Tanya J. Stephens, is an interdisciplinary designer, artist, independent curator, cultural strategist, and preservationist whose professional career spans over 20 years working in the intersection of art, design, cultural heritage, history, real estate, and land preservation.
In 2015, she founded Detroit Curated, a Detroit-based curatorial consulting and arts advisory practice dedicated to promoting Detroit art, design, history, and culture. As an independent curator, her work focuses on re-imagining, transforming, and reclaiming space and preserving cultural heritage. She specializes in curating events & exhibitions, festivals, arts & cultural heritage tours, creative placemaking projects, and strategic cultural planning. In addition, she has managed public art projects from installation, conservation, and documentation of public works in Detroit including sculptures, monuments, murals, statues, and historic markers.
Her recent Detroit based work represents a range of place-based initiatives from public art to cultural landmarks in Detroit’s historic districts and public spaces. Recent projects include; Historic Sugar Hill Arts District in Midtown, Northend/Milwaukee Junction, Historic Fort Wayne, Historic Eastern Market District, Belle Isle, Historic Grandmont-Rosedale, and DTE’s Beacon Park. She is a City of Detroit Motor City Match Award Recipient and Knight Foundation Arts Challenge winner for her recent projects.
Stephens is also a Detroit Cultural Ambassador, committed to the preservation, education, and documentation of Black and Indigenous history and a passionate advocate of art, design, land equity, and cultural heritage in Detroit.
She is currently engaged in creative placemaking (cultural place-keeping) and real estate and arts based development projects focused on revitalizing divested African-American communities, rehabilitating abandoned properties, and redesigning neglected landscapes in historic districts from Black Bottom to Paradise Valley. Her practice is keenly focused on creative neighborhood regeneration strategies, preserving cultural arts, material culture, public art, and physical legacies in Detroit’s historic cultural neighborhoods.
Stephens currently serves on the; Board of Directors for Preservation Detroit, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Advisory Council, Michigan Underground Railroad Exploratory Collective (MUREC), Member of the National Association of Realtors, and Co-Founder of United Artist of Detroit, an artists advocacy organization dedicated to developing a sustainable creative economy in Detroit.
She is a native Detroiter and graduate of Cass Technical High School’s notable Art Department where she majored in Commercial Art. She is also a graduate of HBCU Clark-Atlanta University, and holds dual Bachelors of Art Degrees in Fashion Design & Merchandising. She is a returning expat currently living in Brush Park Historic District. Her hobbies include practicing ceramic art and design, and studying and learning about African and African-American cultural production and heritage from art history, textiles, adornment, architecture, music, food, dance, and material culture.
Achievments & Highlights
Co-Founder of United Artists of Detroit