Kresge announces 2018 Artist Fellows

Michael H. Hodges
Detroit News Fine Arts Writer

Kresge Arts in Detroit announced its 2018 class of Artist Fellows on Thursday, divided this year between the "live arts" — dance, theater and playwriting — and film and music.

A group shot of the 2018 Kresge Artist Fellows -- divided this year between the "live arts" and music and film.

Sixteen artists and two collectives in the tri-county area will get $25,000 apiece, no strings attached.

In addition, four emerging artists will each take home $5,000 in Gilda Awards, named for the late artist and College for Creative Studies professor Gilda Snowden. 

The Troy-based Kresge Foundation created the Artist Fellowships in 2008 to encourage artists to stay in the Detroit area, rather than absconding to Chicago or New York. 

The aim, said Kresge President Rip Rapson, was to support and highlight artists "whose work reflects our community's artistic and cultural wealth."

Because of the fellowships, added CCS President Richard L. Rogers, "individual artists have been able to advance their practice and advance their lives." 

The fellowships and Gilda Awards are managed by KAID office at CCS.

This year saw over 450 applications. Winners were determined by two juries of independent artists from around the country. 

Artist Fellows also receive a year of instruction on how to manage an art career from Creative Many Michigan and the New York-based Creative Capital.

Among Artist Fellows this year are the Detroit dramatic ensemble The Hinterlands, as well as the popular local composer and vocalist Thornetta Davis. 

With this 10th class of fellows, Kresge has granted more than $5 million to 200 artists and cooperatives. 

Live Arts Fellows include the collaborative A Host of People, Morgan Breon, Ronald Ford Jr., Penny Godboldo, The Hinterlands, Carrie Morris, Emilio Rodriguez, Lance Rodriguez and Dwight "Skip" Stackhouse. 

Film and Music Fellows are David Binder, Ben Corona, Toni Cunningham, Thornetta Davis, Robert B. Jones, Michelle May, Ahya Simone, Alex Way and Julia Yezbick.

The four Gilda Awards recipients are Brandyn "SKilz" Burton and Salakastar for Live Arts, and Arthur Cartwright and Aisha Ellis in Film and Music. 

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