2020 Kresge Arts in Detroit winners announced

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Pictured left to right: - Top row: Naima Shamborguer, Vincent Chandler, Rafael Leafar, Melanie Manos, Amp Fiddler - Row 2: Chris Jakob, Debra J. White-Hunt, bree gant, Mike Khoury, Andrew Morton - Row 3: Kia ix Arriaga, Marcus Elliot, Ajara Alghali, Salakastar, Paige Wood - Bottom row: Michael Manson, Shawntai Brown, Joo Won Park, Karilú Alarcón Forshee, Brandon Walley - KRESGE ARTIST FELLOWS
  • Kresge Artist Fellows
  • Pictured left to right:
    Top row: Naima Shamborguer, Vincent Chandler, Rafael Leafar, Melanie Manos, Amp Fiddler
    Row 2: Chris Jakob, Debra J. White-Hunt, bree gant, Mike Khoury, Andrew Morton
    Row 3: Kia ix Arriaga, Marcus Elliot, Ajara Alghali, Salakastar, Paige Wood
    Bottom row: Michael Manson, Shawntai Brown, Joo Won Park, Karilú Alarcón Forshee, Brandon Walley

Kresge Arts in Detroit announced its 2020 fellows on Thursday, awarding 30 local artists a total of $550,000 in grants.

The organization increased the number of awards from last year, raising the number of Kresge Artists Fellows from 18 to 20, and the Gilda Awards recipients from 2 to 10 — at a time when artists aren't able to make money due to the coronavirus.



"With artists in the midst of an unprecedented loss of employment, we're thrilled to provide more awards than ever," Christina deRoos, director of Kresge Arts in Detroit, said in a statement. "Given the no strings attached nature of the awards and the central role of artists throughout the city of Detroit, we know these resources will have a positive impact on far more than the 30 individuals receiving them."

This year's category was Live Arts, Film, and Music. Twenty artists were named Kresge Artist Fellows, which comes with a $25,000 grant, while 10 artists received $5,000 Gilda Awards grants, named after the late Detroit artist and College for Creative Studies professor Gilda Snowden, who died in 2014.



"Kresge's commitment to the arts — forged over more than a decade — is a commitment to the creative processes indispensable to healthy, vibrant, and hopeful communities," Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson said in a statement. "And it is in times like these — full of uncertainty, pain, and injustice — that the arts play a unique role in provoking society to deeper reflection and arcing us to higher aspiration."

Due to the coronavirus, this year's awards recipients will be celebrated in an online livestreamed event on Thursday, July 16. Sidewalk Detroit will also stream an online performance series called "Now: Future" featuring past winners of Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards from July 24 to August 14.

This year's cohort are:

LIVE ARTS FELLOWS
Ajara Alghali, Dance
Kia ix Arriaga, Interdisciplinary Work
Shawntai Brown, Playwriting
Karilú Alarcón Forshee, Interdisciplinary Work
Debra J. White-Hunt, Dance and Choreography
Chris Jakob, Interdisciplinary Work
Melanie Manos, Performance Art
Michael Manson, Dance and Choreography
Andrew Morton, Playwriting and Theatre Directing
Salakastar, Interdisciplinary Work

GILDA AWARDS IN LIVE ARTS
Celia Benvenutti, Dance and Choreography
Aj Sims, Dance and Choreography
Thank You So Much For Coming (Maddy Rager, Scott Crandall), Interdisciplinary Work
Lis Chere Thomas, Performance Art

FILM & MUSIC FELLOWS
Vincent Chandler, Music Composition and Performance
Marcus Elliot, Music Composition and Performance
Amp Fiddler, Music Composition
bree gant, Interdisciplinary Work
Mike Khoury, Music Composition and Performance
Rafael Leafar, Music Composition and Performance
Joo Won Park, Music Composition and Performance
Naima Shamborguer, Music Composition and Performance
Brandon Walley, Film Directing
Paige Wood, Screenwriting and Film Directing

GILDA AWARDS IN FILM & MUSIC
Ian Fink, Music Composition and Performance
Karl Kingson, Screenwriting and Film Directing
Emily Rogers, Music Composition and Performance
Summer Like The Season (Summer Krinsky),
Music Composition and Performance
TeddyBoy, Interdisciplinary Work
We Are Culture Creators
(Michael Reyes, Elizabeth Stone, Xavier
Cuevas), Interdisciplinary Work

Kresge Arts in Detroit has awarded 252 artists some $6 million over the past 13 years.

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