Introducing the 2015 People’s Choice Award in Detroit!

One of the beauties of living and working in Detroit is the opportunity to discover the new arts and cultural projects emerging from all corners of the city.  Knight Foundation is in its third year of the Knight Arts Challenge and we have reviewed more than 3,000 submissions.  And, yet, it’s unusual for me to go a month in Detroit without learning about a new arts project or arts organization.  Because we are a community that engages and connects, they are not just art projects. They are projects that impact community and represent Detroit’s diversity and talent. 

At Knight Foundation, we strive to find innovative projects that engage and enrich Detroiters through the arts.  We recently announced 70 finalists for the 2015 Knight Arts Challenge.  While the finalists are reviewed and winners are selected, we want to shine the spotlight on four small and emerging arts organizations – a youth violin program, a literary program for incarcerated men, a program connecting Detroiters to their West African heritage, and a youth-led community print space.

These four nominees for the 2015 Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award are now eligible for a $20,000 award.  Knight Foundation holds the People’s Choice Award to give you – Detroiters and Detroit arts enthusiasts – the opportunity to engage in and support the growth of the arts in Detroit.   All you have to do is text for your favorite! 

Starting today, the public can text to vote using the codes below.  The Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice nominees are:

Detroit Youth Volume: To record an album featuring eastside violin students performing classical pieces with local hip-hop artists’ beats. Text ART1 To 22333. 

Hamtramck Free School: To publish a series of poetry, critical writing, visual art chapbooks produced by incarcerated men who meet for a weekly writing workshop in a prison outside of Detroit. Text ART2 to 22333.

Heritage Works: To take a group of kids to West Africa, to learn firsthand about traditions of storytelling and dance that Heritage Works teaches in Detroit. Text ART3 to 22333.

Stitching Up Detroit/Grace in Action:  To launch a youth-led community print space in Southwest Detroit, creating neighborhood access to screen printing while allowing youth to develop creative design, leadership and job skills. Text ART4 to 22333.

For the next four weeks, until 11:59 p.m. Sept. 14, , these four finalists will use every tool they have to get the public to vote for them by text.  You can view videos about these four nominees at Once you view the videos, I know you will be inspired as I am by the heart and passion Detroiters are displaying as they celebrate the arts and contribute to our community. Imagine what they’ll be able to do with $20,000!

Each People’s Choice nominee is a finalist in the 2015 Knight Arts Challenge and is still eligible for a challenge grant from Knight Foundation. Winners of both the challenge and the People’s Choice Award will be announced at a Nov. 9 event. The People’s Choice winner can use the $20,000 award for the artistic project of their choice.

We want to hear from you.. Please join us in celebrating the spirit of Detroit by picking your favorite!