The soul of any community is revealed by its commitment to the arts. Over the last decade, the SDBA has expanded the scope of its community development efforts to encompass the flourishing arts and culture community in SW Detroit.


The Center of Music & Performing Arts Southwest (COMPÁS) started in 2007 as a collaboration among performing artists in the community and the SDBA. COMPÁS provides year-round, youth focused arts, recreation, and educational opportunities at its professional quality dance studio and renovated facility at the Odd Fellows Building in the Springwells Village neighborhood. COMPÁS provides lessons in various genres of dance, instrumental music, and art with a focus on the rich Latino heritage of SW Detroit.


COMPÁS is supported in part by:

The Skillman Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The Erb Family Foundation, and the Berklee City Music Network.

Or contact COMPÁS directly at 313.389.6483 or via email


Day of the Dead coincides with the Catholic holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Its focus is to gather family and friends, during a significant time of the year for the Latino/Hispanic culture, to remember and pray for those who have passed away. Traditions include building private altars (Ofrendas) honoring the deceased using photos, sugar skulls, marigolds, the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting the graves of the loved ones with these as gifts. The day is a celebration of the life of those we love, and a commitment to never forget them.

The Day of the Dead festivities in Southwest Detroit will serve as a unique educational opportunity for students, visitors and residents to learn more about the Latino/Hispanic culture in the U.S. The Southwest Detroit Business Association has created the 2019 Day of the Dead Walking Tour Brochure to introduce people of all ages to the vibrant and diverse Latino/Hispanic culture in SW Detroit, during this year’s Dίa de Muertos Celebration.

Click Here to Download the 2019 Map of Ofrendas and Activities


The purpose of The Atrium Project Space is to showcase inspiring work that reflects the cultures of the Southwest Detroit Community and to support local artists. The space is located at the offices of the Southwest Detroit Business Association at 7752 West Vernor, and is in the center of the West Vernor commercial district.

The Atrium opened in the summer of 2011 with the exhibit Voices & Visions: Telling Our Story Through Transforming the “Space Frames”.  The exhibit featured the artwork of community members created during workshops guided by Vito Valdez and the late Mary Laredo Herbeck. The  participants’ drawings provided design concepts that were used to create tiles now being placed on the West Vernor Space Frames.

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