PRESS RELEASE: Metro Detroit Literary and Visual Artists Invited to Apply for $25,000 Fellowships and $5,000 Emerging Artist Awards

Guidelines, Resources and Support Now Available; Online Application opens December 1

Detroit, MI – November 1, 2016 – Metropolitan Detroit artists are invited to apply for a 2017 Kresge Artist Fellowship. Fellowships are funded by The Kresge Foundation and administered by Kresge Arts in Detroit at the College for Creative Studies.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016:  Application Guide Available
Thursday, December 1, 2016:  Online Application Opens
Thursday, January 19, 2017 by 11:59 p.m. EST:  Application Deadline

Now in its ninth year, the program will award 18 fellowships – nine in Literary Arts and nine in Visual Arts – to artists living and working in metropolitan Detroit (Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties).

Kresge Artist Fellowships are no-strings-attached $25,000 prizes given to both emerging and established artists whose commitment to artistic achievement, in contemporary or traditional forms, is evident in the quality of their work.  Fellowships also include a professional practice program, designed and delivered by Creative Many Michigan, which includes workshops, seminars, and networking events. Since 2009, the professional practice program has brought over 148 esteemed national and international arts professionals to Detroit to work with fellows and the wider creative community.

In addition, two Gilda Awards, $5,000 no-strings-attached prizes solely for emerging artists, will also be awarded – one in Literary Arts and one in Visual Arts. Gilda Awards recognize artists who are early in their careers, are gaining momentum, and who demonstrate exceptional potential through creative risk-taking and pushing the boundaries of their chosen art form. The awards were piloted in 2015 and are named in honor of Gilda Snowden (1954 – 2014), who was one of the 18 inaugural artists to receive a Kresge Artist Fellowship in 2009. Snowden served as Interim Chair and Professor of Fine Arts at the College for Creative Studies where she taught painting for more than 30 years.

“We began the fellows program with the goal of advancing the careers of artists living in Kresge’s hometown and to shine a light on the creativity that resides here,” says Kresge Detroit Program Senior Officer George Jacobsen. “Year after year we’re awe-struck by both the selected fellows’ depth of artistry and the evolving careers and achievements of past-years’ fellows.”

Artists working in the following disciplines are eligible to apply for a 2017 Kresge Artist Fellowship:

LITERARY ARTS                                 
Arts Criticism
Creative Non-Fiction
Graphic Novels
Spoken Word
Interdisciplinary Work

Book Art          New Media
Ceramics          Painting
Collage            Photography
Drawing           Performance Art
Fiber                 Printmaking
Glass                 Sculpture
Installation      Video Art
Metalwork        Interdisciplinary Work

“There are very limited opportunities for artists to receive direct financial support for their work, and unrestricted support is even more rare,” notes Director of Kresge Arts in Detroit, Christina deRoos. “Through Kresge Arts in Detroit, The Kresge Foundation places $510,000, no-strings-attached, into the hands of metro Detroit artists each year. This unprecedented support enables artists to take risks in their work and to invest in the long-term stability of their lives. These are critical components of a thriving individual artistic practice, and of vibrant, sustainable arts and culture communities.”

In each category, fellows and Gilda Award recipients are selected by independent panels of distinguished local and national artists and arts professionals. Previous applicants are strongly encouraged to re-apply. New panels are convened each year, bringing fresh perspectives to the review process.

“I was selected for a fellowship after six years of applying,” says Desiree Cooper, 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow in Literary Arts. “Looking back, I realize that repeatedly applying helped me clarify who I am as an artist. The fellowship coincided with the publication of my first collection of fiction, and allowed me to put resources into the business side of my art: marketing, touring, and promoting.” (Cooper’s Know the Mother was published in 2016 by Wayne State University Press.)

Artists are strongly encouraged to attend the applicant workshops, which are designed to help artists submit competitive applications to Kresge Arts in Detroit as well as other sources of support for their creative careers. Visit for full details and to RSVP.

Presenting Strong Work Samples

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 E Warren Avenue
Detroit, MI  48201

Intro to the Application
Monday, December 5, 2016
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Arab American National Museum
13624 Michigan Avenue
Dearborn, MI  48126

Writing Artist Statements and Resumes
Presented with Creative Many Michigan

Saturday, December 10, 2016
11:00 – 1:00 PM
The Jam Handy
2900 E Grand Blvd
Detroit, MI  48202

Application Questions and Answers
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Grace In Action / Young Nation
1725 Lawndale Street
Detroit, MI  48209

Fellowship applications are only available and submitted online. The online application opens on Thursday, December 1, 2016 and must be submitted before 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, January 19, 2017. Guidelines and additional resources are available now at

Since 2008, Kresge Arts in Detroit has awarded eight Kresge Eminent Artist Awards ($50,000 each), 144 Kresge Artist Fellowships ($25,000 each), and four Gilda Awards ($5,000 each) for a total of more than $4 million given directly to individual metro Detroit artists.

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Detroit. Kresge’s Detroit Program collaborates with civic, nonprofit and business partners to promote long-term, equitable opportunity in Kresge’s hometown. The strategy includes place-based efforts to revitalize neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for residents; efforts to strengthen arts and culture, early childhood development, community development and other citywide systems of support; and efforts to bolster civic capacity, the ability of Detroiters to join, influence and lead the city’s renewal. In 2015, Kresge’s Board of Trustees approved grants and social investment commitments totaling $145.5 million. For more information, visit

Located in the heart of Detroit, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) educates artists and designers to be leaders in the creative professions. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Students in the BFA program can major in Advertising: Copywriting, Advertising Design, Crafts, Entertainment Arts, Fashion Accessories Design, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design, and Transportation Design, in addition to a dual major Art Education program. Students in the MFA program can major in Color and Materials Design, Interaction Design, Integrated Design, and Transportation Design. The College also offers non-credit courses in the visual arts through its Continuing and Precollege Studies programs and opportunities for youth through its Community Arts Partnerships programs.

Kresge Arts in Detroit, which comprises the Kresge Eminent Artist Award, Kresge Artist Fellowships, and Gilda Awards, is generously funded by The Kresge Foundation and administered by the College for Creative Studies. Kresge Arts in Detroit represents one facet of The Kresge Foundation’s Detroit Program, a comprehensive community-development effort to strengthen the long-term economic, social and cultural fabric of the city and surrounding region. The goals of Kresge Arts in Detroit are to enrich the quality of life for metropolitan Detroiters by helping artists provide a broad spectrum of cultural experiences; celebrate and reflect the richness and diversity of our community in all its aspects; heighten the profile of arts and artists in our community; and strengthen the artistic careers of local artists.

In an effort to provide further support and services to the fellows, Creative Many Michigan, working in collaboration with The Kresge Foundation and Kresge Arts in Detroit, designs and delivers a series of professional practice and engagement opportunities for the artists awarded the Kresge Artist Fellowships. Creative Many Michigan is a statewide economic development organization whose mission is to develop creative people, creative places and the creative economy for a competitive Michigan. Creative Many Michigan advances the power of creativity through advocacy and public policy, research and reporting, professional practice programs, networking and dialogue for the greater good of the arts, culture and creative and design industries.

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