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66 metro Detroit arts and cultural organizations receive Kresge grants


Sixty-six arts and cultural organizations in the Detroit metropolitan area will share $5.1 million for their operations from The Kresge Foundation Detroit Program over the next three years.

The new grants bring unrestricted operating support through Kresge’s Detroit Arts Support initiative to more than $24 million since its inception in 2007. Detroit Arts Support goes to organizations of all sizes in the performing, visual and literary arts, as well as to institutions engaged in arts service, arts education and arts broadcasting.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, InsideOut Literary Arts Project, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, and Arts and Scraps are just a few of the groups receiving support this year through the competitive application process.

“These groups enrich the quality of life for residents of all ages across the region and raise the profile of Detroit, locally and nationally,” says George Jacobsen, senior program officer of Kresge’s Detroit Program. “This support will help these organizations fulfill their roles in inspiring, engaging and revitalizing southeast Michigan communities.”

The Kresge Foundation works to expand opportunity in America’s cities. Its Detroit Program collaborates with civic, nonprofit and business partners to promote long-term, equitable opportunity in Kresge’s hometown. Kresge believes that arts and culture is integral to this, enriching quality of life, community connections and economic vitality.

More than half of the organizations supported are based in the city of Detroit, with the others located throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. A little more than half of the funding will support the activities of small- to medium-size organizations, with the balance going to larger institutions such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Henry Ford, and The Sphinx Organization.

“This round of funding paid particular attention to how organizations increased opportunities for cultural and artistic participation and creative expression for low-income individuals and people of color,” says Jacobsen.

Fourth grade students examine new book that contains writing from their class.
Rare Air/Raro air, ​a bilingual collection of poetry, was written by fourth-grade students at Roberto Clemente Learning Academy in Detroit. This was Kresge Detroit Arts Support grantee 826michigan’s first Young Authors Book Project created in Detroit. (Photo by Laura Jude, courtesy 826michigan)

He notes that five organizations – three of them Detroit-based ­­– received funds through the program for the first time this year:  826michigan, Allied Media Projects, Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association and Young Nation.

Grants to individual organizations range from $5,000 to $75,000 per year, and most grants are for three years. This round of operating support changes the grant duration from two years to three years in response to feedback from organizations that a longer grant duration supports stability and planning.

Since 2010, Kresge has worked closely with the Erb Family Foundation on a shared application and review process for these general operating support grants, although the foundations make funding decisions independently. Erb today announced 43 three-year grants – 41 of them in the city of Detroit – for a total of $4 million.

In addition to the grants for arts and cultural organizations, Kresge’s Detroit Program also supports individual artists through artist fellowships, emerging artist awards, and an annual Eminent Artist award. Since 2008 more than 160 artists have received more than $4 million through these Kresge Arts in Detroit fellowships and awards.

Kresge’s Detroit Program also supports additional initiatives that foster community development and engagement through arts and cultural activities, including projects through its Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit initiative.

Kresge’s 2016 arts support recipients are: