The 2016 Fellowship Application Cycle is now closed. In 2017, Kresge Arts in Detroit will award nine fellowships in Literary Arts and nine fellowships in Visual Arts. The 2017 Application Guide will be available on November 1, 2016.

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Kresge Arts in Detroit provides significant financial support for Kresge Artist Fellowships annually, each consisting of a $25,000 award and professional practice opportunities for emerging and established metropolitan Detroit artists in Film & Music, Literary Arts, Live Arts, and Visual Arts.

Kresge Artist Fellowships are given to artists whose commitment to artistic achievement, in contemporary or traditional forms, is evident in the quality of their work. The fellowships recognize creative vision and commitment to excellence within a wide range of artistic disciplines, including artists who have been classically and academically trained, self-taught artists and artists whose art forms have been passed down through cultural and traditional heritage. Kresge Arts in Detroit is committed to supporting artists from diverse cultural backgrounds at all stages of their professional careers. The fellows are selected through an open, competitive process as judged by an independent fellowship panel.

The 2016 Gilda Awards, the second year of a two-year initiative honoring artist Gilda Snowden’s (1954-2014) legacy of championing and mentoring emerging artists, are $5,000 no-strings-attached prizes that recognize artists who are early in their artistic careers, are gaining momentum, and who demonstrate exceptional potential through creative risk-taking and pushing the boundaries of their chosen art form. The independent panels that select the 2016 Kresge Artist Fellows will select the Gilda Award recipients from the pool of fellowship applicants.


In 2016, nine fellowships and one Gilda Award will be awarded in Film & Music and nine fellowships and one Gilda Award will be awarded in Live Arts. In 2017, nine fellowships will be awarded in the Literary Arts and nine fellowships will be awarded in the Visual Arts. The disciplines reviewed in each arts category follow:

Film directing, screenwriting, animation, music composition, music performance, sound art and interdisciplinary work.

Performing arts including dance, choreography, theatre directing, playwriting, performance art and interdisciplinary work.


To apply artists must be:

  • Be current legal residents of the metro Detroit tri-county area (Macomb, Oakland or Wayne counties) in Michigan, and have resided in the area for the past two years and are expected to retain residence in one of the three counties during the fellowship period
  • At least 18 years old

Fellowship applications are NOT accepted from artists who:

  • Are working toward any degree program with the exception of ABD (all but dissertation) status Ph.D. candidates
  • Live OUTSIDE of Macomb, Oakland or Wayne counties of Michigan
  • Have received a Kresge Artist Fellowship within the last four years or a Kresge Eminent Artist Award
  • Are staff or immediate family members of the staff of Kresge Arts in Detroit and any of its affiliates, current panelists, and Advisory Council members

Please note: Applicants may submit one application per category (Film & Music, Live Arts); however, they may only receive funding in one category per two-year cycle.

Selection Criteria

Artists are selected for fellowships based on the following criteria:

  • A demonstrated track record of artistic achievement and high quality work. This is the main determinant in the selection of a fellow.
  • The potential to grow and advance in their artistic career during the fellowship period.
  • The potential to reflect, enhance or impact communities within metropolitan Detroit.