2014 Keynote Speaker

We are pleased to announce that the 2014 Convention Keynote Speaker will be James D. Griffioen, a Detroit-based photographer and writer. You can enjoy some of his photography at his website.

Talk Title: The Allure of Detroit's Beautiful Ruins: How a crumbling city became an unlikely tourist destination

Speaker biography: James Griffioen is a writer, photographer, and leatherworker living in Detroit. He publishes a blog about his life in downtown Detroit called Sweet Juniper ( and a portfolio site at Called one of the "Most Creative People We Know," by O, the Oprah Magazine, his photography and writing have appeared in Harper's, Vice, Time, Fortune, New York, Foam, The Baffler, Dwell, and many other publications. He has been featured on America Public Media’s The Story, the BBC's Americana, CBC’s Arts Program Q, MSNBC, NPR’s On the Media, The Oprah Winfrey Network, CNN as well as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He is graduate of Western Michigan University and the University of Michigan Law School.