Detroit is jam-packed with artistic talent that is playing a huge role in the city being recognized as an artistic center.

Seventeen of them and one collaborative have been recognized with Kresge Artist Fellowships this year and two emerging artists will get Gilda Awards.

Each fellowship comes with an unrestricted $25,000 prize and a year of professional practice support provided by Creative Many Michigan, including an invitation to an intensive professional development retreat presented by New York-based artist-service organization Creative Capital.

The two Gilda Award recipients receive $5,000 unrestricted awards to foster their work. The award is named in honor of artist, CCS professor and 2009 Kresge Artist Fellow Gilda Snowden’s (1954-2014) legacy as a mentor and champion of young, emerging artists in metropolitan Detroit.

“These Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Awardees exemplify the vision and verve of an arts community that increasingly has the attention of the world,” says Rip Rapson, CEO and president of The Kresge Foundation, “Detroit’s overdue recognition as a center of arts and culture is integral to our ongoing revival. That recognition is a testament to arts organizations, patrons, audiences and others – but fundamentally it’s a testament to our artists, whose work we seek to lift up and amplify through Kresge Arts in Detroit.”

This year’s award winners represent a broad spectrum of arts from traditional to contemporary interpretations of this year’s two fellowship categories, Film & Music and Live Arts.

“From emerging practitioners to renowned anchors of Detroit’s artistic community, the 2016 Kresge Artist Fellows exemplify the exceptional talent, vision and dedication that have always defined Detroit’s artists and creative communities,” says Michelle Perron, director of Kresge Arts in Detroit.


Here’s a list of the recipients:


Christopher Jon Alexander, Documentary/Fiction Hybrid Filmmaker

Chi Amen-Ra, Percussionist

Mahogany Jones, Hip Hop Artist

Marion Hayden, Jazz Musician

Danny Kroha, Musician, Performer, Songwriter

Oksana Mirzoyan, Screenwriter, Director

Joshua Mulligan, Animator

Sterling Toles, Composer, Producer

Pamela D. Wise, Composer, Performer


Gary Anderson, Theatre Director

Bell, Choreographer, Dancer

jessica Care moore, Interdisciplinary Poet

Corazon del Pueblo (collaborative), Folk Dance, Choreography

L05, Live Media Artist, Performer

Jimbo Easter, Performance Artist

Shaun S. Nethercott, Playwright

Red Stowall, Choreographer, Dancer

Ralph Taylor, Carnival Body Puppet Artist, Performer



Film & Music: Ellen Coons, Animator


Live Arts: Marsae Mitchell, Choreographer & Director

The awardees were selected by independent panels of local and national artists and arts professionals from among 450 applications.

Funded by The Kresge Foundation, Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards are administered by the Kresge Arts in Detroit office of the College for Creative Studies. The latest awards uplift and support artists working in film, music, dance, theatre, performance art, and interdisciplinary forms.

Since 2008, the Kresge Arts in Detroit program has contributed over $4 million to the local creative economy.

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on DetroitUnspun and used here with permission of the author.

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