The 2015 Kresge Artist Fellowship Application cycle is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted a fellowship application in the Literary and Visual Arts! The 2015 Kresge Artist Fellows will be announced in June. 

Applications for a 2016 Fellowship cycle in Dance/Music and Film/Theatre will be available in the fall of 2015. Please join our mailing list for program updates, including notification when the next application cycle begins.


Fellowship Guidelines

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 the dance/music, film/theatre, literary arts and visual arts.

The 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.

Selection Criteria

The Kresge Artist Fellowships of $25,000 each are unrestricted and given annually to artists who have:

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

Artists who collaborate with other artists, and who have an on-going demonstrated history of collaborative work, ARE permitted to apply under one collaborative application.


The Kresge Artist Fellowships are given each year to artists in the dance/music, film/theatre, literary and visual arts. The disciplines reviewed in each arts category follow:

2015 - In 2015, nine fellowships will be awarded in the literary arts and nine fellowships will be awarded in the visual arts.

Arts criticism in all categories (including dance/music, film/theatre, literary and visual arts), creative non-fiction, fiction, poetry, spoken word and interdisciplinary work (including experimental work, graphic novels, zines and other hybrid forms).

Art and technology, book arts, ceramics, collage, drawing, fiber, glass, installation, metalwork, painting, photography, performance art, printmaking, sculpture, video art and interdisciplinary work (including experimental work and other hybrid forms).

2016 – In 2016, nine fellowships will be awarded in dance/music, and nine fellowships will be awarded in film/theatre.

Choreography, dance, music (composers and performers in all genres – blues, classical, country, electronic, folk, gospel, hip-hop, jazz, opera, rap, rock, etc.), sound art and interdisciplinary work.

Directing (film and theatre), playwriting and screenwriting. All genres of film and theatre will be accepted.


Fellowship applications are accepted by artists who:

  • Are current legal residents of the metropolitan Detroit tri-county area (Macomb, Oakland or Wayne counties) in Michigan, 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
  • Work in one or more of the disciplines reviewed each year
  • Are at least 18 years old

Who Cannot Apply?

Fellowship applications are NOT accepted from artists who:

      • Are working toward any degree program, arts or non-arts related, at the time of application or planning to work toward a degree during the course of the fellowship, with the exception of ABD (all but dissertation) status Ph.D. candidates
      • Are residents of Michigan, outside of Macomb, Oakland or Wayne counties
      • Have received a Kresge Artist Fellowship within the last four years
      • Have received a Kresge Eminent Artist Award
      • Are current panelists and their immediate family members
      • Are current members of the Advisory Council and their immediate family members
      • Are staff or immediate family members of the staff of The Kresge Foundation, ArtServe Michigan, Midtown Detroit, Inc. and the Kresge Arts in Detroit office at the College for Creative Studies (Faculty and staff of the College for Creative Studies NOT associated with the Kresge Arts in Detroit office ARE eligible to apply)

Please note: Applicants may submit one application per category (dance/music, film/theatre, literary arts, visual arts); however, they may only receive funding in one category per two-year cycle.

Selection Process

The Kresge Artist Fellowship applications are reviewed by independent fellowship panels. Panelists are experienced and well-respected national, regional and local artists and arts professionals and are selected according to the categories of arts disciplines being reviewed. The Kresge Arts in Detroit Advisory Council nominates panelists with knowledge of the art forms, a balance of artistic perspectives and an understanding of the local artistic environment. Panelists represent the diversity of artistic styles within the disciplines, as well as diversity of age, ethnicity, gender and geography.

The Kresge Artist Fellowship panelists remain anonymous during the selection process. The names of the Kresge Artist Fellowship panelists are revealed once the Kresge Artist Fellowships are announced.

Terms of the Fellowship

The fellowship period is 12 months and begins each year in June.

Use of Fellowship Funds

The purpose of the fellowship is to enable the artist to devote time and resources to whatever is necessary to deepen his or her art form, to experiment and to advance his or her artistic career. Fellowship funding may cover any aspect of the artist’s life, such as, but not limited to, informal study, exploration of new artistic directions, overhead costs, travel as it directly relates to the artistic career, living and other expenses.

Professional Practice

In an effort to provide further support and services to the fellows, Creative Many Michigan, working in collaboration with The Kresge Foundation and the Kresge Arts in Detroit office, designs and delivers a series of professional practice and engagement opportunities for fellows. Fellows may participate in a range of artistic and professional practice activities created to specifically respond to and support their needs and expectations. Professional practice activities focus on providing artists at any stage of their career with the skills, resources, knowledge and connections they need to continue to establish and fulfill their artistic and professional ambitions.

Progress Reports

Fellows must provide a mid-term and final progress report to the Kresge Arts in Detroit office during the fellowship period.


Art X Detroit is a biennial presentation of works created and performed by the awarded Kresge Fellows and Kresge Eminent Artists. The Kresge Foundation, in partnership with Midtown Detroit, Inc., will present the next Art X Detroit event in April 2015. It will feature awarded artists selected in 2013 and 2014.

Please note:The guidelines for the Kresge Artist Fellowships are subject to change.