Kresge Eminent Artist Awards, $50,000 unrestricted prizes awarded to one artist annually, recognize a distinguished record of high quality work and professional achievement in the arts, and a lifetime of contributions to their art forms and to the cultural community of metro Detroit.

The Kresge Eminent Artist Award of $50,000 is unrestricted and given annually to one artist who:

  • Lives and works in the metropolitan Detroit tri-county area (Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb counties) and has resided in the area for a significant number of years
  • Has a distinguished record of high quality work and professional achievement in the arts
  • Has made a significant impact on their chosen art form
  • Shares their talent and expertise with the broader arts community and community at large
  • Has contributed generously to the growth and vibrancy of Detroit’s cultural environment

Past Advisory Council members, past Kresge Eminent Artist panelists, and past Kresge Eminent Artists nominate artists for the Kresge Eminent Artist Award annually.

Each year, a group of local artists and arts professionals are convened by Kresge Arts in Detroit to review the Kresge Eminent Artist Award nominations and, utilizing the guidelines and selection criteria, select the Kresge Eminent Artist.

Kresge Eminent Artist panelists are experienced and well-respected for their knowledge of and involvement in the local cultural community, and represent a diversity of artistic disciplines, as well as diversity of age, ethnicity, gender, and professional background.

From 2013-2018, the Advisory Council, a volunteer group of leaders in the metro Detroit cultural community, selected the Kresge Eminent Artist.

Current Kresge Eminent Artist panelists, Kresge Arts in Detroit staff, The Kresge Foundation staff, and immediate family members of any of these individuals are not eligible to receive a Kresge Eminent Artist Award.