Some artists leap at the promise of creative validation.
Some apply purely for the prize — a $25,000 unrestricted fellowship.

Currently in its 12th year, the Kresge Artist Fellowship has become a coveted, and nationally hailed, mark of accomplishment for artists working and living in metro Detroit, specifically Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. In 2020, Kresge Arts in Detroit will award 18 no strings attached fellowships to emerging and established artists – nine in Live Arts and nine in Film & Music. The online application is open as of today, and available only until January 16, 2020. Artists are strongly encouraged to review the guidelines, and to apply early.

 “Words can’t describe my gratitude,’’ says 2018 Live Arts Fellow Ronald Ford Jr., who credits the fellowship with helping him preserve rare Detroit urban dance styles. “I’m doing something that you won’t see anywhere else on earth, including Detroit, because there haven’t been many people who could Funkateer, say, after the ‘80s. And I’m still here doing it.’’

The 2020 fellowships continue a legacy, started in 2008 by The Kresge Foundation, which has resulted in more than $5.5 million landing in the hands of individual artists via 198 Kresge Artist Fellowships, 12 Gilda Awards ($5,000 each), and 11 Kresge Eminent Artists Awards ($50,000 each). The Kresge Arts in Detroit program continues to be generously funded by The Kresge Foundation and administered by the College for Creative Studies.

“The Kresge Foundation’s consistent investment in Detroit’s creative community is a testament to the remarkable depth of talent that we have here,’’ says Christina deRoos, Kresge Arts in Detroit director since 2016. “We are a world-renowned arts city.’’

Each year’s Kresge Artist Fellowship cohort is selected by a new, independent panel of accomplished local and national artists and arts professionals. Panelists review applications with an eye toward ensuring recipients reflect a diversity of career stages, disciplines, and rich cultural heritages that makeup metro Detroit.  

While the fellowship application process is rigorous by design, deRoos says “the overall pool of applicants illustrates the ongoing necessity of investing in Detroit’s creative community. We’re continually blown away by the range of creativity that we see in the applications each year; the many ways artists are creating work that’s personally meaningful, and that also enhances the way we live, work, and experience life in the city. Kresge Arts in Detroit is grateful to every artist who engages in the process.’’  

The 2020 Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award recipients will be announced in June.

Recent Posts