Thank you to all metro Detroit artists who applied for a 2020 Kresge Artist Fellowship!


This category focuses on live performing arts including Dance, Choreography, Theatre Directing, Playwriting, Performance Art, and Interdisciplinary Work.

This category focuses on Film Directing, Screenwriting, Animation, Music Composition, Music Performance, Sound Art, and Interdisciplinary Work.


November 1, 2019 
Guidelines available

December 2, 2019
Online application opens

January 16, 2020 
Application deadline
by 11:59PM EST

June 2020
Selected artists

Kresge Artist Fellowships are $25,000 awards plus professional development support, and the creation of a short, documentary-style 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 2020 Kresge Arts in Detroit will award 18 Fellowships + 2 Gilda Awards 
• Live Arts: 9 Kresge Artist Fellowships and 1 Gilda Award
• Film & Music: 9 Kresge Artist Fellowships and 1 Gilda Award

Note: Kresge Arts in Detroit anticipates Fellowship applications including Literary Arts and Visual Arts will be available in 2021.

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 16, 2018–January 16, 2020), and
  • intend to remain a resident of the tri-county area throughout the year-long fellowship period (July 2020–July 2021)

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 2020 – July 2021), with the exception of ABD (all but dissertation) status Ph.D. candidates
  • Individuals who received a Kresge Artist Fellowship within the last four years (2016-2019)
  • 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 Live Arts and one for Film & Music. Each panel consists of five individuals (a mix of national panelists and local panelists). Panelists remain anonymous until the selected artists are announced in June 2020.

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