Detroit arts and culture

Our goal: Strengthen the economic, social and cultural fabric of greater Detroit through the nurture and promotion of individual artists, arts and cultural organizations and arts-infrastructure groups.

Focus Area Overview

We believe a thriving arts and cultural community – one that is well supported and well recognized – enriches the quality of life for residents and visitors to southeastern Michigan and, in doing so, inspires fresh ideas, spurs innovation and accelerates the creative vitality of the region.

Through deep engagement in the community, and alongside philanthropic partners, we focus our efforts on:

  • Building and nurturing a sustainable, vibrant ecosystem of arts and cultural organizations.
  • Strengthening the local artist community.
  • Identifying ways to incorporate arts and cultural activities across the spectrum of our work in Detroit.

We also have developed a three-part effort that focuses on arts and cultural organizations and artists living and working in metro Detroit’s Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, known as Kresge Arts in Detroit.

Arts Support

We provide unrestricted operating support to small, mid-size and large organizations in the performing, visual and literary arts in metro Detroit’s three-county region. Assistance is also available to institutions engaged in arts service, education and broadcasting. 

Since 2007, we have provided $19.4 million in operating support to small, mid-size and large organizations in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. In 2014, we awarded $4.1 million over two years to nearly 60 organizations.

Artist Fellowships

Through the Kresge Artist Fellowships, we seek to advance the art forms and professional careers of artists from dance/music, film/theatre, literary arts and visual arts and to elevate the profile of the artistic community.

Each year, we provide funding of $25,000 each for 18 fellowships. They are awarded to visual, performing and literary artists living and working in metropolitan Detroit.

The Artist Fellowships are administered by the Detroit-based College for Creative Studies, one of the nation’s leading institutions for art and design education.

The 2015 fellows were named in June. (Meet the 2015 fellows.) Applications for 2016 fellowships will be available in the fall of 2015. (Read the fellowship guidelines.)

Eminent Artist Award

Through the Kresge Eminent Artist Award, we recognize an exceptional artist for his or her professional achievements and contributions to the cultural community.

The award also encourages that individual’s pursuit of a chosen art form and an ongoing commitment to metropolitan Detroit. The 2015 Eminent Artist is textile artist Ruth Adler Schnee. The award, which includes a $50,000 prize, is administered by the College for Creative Studies.

Application Process

In addition to grant programs such as Arts Support, our Detroit team members are deeply engaged in the arts and cultural community and proactively invite a number of proposals for funding through the Detroit Program.

Arts organizations should also be aware that we offer additional support through our national Art & Culture Program.

For information on the fellowship program administered by the Detroit-based College for Creative Studies, visit

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