Air date: May 21, 2015
Chazz Miller was born to be an artist. But like many kids from the inner city he did not have the support at home to move to the next level. Chazz: I ran home with three letters from three different schools and one of them was a full scholarship and I said, “Mom, look!” and she said, “baby that’s fine, but what are you going to do for a living?” Chazz went to art school, graduated and had a successful career in advertising. But he wanted more. Chazz returned to Detroit and started Pubic Art Workz where he mentors budding young artists as they pursue their passion for the arts. Mitch: What’s the transformation that you see art enacts in your people? Chazz: Well the number one transformation man is self esteem. A lot of kids can’t express themselves through writing or through music or even sometimes verbally and I have dealt with a lot of these issues in the classroom so the number one thing is to build up that self confidence and the “selfie” esteem. Mitch: Hmm Hmm. “Selfie” esteem Chazz: Yeah Chazz has grown his “selfie esteem” idea to global proportions. Working with the International Institute, which helps new immigrants transition into the American way of life, Chazz has created the “One Million Selfies” project. We want to use the selfies to embed them into flags of the different countries. So I have estimated it will take about 10,000 selfies per flag as pixels. Using numerous social media sites, Chazz is collecting selfies that will be part of a 100 foot mural that will be displayed on Woodward Avenue later this year. Chazz: It will be a great opportunity for Detroit to show good will ambassadorship to the world. Building “selfie” esteem one brush stroke at a time, Chazz Miller is reinventing the arts right here in the heart of Detroit.