Kresge Arts in Detroit on Thursday announced the names of 31 metro Detroit artists who will share $550,000 in Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Emerging Artist Awards.
Among this year’s winners are Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate and multidisciplinary artist Demario Dotson, Anishinaabe artist and former Oxford resident Hadassah GreenSky, Playwright and Pontiac native Anetria Cole, and many more.
“These are 31 artists we can look forward to seeing, hearing, and experiencing in the months and years to come thanks to this program that supports and elevates artists individually,” said Kresge President and CEO Rip Rapson. “But it is of at least of equal importance that these artists remind us of our arts community’s collective contributions to the sense of our cultural roots and our future possibilities.”
In total, 15 Kresge Artist Fellowships in Film & Music and five Kresge Artist Fellowships in Live Arts — including one collaborative duo — were awarded, as well as seven Gilda Awards in Film & Music and three in Live Arts.
Kresge Arts in Detroit has awarded more than $7.36 million directly to artists in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties since 2008. Winners of Kresge Eminent Artist Awards, Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards earn $50,000, $25,000 and $5,000, respectively.
“The big reveal of a year’s Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award winners has become something of a metro Detroit rite of summer,” said Rapson, in a statement. “Many of us find confirmation about artists on our radar screen — and more importantly we’re introduced to many new artists making their marks on the city’s vibrant arts and cultural scenes.”
Dotson and GreenSky both received Kresge Artist Fellowships in Film & Music.
A native of Atlanta, Dotson received the 2020 Robert C. Larson Award during his time at Cranbrook, and his work was recently featured in the Anton Art Center exhibition: “Mighty Real/Queer Detroit: Queer Imagination.” He was named a black artist to watch by the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, and will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art in Brooklyn. Dotson will make his Detroit solo debut at What Pipeline in southwest Detroit this year.
GreenSky — the first Anishinaabe to receive the Kresge Artist Fellowship — grew up in Oxford and is now based in Detroit. She describes herself as a cultural worker, multidisciplinary artist, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and fashion designer who uses modern and ancestral knowledge to create visibility and equity for Native People. GreenSky is also co-founder of Michigan’s first Native music festival, Vibes With The Tribes, and works as a teaching artist for the College for Creative Studies and the Detroit Historical Society.
A graduate of Oakland University, Cole received the Kresge Artist Fellowship in Live Arts for her playwriting. Inspired by great American playwrights like Lorraine Hansberry (“A Raisin in the Sun”) and August Wilson (“Fences”) while attending OU, Cole vowed to continue to tell stories of African American Diaspora through theater, and since then has won multiple playwriting awards for her work.
Award recipients are selected by panels of local and national artists, in their respective disciplines, over the course of several months and numerous rounds of review. The selection criteria for Kresge Artist Fellowships include a demonstrated track record of artistic achievement and high-quality work, the potential to grow and advance in one’s artistic career, and the potential to reflect, enhance, or impact communities within metro Detroit, according to Kresge. Gilda Awards recognize artists who are early in their artistic career, are gaining momentum, and who demonstrate exceptional potential in their fields.
In addition to a no strings attached monetary reward, Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award recipients receive a tailored professional development experience that provides skill-building, networking, promotion, and coaching opportunities.
Application information for the 2023 Kresge Artist Fellowships in Visual Arts and Literary Arts will be available in fall 2022. For more information, including the full list of 2022 winners and panelists, visit kresgeartsindetroit.org.