Arts grants distributed by Anton Art Center

By: Kristyne E. Demske | Metro | Published January 26, 2022


METRO DETROIT — Nearly a dozen organizations are receiving funding for arts programs after being awarded grants through the Anton Art Center, the Region 10A Regranting Agency for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA).

MCACA has a regional regranting program that, locally, is administered by the Anton Art Center for Macomb and Oakland counties, allowing for money from the council to reach nearly every county in the state.

“There’s actually four different grant programs that are part of this,” said Phil Gilchrist, executive director of the Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens.

They include arts project funding, funding for professional or organizational development, and two different programs for schools: one to pay for supplies for classrooms for the arts and one to pay for transportation to arts-based field trips.

Applications for the mini grants, as they’re known colloquially, are reviewed by a panel of professionals connected to the arts in some way. Each application is scored based upon criteria provided by the state, with higher scores receiving the entire amount of funding applied for and those with lower scores receiving a reduced amount or no funding.

The program is divided into two rounds of applications. The first round of applications were due in the summer, while the second round of applications was due in mid-January.

Gilchrist said the center received $53,000 from the state to be divided as follows: $36,000 for arts project grants; $7,000 for professional development; and $10,000 for the school programs, which are awarded on a first-come, first-served rolling basis.

The first-round award winners for arts projects and professional development were:
• Lamphere Public Schools, of Madison Heights, awarded $3,000 for construction of an eco-sculpture;
• Macomb Cultural and Economic Partnership, of Mount Clemens, awarded $2,000 for a public sculpture;
• Cinema Lamont, of Oak Park, awarded $4,000 to host a film festival;
• Ferndale Community Concert Band, of Ferndale, awarded $1,000 for a concert series;
• Choral Artists of Michigan, of Lake Orion, awarded $4,000 for collaborative choral performances;
• Collective Sweat, of Detroit, awarded $3,000 to expand dance classes offered to the community;
• New Music Detroit, of Birmingham, awarded $2,000 to bring new and experimental music to the community;
• Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival Operating Corporation, of Southfield, awarded $1,500 for capital development training;
• School District of the City of Pontiac, awarded $2,000 for musical programming for elementary students;
• Girls Rock Detroit, of Pontiac, awarded $1,500 to train and develop their board; and
• Patricia Von Niessen, of Holly, awarded $1,015 for professional development in advanced art glass techniques.

The center awarded $25,015 in its first round of grants with the remainder to be given in the second round.

“It’s the panel that makes those decisions, not the Art Center,” he explained. “As always, this granting program has helped us to be able to support a wide variety of types of programs throughout Macomb and Oakland counties.”

More than 16 mini grant applications, totaling more than $46,500, were received in the first round of granting. For more information, visit

Schools have until April 15 to apply for art supplies and equipment or busing support for arts and culture field trips. For more information, visit

“It’s a great opportunity for people to get the support that they need to complete an application,” Gilchrist said. “We’re prepared to be able to provide a level of support that people should find helpful in completing their applications.”