Professor Juanita Anderson, Gus Navarro, and Don Sicko April 24, 2018

Encouraging the Next Generation of Cultural Storytellers

In keeping with our mission to preserve Detroit’s musical stories and sounds, and on the eve of our second annual music conference in 2014, Detroit Sound Conservancy announced a memorial scholarship for one of Detroit’s most important music journalists: Dan Sicko. After a period of outreach, organizing, and fundraising, DSC has partnered with the late writer’s family and Wayne State University’s Department of Communication, to honor his legacy and encourage the next generation of prospective Detroit cultural storytellers for three years beginning in 2017.

Our initial partner in fundraising for this scholarship was record label Ghostly International who printed the initial “Detroit Renegade of Electronic Funk” t-shirt honoring Sicko. Proceeds from online sales went to DSC for the scholarship. During that period, Ghostly founder Sam Valenti IV said, “The Ghostly team is proud to be a part of remembering our friend Dan and championing his work and life. The DSC carries a goal close to our hearts, to make things better.”

In 2016, DSC took over production and marketing of the Renegade shirt.

You can purchase them here.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved please contact us at or call direct at 313-444-8242


Gus Navarro (pictured above) is an M.A. Candidate who is currently conducting pre-production research and planning for his Masters Thesis project, a documentary about Tribe Records in Detroit. His project will examine the revolutionary music label, the jazz they produced and their legacy today. It promises to make a significant contribution to the understanding Detroit’s music history.


Michael Valenti

Updated 17 May 2018

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