Meet the 2021 Knight Arts Challenge Winners – Detroit – Knight Foundation

Meet the 2021 Knight Arts Challenge Winners – Detroit

Launched in June, the 2021 Knight Arts Challenge sought the best ideas for the arts from individual artists and arts organizations in Akron, Detroit and Miami. Knight Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the Challenge in Detroit — 14 artists and arts organizations that will share more than $1 million to bring their innovative ideas to life to reach audiences where they are.


City of Asylum/Detroit

City of Asylum/Detroit Artist-in-Exile Fellowship
A safe haven fellowship for artists and writers who are in exile under threat of persecution in their home countries that allows them to connect with Detroit artists.
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Water of the Dead
A multi-media sound installation housed within a shipping container that traces Black identity through a spectrum of auditory and visual cues centered around water
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Oloman Cafe and Gallery

Microcosmic Entanglement
A series that will explore questions of belonging through seven exhibits at Oloman Cafe and Gallery in Hamtramck.

Fenwood Enterprises, LLC

Reimagining a Legacy through the Arts and Technology
Activation of storefronts in Hope Village neighborhood by providing free, digital arts and technology education for youth taught by local teaching artists.

Norwest Community Collaborative

An inclusive artists residency project to support BIPOC and Non-Binary women artists as part of our Detroit initiative to build neighborhoods.

Sidewalk Detroit

Spacial Equity Interventions in Public Art
A hyper-local public art fund embedded within the Sidewalk Festival that will install major works of permanent and semi-permanent public art within four neighborhoods across Detroit.

Detroit Parks Coalition

Find Your Freedom
A festival that fuses storytelling, music and art to lure people to discover or rediscover Detroit’s parks, history and neighborhoods.

What Pipeline

Demario Dotson at What Pipeline
An immersive, interactive video installation by artist Demario Dotson exploring the intersection of Black femme, queerness and heroism.

Simon Anton / Thing Thing

Transforming Trash
A community plastic recycling lab that teaches local youth the strategies, technologies and potential of creative reuse and upcycling through workshops that will result in installations of functional artwork.

The Ron Allen Project

The Ron Allen Project
A multimedia exhibit reflecting the work and art of poet, playwright, sobriety mentor and Dharma priest Ron (Bodhidharma) Allen during the years he resided in Detroit's Cass Corridor.

American Riad

The American Riad
A combination of public art and creative architecture with fair housing laws to form a model of art-based development that creates beauty while resisting gentrification.

Live Coal Gallery

Detroit rePatched
An arts-infused green space and art hub in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood that connects art with land, art with people, and art with home.


Concert of Colors
A celebration of The Concert of Colors: Detroit Diversity Festival’s 30th anniversary with “return-to-live” programming that brings national and world attention to the region while retaining its dedication to the empowerment of local artists and communities through in-person and live-streamed performances.

Ash Arder

Whoop House Solar Music Sculpture
A completely solar-powered sound sculpture that records and plays back instruments and voices of community members.

“One of my favorite things about Detroit is its hustle, the amazing energy it exudes.  You see it all around you, but especially in the creativity of Detroit’s artists and art organizations.  We certainly saw it in these winning ideas.”