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34 artists named 2024 Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award winners, awarded $1 million


Largest fellowship cohort in history of program will receive $40,000 each

Thirty-four metro Detroit artists will share an unrestricted $1 million through the 2024 Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Snowden Emerging Artist Awards. The artists awarded the no strings attached prize were announced today by the Kresge Arts in Detroit program administered by the College for Creative Studies (CCS) on behalf of The Kresge Foundation.

“It has been uplifting to see the work of the metro Detroit artistic community take center stage – literally – in some of the city’s most celebratory moments over the last months: the opening of the Michigan Central Station, the NFL Draft, the Movement Music Festival, The Kresge Foundation Centennial, and others,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation. “These remarkable artists and arts collectives remind us that Detroit’s cultural creators have been fonts of vitality well before these monumental events, actively nurturing the dynamic Detroit we know today and the city that is coming into being. We are proud to support them.”

The 16th cohort of artists consists of 17 Kresge Artist Fellows in Film & Music and 7 Kresge Artist Fellows in Live Arts, in addition to 7 Gilda Award recipients in Film & Music and 3 in Live Arts. Awards in each category are proportional to the relative number of applications received.

2024 Film & Music Fellows

A grid of 17 head shots and the text: 2024 Kresge Artist Fellows Film & Music
Top row: Lara Sfire, Weam Namou, Beats Rhymes Everything Detroit, Maurice Draughn, Ursula Walker; INK; Row 2: Na Forest Lim, Juanita Anderson, Aisha Ellis, Gabriel Hall, Steffanie Christi’an, Tamara Finlay; Row 3: Ian Finkelstein, Razi Jafri, Katy Dresner, Damien Crutcher, HiTech.


2024 Live Arts Fellows

A photo grid of seven head shots and the text: 2024 Kresge Artist Fellows Live Arts
Top row: Ava Ansari, Jit Master Mike, The TETRA – Digital Underground Railroad, Sowandé Keïta; Bottom row: Imani Ma’at AnkhmenRa Amen Taylor, Flying Cardboard Theater, Chaula Thacker

The 2024 fellowship cohort of 34 awards includes four collaborations (Beats Rhymes Everything Detroit, HiTech, Flying Cardboard Theater, The TETRA), which brings the total number individuals in the 2024 cohort to 39. Prize money is shared between artists within a collaboration.

Historic Award Increases

Last fall, The Kresge Foundation and Kresge Arts in Detroit announced the 2024 fellowship award increase from $25,000 to $40,000 and an increase in number of fellowships. The award increase and expansion totals over $1 million in prize money.

“Our 15th program year was full of excitement and evolution, including the online exhibition, ‘Flash Your Lights,’ — curated by 2019 Kresge Artist Fellow Kristen Gallerneaux — that supported and spotlighted the work of the 2023 fellows and Gilda Award recipients,” said Christina deRoos, director of Kresge Arts in Detroit. “It is thrilling to kick off the next chapter of Kresge Arts in Detroit’s unrestricted investment in artists with an incredible cohort and increased investment from The Kresge Foundation.”

Since 2008, Kresge Arts in Detroit has awarded $9 million in unrestricted dollars directly to Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county artists through 16 Kresge Eminent Artist Awards, 302 Kresge Artist Fellowships, and 62 Gilda Awards ($5,000 each). In 2024, the Eminent Artist award, historically $50,000 each, also increased to $100,000.

“We respect the expertise of artists,” said deRoos. “That includes knowing how best to leverage the monetary portion of the awards, whether that be to create, rest, save, travel, care for their family, or something else. These investments are foundational to a thriving Detroit because vibrant arts and culture communities are vital to our neighborhoods.”

Elevating Artists’ Careers

In addition to the monetary prize, Kresge Arts in Detroit connects fellows and Gilda Award recipients to legal and accounting support, event and exhibition opportunities and more. Fellows also are invited to participate in a film series highlighting Detroit artists. The films featuring the 2023 Kresge Artist Fellows premiered on Detroit PBS and at the 2024 Freep Film Festival and are available online.

“In recognizing the exceptional talents of the 2024 class of Kresge Fellows and Gilda Award recipients, we celebrate not only their individual achievements but also the profound impact of creativity within our Detroit arts community,” said Don Tuski, CCS president. “At the College for Creative Studies, we are honored to support these artists as they continue to shape and enrich the cultural landscape of our city.”

The Gilda Snowden Emerging Artist Awards

Gilda Awards are $5,000 prizes for emerging artists, named in honor of Gilda Snowden’s legacy (1954–2014) as a mentor and champion of emerging artists in metro Detroit. The recipients are selected from the applicants for the Kresge Artist Fellowships. Gilda Awards recognize artists who are early in their artistic career, are gaining momentum, and who demonstrate exceptional potential through creative risk-taking and pushing the boundaries of their chosen art form.

Gilda Awards in Film & Music 

A grid photo of seven head shots and the text: 2024 Gilda Award Recipients Film & Music
Top row: Hannah E. Fahoome, Ms. Shirel, Skinny Trell, Na Bonsai; Bottom row: Drummer B, Maddie Shubeck, Stevie Soul Ansara

Gilda Awards in Live Arts

A photo grid of three head shots and the text: 2024 Gilda Award Recipients Live Arts
Top row: Galaxy, Miryam G. Johnson; Bottom row: Mack Thorsday

A Competitive Selection Process

The 2024 cohort is comprised of artists from various career stages and disciplines. The selection criteria for Kresge Artist Fellowships include a demonstrated track record of artistic achievement and high-quality work; the potential to grow and advance one’s artistic career; and the potential to reflect, enhance, or impact communities within metro Detroit.

The award recipients are selected by panels of local and national arts experts and practitioners. New panelists are assembled each award cycle. The application review process takes place over several months and numerous rounds of review.

“The cohort we selected is vibrant and a mix of people who deserve their flowers but also people we wanted to help uplift to their next level,” said 2024 panelist Kaina Castillo. “I appreciate that everyone we selected has a specific and intentional vision for what they want to accomplish and how.”

2024 panelists

  • Nick Austin, Musician; on-air host and producer, 101.9 WDET-FM–Detroit’s NPR station
  • Kaina Castillo, Songwriter; musician; curator
  • Kim Delfina Gleason, Diné (Navajo) director; actor; cellist; filmmaker; instructor (creative entrepreneurship; Native American theater & producing)
  • Madelyn Porter, Storyteller; actor; founder, Mad’s World Theatre Production; connectivity and engagement manager, Detroit Public Theatre; writer-in-residence, InsideOut Literary Arts; 2019 Kresge Artist Fellow
  • Leslie Raymond, Executive director, Ann Arbor Film Festival; board member, Film Festival Alliance
  • Candace Thompson-Zachery, Dancer; cultural producer; wellness professional; co-executive director, Dance/NYC

“It’s so hard to select from such amazing artists,” said panelist Madelyn Porter. “Everybody is a star.”