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Detroit’s art scene gets a boost with Motor City Match grant for beloved community art gallery

Oct 26, 2023

  • Founded over 30 years ago, Mac Galleries has become a hub for local artists and a place for the arts to thrive and inspire.
  • The gallery takes pride in actively participating in mentorship programs to foster growth for local artists of all ages
  • Motor City Match awarded two grants for the business totaling $85,000 for the business to undergo building renovations
  • Mac Galleries is the 162nd Motor City Match business to open
  • Motor City Match has awarded $15.7M in cash grants; 82% of overall winners are minority-owned businesses and 71% are women-owned

OCTOBER 26, 2023 (DETROIT) — Mac Galleries, a Detroit-based art gallery with over three decades of elevating the local arts, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new space in the Historic Avenue of Fashion. Gallery owner James McKissic was joined by Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, City officials and community supporters as he cut the ribbon on his new establishment, marking the 162nd brick-and-mortar business to open under Motor City Match.

In 1991, McKissic’s father opened Mac Galleries to build upon his passion for photography and creating customizable frames for his pieces. McKissic, with a fresh perspective gained through a business degree from Howard University, joined his father in business to carry out the family’s artistic legacy and build upon Detroit’s arts and culture scene.

“I believe the City of Detroit realizes that art is an important component into bringing in new residents and attracting new businesses,” said McKissic. “It’s a quality-of-life issue and I think Detroit has embraced art and artists and it just makes for a more vibrant community altogether.”

Mac Galleries offers original and replica artwork from local, national and international artists. More than a gallery, it provides a welcoming space for meaningful dialogue and discovery. The team is passionate about crafting personalized framing solutions and handling art installations with care. Those who can’t make it in person can still explore and purchase from the online collection at

Having outgrown two previous locations in Detroit, McKissic and his family set their sights on a more spacious home for their gallery. This move was driven by their passion for cultivating the city’s next generation of artistic talent.

McKissic, who currently serves as a mentor in the Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club, which pairs seasoned artists with emerging talents, dreamed of creating a space for local artists to grow and make a sustainable living. The new gallery promises to be a hub for artists to create, connect and uplift their community.

“It’s not just about my family’s legacy – it’s about all artists,” said McKissic. “We want to let them know they’re not alone and prevent them from learning the hard way.”

McKissic’s vision began taking shape after he secured a $60,000 cash grant from Motor City Match to make vital renovations to his space. Additional financing from Invest Detroit, including a $150,000 small business loan, and another $25,000 grant from the Restore Track of Motor City Match helped enable the gallery’s transformation.

“Motor City Match businesses are adding vibrancy and character of neighborhoods across the city, and Mac Galleries builds on the creative culture that already exists along the Avenue of Fashion,” said Mayor Mike Duggan prior to today’s event. “James McKissic’s beautiful new space will be more than just a place for Detroiters to purchase or frame that next piece of art for their home, it will be a place where artists can collaborate, as well as mentor other aspiring young artists.”

“Invest Detroit is thrilled to support James and his efforts to open a larger space to showcase artists,” said Jason Barnett, Senior Vice President, Lending at Invest Detroit. “Not only is he continuing to grow his family business legacy but is bringing it to the Avenue of Fashion where he can provide a welcoming space for neighborhood residents.”

Mac Galleries is set to host its inaugural exhibition in its new home at 18943 Livernois tomorrow. The show will spotlight uplifting pencil drawings by late local artist Ronald Scarbrough. Scarbrough’s optimistic style resonates with Mac Galleries’ mission to uplift the community through art. By featuring his vivid works first, the gallery is celebrating the talents of Detroit while looking ahead to a bright future in its expanded space.

“Mac Galleries has been a pillar of artistic legacy in Detroit and its enduring commitment to uplifting local talent and bringing people together through art is truly inspirational,” said Sean Gray, vice president of Small Business Services at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, responsible for overseeing the Motor City Match program. “When we invest in spaces like this, which celebrate inclusion, imagination, and dialogue, we invest in the very soul of our city. We’re proud to see Mac Galleries continue its phenomenal legacy in this vibrant new home.”

Through 24 rounds of Motor City Match:

  • Total cash grants: $15.7 million (Total leveraged investment: $87.4 million)
  • 82 percent are minority-owned businesses
  • 71 percent are women-owned businesses
  • 67 percent are businesses owned by Detroit residents

About Motor City Match

Motor City Match is a unique partnership between the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Competitive financial assistance is supported by a broad partnership of Southeast Michigan community development financial institutions and corporations including, Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, Ford Foundation, Hudson Webber Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, New Economy Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Motor City Match applications are available quarterly. More information is available at

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