Detroit-area theaters just scored $1 million in grants for programming, upgrades, and productions

Detroit's Mosaic Youth Theatre is among 10 grant recipients. - Photo by Studio Lumumba
Photo by Studio Lumumba
Detroit's Mosaic Youth Theatre is among 10 grant recipients.

On with the show!

Detroit's vibrant performing arts scene in Detroit just got a major boost thanks to sizable grants from the Community Foundation and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Ten Detroit area theaters and performance organizations received nearly $1 million in funds to assist with everything from building repairs, technology upgrades, programming, community activation, and the production of specific performances that are vital to exploring Detroit's Black history. The grants have been distributed through Staging Change Detroit, a program that supports efforts to expand and enrich the local arts and culture community.

Before the pandemic, New York-based arts organization EmcArts hosted workshops that allowed these organizations and grant recipients to share ideas on how to innovate within the theater space as well as build upon communication, leadership, and organizational skills.

"The support from the Staging Change program is not just significant to our ensemble, A Host of People, but to the growth, sustainability, and vibrancy of the theater community in Detroit,” Sherrine Azab, co-director, A Host of People shared in a press release.

“This type of funding that allows artists and arts organizations to take the lead on addressing their own challenges and needs is crucial. It always has been, but even more so now as our needs and the field evolve through these challenging times."

Here are all the grant recipients and what they will use the funds for:

The Hinterlands $75k for expanded programming, including support for local artists and a space to engage and collaborate with international artists.

Shakespeare in Detroit $100k for a return to in-person, onstage performance and capacity building.

Detroit Public Theatre $100k for the launch of an accessibility initiative and connectivity and engagement management.

Plowshares Theatre $100k for the production, “Hastings Street,” an original musical about the erasure of a Black business district.

Black & Brown Theatre $65k for digital and in-person expansion of a theatrical series targeted to children, families, and educators.

A Host of People $100k for the theatre’s ensemble to bolster core staff positions to bridge administrative and artistic functions.

Mosaic Youth Theatre $125k for expanding programming and upgrades to operational and programmatic technology and equipment.

Matrix Theatre $85k for increased organizational capacity, expanded community programming, and technology and digitalization needs.

Planet Ant $125k for improvements to the physical and digital infrastructure while building capacity and expanding community impact.

CMAP (Carrie Morris Arts Production) $115k for changes to its organizational structure and implementing a multilingual rebrand.

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