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Initiate Change

The GhostLight Arts Initiative (GLAI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the use of the creative, performing, and media arts as catalysts for social progress. Our goal is to leverage every artistic avenue to create tangible and sustainable impact across social and cultural systems. This impact is felt broadly through programming targeted with a national reach, and locally with efforts designed specifically to empower the city of Detroit.


Here at The GhostLight Arts Initiative we believe, at its best, art has the power to do three things:

Show us who we were, Show us who we are, and Show us who we can become.


Progress is impossible without Change.

The Helping Hands Campaign for the Arts (HHC) was founded in 2011 -- dedicated to uniting artists with the community through acts of service, fundraising, and volunteerism.  Working with professional touring artists from Broadway tours like Disney's The Lion King, Wicked, Billy Elliot, and Jersey Boys, the HHC organized outreach events nationwide.

Every effort, project, and campaign grows as circumstances cause broad goals to focus into specificity and purpose. And, in 2021, a chapter was closed on The Helping Hands Campaign for the Arts and THE GHOSTLIGHT ARTS INITIATIVE was born.

Now we move boldly into a new chapter as we endeavor to use our platform as artists to create and sustain a movement that centers artistic and media expression as a conduit for knowledge and social change.

​We believe in the power of theatre, music, dance, and the spoken word. 


We believe that these practices have the power to initiate progress.


We believe in Art as a Catalyst for Change.



GLAI leverages  every artistic avenue to create tangible and sustainable impact across  the Detroit arts ecosystem, lessening economic barriers for BIPOC Artists.  We support our community at home and abroad via culturally transformative artistic practices.

Through Artistic & Cultural Enlightenment communities in Detroit will fuse creative expression with social justice endeavors – expanding their knowledge through artistically technical, historical and political education.


Our Audience & Community Engagement efforts expand access to the arts for Detroit communities, offering opportunities for  exploration and guiding participants into a deeper understanding of  how "where” they live shapes their access to resources.


We believe that Diversified Economic Sustainability is crucial in providing Detroit artists  a viable career path – expanding their ability  to work,  grow talents into skills,  and make liveable wages.


The Obsidian Theatre Festival (OTF) is an exciting celebration of emerging Black voices in Theatre and film.  Now growing into the 4th Annual Season, OTF normalizes the diversity of the Black experience by producing a collection of original plays, musicals, and cabaret performances.  In addition to this content, GLAI supports by providing an educational context through academic, political, and historical lenses.  All of this work is filmed and streamed each year, increasing accessibility to all audiences.  

To learn more visit:

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The Propulsion Theatre Project is a new and collaborative endeavor launched by native Detroiters Garlia Cornelia Jones and John Sloan III.  In partnership with the acclaimed producing organization, Blackboard Plays, this new endeavor will contribute meaningfully and sustainably to the professional theatre ecosystem in Detroit – partnering with for-profit, non-profit, and municipal entities to propel cultural exchange, workforce development, artistic creativity, and economic empowerment through the theatrical arts. 

Detroit is known for making a substantial impact on the world through music. 

The Propulsion Theatre Project exists to ensure that Detroit's professional theatre community has the foundation to make a sustainable impact.


Meet The Team


John Sloan III

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Founding Executive Director, Dir. Artistic Programming

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Dr. Rashida L. Harrison

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Director of Education,

Professional Development


Garlia Cornelia Jones

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The Propulsion Theatre Project


Sarae Daniels

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Arts Education Manager, 

The Obsidian Theatre Festival

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Sierra McCants

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Arts Education Coordinator 

Meet The Team

Let’s Work Together

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