An arts and community youth outreach nonprofit released its 2022 report, outlining its successes over the past year and introducing new plans for 2023.
“This year was devastating. I am in absolute amazement of what our organization has been able to accomplish with the support of our community and beyond,” The Diatribe Executive Director Marcel “Fable” Price’s said in the report. “We have grown and expanded despite so many life/organization-altering roadblocks. Through all of this, the fact that I have found a way to still be ‘here’ is truly a testament to our team, but the fact that we are still here is a testament to all of you.”
The report outlined the year’s accomplishments, which include the organization’s first $1 million contribution from The Wege Foundation, as well as strides toward the realization of its planned Emory Arts and Culture Center.
In January 2022, The Diatribe started the year strong with its Writing to Right Wrongs programs at Ottawa Hills High School, CA Frost High School, Southwest Middle High School and Public Museum High School. In September 2022, the program expanded to Muskegon Community Education Center, Muskegon High School, Godwin High School in Wyoming and Union High School in Grand Rapids.The nine-week program is offered in partnership with the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan and teaches students about housing discrimination, red-lining, gentrification and other ways that housing affects everyday life.
The year continued with the hiring of a new communication assistant and accountant, helping round out the team.
Throughout 2022 The Diatribe continued to realize its goal of opening The Emory Arts and Culture Center, a new facility that will serve as a permanent home for the organization and allow The Diatribe to expand its programming.
In 2022, The Diatribe started architectural processes for The Emory, conducted a feasibility study, started touring locations, met with county commissioners about the impact of the project and started designing green spaces for the location. In December, the project received $65,000 from The Poetry Foundation to be put toward general operations, as well as a significant gift from The Ellis Foundation, which helped raise nearly $1.4 million to jumpstart the project.
This year also saw the 49507 Project help install a total of 15 murals. The neighborhood reclamation project was also named an Anthem Awards bronze winner in the Education, Art & Culture Campaign – Non-Profit division, placing the project on a national scale.
In December 2022, The Diatribe was excluded from receiving Kent County American Rescue Plan funds, despite being the 12th ranked project out of over 300 proposals. The rejection was a blow to the nonprofit, which depends on community support to continue offering programs and to secure its Emory Center location, and ended the year on a sour note.
Despite this setback, Price and his team are determined to push forward with new goals for 2023, including breaking ground on The Emory Center and publicly announcing a new organizational structure.
“This year, we look forward to becoming a more concentric organization, and I want to double down on supporting all of these amazing people, creatives, contractors, students, educators, funders and community — the way they deserve to be supported,” Price said in the report. “We look forward to bringing even more power to people, more art to people and continuing to do it in a way that is unapologetic, honest and intentional.”