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2024 Kresge Artist Fellowships increase to $40,000 each, 25 awards


Artists in metro Detroit can apply for the Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards starting Dec. 1

Kresge Artist Fellowships will increase from $25,000 to $40,000 in 2024 and the number of awards will increase the number of Fellowships from 20 to 25, The Kresge Foundation and Kresge Arts in Detroit announced today.

Artists residing in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county can apply for the no strings attached prize starting Dec. 1, 2023. The latest application guidelines are available now at

“This expands and deepens our decade-plus commitment to direct support to the working artists of greater Detroit,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation. “Artists are there for us as bearers of tradition and inspiring innovators. They are too often unacknowledged catalysts for our economic wellbeing and civic progress. We need to be there for them as they are here for our community.”

“A full arts ecology includes public arts institutions, galleries and presenters, audiences and patrons, and more,” added Rapson. “Kresge has long contended that as a city and region we need more attention to supporting artists themselves as essential to that ecology – and we reaffirm that today.”

Let's stay in touch Sign up for our newsletters SubscribeThe Fellowships are funded by The Kresge Foundation and administered by Kresge Arts in Detroit, a Kresge-funded office of the College for Creative Studies. The Fellowships, which are for artists of all career stages, will continue to be offered in conjunction with 10 Gilda Awards of $5,000 each for early-career artists who are gaining momentum, and who demonstrate exceptional potential through creative risk-taking and boundary-pushing in their chosen form.

The application opening in December is for Live Arts and Film & Music (details below). The number of awards in the two categories will be proportional to the number of applicants in each. Applicants who choose so will automatically be considered for Gilda Awards if they do not receive a Fellowship.

The award increase and expansion to 35 awards—25 Fellowships, 10 Gilda Awards—and over $1 million in awards come as The Kresge Foundation celebrates 15 years of the Kresge Arts in Detroit program.

“We’re excited every summer when Kresge Arts in Detroit makes public a new roster for Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Awardees. And we’ve been excited over the years to watch many of them continue on to any number of awards and honors, from novelist Michael Zadoorian having his work adapted for the big screen to Nandi Comer being named Michigan Poet Laureate to Thornetta Davis being named national Female Blues Artist of the Year,” said Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of Kresge’s Detroit Program. “But to name just three or even 30 of our artists is to understate the vitality of what’s going on across metro Detroit. It’s a high time of artistic energy and this is a time to expand our contribution as a statement to the community as a whole.”

Since 2008, the Kresge Arts in Detroit program has awarded $8 million to 345 metro Detroit artists. Originally set at 18 awards per year, the number was increased to 20 in 2021 to respond to the COVID pandemic and now to 25. The Gilda Award was added in 2015 and increased from five annual awards to 10, also during the pandemic. An independent panel also selects one Kresge Eminent Artist every year – essentially a lifetime achievement award.

While the number of Kresge Artist Fellowships has varied, the selection criteria have remained consistent The selection panels Kresge Arts in Detroit look for track records of artistic achievement and quality, potential for career growth and enhancement, and potential to reflect, enhance, or impact communities within metropolitan Detroit.

“Unrestricted awards to artists are an investment in the open exchange of ideas and perspectives—a critical component of navigating complexity and illuminating new possibilities,” said Christina deRoos, director of Kresge Arts in Detroit. “We appreciate The Kresge Foundation’s exceptional, sustained commitment to artists, whose contributions are central to the past, present, and future of Detroit.”

The program has also evolved to include more robust professional development offerings for artists such as legal and accounting support. Kresge Arts in Detroit also offers to produce a film for each of the fellows. A selection of the films was submitted to local, national, and international film festivals and has received a combined 53 screening invitations in the past year. Kresge Artist Fellow Rachel Reid’s film by Toko Shiiki received the Gold Award at the Atlanta Children’s Film Festival and was recently invited to the International Kids Film Festival in India. In 2021, films in the series by metro Detroit-based Reel Clever Films were awarded a Michigan Emmy.

Key dates and categories for 2024 Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards

  • Nov. 8, 2023: Application guidelines available
  • Dec. 1, 2023: Online application opens
  • Dec. 13, 2023: Info session + walkthrough (virtual)
  • Jan. 11, 2024: Application Q&A session (virtual)
  • Jan. 18, 2024 by 11:59 PM: Application deadline

The 2024 Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award recipients will be selected by an independent panel of distinguished local and national artists and arts professionals. Previous applicants are strongly encouraged to re-apply, as new panels — with fresh perspectives — are convened each year. Artists working in the following disciplines are invited to apply for the 2024 award:

LIVE ARTS: Choreography, Comedy, Dance, Performance Art, Playwriting, Storytelling, Theatre Directing, and Interdisciplinary Work

FILM & MUSIC: Animation, Film Directing, Music Composition, Music Performance, Screenwriting, Sound Art, and Interdisciplinary Work

“I say apply, apply, apply! Your art has tremendous value. You have the opportunity to document, communicate, and advocate for it through your application,” said Satori Shakoor, 2017 Kresge Artist Fellow, writer, storyteller, and social entrepreneur. “At the end of the day, Kresge Arts in Detroit can’t wait to support and acknowledge you for your contributions.”

Visit for the complete guidelines, FAQs, and additional resources. Please direct questions about application requirements to Kresge Arts in Detroit at [email protected] or by phone at (313) 744-3204.