Kresge Community Arts Program Calls for Applications; $100,000 in Grant Funding Is Available for Projects in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park

The application deadline is March 12, with information sessions scheduled for February.

January 26, 2010

TROY, MICHIGAN – The Kresge Foundation is calling for applications for year-two of Kresge Community Arts, a national community arts and engagement project being piloted in five cities in the United States, including Metropolitan Detroit. Grantseekers are invited to submit applications for projects in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park that use art and culture as a tool to address issues in these communities.

In 2009, Kresge funded 12 projects totaling $109,958 in the Detroit-Hamtramck-Highland Park tri-city area. An additional $90,000 will be awarded in 2010; grants will range from $2,500 to $10,000.

The pilot program, now underway in St. Louis, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; Tucson, Arizona; and Birmingham, Alabama, as well as the Detroit-Hamtramck-Highland Park tri-city area, is designed to test Kresge's belief that grassroots arts and cultural projects can be an effective tool to address pressing social issues. The foundation is investing $200,000 over two years in each pilot city.

Applicants may request one or two-year grants for planning and implementation. Projects do not have to be new, but existing projects will not receive priority funding. Grantseekers who applied in year-one and were denied are eligible to reapply for the second year of funding. Current grantees are not eligible for a second grant. Complete information on Kresge Community Arts, including the grant process, application guidelines and a list of 2009 Kresge Community Arts grantees can be found online.

The deadline for submissions is March 12, 2010, 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Two workshops will be held to review the guidelines and answer questions from potential applicants.  Items to be covered in the workshops include eligibility, the criteria for a successful proposal, budget preparation, and frequently asked questions.

Workshops will be held on Monday, Feb. 8, and Monday Feb. 22, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 48202. The workshops will be held in the Friends of the Library Auditorium.  On Mondays, parking is available to the public in the staff parking lot on Putnam between Woodward and Cass.

Those who are interested in attending the Feb. 8 workshop please RSVP by Feb. 1 to

Those who are interested in attending the Feb. 22 workshop, please RSVP by Feb. 15 to

"There are many talented artists and artistic activities in Detroit that are not always well-funded or widely recognized," says Susan D. Wood, the pilot-program administrator for Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park.  "At the same time, we have numerous social-service entities and community-based groups that are working hard to restore distressed neighborhoods and to provide services to families and children. We hope this pilot program will encourage partnerships across these sectors and result in the creation of community-based works of art that inspire residents and revitalize neighborhoods."

The grant opportunity is intended to support the creative ideas that percolate from within the selected communities. The foundation seeks projects that will engage underserved and new audiences as well as children, teens and families; promote cross-cultural understanding; increase exposure to art and culture; and provide experiences in non-traditional spaces such as low-income housing developments, juvenile detention centers, battered women's shelters and after-school program centers.

Individuals and groups are encouraged to apply, including local artists and historians, neighborhood and homeowner associations, youth with parental consent, service agencies, municipal governments, community development corporations, and arts and cultural organizations, among others.

"Arts and culture are an essential part of community life," says Rip Rapson, president of the Kresge Foundation. "The activity of creating new forms of artistic and cultural expression can foster civic dialogue and build community while enriching life for all residents. We anticipate a second year of thoughtful, highly imaginative projects for the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park."

Pilot cities were selected based on a criterion that included median household income and the readiness of existing local partners to help launch the project. Twenty of the nation's most distressed cities were considered for participation.

For more information, e-mail

Kresge Foundation – The Kresge Foundation is a $2.8 billion private, national foundation that supports communities by building the capacity of nonprofit organizations in six fields: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services and community development. In partnership with grantees, Kresge seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations by creating access and opportunity in underserved communities, improving the health of low-income people, supporting artistic expression, assisting in the revitalization of Detroit, and advancing methods for dealing with global climate change. In 2008, the foundation approved 342 grants totaling $181 million.