Frequently Asked Questions

Greater Impact House

An idea 20 Years in the making

Q: What sparked the beginning to start this Residency?

A: We wanted to create what we always wanted to find as artists...sustainability, community that is goal driven and focused on living a healthy lifestyle, creative support, and inspiration.

Drugs + Alcohol + Smoking, let's talk about it.

What do you mean by Substance-Free?

Q: As far as the residency being substance-free, how do you plan to enforce that?

Will resident artists sign an agreement to avoid substance use and be removed from the program if they break it, like other programs, or will you have a different protocol?

A: As far substance use goes, there will be a more compassionate approach towards being substance free. The Greater Impact House will not have any events or anything in the house that leads to substance use by way of smoking, alcohol, or mind-altering drugs. There will be a personal call to action signed agreement not to use on property and if the artist fails to follow the agreement, we will reevaluate to see if they compromise the integrity of the program. We plan to address all circumstances with compassion and understanding that this is not an easy task for some and we are here to provide support for them in any way we can. We are not set up to be a clinical treatment program but can hold artists accountable and help them raise awareness within themselves. Unfortunately, substance use and the art world tend to go hand in hand and we want to offer a space where creatives can focus on their craft without drugs and alcohol or smoking being a driving force. 

Greater Impact House rehabilitation

Is this going to be a rehabilitation facility?

Q: Will there be any type of rehabilitation services offered on-site? (group therapy sessions, etc.) 

A: There will not be any type of rehabilitation services offered onsite, as we are not equipped to offer clinical care. However, Karianne Spens-Hanna, an art therapist involved in the project can offer art therapy and mental health support to interested artists. Anyone needing more support will be encouraged to seek outside services and/or Substance Use Disorder therapy and can be provided resources to do so.

City addition

What is the additional need for this project specifically in Detroit?

Q: Why is GIH such a needed addition to the artistic world of Detroit? (Is there lost talent because of substance abuse, artists that cannot afford a space to play music, etc. )

There are many layers contributing to why we feel this is needed in Detroit, from the lack of affordable studio space, the opportunities to connect with other creatives, to finding a way of creating without using substances. We are not trying to fix anyone, change the neighborhood, or contribute to gentrification that displaces people. We are offering creatives a chance to create in Detroit and dedicate time and energy to their craft and wellbeing. 

Greater Impact House inception

How did you acquire this Property?

Q: Did you have help from a realtor, get a tip from a friend about it being for sale, find it online, or did you literally just stumble upon it while driving around looking for houses?

A: I searched to find a house in Detroit for about two and half years. I had my realtor Leah Clisby help me initially go the route of purchasing a home with a mortgage, and then Leah taught me about auctions and land bank owned homes and the difference between them. Essentially, you have about 2-3 weeks to look at a house that is listed off auction. I specifically went to areas I was interested in and checked out the neighborhood. I also wanted to make sure the house I was interested in was not occupied. -GA

Application process

How does an Artist Apply to the Residency?

Q: How will the artists for the Greater Impact residency be selected? What will the application process for the program be like?


There will be an online application form of questions to go through before submitting a final application. There will also be a video interview process. The Greater Impact House will have space for 2 artists for a live-in residency and 2 artists for a day studio residency.

Greater Impact House Community

Why create with us?

Q: What makes the community at GIH so different and special (besides being substance-free)

A: This residency will be unique in that it focuses on the whole wellbeing of each artist, not just providing physical space to create work. We will be as involved or uninvolved as people need, offering healthy routines of eating, creating, and meditating they can follow. 

Community Engagement

Opportunities with Neighbors?

Q: Will there be opportunities for artist exposure/engagement with neighboring communities?      


We plan on partnering with neighborhood organizations, bringing in resources to help artists network, and doing our best to be the connectors between people and resources. Artists will have opportunities to participate in gallery shows, record their music, and learn about music licensing. 

Monthly Residency of Greater Impact House in the future

Residency Length?

Q: How long will residencies be?

A: It depends on the goals of the artists. Some may need 6 months, others may need one week. We will not have a conventional lease, but more of a contract for each artist based on what they want to get out of their residency.

