The year 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 unrest in the city of Detroit—a critical flashpoint in the city’s history. Executive director Bob Bury and his team at the Detroit Historical Museum knew cultural institutions needed to work together to turn this gold anniversary into an opportunity for collective change.
Brophy worked with the museum team on messaging for the project including its tagline and exhibit name. “Looking Back to Move Forward” reflected the mission of the project and also evoked the concept of Sankofa, well-known within the African diaspora. We also developed the popular logo for the program—a 67 configured into an arrow pointing upward and toward the future.
The exhibit was not only the most popular and well-supported in the museum’s history but also spurred partnership exhibits at other Detroit cultural institutions and inspired a series of placemaking grants throughout the city. It won the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the most prestigious honor from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.