These Detroit artists and arts organizations will share more than $1 million for works that showcase diversity, creativity and new forms of expression across the city.
DETROIT – Dec. 8, 2021 – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation selected 14 artists and arts organizations to share more than $1 million from the 2021 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit to bring their ideas to life and connect people to each other and to their community.
Since its creation in 2008, the Knight Arts Challenge has funded hundreds of ideas from artists and arts organizations that have helped transform the arts and culture scene in cities, including Detroit, where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. The Challenge reflects Knight’s belief that art is an integral part in building more engaged communities that play an essential role in a healthy democracy.
Now in its eighth year in Detroit, the Challenge — open to anyone with an idea for engaging and enriching Detroit through arts and culture — has previously brought over 300 projects to life, awarding over $14 million in grants for ideas that represent the broad variety of disciplines and artists working in the city. This year’s winning projects, which will share more than $1 million, seek to:
- Empower Detroiters to tell their own stories
- Expand opportunities for groups and individual artists to enhance and grow their practice
- Elevate and support the arts ecosystem in Detroit at all levels
“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.” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Art’s program vice president. “The arts became a balm during the pandemic, helping us to deal with pain, to laugh, to reflect and to remain engaged. We were inspired by these winning projects, their ideas and in the ways they used technology and innovative platforms to reach people where they are. Helping to bring these visions to life is exciting”
This year, the Knight Arts Challenge put its emphasis on artists and art organizations using innovative methods to attract broader audiences, enhance in-person experiences, document creation or amplify reach to people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a variety of arts experiences.
The 2021 grantees are eligible to receive additional funding to implement digital strategies in service of their individual practice or organization. Knight will provide an additional $10,000 to each of the 14 winners, in addition to 13 other Detroit-based artists and arts organizations, for technical support for their projects. The funds, totaling $270,000 for the group of 27 artists and organizations, are designed to assist with technical equipment, software, consultants or other tech-related aspects needed to bring their works to life.
“Art is a platform that enables Detroiters to tell their own unique stories,” said Nathaniel Wallace, Knight’s Detroit program director. “The Knight Arts Challenge will empower 14 of Detroit’s innovative artists to engage Detroiters and help reach new audiences.”
The winners of the 2021 challenge are:
MEET THE 2021 KNIGHT ARTS CHALLENGE WINNERS – DETROIT
City of Asylum/Detroit
Oloman Cafe and Gallery
Fenwood Enterprises, LLC
Norwest Community Collaborative
Detroit Parks Coalition
Simon Anton / Thing Thing
The Ron Allen Project
Live Coal Gallery
Meet the 2021 $10,000 Tech Grant Knight Arts Challenge Winners:
- Simon Anton / Thing Thing
- Detroit Parks Coalition
- City of Asylum/Detroit
- Michigan Opera Theatre
- Fenwood Enterprises, LLC
- Detroit Educational Television FoundationWhat Pipeline
- The Ron Allen Project
- Live Coal Gallery
- Edward Salem
- Arab American National Museum (ACCESS)
- Detroit Public Theatre
- Oloman Cafe and Gallery
- Black Art Library
- Cherise Morris
- Ash Arder
- Bailey Park Project
- Ronald QWNTYM Ford
- Stephen McGee
- Black LGBT+ Plays
- Detroit Vacant Land CDC
- Visualizing Women’s Work
- Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
We are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once had newspapers. Learn more at kf.org and follow @knightfdn on social media.