The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) was formed in 1979 by a visionary group of Detroit-area artists, including Charles McGee and Jean Heilbrunn. Before obtaining its own physical space, the CAID hosted exhibitions, events, and programs through local creative, educational, and business venues including Marygrove College, the Detroit Artists Market, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
In November 2004, after twenty-five years of nomadic existence, the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit took up residence at 5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard, in the space formerly occupied by the Detroit contemporary. The building now serves as an exhibition and performance space, and a headquarters for the organization. In 2006, the organization’s board of directors had the foresight to acquire the building and adjacent sculpture garden, ensuring the longevity and continued growth of the CAID.
The CAID serves as an umbrella over three divisions, Whitdel Arts, Ladybug Studios and the detroit contemporary (dc), and is the founding member of the employee-owned Detroit Broadcasting Company. Detroit contemporary is located at the original CAID location at 5141 Rosa Parks Blvd while Whitdel Arts and Ladybug Studios reside in the historic Whitdel Building in southwest Detroit. In 2007, the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit played an important role in the development of a vacant apartment building in Southwest Detroit’s Hubbard Farms neighborhood. The historic Whitdel Building now provides affordable housing for artists and includes the CAID’s new Ladybug Studios, which boasts ceramic, and fine art education studios, a student gallery, and a media lab. The building is also home to the CAID’s Whitdel Arts, an 1800-sq. ft. professional exhibition space that showcases the work of established and emerging local, national, and international artists.
The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) is a community-based nonprofit arts organization. CAID fosters and promotes the essential link between contemporary arts and progressive society through educational programs, exhibitions, performances, and the funding of contemporary arts and art-related activities.
The CAID will be a collaborative leader in transforming Detroit into a model city. It will cultivate a creative, sustainable, ecologically sound and healthy localized economy, a strong social fabric, and a dynamic, engaged population where every citizen can contribute to a richly diverse sociopolitical and artistic culture that impacts the world.
The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit values the arts as a vital element in the life of our community. The arts, in their many forms, provide a vehicle for developing and expressing creativity, a tool for growth, and a means of connecting people and ideas across linguistic, socioeconomic, and cultural boundaries.
- Innovation – We support daringly innovative ideas that promote economic, social, and/or political change in our community while celebrating the freedom of creative expression;
- Aesthetic Quality – We strive for aesthetic quality both in the work we do and as a prime criterion for our support to artists and other organizations;
- Diversity – We recognize that the many cultures represented in our city are an essential source of vitality and that supporting diverse artistic traditions encourages intercultural respect and understanding;
- Artists – We value the work of artists as educators, entrepreneurs, mentors and citizens in our community and we believe their contributions are vital to a healthy and vibrant city;
- Education – We value arts education as essential to the intellectual and creative development of the human mind;
- Integrity/Accountability – In our relationships, dealings, and transactions our board, staff and volunteers will exemplify the qualities of integrity, trust and competence. Through these values we will strive to earn and convey trust. We will retain public trust through openness, efficient cost effectiveness and stewardship of resources;
- Ecologically Sound – We value conditions, technologies, and behaviors that significantly reduce water pollution, air pollution, and noise pollution. We will employ sustainable practices that are sensitive to the environment. Our organization is dedicated to fulfilling its responsibility for strong stewardship of, and living in harmony with, the natural environment;
- Partnership – We are committed to nurturing current partnerships and creating new alliances to strengthen the health of the arts in Detroit;
- Public Value – We work in partnership with the arts community to build and demonstrate the public value of the arts;
- Economic Impact – We recognize that a strong artistic community has a positive and
- measurable impact on the economy of our city;
- Respect – We respect the individual differences of people in our organization and our community and the contributions they make.