For 10 days in April, Midtown, Downtown and Eastern Market will come alive as the canvas for Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts Experience (AXD). Organizers announced today the programming and the nearly 40 Kresge Eminent Artists and Artist Fellows who will debut and share their works in the free, arts experience celebrating Detroit’s vibrant arts scene between April 9-26, 2015. Staged over three weekends (April 9-12, 16-19, 25-26) at nearly 20 venues throughout the city, the public is invited to experience an exciting collection of visual art installations, dance, musical and theatrical performances, film screenings, literary readings, and much more. AXD is presented by The Kresge Foundation and produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc. A complete list of artists and programming is available at

“Art X Detroit will present work from our Kresge Eminent Artists and Kresge Artist Fellows – some of the most creative minds in metro Detroit – in the city’s remarkable collection of galleries, museums and presentation spaces,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation. “We invite everyone to experience how art is uniquely able to bring us together as Detroiters.”

Since 2008, The Kresge Foundation has provided $3 million to honor more than 100 artists living and working in metro Detroit through its Kresge Eminent Artist and Artist Fellowship programs. The programs are administered by Kresge Arts in Detroit at the College for Creative Studies.

Returning for its third edition, the biennial AXD attracted over 15,000 visitors in 2013 as Detroit’s flourishing arts scene continues to generate excitement nationally and internationally.


This year’s event will feature the 2013 and 2014 Kresge Eminent Artists, Michigan Opera Theatre founder and acclaimed composer David DiChiera and iconic Detroit photographer and educator Bill Rauhauser, along with Kresge’s dance, music, film, theater, literary and visual artist fellows from 2013 and 2014.

Arts enthusiasts will experience new works and performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and Detroit Film Theatre (DFT), the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Music Box and other venues in Midtown’s Cultural Center. New venues for AXD include the Detroit Opera House, the Garden Theater, Cinema Detroit, Salt & Cedar and Trinosophes, to name a few.

The opening night of Art X Detroit is a free, open-to-the-public, multi-venue celebration on Thursday, April 9, 5:00 p.m. – 11 p.m. at MOCAD and the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art. The evening will open with a reading and lecture by cultural critic Lynne Tillman, and includes the opening of the ongoing

AXD Visual Arts Exhibition, film screenings and live performances by AXD artists at MOCAD, N’Namdi, DIA Detroit Film Theatre and Detroit Symphony Orchestra Music Box.

AXD captures the creativity and imagination of the Kresge Eminent Artists and Fellows whose works will be on display, including:

“An Afternoon with David DiChiera & His Works” by 2013 Kresge Eminent Artist David DiChiera. Composer, educator and operatic impresario, DiChiera is the founder, music and general director of the Michigan Opera Theatre. Acclaimed for his operaCyrano, DiChiera has presented operatic, dance and musical theatre productions in Detroit and throughout Michigan for over 40 years. AXD features a special presentation of select pieces from the works of DiChiera, with special guests, musicians and vocalists. The event will be presented with the entire audience seated on stage in An Afternoon with David DiChiera & His Works at the Detroit Opera House on Sunday, April 26, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

“Selected Photographs: Bill Rauhauser” by 2014 Kresge Eminent Artist Bill Rauhauser. As an iconic Detroit photographer and educator, Rauhauser spent years photographing the streets and houses of Detroit and eventually joined the photography department at the College for Creative Studies, where he would teach for 30 years. Selected Photographs: Bill Rauhauser presents a selected display of some of Rauhauser’s celebrated photography providing a glimpse into works spanning the 1950s through the 1980s. It will be on exhibit at MOCAD throughout AXD.

“Juan Atkins Celebrates 35 Years of Techno” by Juan Atkins. As a producer and musician, Atkins is widely credited as one of the originators of Detroit techno music. This night of music will celebrate Atkins’ 35th anniversary as an electronic musician and the 30th anniversary of his label, MetroPlex Records. Atkins will present his 24-year-old daughter Milan Ariel, an “urban alternative” vocalist who fuses electronic music with hip-hop and R&B. A live music performance with Atkins providing techno sounds along with live musicians will be followed by a dance party. The night will feature a screening of a new short documentary about Atkins and his long history with Detroit techno. Saturday, April 25, 10:00 p.m.- 4:00 a.m., Garden Theater.

“McKinfolk: The New Beginning” by Gayelynn McKinney. Grammy-nominated Gayelynn McKinney will bring together internationally-renowned jazz greats like 2009 Kresge Eminent Artist Marcus Belgrave, Geri Allen, and Miche Braden to celebrate and perform the music of McKinney’s father, the legendary jazz pianist, composer and teacher Harold McKinney. Sunday, April 26, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., First Congregational Church, Sanctuary.

