Kresge Arts in Detroit will hand out 18 fellowships each worth $25,000 to artists in metro Detroit. Ferndale’s David Binder, a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, received one in 2018.

Kresge Arts in Detroit will hand out 18 fellowships each worth $25,000 to artists in metro Detroit. Ferndale’s David Binder, a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, received one in 2018.

Provided photo by Chris Lee

Kresge Arts accepting applications for $25,000 artist fellowships

By: Mike Koury | C&G Newspapers | Published December 17, 2019

METRO DETROIT — Kresge Arts in Detroit is putting the call out to artists to apply for its 2020 fellowship program.

The Kresge Artist Fellowship has begun accepting applications for next year’s program, and it will continue to do so until its Jan. 16 deadline. For the 12th year, 18 fellowships — each worth $25,000 with no strings attached — will be given to nine artists in the live arts and nine in film and music who live and work in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties. The fellowships are funded by the Kresge Foundation.

Live arts can cover anything from dance, theater and performance art, Kresge Arts in Detroit Director Christina deRoos said, and film and music includes film directors and musicians who are either composers or performers. She also noted that each category includes interdisciplinary work.

“If somebody is, for instance, a dancer who also does multimedia work that’s involved in performance environments or those kinds of things, they absolutely can show more than their dance work. You can show work samples beyond that,” deRoos said.

The fellowships aren’t limited to individuals, as people are allowed to apply in groups. This happens frequently with their film and music category, deRoos said, since musicians are often members of bands.

“If individuals have a history of collaborating together, then you can apply as a group, and in that case, then if one receives a fellowship, the $25,000 is split among each of the individuals who are a part of that collaborating group,” she said.

Ferndale resident David Binder was one of the fellowship recipients in 2018.

A classical trombonist in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Binder said it was “surprising” to him that he was chosen to receive the fellowship, specifically because of the type of music that he played.

“While I was writing the application, I was looking at a lot of the previous recipients,” he said. “I was very different from everyone else — just being sort of classical music … is not as popular as some other music. So I wasn’t quite expecting it, but on the other hand, maybe that helps, because I was a little different than anyone else.”

Binder stated the “no strings attached” grant money was very helpful, but aside from that, the other helpful part of the fellowship was that throughout the year, there were many workshops offered to the fellows to help them in their careers.

The professional development workshops included classes on how to get copyrights or write contracts. Binder remembered attending one that featured a speaker who had information regarding other grants and programs.

Even if one applied for a fellowship in the past and didn’t receive it, deRoos encourages artists to reapply, as there are new panelists every year to look over submissions.

“There are also opportunities that come even if one doesn’t receive a fellowship,” she said. “Five individuals who are artists themselves and art professionals, locally and nationally, see your work, and they reach out to you about other opportunities that they have.”

For more information on the Kresge Artist Fellowship, visit There also is a workshop for potential applicants to ask questions from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at Ant Hall, 2320 Caniff St. in Hamtramck.