Founded in 2020, Three Fold is
an independent publication that is free, thoughtful, and for the community. Our
journal presents critical perspectives on arts, culture, and society, in addition to original works in various media, including visual art,
literature, film, and music.
Existing in between the spryness of the
news and more exploratory points of view, Three Fold responds to
the community need for dialogue and support. As a friend and colleague recently wrote:
“Great long poems create space for contradiction, drifting, deepening, dailiness, loss, epiphany, and revival.” That is the kind of space we are manifesting with this publication.
Who We Are
This project is a collaborative effort. Last year, a volunteer collective of editors, including artists, authors, activists and curators, was organized to oversee the content in each of their respective sections with total autonomy. Our contributors are multinational and multigenerational, from Detroit and beyond. For example, the debut issue, released in November, included a historiography on the Malian griot by native Detroiter and scholar Nubia Kai; a multimedia performance by Palestinian-American dancer/choreographer Leyya Tawil; an in-depth conversation with octogenarian bass player Hakim Jami; and a dossier on moving image artist Ephraim Asili, who is just beginning to receive national attention for his work.
The Three Fold Editorial Advisory Board is comprised of artists and writers at the top of
their fields who provide guidance regarding our ethos and direction.
Additionally, the publication has partnered with leaders in the region, Media City
Film Festival and Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, in the promotion and distribution of an online archive of important new cinematic works and a political podcast by veteran activists based
in Detroit and California.
Further information about our staff and advisory board is available in the appendix.
To publish writing with lasting literary value
To connect Detroit artists, writers, and thinkers with colleagues across the country and overseas
To strengthen ties between youth and elders by publishing writing by a diverse range of voices at different stages of growth
To push the arts forward by commissioning new creative works
To provide space for informative, reflective pieces by eminent experts that are not topical or time-sensitive, and thus less likely to be published in other forums
Statement of Need
The need for Three Fold in our region is great, but the issues at play are
far from insurmountable. Our journal was established to
address these shortcomings in our region:
A lack of media support for the arts in Detroit, especially genuine, substantive critique, and the underrepresentation of voices of Detroit’s Black majority. Three Fold Advisory Board is one hundred percent POC- and artist-controlled. Contributors to Issue No. One were 50 percent POC.
The media landscape in Detroit focuses on local content by local writers. Three Fold is cultivating a community beyond geographic borders to expand Detroit’s cosmopolitan profile and to safeguard against a strong regional perspective devolving into provincialism. Rather than being “about” Detroit, Three Fold showcases ideas and issues that are germane to the vast interests of Detroiters.
Standards and modes of journalism nationwide responding to the art world at-large are insufficient (i.e. “top ten” lists, blog posts and blurbs, descriptive criticism that opines without judgement, Q and A’s, gossip masquerading as reporting). Three Fold sets itself apart in its multidisciplinary approach. Noteworthy scholarship by seasoned commentators is balanced with perspectives on the emerging zeitgeist by a younger generation of writers and art in a variety of forms (screendance, spoken word recordings, video art, music, etc). Intercontextuality—the relationship between various forms of writing and art—creates new and surprising juxtapositions.
Detroit does not celebrate its history and talent adequately. There are Detroit artists of significance in all fields who will not be with us much longer. Many of them have legacies much greater than their acclaim, and some are still creating important work. We feel it is imperative that there are advocates for both these elders’ well-being and their work’s significance.
When one aspect of the arts ecosystem is fractured, others are also fragile. By circulating thought-provoking commentary and meeting social and aesthetic challenges with know-how, we inspire conversation and advocate that patronage of the arts is a civic duty.
extensively researched historic magazines, newspapers and publishers in Detroit. Our efforts are inspired
by pivotal projects in the community and a couple in New York:
Straits (1980s) A low-cost but evocatively designed journal edited by art critic Glen Mannisto that showcased poetry and visual art by Detroit’s Cass Corridor artists
Solid Ground (1980-87) An intellectually rigorous Black-focused magazine covering mostly music and politics, edited by Kofi Notambu
Detroit 1981, Detroit 1982 and Detroit 1989 Dense, spiral-bound collection of b/w art and writing, curated by artist Sherry Hendricks
Broadside Lotus Press (1965-present) A merging of two historic Detroit publishing houses: Broadside Press, founded by Dudley Randall in 1965 and Naomi Long Madgett's Lotus Press, founded in 1972. They are the oldest Black-owned presses in the United States still in operation.
Brooklyn Rail (2000-present) Monthly publication based in New York City that provides an independent, international forum for arts, culture, and politics. The journal, in addition to featuring local reporting; criticism of music, dance, film, and theater; and original fiction and poetry, covers contemporary visual art in particular depth.
Ugly Duckling Presse (1990s-present) Publishing house in Brooklyn that favors emerging, international, and “forgotten” writers. Its books, chapbooks, artist’s books, broadsides, and periodicals often contain handmade elements, calling attention to the labor and history of bookmaking.
Metrics for Success
Quantitative shift in social media followers and e-newsletter subscriptions
Feedback from community stakeholders, including constructive criticism
Reaching an audience beyond the geographic borders of the region, including print subscriptions and local distribution sites
Annually increasing our ability to commission art
Sustained interest from contributors and growing readership in a diverse range of communities
Increase in earned and contributed income streams