“A Live Scored Conversation with Detroit Legend Ed Love” by dream hampton. In an ongoing effort to honor storytellers and history keepers, writer, award-winning filmmaker, director, organizer, and cultural producer dream hampton will film an onsite live conversation between journalist Kim Heron and legendary Detroit jazz musician Ed Love. This interview will be scored by 5-piece ensemble McKinney Zone, and musically directed by Gayelynn McKinney. Sunday, April 26, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Trinosophes.

“World Space Party” by Daniel Land. Detroit’s official entry into the World Space Party— also known as Yuri’s Night, for the April 12th, 1961 anniversary of the first man in space — celebrates the past, present, and future of humans working together to defy gravity. Daniel Land’s multimedia exploration of the human reach beyond the Earth is linked to hundreds of nearly simultaneous events spanning all seven continents in dozens of countries. This immersive, educational, all-ages party experience presents cutting-edge narrative visuals, interactive exhibits, themed cocktails, live weblink to events in other cities, and an experimental musical set featuring Audra Kubat. Saturday, April 11, 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m., Michigan Science Center Planetarium, Rocket Ship Area.

“On Becoming [Unfukwitable]” by Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe. Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe is a writer, editor, and performer who uses art to transform, heal and forge new ground. Sharpe’s one-women show, On Becoming [Unfukwitable], will examine her molestation through the lens of each family member involved. Set to an explosive, live jazz score that blends jazz, opera and Filipino folk music, Sharpe will serve as the actor leading the audience through an exploration of these characters to demonstrate the beauty of the healing journey, showing that one does not have to be a sexual assault survivor to feel the effects. The audience is invited to come dressed as they’d like to be seen five years in the future. Saturday, April 25, 7:00p–9:00p Garden Theater.

“Detroit Visionary Fiction Generator” by adrienne maree brown. As a science fiction writer, adrienne maree brown’s work evolves at the intersection of emergence and complex sciences, science fiction and social justice. Detroit Visionary Fiction Generator will feature prominent science fiction writers alongside writing from social justice organizers and thinkers from Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, the recently published anthology that brown co-edited with Walidah Imarisha. The official Detroit release party for Octavia’s Brood, featuring local DJs and a host of micro-performances, will follow. Saturday, April 18, 8:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. Garden Theater.

“From Here to There” by Kate Daughdrill. Kate Daughdrill’s ongoing installation provides an immersive space for quiet engagement with a holy water station, a station for letting go, plants, jars of food, herbal medicine, ceremonial objects, and a publication exploring the life and values of Burnside Farm, Daughdrill’s 8-lot urban farm on the east side of Detroit. The installation will be activated with a series of intimate activities, including a medicinal food and tea pairing, an aromatic encounter, an elixir making experience with students from the Boggs School, and a discussion about food sovereignty and urban farming in Detroit. Friday, April 17, 5:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m. MOCAD, Café, Side Parking Lot.

“The Flow of Water” by Carl Wilson. Decades spent as an inactive artist, autoworker, and repressed religious cult member are at the root of Carl Wilson’s creations. Traditionally a print artist, Wilson steps out of his comfort zone with the creation of a 2D animated short film, The Flow of Water. As a mixture of animation techniques including cut out, traditional, and digital, the film is intercut with live action and told in a surreal style with a non-linear narrative. Wilson’s work will be featured in an ongoing exhibit at MOCAD throughout AXD.

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2014, the Board of Trustees approved 408 awards totaling $242.5 million. That included a $100 million award to theFoundation for Detroit’s Future, a fund created to soften the impact of the city’s bankruptcy on pensioners and safeguard cultural assets at the Detroit Institute of Arts. A total $138.1 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, its Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $20.4 million in 2014. For more information, visit

Midtown Detroit, Inc (MDI) is a nonprofit planning and development agency charged with revitalization of Detroit’s Woodward Corridor. Representing over 100 area stakeholders, including Detroit’s anchor educational, medical and cultural institutions, MDI provides public space maintenance and security services; marketing support; technical assistance; infrastructure and real estate development; grant administration; and arts programming for the district. Over the last decade, MDI and its predecessor organization, the University Cultural Center Association, have raised $56 million for a variety of initiatives including the Midtown Greenway Loop, restoration and conversion of six historic homes into a boutique hotel, the Woodward Avenue Streetscape Enhancement project, the creation of the Sugar Hill Arts District, the construction of two community gardens and a Green Alley, the renovation of many commercial facades throughout the district, and a matching grants security enhancement program for property and business owners. MDI has also facilitated funding for over 50 residential developments resulting in over 1800 new units of housing and has assisted over 100 local businesses with technical assistance and financing. MDI also manages Live Midtown, a successful initiative to increase population density through incentives to eligible anchor institution employees. Over 1,000 participants have taken advantage of the Live Midtown program to date. Additional initiatives include a comprehensive communication and marketing campaign to increase awareness of Midtown’s numerous qualities, stimulate population growth, and attract new businesses to the area. MDI additionally promotes local cultural events including three signature events – Noel Night, DLECTRICITY, and Art X Detroit along with New Center Park summer entertainment. For more information, visit



Where can I see a copy of the most recent application guidelines?

