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Detroiters in film, music, and the live arts to vie for $25,000 fellowships


It's that time of year again, the time when artists in and around Detroit begin imagining what they would do with $25,000. The application cycle for the 2016 Kresge Artist Fellowships has begun.

An application guide for the fellowship program was released on Monday, Nov. 2. While the application process doesn't open until Dec. 1 and the deadline isn't until Jan. 21, the guide is being made available to prepare local artists for a better chance at winning the prizes. Now in its eighth year, Kresge Arts in Detroit will award $25,000 fellowships to 18 local artists in film, music, and the live arts. The awards are available to artists living in metro Detroit, defined here as Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

Nine awards will go to those in the live arts and nine awards will go to those in film and music. According to Kresge, the live arts include choreography, dance, theater directing, performance art, playwriting, and interdisciplinary work. The film and music division includes animation, film directing, music composition, music performance, screenwriting, and interdisciplinary work.

A 2014 Kresge Artist Fellow, playwright Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe characterizes winning the award as a life-changing experience. "The fellowship enabled me to take greater risks in my work and to live my entire life as art," she says in a statement.

This year's programming is a little different than others as applicants for the Kresge Artist Fellowship will also be considered for the 2016 Gilda Awards, two $5,000 no-strings-attached prizes named in honor of Gilda Snowden, a Detroit artist and professor at the College for Creative Studies who died in September of 2014. The Creative Many Michigan organization will also be offering professional practice opportunities for the fellows.

Two applicant orientations and one workshop will be held prior to the Jan. 21 deadline so as to better prepare artists in their applications.

The Kresge Foundation funds the fellowships, having given $3.5 million directly to local artists since 2008. Kresge Arts in Detroit at the College for Creative Studies administers the fellowships. 126 Kresge Artist Fellowships, seven Kresge Eminent Artist Awards, and two Gilda Snowden Awards have been doled out since 2008.

Writer: MJ Galbraith

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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