Food Prep at Greater Impact House

Daily Meal?

Q: Is there food included with the residency stay or is each resident responsible for their own? 

A: We will have space for artists to have their own food, and we will also invite artists to eat meals with us. Food is healing, builds community, and will be weaved into the fabric of the house, but artists will also have freedom to provide their own food if desired.

Daily Use of Greater Impact House in 2020

Day Studio?

Q: Exactly how is the space being utilized right now? 

A: Right now the space is being utilized as a day studio for 3 artists (myself, Karianne, and Caitlin as the catalyst). We are also using the house for events such as art exhibitions and concerts. As renovation in the beginning stages of development, we are inspired by the house's history and current condition and will often weave that aesthetic into our work. We are inviting other artists to visit and potentially use the house as an incubation space for ideas and collaboration.

Selecting Artists

What is your selection process?

Q: I know you're providing space for people to record and paint and no one is living there yet, but how are people being selected currently and how the space is being made available prior to renovations.

A: We weren't really looking for an artist so early in the renovation process but our vision matched up with Caitlin's. Caitlin approached us at the first Cider and Donut event and was moved by our mission and what we are looking to do. She was open to being in the space during renovations and to help with that phase of the process. Caitlin is also assisting with social media for the Greater Impact House. 

Greater Impact House in 2020

Rebuild process?

Q: Where are you at in the process of rebuilding the house? What is your main focus at this point in your journey?

A: We are still in the early stages of rebuilding. All the electrical is replaced, and the next main focus is replacing the Roof. From there we will reconstruct the porch, then work on the interior of the house. 

Date of Completion

Day in the life at Greater Impact House after renovations?

Q: Once renovations are complete, what would an ideal day at the Greater Impact House look like to you?

A: An ideal day would be to wake up early and share tea/coffee and prepare breakfast. Offer a quiet hour to sit and journal followed by a half hour to work out and then shower. Then work on music or art depending on the artist’s career. The routine for each artist will vary, but by offering accountability and structure through our own practice, we will help inspire each other by finding comfort in the rhythm of routine. Some evenings we will have house meetings where we can share our process and projects and get insight from the other residents.  

Greater Impact House idea laid out in 2018

Greater Impact House initial inspiration?

Q: Where did the inspiration for this idea come from? 

A: A lot of the inspiration came from being a day resident at Assemble Sound. I would come in at early hours of the day to record and observe other residents, how they ate, how they recorded, but I never had the chance to see what their living environments were like. When my partner Karianne had the chance to stay at the artist residency The Forge, I got a better sense of the day to day living environment. Looking at both those residencies recalled memories of how challenging it was to live near Wayne State University on my own. I had trouble holding myself accountable for cleaning up and maintaining my own living environment until I started focusing on creating time lapse videos around my situations. I wanted to start working out, so I created a time-lapse video to start working out more. Being able to document my progress helped me realize that daily journaling really does help with setting self accountability scheduling and goals to producing work. Providing a space where artists can help hold each other accountable and inspire one another is the goal. We want to create what we always wanted to find as artists. 

Time to partner up

Do you have a full team for the Greater Impact House?

Q: Once renovations are complete, what would an ideal day at the Greater Impact House look like to you?

A: Yes, my partner Karianne is helping me evolve the house to a live-in artist residency and Caitlin is also helping by being a catalyst resident before we have the house ready for our first artists. Currently we are focusing on raising awareness for the project, fundraising for renovation, and holding art exhibitions and performances during this stage of the house's development. We are not yet looking for residents, but are offering the space as inspiration to artists, building connections, and believe the right artists will find us when the time is right.

Greater Impact House Involvement

Get involved

Q: How can people get involved now?

Anyone that takes the time to send others the link for the campaign, is the best way to get involved. All rewards are listed here:

We are also accepting donations of materials for house renovation.

Greater Impact House future visions

Greater Impact Vision

Q: If the person reading this article walked away with one feeling or thought what would you hope it would be?

An Interest to create something new.