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5E Gallery in Detroit's Historic Corktown District

Corktown's hip-hop hub emphasizes the value of knowledge through art workshops, a youth program and music.

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At Corktown’s 5e Gallery, both visual art and hip-hop thrive through creation and education. Founder DJ Sicari Ware and Piper Carter, fashion photographer and co-owner, joined forces to create a venue that emphasizes the fifth element of hip-hop: value of knowledge (hence the “5e” title), Ware explains.

The duo runs workshops focusing on all five elements of hip-hop, including DJ, MC, B-Boy (known to most as break-dancers, Ware says) and graffiti art workshops. Their youth program teaches kids about producing music, using computer software and learning about entrepreneurship—something that’s important since arts education has been cut at schools, Carter says.

The gallery also holds a “Women in Hip-Hop” night on Tuesdays to celebrate women artists in everything from jazz to film.

What’s special about working in Corktown?

“It’s a wonderful neighborhood,” Ware says. “The people here are very real. I see a lot of hard-working people.”

Corktown is “the hub of artists,” and the neighborhood is “something refreshing and different about the city,” Carter says.

Their location in the industrial area of Corktown gives 5e Gallery “a chance to be that light in that part of the area where there’s not really many people or too much going on,” Carter says.

“We bring beauty and we bring color and we bring art to that area,” she says. “It’s a unique opportunity and it’s a unique space.”

Visit 5e Gallery’s website to learn more about the venue, future events or donate to the gallery.

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