Director, Arts and Culture, City of Detroit
Rochelle Riley is the Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Detroit, guiding the city’s investment in the creative economy and creating opportunities for transformative innovation.
Riley’s current projects include transforming nine residential and commercial alleys into art alleys with space for exhibitions, events, and neighborhood joy and “Detroit Mural City,” a campaign to document every mural in the city and commission hundreds more.
Her first major project as the Director of Arts and Culture was the nation’s first city-wide memorial for COVID-19 victims, which gained international attention in 2020 and was featured during President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Prior to working for the City of Detroit, Riley was an award-winning, nationally syndicated columnist for 20 years. She was a 2016 Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame inductee, a 2019 North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame inductee, and a 2021 National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame inductee. Riley is the author of That They Lived: African Americans Who Changed The World and The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery.