Knight Arts announces 58 Detroit winners

Michael H. Hodges
Detroit News Fine Arts Writer

Fifty-eight winning arts projects will divide $2.48 million in the second year of the Detroit Knight Arts Challenge program, the Knight Foundation announced Monday evening.

The Knight Arts Challenge, which also operates in Miami and St. Paul, Minnesota, is a competition that rewards innovative ideas from individuals and groups that seek to engage the community through the arts.

"The challenge works in communities that are kind of bubbling, up-and-coming places with lots of organic grassroots activity where Knight can provide fuel for that activity," Dennis Scholl, Knight vice president for the arts says.

The program received more than 1,000 applications this year. The only requirements were that projects be about the arts, take place in or benefit Detroit, and that winners raise matching funds on their own.

Local artist Andrew Krieger won $30,000 to become an itinerant storyteller, reviving a Japanese tradition from the Great Depression in which a box containing a miniature theater is mounted on the back of a bike that can be toured around to shows.

"They were called the Kamishibai men," Krieger says. "Th­ey'd open up the box and slide these paper illustrations in and out of a slot while they told a story." His plans for the box, Krieger adds, are "super-elaborate — I want to catch eyeballs and be outlandish. So it won't just be just a box on a bike."

At Popps Packing, the experimental arts space on Detroit's east side, founder Graem Whyte won $23,000 to expand a residency program for visiting artists.

"We've had an artists' residency program for three years now," Whyte says, "but the Momm & Popp Residency will be aimed at artists with families, because there aren't a lot of residencies out there where you can bring a spouse or kids."

The grant, he adds, will go to renovate a house with an attached storefront across from Popps Packing, where visitors will live.

Detroit 2014 Knight Arts Challenge Winners

"Real-Time Free-styling" for Urban Dancers in Miami + Detroit

Recipient: 6th Street Dance Studio/WholeProject

Award: $28,000

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

Online Journal Facilitates Critical Discourse on Local Arts and Culture

Recipient: mile (infinite mile)

Award: $20,000

To foster artistic discourse in Detroit through a monthly, online art journal that produces reviews, interviews, articles and artist projects

Community Gardens Become Theater Stages

Recipient: A Host of People

Award: $20,000

To celebrate the do-it-yourself movement in both food and the arts by creating a site-responsive theater piece performed in community gardens

New Building, Programming for African Bead Museum

Recipient: Dabls MBAD African Bead Museum

Award: $100,000

To enhance an educational center for African culture by creating and renovating an exhibition and programming space for the African Bead Museum

Music Becomes a Focus of Allied Media Conference

Recipient: Allied Media Projects

Award: $40,000

To expand the annual Allied Media Conference to include a full music showcase, further exploring the intersection of art and social change

Japanese-inspired "Kamishibai Man" Will Pedal Theater Around Detroit

Recipient: Andrew Krieger

Award: $30,000

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

Robots Transform Performance of Ancient Hindu Poem

Recipient: ApeTechnology

Award: $15,000

To create a post-industrial homage to the Javanese tradition of shadow puppetry through a modern performance with towering, robotic puppets and gongs

Detroit Dance City Festival Plans Expansion

Recipient: ARTLAB J

Award: $100,000

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

Detroiters Learn the Art and Culture of Mexico's La Huasteca

Recipient: Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel

Award: $35,000

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

Dance and Classic Architecture Meet in Intimate Apartment Performance

Recipient: Biba Bell

Award; $7,000

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

Musical Piece Celebrates Legacy of the Black Bottom Neighborhood and Paradise Valley

Recipient: Body Rhythm Dance Theatre

Award: $30,000

To celebrate Detroit's former Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods by creating a musical dedicated to its legacy.

Historic Collection of African-American Authors to Be Digitized

Recipient: Broadside Press

Award $20,000

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Broadside Press, a Detroit-based publisher for many leading African-American writers, by helping digitize its works

Drum Summit Will Connect Detroiters of Different Backgrounds

Recipient: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Award: $70,000

To showcase how unique and connected global cultures are by hosting Call of the Drum: A Drum Summit, featuring percussionists from around the world

Mosaic Mural Planned for Springswell Viaduct

Recipient; CLAVE

Award: $12,000

To honor the spirit of Southwest Detroit by creating "Inspiración," a mosaic mural in the Springwells viaduct, one of the area's main arteries

Living Room Series Showcases Contemporary Puppet Works By and About Detroiters

Recipient: CMAP (Carrie Morris Arts Production)

Award: $35,000

To present the Living Room Series, contemporary puppet performances that challenge the perception that art exists only for specific spaces

Corktown Cinema Aims to be Neighborhood Space

Recipient: Corktown Cinema L3C

Award: $50,000

To expand the Detroit's cinematic landscape by featuring local and international film and art otherwise not represented in the region

Performance Artist Nick Cave Presents the "Biggest, Baddest Performance of All Time!"

Recipient: Cranbrook Art Museum

Award: $150,000

To mount performance artist Nick Cave's "Biggest, Baddest Performance of All Time!" a series of spectacles around the city

Detroiters Stories Told in Digital Radio Series

Winner: Detroit Digital Stewards

Recipient: $60,000

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

Drumline Veterans Give Back to Local Students

Winner: Detroit Drumline Academy

Award: $30,000

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

Fiber Arts Festival Planned for Avenue of Fashion

Recipient: Detroit Fiber Works

Award; $20,000

To promote fiber arts and the Avenue of Fashion by hosting free fiber art workshops for children, teens and adults

Training Targets First-Time Filmmakers

Recipient: Detroit Film Labs

Award: $60,000

To foster storytelling in Detroit by offering a series of workshops to first-time filmmakers in underrepresented communities

"Data Murals" Help Students Visualize Neighborhood Stories

Recipient: Detroit Future Schools

Award: $40,000

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"

Jazz Festival Explores Renewal in New Orleans and Detroit

Recipient: Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Award: $75,000

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

Video Series Helps Musicians Learn from Music Greats


Award: $20,000

To continue Detroit's musical legacy by creating a video series that explores the creative processes that drives Detroit's musicians

Small Publishing House Expands Mission

Recipient: DittoDitto

Award: $20,000

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

Latino Students to Create Original Play

Recipient: Garage Cultural

Award: $20,000

To engage Latino youth in the theater arts through a bilingual performing arts program in southwest Detroit

"Dancing Through the Night" Pays Homage to Detroit's Post-Motown Sound

Recipient: InsideOut Literary Arts Project

Award: $100,000

To host a techno-poetry performance, led by poet Nandi Comer, exploring the history of Detroit DJs and their contribution to contemporary music

Vacant Property Becomes Creative Campus for Artists

Recipient: JacobsStreet/The Untitled Bottega

Award: $100,000

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

Committed to Detroit? There's a Tattoo for That

Recipient: Kremena Todorova and Kurt Gohde

Award: $29,000

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

Sundial Will Reinterpret John Cage's Work

Recipient: Leith Campbell

Award: $6,000

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.'

Series Asks Community to Co-Create Poetry

Recipient: Literary Detroit

Award: $5,000

To further build the literary community via a monthly series where poet and audience co-create works

Sound Series Explores Detroit's "World Music"

Recipient: Lo & Behold!

Award: $7,000

To explore the array of cultures and music in Hamtramck by conducting "field recordings" of local music — for example, a Bangladeshi street fair or a gospel trio — presented with minimal editing

Theatre Company Tells Detroit Stories Through New Bilingual Production

Recipient: Matrix Theatre Company

Award: $30,000

To commission a well-known bilingual playwright to work with the city's Latino community in developing a new piece

"Opera House" Engages Community to Blur Art and Building


Award: $10,000

To re-design an existing vacant house as an opera and performance space, in which community members collaborate with visiting artists

"Hope Dies Last" Tells Story of Armenian Genocide

Recipient: Michelle Andonian

Award: $50,000

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide through a book of photographs and a performance entitled "Hope Dies Last"

Underground Music Gets Public Platform

Recipient Michigan Underground Group

Award: $5,000

To build the city's underground music scene by documenting Detroit's unconventional music

Salon-Style Exhibition Debuts at MOCAD

Recipient: Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)

Award: $30,000

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

"Trip Metal Fest" