OVERVIEW: The Kresge Foundation supports arts and culture organizations working in low-income areas of major cities across the United States.
IP TAKE: Kresge supports organizations that make a visible impact, both nationally and within lower-income communities in Detroit. That means smaller groups should propose projects that will see demonstrable results.
PROFILE: Created in 1924 by K-Mart founder Sebastian Kresge, the Kresge Foundation “works to expand opportunities in America's cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, community development in Detroit.” It also funds programs in South Africa. Its Arts and Culture grants support organizations and programs that contribute to community revitalization.
These grants prioritize Creative Placemaking, “an approach to community development and urban planning that integrates arts, culture, and community-engaged design strategies,” and seek to “influence community development-related systems and practices that expand opportunities for low-income people in disinvested communities in American cities.”
Kresge disperses arts grants through three focus areas, National Networks, Local Systems, and Place-based Initiatives:
National Networks grants support national organizations that adhere to the Creative Placemaking initiative. These grants are by invitation only.
Local Systems support city-wide programs that integrate arts and culture programs with municipal governments and departments. The foundation accepts applications for these grants throughout the year through the Kresge Foundation Fluxx Portal.
Place-based Initiatives support established organizations and programs with a history of using Creative Placemaking to improve the conditions of low-income people in communities and neighborhoods. Kresge prioritizes funding for programs that infuse creative into community development initiatives, build on a community’s strengths, are “cross-disciplinary collaborations of multiple partners from different sectors and disciplines,” are centered in economically distressed communities. The foundation announces these grant opportunities in its newsletter.
Kresge can be an important funder in arts and culture, but openness to unsolicited inquiries varies. Grant seekers should review the foundation's open requests for proposals, which are listed on the Current Funding Opportunities page. They are also available through the foundation’s email list.
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