Skip to content

74 Detroit-area arts organizations share $12.2 million from Kresge, Erb, Hudson-Webber and DeRoy foundations


Seventy-four arts and cultural organizations in the Detroit metropolitan area will share $12.2 million for their operations over the next three years in a collaboration between The Kresge Foundation, Erb Family FoundationHudson-Webber Foundation and DeRoy Testamentary Foundation.

Rodin's The Thinker outside of the Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts in the cultural center is among the organizations receiving support over the next three years. Photo by Doug Coombe for The Kresge Foundation

The four foundations shared a single application and review process before making their independent decisions. This partnership streamlined the process for grant-seekers while improving the information-gathering and analysis for the foundations making the grants. Previously, only Kresge and Erb had collaborated on their applications.

Leaders from the four foundations underscored the importance of the funded organizations to the Detroit metropolitan community:

  • “The energy of arts and culture has helped sustain us through hard times and is integral to our revitalization today,” said Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of Kresge’s Detroit Program. “The organizations that we are funding nurture artists of tomorrow, connect us to their work today and hold our artistic legacy.”
  • “The DeRoy Testamentary Foundation is pleased to contribute to our community’s vitality by supporting arts and cultural organizations in metro Detroit. Fostering creativity and providing venues and programs in which our community can participate and enjoy is critical to our vibrancy,” said Julie Rodecker, president, DeRoy Testamentary Foundation
  • “We are proud to partner in this streamlined and efficient grants process. Arts and culture are the heartbeat of societies. Strengthening the community of arts organizations, together, through this program, is a privilege, and all people in the region will greatly benefit,” said Neil C. Hawkins, president, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.
  • “We are thrilled to provide core operating support to a diverse group of arts & culture organizations from across Detroit.” said Melanca Clark, president of the Hudson-Webber Foundation. “These organizations  reflect and contribute to the unique character and vitality of Detroit and Detroiters. We’re so pleased to participate in the Detroit Arts Support program which helps ensure the sustainability of the sector and its ability to thrive.”

The Detroit Arts Support grants provide unrestricted operating dollars to nonprofits in the performing, visual and literary arts, as well as to arts service, education, media and broadcasting, and cultural organizations. To be eligible, organizations needed 501(c)3 status, at least one employee, annual revenues of at least $100,000 and a record of presenting programs for at least two years.

Pewabic Pottery is one of Detroit Arts Support grantees.
Pewabic Pottery on Jefferson in Detroit is one of the arts organization receiving support over the next three years. Photo courtesy the Erb Family Foundation

Grants from the individual foundations range generally range from $100,000 to $5,000 per year based on size of organization and other factors.

Grant recipients included a wide range of organizations from the Detroit Symphony and the Detroit Zoological Society, to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, to the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association and the Scarab Club. (See full list below.)

Meanwhile, the organization CultureSource, in a companion foundation-funded initiative, is set next week to announce 41 grants of $3,000 each to support often smaller and younger organizations that do not meet the Detroit Arts Support applicant criteria.

Kresge launched the Detroit Arts Support initiative in 2007, and Erb began partnering with Kresge on the application and review process in 2010.

Including the grants announced today, Kresge and Erb have contributed and committed roughly $46 million – about $29 million from Kresge and about $17 million from Erb.

This year, the Hudson-Webber and DeRoy Testamentary foundations, both longtime supporters of local arts organizations, joined the single-application initiative.

Museum goers outside Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is among the grantees announced today. Photo by Bruce Giffin for The Kresge Foundation

In addition to expanding foundation partners, this year’s Detroit Arts Support process was revamped in several ways:

  • TDC nonprofit consulting group, as in the past, conducted a financial review of each applicant. This year, organizations received a copy of their financial review, and TDC reviewed findings with any interested organization.
  • Focus groups discussed each application with applicants invited as observers. The focus groups included experts in community development, K-12 education, and nonprofit administration.

Sharing this information with all Detroit Arts Support applicants is a significant benefit to organizations, said Jackson: “The transparency gives arts organizations solid feedback on their work and a better understanding on their financial strengths and weakness.”

The 74 organizations receiving funding through Detroit Arts Support are:

826michigan Macomb Community College Foundation for Macomb Center for the Performing Arts and Lorenzo Cultural Center
ACCESS – Arab American National Museum Marygrove College – Center for Detroit Culture at Marygrove
Akropolis Quintet, Inc. Matrix Theatre Company, Inc.
All The World’s A Stage Michigan Opera Theatre
Allied Media Projects Michigan Science Center
Art Center Michigan State University – Community Music School-Detroit
Arts and Scraps Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit
Arts League of Michigan, Inc. Motown Historical Museum, Inc.
Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Inc. Museum of African American History (Charles H. Wright) 
Chamber Music Society of Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
College for Creative Studies Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
Cranbrook Educational Community Pewabic Pottery
CultureSource Planet Ant Theatre, Inc.
Dearborn Symphony Orchestra Plowshares Theatre Company
Design Core at CCS Power House Productions
Detroit Artists Market Rackham Symphony Choir
Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings Signal-Return
Detroit Children’s Choir, Inc. Southwest Detroit Business Association, Inc. – COMPAS
Detroit Educational Television – DPTV Sphinx Organization, Inc.
Detroit Educational Television for WRCJ Stagecrafters
Detroit Historical Society Teen HYPE
Detroit International Jazz Festival Foundation The Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Public Library The Heidelberg Project
Detroit Public Theatre The Henry Ford
Detroit Repertory Theatre The Scarab Club
Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall, Inc. Theatre Ensemble – Meadow Brook Theater
Detroit Zoological Society Troy Historical Society
Downriver Council for the Arts University of Michigan – Dearborn – Art Collections & Exhibitions Dept.
Eisenhower Dance Ensemble Village Fine Arts Association
Far Conservatory of Therapeutic and Performing Arts Wayne State University – Dept. of Art & Art History
Garage Cultural Wayne State University – Dept. of Theatre & Dance
Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival Operating Corporation Wayne State University – Freer House
Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association Wayne State University – Wayne State Press
Heritage Works Wayne State University – WDET Radio
Holocaust Memorial Center YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit – Y Arts
InsideOut Literary Arts Project Young Nation
Jewish Ensemble Theatre
Living Arts