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Knight Foundation Awards $2.5 Million to 57 Detroit Projects

Girls practice gardening skills at Knight award-winner Burnside Farm as part of the Women of Banglatown project. Photos via <a href="http://www.burnsidefarmdetroit.com"> Burnside Farm</a>
Girls practice gardening skills at Knight award-winner Burnside Farm as part of the Women of Banglatown project. Photos via Burnside Farm

The John R. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a list of 57 recipients of the group's 2015 Challenge Detroit Grants. The organization has pledged $9 million via these grants, and will award the money over three years to Detroit projects that offer "innovative ideas in the arts benefiting Detroit," according to the group's website. This year's group of grant recipients includes a broad range of projects, from urban farming to puppet shows set against Detroit's skyline.


Most of the grants are between $10,000 and $50,000, but four of the projects will receive $100K and four will get $150K. Skyspace Detroit will use its $150K grant to build a riverfront shelter, while writing nonprofit 826 Michigan (which Curbed's editor has volunteered with) will use theirs to create a robot-building factory at Eastern Market. The Tuxedo Project, Detroit Free Press columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Henderson's plan to turn his former family home into a writing residency is a partnership with Marygrove College. The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy will preserve a sculpture by Louise Nevelson to move to either the Dequindre Cut or the Riverfront.

Burnside Farm will use its $100K grant to build a new gathering space on the urban farm and to host community dinners and performances. The Michigan Theater's $100K will go to creating the a Detroit voices program for the Cinetopia Film Festival. Heritage Works' Detroit Griot program will bring a "griot" from West Africa to mentor local artists and youth. The Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit will use their grant to bring theater to public schools, while the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) will invest in its DEPE Space residency program.

The awards were announced this week. Anyone can apply for a Challenge Grant—the program accepts applications from any individual, group, nonprofit or company with an arts project that takes place in or benefits Detroit. The winners must raise matching funds in the amount of their grants, and have a year to do so.


·Burnside Farm [Burnside Farm]
·Knight Arts Challenge Winners [Knight Foundation]
·Through the doors of 7124 Tuxedo [Detroit Free Press]