Click here to see the guidelines for the 2021 Kresge Artist Fellowship application cycle.

What is a Kresge Artist Fellowship?

Kresge Artist Fellowships are $25,000 no-strings-attached awards for emerging and established artists. Fellowships are not project grants. Instead, awards may be used to cover any aspect of the artist’s life, such as living expenses, residency fees, art supplies, equipment, classes, travel expenses, etc. Kresge Artist Fellowships also include professional practice opportunities and a short film about the artist’s practice.

How do I apply for a Gilda Award?

In the online application for a Kresge Artist Fellowship you may check a box stating that you would like to be considered for a Gilda Snowden Emerging Artist Award.

How and when will I learn if I received a fellowship?

All applicants receive email notification in July after the final decisions are made. The names of all Kresge Artist Fellows and the panelists who selected them will be listed on the Kresge Arts in Detroit website.

What happens after I submit my application?

After the application deadline, Kresge Arts in Detroit staff reviews all applications to ensure they meet the application guidelines and eligibility criteria. Staff may request additional information from an applicant at any time during the process. Applications that appear to meet the eligibility criteria and application guidelines are forwarded for consideration by a selection panel.

Over several months, through multiple rounds, local and national panelists review those eligible applications and select the fellowship recipients. New panelists participate each year.

In the final stage of review, Kresge Arts in Detroit staff contact artists whose applications remain in consideration. Applicants are asked to confirm and document that they meet the eligibility criteria. At all stages, Kresge Arts in Detroit makes the determination, in its sole discretion, as to whether the eligibility criteria, including proof of past, current, and future residency, and application guidelines have been met.

Can I apply if I work in collaboration with another artist (or group of artists)?

Artists who collaborate, and who have an ongoing demonstrated history of collaborative work, are permitted to apply under a collaborative application. Applications should have one primary applicant and include the contact information for up to four additional collaborators.

Should a collaborative artist group receive a fellowship, the $25,000 award is split evenly among the collaborators. Should a collaborative artist group receive a Gilda Award, the $5,000 award is split evenly among the collaborators.

Each collaborative artist must meet all eligibility requirements listed in the selection criteria. Please see guidelines for further information.

Can I apply if I am taking classes towards a degree-granting program?

No. You may NOT apply if you are working toward or planning to work toward a degree during the course of the year-long fellowship. ABD (all but dissertation) status Ph.D. candidates are able to apply.

Who selects the fellows?

Each year, a new group of fellowship panelists reviews eligible applications and selects the Kresge Artist Fellows. Staff makes determinations that eligibility criteria and application guidelines are met, but otherwise does not contribute to the decision-making or selection of the Kresge Artist Fellows.

May I apply in more than one category?

Applicants may only apply in more than one category if they can demonstrate a significant commitment to each of the individual categories. If an applicant applies in more than one category, a completely separate application and set of support materials should be submitted for each application. Applicants that submit an application to more than one category may only receive a fellowship in one category.

If I have applied and not been selected in the past, is it worth applying again?

Yes! Oftentimes, selected artists have applied several times before receiving a fellowship. Every year a new set of panelists review applications, bringing fresh perspectives to the selection process. Previous applicants are strongly encouraged to re-apply.

What if I move out of the area after I apply?

Your application would be deemed ineligible.

Is my non-profit organization eligible to apply for a fellowship?

No. Kresge Artist Fellowships are only awarded to individual artists.


Will Kresge Arts in Detroit provide feedback on my application materials before I submit?

While we are available to help with general questions you may have about how to apply and craft a strong application, we are unable to provide feedback regarding the specific content of your in-progress application.

However, Kresge Arts in Detroit staff are available to review your work samples for compliance after you submit, as long as you submit at least one week in advance of the January 14, 2021 deadline.

Additionally, if you applied for a 2020 Kresge Artist Fellowship in Live Arts or Film & Music and are applying again in 2021 in the categories of Literary Arts or Visual Arts, you are invited to schedule a time this fall to discuss your previous application. Please email to schedule a phone call.

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