Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for the ‘Red’s Jazz Shoe Shine

Contact: Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
[email protected]


Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for the ‘Red’s Jazz Shoe Shine

Project will reactivate Red’s Jazz Shoe Shine Parlor in Detroit’s North End into home of open community space, Black Bottom Garden Center

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Photo courtesy of Black Bottom Garden Center Co-Op Owner Carol Trowell

LANSING, Mich. –  The Oakland Avenue Urban Farm in Detroit’s North End neighborhood is restoring the historic Red’s Jazz Shoe Shine Parlor into the home of the Black Bottom Garden Center and shared civic space that will include a food and arts incubator, outdoor venue and outdoor stage through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Oakland Avenue Urban Farm, and Northend Christian Community Development Corporation announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by September 28, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“Creative spaces that offer a multitude of uses while supporting the local economy have positive rippling effects on a community,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The funding raised through this campaign will allow Northend Christian CDC to preserve the cultural heritage of the historical Red’s Jazz Shoe Shine Parlor. This effort will reactivate this commercial space into the brick-and-mortar home of the Black Bottom Garden Center and enhance the shared community green space adjacent to the building. This will contribute to activating the commercial corridor of Oakland Avenue by establishing anchor businesses, creating open public space for the community, and offering a platform for events, business incubation, and creativity to continue the legacy of African American culture and economic generation in the North End.

“The matching grant funds will support our goal in securing our future brick and mortar location for the Black Bottom Garden Center and will expand our public space. We look forward to being part of the rejuvenation of the Oakland Avenue business corridor,” said Djenaba Ali, Co-Op Owner of the Black Bottom Garden Center.

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that build on existing assets and enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, League’s CEO and Executive Director. “What’s happening at the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm in Detroit’s North End neighborhood is community wealth building in action. With the public’s support, this effort will preserve the rich history of this area and will improve the human experience for all. That is what community wealth building is about.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of June 30, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $8.6 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 280 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $10.1 million raised from 48,922 individual donors.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
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