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$2 million Karmanos gift creates DCDS film center

By Lisa Brody


A new state-of-the-art filmmaking, digital, podcasting creative center will allow Detroit Country Day students to unleash their creativity thanks to the generous $2 million gift from Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Jr.


The news of this new filmmaking center arrives at the same time as Detroit Country Day students will premiere the first full-length feature film in the school’s history on Friday, April 12, at the Emagine Theater in Novi. Learning Curve, a film written, created and produced by DCDS students and directed by Andrew Weir, ’24, will have additional showtimes on April 20 and 26.


Next school year, many of these students, along with lots of others, will have the chance to learn inside a new state-of-the art center with the same tools professional filmmakers and creators use – and much more. Among the unique advantages to the center are a professional curved stagecraft led wall that can create virtual scenes and transport actors anywhere in the world, which is the same equipment used to shoot the Star Wars Mandalorian series, according to the school.


The center will also have an immersive, master podcast studio where students will be able to tell stories of history, literature and science, bringing them to life. A cutting-edge video and multimedia creation space will allow students to master the tools of the digital age in a hands-on, real-world studio. As part of the education space, it will be a world-class innovation center, DCD said, so that the power of creation and STEAM will blend seamlessly.


The new center will be housed in the DCDS Upper School but is intended to be used by students and faculty from preschool through 12th grade. The final design is being developed now, with renovation and construction to begin this summer to allow it to be ready for use in the fall of 2024.

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