Come out to celebrate and stay to dance the night away to the sounds of Detroit. $15 admission, includes a limited edition copy of the magazine and other sweet treats. Handmade merch from The MASON team will be available for sale. Find all of the details on Facebook and drop us a line if you have any questions.
It’s true that The MASON started out as a school project (that got totally out of hand), so that’s why Torontonians were able to grab a sneak peek of our first issue at the end-of-year exhibit for Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication and Design’s graduating year students. It was a great event. We received so much positive feedback from those in attendance (thank you, thank you, thank!) and it was so inspiring to see what everyone had come up with after spending the last 8 months dedicated to their passions. If you weren’t able to make it out, here are a few photos to give you a taste. And never fear, the official launch is happening in mid-May. Details coming soon!
We twittered like nervous, expectant mothers as we went to pick up the first copies of The MASON. Luckily, any worries we had were unnecessary as the final product is more beautiful than I could have imagined.
In order to make them affordable, the copies for the final print run will be a different format and will be printed on newsprint – a medium we’re really excited to be using. However, you will have a chance to check out these “dream copies” at The Exhibit, Ryerson University, April 10-11, 10am-9pm in POD 250 (350 Victoria Street) . Or, check back soon as we’ll be sharing a few shots of the inside pages.
Of course, we celebrated this milestone with a glass of vino. Cheers!
Meeting Grace Lee Boggs, I found it impossible not to think, I want to be her when I grow up. She’s a 96-year old dynamo who’s been involved in every major western social movement of the past 80 years. Sitting in the living room of the house she’s lived in in Detroit for 50 years, Grace talks to us about everything from contemporary social philosophy to Detroit-based hip hop artist, Invincible.
Like most of the residents I’ve met in the D, Grace is a doer. Seeing the struggles of her city, she works tirelessly to nurture community through her foundation, the Boggs Center, and create opportunities for the young people of the city through Detroit Summer.
Her latest book, The Next American Revolution, is a thoughtful look at the changes that need to take place in order to confront the new realities of the post-industrial world.
Learn more about Grace’s amazing life and read her thoughts on the changes taking place in Detroit in the first issue of The MASON.
My first trip to Detroit had a very specific purpose; we were doing field research for one of the features in the first issue of The MASON. Elyse & I, along with two of our amazing contributors, Shannon and Brittany, joined a sold out audience at the Detroit Institute of Art to catch the premiere of the new documentary, After the Factory.
Brain child of Detroit Lives! founder, Philip Lauri, this film compares the post-industrial struggles of Detroit and former textile town, Lodz, Poland. It highlights the resilience of their creative peoples, and is a beautiful depiction of finding beauty in unexpected places and perseverance in the face of adversity that manages to modulate the highs and lows of life after the factory.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion on many of the themes depicted in the film and the panelists’ ideas about the future of Detroit.. Philip encouraged the audience to consider how they will be part of the solution to the problems faced by the post-industrial world. Philosopher and activist, Grace Lee Boggs spoke about the power of soul – our inherent ability to create the world anew. Margaret Garry of the German Marshall Fund is an expert in international comparisons and believes in the importance of post-industrial cities learning from one another as they work to redefine themselves and build hope. Pastor Haman Cross Jr. of Rosedale Baptist Church spoke of the ability for people to reclaim their neighbourhoods and institute their own policies when governments fail them WDET reporter Martina Guzman praised the strength of Detroit’s neighbourhood, but spoke of the long road ahead, saying “Progress doesn’t take place like the shot out of a pistol.”
The after party was held in the film theatre’s beautiful Crystal Glow Cafe. The building is a stunning example of the kind of decadent and exquisitely detailed architecture you find in the city.
Elyse & I were beyond thrilled to have the chance to meet Philip and talk to him about The MASON. He was so enthusiastic about the project and immediately agreed to help us in any way he could. We even chatted about the possibility of screening the film in Canadian cities, so keep your eyes open for those details as they unfold.
You can look forward to sneak peaks of the film and an interview with Philip on representing post-industrial cities and inspiring others to be part of the solution. In the meantime, check out the trailer for After the Factory:
During her first trip to Detroit, Elyse explored abandoned factories and warehouses where she found raw materials and scrap metals. Although she wasn’t sure what what she would use them for at the time, she brought them back to Toronto, convinced that they would come in handy.
Soon she realized that these remnants could form the perfect foundation for The MASON’s logo. How perfect that we should find our iconography from within the shapes of old, abandoned car parts found in the former Motor City. After experimenting with different combinations of paper, metal, and glass, she decided upon its final form.
A strong symbol for our new project, this logo is a perfect example of what made us fall in love with Detroit: people taking something old and finding the beauty and opportunity to create something new.
Elyse first conceived of The MASON while visiting Berlin. It was there that she started to understand how art and creativity could help redefine and recreate cities in crisis, and that she first heard about the amazing work being done by artists in Detroit.
But The MASON was officially born between two friends in a coffee shop in Toronto’s Queen Street West neighbourhood. Elyse & I share a passion for creativity and a belief that art and innovation can change the world. Together we were crazy enough to take on the challenge of creating a magazine to showcase the resurrection of post-industrial cities through their creative communities.
After visiting the city for ourselves, we fell in love with Detroit’s perseverance and its people, who are working tirelessly to make it a more beautiful, vibrant, and prosperous place despite what might seem like a hopeless situation. For that reason, they will be the focus of the premiere issue of The MASON.
Since starting this journey, we have received nothing but support and enthusiasm from our friends, family, and Detroit’s creative community. For this, we could not be more grateful. Every moment has been surreal and we can’t wait to see what it will bring.
This blog is a place for us to share the process of creating The MASON with you and to highlight the inspirational contributors who will be featured in its pages. If you’re interested in learning more about us visit The Team page and keep checking back for updates as this whirlwind adventure unfolds.