Built and Rebuilt: The Detroit School of Arts Story 

Built and Rebuilt:

The Detroit School of Arts Story

More than just the story of one incredible administrator’s dream high school, this film encompasses all that’s wrong and all that was once right about the Detroit Public Schools in one incredible production.

It is a MUST SEE.

You will laugh and you will cry and your heart will be uplifted and your heart will be broken for the teachers and the students and their parents of this incredible dream of a school.

Originally known as the Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts, the school was established in 1992 by the now-retired Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton and she is featured prominently and extensively in the film.

This documentary was produced by a collaboration with the parents of Detroit School of Arts, Kate Levy and the Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies chronicles the successes of a locally controlled school, and the trials and tribulations of the school during emergency management, university partnerships, and the rebranding of a neighborhood.




Losing My Mind over Education (Finding My Way Back to Me) challenges the reader to search for meaningful solutions to address the issues facing American education.

It tells an incredible story about Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton’s dynamic leadership as Founder and First Principal of Detroit School of Arts along with her  personal journey through a brittle American bureaucratic system–education. It is also a personal quest to make a difference in education.

The book shows the discord between the preparation of Denise’s educational journey along life’s landscape, what she discovers, and what needs to happen to reignite the educational spirit.





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