OVERVIEW: Kresge's funding is targeted on community redevelopment through the arts. It is highly focused on making sure arts become a key part of disenfranchised communities, and especially support efforts that increase opportunities and access to low income folks during revitalization.
IP TAKE: Kresge's arts grants are given only to organizations, not individuals, and are given only to support organizations doing community development work through some aspect of the arts. These organizations must be highly engaged, with a proven plan of attack, so be aware that you will be going up against a lot of heavy hitters when applying for Kresge support.
PROFILE: The Kresge Foundation does not have a grantmaking program dedicated specifically to creative writing, but grants from its Arts & Culture program have supported literary organizations in the past. As in most sizable foundations, Kresge's Arts and Culture program encompasses all forms of art, including art education. The foundation's Detroit program also supports arts organizations in Detroit through its Robust Arts and Culture Ecosystem initiative. One offshoot of this initiative is the Kresge Arts in Detroit program, which does support individual artists, including writers.
The central tenet of the Arts & Culture program is the idea of "creative placemaking," a "comprehensive community development approach that intentionally that intentionally embeds arts, culture, and community-engaged design into strategies to stabilize communities." The foundation's three focus areas in arts funding are National Networks (for national organizations committed to creative placemaking within their own programs), Place-Based Initiatives (for organizations promoting creative placemaking in underserved communities), and Local Systems (projects that integrate arts and culture into municipal systems). Big programs typically receive the big money, but awards are given to organizations of all sizes. Click here to access the grants database and see a complete list.
The Robust Arts and Culture Ecosystem initiative provides unrestricted operating support to arts organizations of all sizes in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties in southeastern Michigan.
Kresge accepts open applications throughout the year for grants in Place-Based Initiatives and Local Systems; grants in National Networks and Robust Arts and Culture Ecosystem are by invitation only. Click here to apply.
Kresge Arts in Detroit, a program administered through the College for Creative Studies, provides awards of $25,000 in a number of artistic fields, including Literary Arts. These awards "recognize creative vision and commitment to excellence within a wide range of artistic disciplines" and "are selected through an open, competitive process as judged by an independent fellowship panel." Applicants must be residents of Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties in Michigan. Further information about the application process is available here.
- Regina R. Smith, Managing Director, Arts & Culture
- Michelle Johnson, Program Officer, Arts & Culture
- Wendy Lewis Jackson, Co-Managing Director, Detroit
- Benjamin S. Kennedy, Co-Managing Director, Detroit
- Christina deRoos, Director, Kresge Arts in Detroit
- Ryan Myers-Johnson, Assistant Director, Kresge Arts in Detroit