museum and Library Service


Current and Ongoing Programs and Projects

After retiring its train museum in 2007, Artrain is now applying its methodologies to cultural offerings of all kinds: visual and performing arts, science, history and culture. Artrain Delivers Discovery by utilizing a variety of methods including specially designed mobile museum units, new technologies and updated community-building programs to reach people in Michigan, throughout the United States and for the first time in 2012, Canada.

Artrain is known for developing quality art and cultural programs in partnership with outstanding cultural institutions interested in sharing their treasures with an extended audience. Past partners and lenders include the Smithsonian Institution, the Detroit Institute of Arts, NASA, the National Air and Space Museum and the Heard Museum. Artrain has exhibited many of the world’s finest artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Mary Cassatt, Dale Chihuly, Willem de Kooning, Robert Indiana, Jacob Lawrence, Dan Namingha, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and James Wyeth. Artrain’s exhibition Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture received the NEA’s distinguished designation: American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of American Genius.

Artrain is currently working on the following programs:

Creative Voice

Creative Voice (formerly CriticCar Detroit) is a social media-based arts journalism source that produces and posts videos showcasing the arts and cultural scene in Detroit and Southeast MI.

Michigan-based journalist Jennifer Conlin (New York Times, Time, The Guardian, Inc.) conceived of Creative Voice as a response to the reduction of arts and cultural journalism and criticism by traditional media.

Creative Voice visits arts and cultural experiences ranging from concerts at the Filmore to dance performances in lofts to gallery walks and bookbinding classes. The Creative Voice video journalists film short interviews with artists, event organizers and audience members using an iPad and custom Creative Voice app to record, edit and upload videos so that the participant, venue—anyone—can share them and spread the word about the local arts and cultural scene.

Keep up with arts and culture in Southeast Michigan by visiting the following Creative Voice platforms:

Paths to Peace: War of 1812 Arts Legacy Project

Partners – The National Park Service Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, Fort Malden National Historic Site and Parks Canada. 

Commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Paths to Peace is an international project that uses cultural arts to interpret the war and the long-lasting 200 years of peace between nations that were once at war – Canada/Great Britain, First Nations/American Indians and the United States – from multiple perspectives. Paths to Peace aims to provide a life-long learning experience while educating middle school students about an important piece of North American history that is fairly unknown to both American and Canadian residents. Through international dialogue students learn about one another’s history and cultures and are given the opportunity to appreciate the very real differences in national interpretations of historical events. Students connect to the historical sites, the social and cultural milieu of the time and the war’s outcome of 200 years of peace. 

In 2014 Artrain and its partner, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, received the National Park Service National Partnership Award for the Paths to Peace project.

In 2012 Artrain and partners kicked off Paths to Peace, Artrain’s first international, muti-year project. Students from the Windsor and Amherstburg, Ontario schools traveled across Lake Erie by boat to meet and spend the day with students from Bellevue, Ohio at the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (PVIPM) in Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Students enjoyed getting to know each other while engaging in artists’ workshops and activities presented by War of 1812 content specialists from Canada, the United States and First Nations/American Indians. 

After returning home, students kept in touch through classroom internet connections arranged by Artrain to share what they were learning about their respective community’s ties to the War of 1812, artists/craftsman of the times, peace movements and international relations. Throughout the year, students met with their artist mentors to explore various art forms – visual, media, performing and literary – and create work reflecting their observations and interpreting their experience as they incorporate period art and craft. Paths to Peace culminated when students met again, this time in Amherstburg, Ontario, to continue their education at historic Fort Malden and present their artworks to their international counterparts. 

Paths to Peace will be repeated in 2015/16.

Participating schools: Bellevue City School District, Bellevue, Ohio; Greater Essex County District, Amherstburg Public School, Amherstburg, Ontario, General Brock Public School, Windsor, Ontario, Dr. David Suzuki Public School, Windsor, Ontario; and Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, Stella Maris Elementary, Amherstburg, Ontario.
Partners: Artrain; National Park Service Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial; The Chatham-Kent and Windsor Essex – 1812 Southwest Ontario Region; the City of Amherstburg, Ontario; Fort Malden National Historic Site; Parks Canada; and Six Nations Legacy Consortium. 

2015 Participating schools: Ypsilanti Community Schools, Ypsilanti, MI; and Greater Essex County District, Windsor, Ontario.
Partners: Artrain, Inc.; Ypsilanti Community Schools; Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial; Parks Canada; and Fort Malden National Historic Site.

Check out videos from the 2012 program and keep up with the 2015 program on the Artrain platforms: