Knight Arts Challenge Detroit 2014 winners announced

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The Knight Foundation has announced the winners of the 2014 Knight Arts Challenge. In all, $2.48 million in prize money will be shared among 58 different arts ideas, proposals that answer the question asked by the Knight Foundation earlier this year: "What’s your best idea for the arts in Detroit?"

The projects range from implementing an artist commission program at Trinosophes to renovating Dabls MBAD African Bead Museum (a collapsed roof has delayed the museum aspect of Dabls's building for more than  a decade).

But there are plenty of other worthy causes that are recipients for the Knight Arts Challenge. The full list of winners and their project ideas is below; check out for more information.

6th Street Dance Studio / WholeProject
Award: $28,000
Goal: To build connections between the urban dance communities in Miami and Detroit through master classes in each city and via video conferencing, anchored by Hardcore Detroit and Miami’s 6th Street Dance Studio / Whole Project.

Infinite Mile
Award: $20,000
Goal: To foster artistic discourse in Detroit through a monthly, online art journal that produces reviews, interviews, articles, and artist projects.

A Host of People
Award: $20,000
Goal: To celebrate the do-it-yourself movement in both food and the arts by creating a site-responsive theater piece performed in community gardens.

Dabls MBAD African Bead Museum
Award: $100,000
Goal: To enhance an educational center for African culture by creating and renovating an exhibition and programming space for the African Bead Museum.

Allied Media Projects
Award: $40,000
Goal: To expand the annual Allied Media Conference to include a full music showcase, further exploring the intersection of art and social change.

Andrew Krieger
Award: $30,000
Goal: To weave art into people’s everyday lives by creating “Kamishibai Man,” a bicycle-mounted wooden theater — based on a Japanese tradition — where performers use paper art to tell serial stories.

Award: $15,000
Goal: To create a post-industrial homage to the Javanese tradition of shadow puppetry through a modern performance with towering, robotic puppets and gongs.

Award: $100,000
Goal: To support Detroit Dance City Festival, a three-day celebration that provides an opportunity for local and national artists to present their work and strengthen ties in Detroit’s dance community.

Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel
Award: $35,000
Goal: To share the traditional dances of Mexico’s La Huasteca region by partnering with a local dance group and professionals in Mexico to teach the art to Detroiters.

Biba Bell
Award; $7,000
Goal: To invite the public to experience both dance and classic architecture by producing “It Never Really Happened,” an intimate performance inside an apartment in the 1950s Detroit high-rise designed by Mies van der Rohe.

Body Rhythm Dance Theatre
Award: $30,000
Goal: To celebrate Detroit’s former Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods by creating a musical dedicated to its legacy.

Broadside Press
Award $20,000
Goal: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Broadside Press, a Detroit-based publisher for many leading African-American writers, by helping digitize its works.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Award: $70,000
Goal: To showcase how unique and connected global cultures are by hosting Call of the Drum: A Drum Summit, featuring percussionists from around the world.

Award: $12,000
Goal: To honor the spirit of Southwest Detroit by creating “Inspiración,” a mosaic mural in the Springwells viaduct, one of the area’s main arteries.

CMAP (Carrie Morris Arts Production)
Award: $35,000
Goal: To present the Living Room Series, contemporary puppet performances that challenges the perception that art exists only for specific spaces.

Recipient: Corktown Cinema
Award: $50,000
Goal: To expand Detroit's cinematic landscape by featuring local and international film and art otherwise not represented in the region.

Cranbrook Art Museum
Award: $150,000
Goal: To mount performance artist Nick Cave’s “Biggest, Baddest Performance of All Time!”

Detroit Digital Stewards
Recipient: $60,000
Goal: To tell the story of Detroit’s neighborhoods through sound by creating “Detroit Music Box,” a suite of digital radio shows produced by the people who live there.

Detroit Drumline Academy
Award: $30,000
Goal: To build on a strong history of Detroit percussionists by having former drummers from Detroit-area schools teach and mentor middle and high school students.

Detroit Fiber Works
Award; $20,000
Goal: To promote fiber arts and the Avenue of Fashion by hosting free fiber art workshops for children, teens and adults.

Detroit Film Labs
Award: $60,000
Goal: To foster storytelling in Detroit by offering a series of workshops to first-time filmmakers in underrepresented communities.

Detroit Future Schools
Award: $40,000
Goal: To use the arts to help youth tell their neighborhood stories by having them conduct research about their communities and convey their findings through “Data Murals.”

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Award: $75,000
Goal: To explore the role of art in shaping the history, recovery and resurgence of a city through a cultural exchange between Detroit and New Orleans.

Dirt Tech Reck
Award: $20,000
Goal: To continue Detroit’s musical legacy by creating a video series that explores the creative processes that drives Detroit’s musicians.

Award: $20,000
Goal: To foster a dialogue around the arts and arts books by supporting a small publishing house and store focused on literary and visual arts books.

Garage Cultural
Award: $20,000
Goal: To engage Latino youth in the theater arts through a bilingual performing arts program in southwest Detroit.

InsideOut Literary Arts Project
Award: $100,000
Goal: To host a techno-poetry performance, led by poet Nandi Comer, exploring the history of Detroit DJs and their contribution to contemporary music.

Jacobs Street / The Untitled Bottega
Award: $100,000
Goal: To transform an abandoned property near a North End art gallery into an outdoor theater and cultural hub meant to strengthen a neighborhood through the arts.  

Kremena Todorova and Kurt Gohde
Award: $29,000
Goal: To promote civic pride via The Detroit Tattoo Project, where a local poet is commissioned to create a piece about the city which is then divided and drawn for use on free tattoos that, when reassembled, reveal graphic elements containing a secret image.

Leith Campbell
Award: $6,000
Goal: To use the slow cadence of a captured sunbeam to set the pace of an electronic interpretation of composer John Cage’s 'As Slow as Possible.’

Literary Detroit
Award: $5,000
To further build the literary community via a monthly series where poet and audience co-create works.

Lo & Behold!
Award: $7,000
Goal: To explore the array of cultures and music in Hamtramck by conducting “field recordings” of local music presented with minimal editing.

Matrix Theatre Company
Award: $30,000
Goal: To commission a well-known bilingual playwright to work with the city’s Latino community in developing a new piece.

McEwen Studio & HowDoYouSayYamInAfrican?
Award: $10,000
Goal: To re-design an existing vacant house as an opera and performance space, in which community members collaborate with visiting artists.

Michelle Andonian
Award: $50,000
Goal: To mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide through a book of photographs and a performance entitled “Hope Dies Last.”

Michigan Underground Group
Award: $5,000
Goal: To build the city’s underground music scene by documenting Detroit’s unconventional music.

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
Award: $30,000
Goal: To host international guest curator Jens Hoffmann to create a salon-style exhibition exploring a cross-section of Detroit ‘s visual arts for the past 15 years.

Nate Young
Award: $10,000
Goal: To bring local and international musicians together by presenting The Trip Metal Fest, a festival featuring electronic music in all its forms.

New Music Detroit
Award: $15,000
Goal: To spotlight challenging new music from the late 20th century through today during “Strange Beautiful Music,” a daylong marathon concert.

Piper Carter
Award: $40,000
Goal: To explore the role and impact of women in hip-hop through a gathering of leading figures in Detroit’s digital media, art, dance and performance communities.

Award: $20,000
Goal: To further Detroit as a center for art and design by expanding a visiting artist-in-residence program dedicated to producing art in and for Detroit.

Popps Packing
Award: $23,000
Goal: To support the expansion of Popps Packing’s unique artist residency program, which caters to national and international artists with children, providing a holistic space in which artists with families can create.

Power House Productions
Award: $250,000
Goal: To celebrate the role of art in developing and inspiring neighborhoods through a series of programs leading up to a community-wide block party in Banglatown.

Award: $40,000
Goal: To support a new home for John’s Carpet House, a weekly blues jam session founded by drummer John Estes.

Award: $30,000
Goal: To explore how fear is used in contemporary media by creating do-it-yourself kits for making dynamic sculptures to reflect the prevalence of fear-related keywords in news stories.

Rowe Niodior African Dance Company
Award: $20,000
Goal: To create community through a four-day festival exploring how West and Central African groups use music and dance to celebrate their culture.

Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts
Award: $35,000
Goal: To expand an outdoor celebration of performance and installation art to neighborhoods across the city.

The Hinterlands
Award: $30,000
Goal: To explore Detroit’s 20th century history of radical art and politics through The Radicalization Process, a yearlong performance series built on interviews, artifacts and historic footage.

The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art
Award: $60,000
Goal: To strengthen creative businesses by creating Quarter Pop on Grand River, an arts incubator that provides access to new skills and storefront spaces.

The Raiz Up
Award: $25,000
Goal: To use hip-hop to spark conversations about the city’s cultural heritage and social issues through Paint my Roots, or Pinta mis Raices, a series of concerts, workshops and collaborative murals.

Gratiot & Riopelle
Award: $5,000
Goal: To preserve Detroit’s historic signs by documenting the typography around the city via photography and making them into usable, digital typefaces for local business and letterpress use.

Award: $10,000
Goal: To create a commissioning program that will fund new works in music and the visual arts and award a prize to an artist for their contribution to Detroit’s culture.

Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan
Award: $100,000
Goal: To expand Brightmoor's community of makers by repurposing a building into the Brightmoor Maker Space where neighbors can share and develop creative skills.

Award: $60,000
Goal: To bring the stories of Detroit’s ethnic communities to life by partnering with artists and galleries on pop-up installations featuring photography and audio storytelling.

What Pipeline
Award; $15,000
Goal: To expand the narrative of the city’s creative talent by publishing a series of art books on Detroit-based artists.

Write a House
Award: $100,000
To bring new vitality to the literary arts in Detroit by expanding Write a House, which awards renovated homes to writers based on the quality of their work.

Young Nation
Award: $75,000
Goal: To create a neighborhood gathering place by engaging local artists, youth and residents in Southwest Detroit in designing and building an art-filled public plaza.

YoYo School of Hip Hop
Award: $40,000
Goal: To use hip-hop to teach students about technology, physical fitness, career goals, and communication skills through a summer camp. 

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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