14 projects to connect Detroiters through art announced as winners of the Knight Arts Challenge

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What is happening: A hyper-local public art collection; a solar-powered sound sculpture; storytelling, music and art festivals. All of these and more were named recipients of the 2021 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit, with 14 artists and arts organizations receiving more than $ 1 million for projects that use the arts to connect Detroiters with their communities.

These 14 artists and organizations, along with 13 other Detroit-based projects, will each receive additional technical support of $ 10,000.

What it is: The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation created the Knight Arts Challenge series in 2008, launching its iteration in Detroit in 2013. More than $ 14 million has been awarded to more than 300 community-driven arts projects and programs since during. Akron and Miami are the two other beneficiary cities of the program.

Why is it: “Art is a platform that allows the people of Detroit to tell their own unique stories,” says Nathaniel Wallace, director of the Knight’s Detroit program. “The Knight Arts Challenge will allow 14 of Detroit’s innovative artists to engage the Detroiters and help reach new audiences.”

The winners: The 14 winning artists and arts organizations vary in scope and size. They include City of Asylum / Detroit, received $ 50,000 for an artist-in-exile scholarship;

day, received $ 10,000 for a multimedia sound installation retracing black identity;

Hamtramck Oloman Cafe and Gallery, awarded $ 11,592 for a series of seven art exhibitions exploring questions of belonging;

Fenwood Enterprises, awarded $ 50,000 to activate Hope Village storefronts with free digital arts and technology education programs for area children;

Norwest Community Collaboration, awarded $ 150,000 to an inclusive artist residency project to support BIPOC and non-binary female artists;

Detroit sidewalk, awarded $ 250,000 for an integrated hyper-local public art fund in four Detroit neighborhoods;

Detroit Parks Coalition, awarded $ 80,000 for the Find Your Freedom festival;

What pipeline, received $ 25,000 for a video installation exploring the themes of black women, homosexuality and heroism;

Simon Anton / Thing Thing, awarded $ 35,000 for a community plastic recycling laboratory;

The Ron Allen Project, awarded $ 25,000 for a multimedia exhibition featuring the work of the namesake;

American Riad, awarded $ 171,000 for a public art and architecture project that creates beauty while resisting gentrification;

Live Coal Gallery, received $ 125,169 for an art-infused green space and art center in Brightmoor;

CultureSource, awarded $ 150,000 for the 30th anniversary of the Concert of Colors festival;

and Ash arder, awarded $ 64,200 for a solar-powered sound sculpture that records and reproduces the voices of the community.

More information on the winners can be found online.

What they say : “One of my favorite things about Detroit is its hustle and bustle, the incredible energy it gives off. You see it all around you, but most of all in the creativity of the artists and arts organizations in Detroit. we’ve definitely seen in these winning ideas, ”says Victoria Rogers, Knight Art’s vice president of program.

“The arts have become a balm during the pandemic, helping us cope with pain, laugh, reflect and stay engaged. We were inspired by these winning projects, their ideas and the way they used innovative technology and platforms to reach people where they are. Helping bring these visions to life is exciting.

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