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Detroit is first city to have a "chief storyteller"

Apr 11, 2017

One of the most primal human experiences is storytelling. And now that ancient tradition is coming to Detroit City Hall.

Meet the city of Detroit's Chief Storyteller: Aaron Foley
Credit City of Detroit

Mayor Mike Duggan's team has a new member: Aaron Foley now holds the title of Detroit's Chief Storyteller.
Aaron's been a journalist at MLive, Ward's Automotive, and for the past year and a half, the editor of BLAC Detroit magazine, covering black life, arts and culture.

Foley tells Stateside leaving BLAC was difficult, but says he couldn't pass up the challenge of starting a project like this from the ground up.

"You have this project in multiple forms, where we go across the city, talk to residents, talk to neighbors, talk to people about what they'd like to see in their neighborhoods," Foley said.

"Also, to talk to them about what's coming to their neighborhoods. There's a big push to make sure that everyone is included in whatever goes on in any neighborhood, whether it's a tree coming down, or a new housing development ... and this is just taking that an extra step forward."

According to Foley, one of the goals of this project is to bring people from different parts of the city together and to create more of an awareness of citizens' own neighborhoods. 

Once produced, the stories will appear online and on a local cable channel. For those not connected to the Internet or who are without cable, there is a plan to create a print medium as well.

Listen to the full interview above to hear about the types of stories Foley hopes to tell, how he doesn't see this project as public relations, and how much creative control he will have.

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