What Could An Artist Do With $25,000? Kresge Arts in Detroit Wants To Know

The 2021 Kresge Artist Fellowships are now accepting applications for metro Detroit artists working in literary and visual arts. 20 selected fellows will receive $25,000 each with no strings attached.

Another year, another round of Kresge Artist Fellowships.

This year’s cycle of $25,000 awards are given to a total of 20 artists based in metro Detroit, with 10 selected in literary arts and 10 selected in visual arts. Administered by Kresge Arts in Detroit, the fellowship also includes one year of professional development support and the creation of a short film highlighting the artist’s work.

“It gave me the stability I needed.” — Rashaun Rucker, visual artist

Courtesy of Kresge Arts in Detroit
Courtesy of Kresge Arts in Detroit

“It’s over $6 million invested in metro Detroit artists since 2008,” says Katie McGowan, who is the managing director of Kresge Arts in Detroit, which is funded by the Kresge Foundation and operated through the College for Creative Studies (CCS). “It truly is no strings attached. Artists can put a new roof on their house, they can pay bills or they can invest the money entirely into their art practice. It is designed to inject funds and energy into the arts and culture scene in Detroit.”

Do you know a Kresge Artist Fellow? Learn more about the program with WDET:

The $25,000 awards are designed for artists at any stage in their career. The program also includes the smaller $5,000 Gilda Award for emerging artists, which is named in honor of artist, CCS professor and 2009 Kresge Artist Fellow Gilda Snowden, who passed away in 2014. Four to six applicants will be selected for a Gilda Award.

252 awards have been given over the past 13 years of the fellowship, says McGowan.

Junfu Han
Junfu Han

In 2019, visual artist Rashaun Rucker was selected for one of those fellowships.

“It gave me the stability I needed,” says Rucker. “You’re constantly in this thing where you’re in a hole or trying to break even. A program like being a Kresge Arts Fellow gives us the ability to do the work that we need to and the space. It really grants you the time to work at your practice.”

Applications for the 2021 Kresge Artist Fellowships are open through Thursday, January 14th. You can apply here.

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  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.