Charles H. Wright, Others Build Communities Through the Arts 

The Charles H. Wright adds experience and engagement as museum climbs to new heights. 


By: Lynzee Blanks, Digital Content Writer

The Charles H. Wright Museum continues to set the standard for quality curated art and programs promoting culture and unique experiences. Also known as The Wright, this award-winning African American museum has a cultured and experienced team providing expertise and education to the community. The museum staff has maintained a well-coordinated understanding of the Black experience which transcends throughout its acoustic walls. With a vast variety of enriched understanding of Black culture, The Wright produces intimate awareness through a creative lens.

Marline Martin, director of learning and engagement, is bringing another layer of philosophy and exploration to the education sector of the facility. With a diverse background and a love for teaching, Martin said her role is to explore and produce ideas for new opportunities, educational efforts, partnerships and programing.


Martin joined The Wright late last year, but she is no novice to the arts, having gained knowledge from a personal and professional perspective. This highly creative woman has built a career as an artist, curator, writer, storyteller and art administrator. Living by the motto, “building communities through the arts,” she said she is proud of the work they are doing and excited for the future.

A graduate of City College of New York obtaining a Masters of Performing Arts Degree, she has built her career teaching young people and instilling the fundamentals of art into the community. She credits her knowledge and career in arts education to have prepared her for her position and contribution to The Wright.

“Jamaican born, Brooklyn bred, Harlem raised,” said Martin who relocated to Detroit from her hometown of New York. She collected most of her experience in New York acting as Executive Director for three organizations including The LeRoy Neiman Arts Center.

Since joining the team Martin has been supporting initiatives to create an organic space that truly reflects the Black experience while also shining light on advancements in the Black community. Pushing for an increase in substantial educational resources Martin promotes a more fulfilling life through artistry and self-development.

“There are many different learning experiences, so I really try to develop programs that are about lifelong learning. Whatever someone is learning a child can learn, as well as a college professor or adult learning,” Martin continues, “Art helps you to validate yourself, to validate your scholarship, to validate your family and to validate history. I see art as the foundation, and I even sometimes consider it the main course of a meal.”

An artist in her own right, Martin hopes to encourage self-expression through education and programing geared towards creativity, individuality and a better understanding of history. Through well curated exhibitions and meaningful events, The Wright has been moving towards a brighter future that will benefit the community as a whole.

There are currently seven exhibitions on display covering African American resilience, jazz culture, celebrations of political achievements and Detroit performers. After a successful close to Black History Month 2023, expectations are high for what is next for the organization. Fortunately, the agenda is off to an exciting start with the announcement of immersive lecture series and scholarly opportunities.

“I think the future of the museum is very strong and very bright. I am looking forward to learning more and engaging more with the community of Detroit and Greater Michigan, especially with the young learners. I’m hoping to start more engagement through after-school and out-of-school programs,” said Martin. “This will give them the opportunity to view history differently than they look at it now. Looking at history is a quest for freedom.”

The Wright is open Wednesday to Sunday with availability for individual visits and tours. Visit for more information on upcoming events, exhibition schedules and promotions.





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