Kresge Arts in Detroit provides significant financial support of $50,000 for one Kresge Eminent Artist Award annually to an exceptional artist who has made a longstanding contribution to metropolitan Detroit in the dance/music, film/theatre, literary arts and visual arts.

The Kresge Eminent Artist Award is given to an artist whose influential work, impact on their art form and proven commitment to the Detroit cultural community are evident. This award recognizes artistic innovation and rewards integrity and depth of vision as judged by the Kresge Arts in Detroit Advisory Council, that selects a Kresge Eminent Artist each year.

Selection Criteria

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

Selection Process

Each year, the Kresge Arts in Detroit Advisory Council reviews the Kresge Eminent Artist Award nominations and, utilizing the guidelines and selection criteria, selects the Kresge Eminent Artist. The Advisory Council, a volunteer group of leaders in the metropolitan Detroit cultural community, is made up of local artists and arts professionals residing in the metropolitan Detroit tri-county area (Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties). Advisory Council members are experienced and well-respected for their knowledge of and involvement in the local cultural community, and represent the diversity of artistic disciplines, as well as diversity of age, ethnicity, gender and professional background.

Artist Nominations

Kresge Arts in Detroit constituents, including past Advisory Council members, past Kresge Eminent Artist panelists, and past Kresge Eminent Artists, nominate artists for the Kresge Eminent Artist Award each year. An artist may NOT self-nominate, and community members may NOT nominate artists. Advisory Council members and their immediate family members may not be nominated for the award.

Once an artist has received the Kresge Eminent Artist Award, they are NOT eligible to receive another Kresge Eminent Artist Award or to apply for a Kresge Artist Fellowship. However, if an artist has received the Kresge Artist Fellowship, they ARE eligible to be nominated for the Kresge Eminent Artist Award.


Art X Detroit is a biennial presentation of works created and performed by the awarded Kresge Artist Fellows and Kresge Eminent Artists. The Kresge Foundation, in partnership with Midtown Detroit, Inc., presented Art X Detroit 2013 on April 10-14, 2013, which featured the work of the 2011 and 2012 awarded artists. More information to come on Art X Detroit 2015. Please visit for more information.

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