The 2021 Kresge Artist Fellowship application is closed.

Thank you to all metro Detroit artists who applied! 2021 Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award recipients will be announced in July.


November 2, 2020 
Guidelines available

December 1, 2020
Online application opens

January 14, 2021
Application deadline
by 11:59PM EST

July 2021
Selected artists


Arts Criticism, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction,
Graphic Novels, Playwriting, Poetry, Spoken Word, Zines, Interdisciplinary Work

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

Kresge Artist Fellowships are $25,000 awards, plus professional development support and the creation of a short film highlighting the artist’s work. Artists of all career stages are invited to apply. Fellowships recognize creative vision and commitment to excellence within a wide range of artistic disciplines, including artists who have been academically trained, self-taught artists, and artists whose art forms have been passed down through cultural heritage. Meet our Artist Fellows.

Gilda Awards are $5,000 prizes for emerging artists, named in honor of artist, CCS professor, and 2009 Kresge Artist Fellow Gilda Snowden (1954–2014). Meet our Gilda Award recipients.

Fellowships and Gilda Awards are no strings attached awards, meaning artists may spend the money on any aspect of their creative practice or life (i.e. making new work, renting or purchasing studio space, travel, general living expenses, paying off debt, etc.).

In 2021 Kresge Arts in Detroit will award 20 Fellowships + 10 Gilda Awards 
• Literary Arts: 10 Kresge Artist Fellowships and 4-6* Gilda Awards
• Visual Arts: 10 Kresge Artist Fellowships and 4-6* Gilda Awards

*Contingent upon number of applications received in each category

Note: Kresge Arts in Detroit anticipates Fellowship applications including Live Arts and Film & Music will be available in 2022.

To apply you must:

  • be 18 years or older, and
  • be a current legal resident of Macomb, Oakland, or Wayne county, and
  • have resided in Macomb, Oakland, or Wayne county for at least the two years prior to the application deadline (January 14, 2019–January 14, 2021), and
  • intend to remain a resident of the tri-county area throughout the year-long fellowship period (July 2021–July 2022)

Who may not apply?:

  • Students working toward any degree at the time of application, or individuals planning to begin a degree-granting program during the fellowship year (July 2021 – July 2022), with the exception of ABD (all but dissertation) status Ph.D. candidates
  • Individuals who received a Kresge Artist Fellowship within the last four years (2017-2020)
  • Kresge Eminent Artist Award recipients
  • Current Kresge Artist Fellowship panelists, staff members of Kresge Arts in Detroit and The Kresge Foundation, or immediate family members of any of these individuals

Kresge Artist Fellowships recognize artists who have:

  • A demonstrated track record of artistic achievement and high quality work (this is the main determinant in the selection of a fellow), and
  • The potential to grow and advance in their artistic career, and
  • The potential to reflect, enhance, or impact communities within metropolitan Detroit.
 Gilda Awards recognize artists who are:
  • Early in their careers, and
  • Are gaining momentum, and
  • Who demonstrate exceptional potential through creative risk-taking and pushing the boundaries of their chosen art form.

Applications are reviewed by two independent panels, one for Literary Arts and one for Visual Arts. Each panel consists of a mix of national panelists and local panelists. Panelists remain anonymous until the selected artists are announced in July 2021.

New panels of national and local artists and arts professionals are convened each year. Previous applicants are strongly encouraged to re-apply.