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General Motors and the College for Creative Studies Conduct "Designer Star Search"


Nearly 50 Detroit Public High School Students Take Deep Dive in Design

DETROIT – In March 2007, 31 mentors from General Motors (GM) Design Center and students from College for Creative Studies (CCS) – armed with sketching pads, pencils and real-life experience – began working with art students from 20 Detroit Public High Schools for the “You Make a Difference” program. The project was established to identify diverse talent, give young people exposure to vehicle design, and increase overall awareness of careers in art and design.

“Helping promising students prepare for careers in art and design is a priority for all of us,” said Richard Rogers, president of CCS. “We are committed to investing in the community through a variety of outreach programs that contribute to the cultural vitality of Detroit and southeast Michigan.”

Students participated in group presentations and received individual instruction to develop sketching techniques. All were asked to design their dream vehicle that would appeal to 17-25 year olds, including crossovers, vans and small eco-vehicles. According to Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, awareness about careers in automotive design is extremely low worldwide.

“Recruitment of new and diverse design talent is one of our top priorities. We need people representing countries and cultures from around the world to bring their creativity and unique life experiences to enrich the design process,” said Welburn. “Partnerships between industry and education are so important to our youth. Through this program, students will have the opportunity to gain practical knowledge and experience in careers pertaining to the automotive industry.”

Most of the 50 students identified are already interested in some type of graphic art, product or fashion design. They have been invited to participate in Advanced Sketching Clinics to further enhance their artistic abilities. The summer workshops will run four days a week, for four hours, beginning June 25 at Cass Tech and Southeastern High Schools. Six students will receive continuing education credit for courses at CCS.

“The art students truly benefited from this program,” said Shirley Reid, Visual Arts Supervisor for the Detroit Public Schools. “This type of partnership program is so important to Detroit Public School students. We are delighted that the ‘You Make a Difference’ program will continue on through the summer and into the next school year.”

The students’ original work will be on display on May 16, 2007 at the College for Creative Studies during a reception from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Walter B. Ford Building. Students, parents and teachers will be on hand to discuss their experiences along with GM and CCS mentors. This evening program will serve as recognition for their participation in the “You Make a Difference” program and provides an opportunity to offer congratulations as they move forward with the Advanced Sketching Workshops.


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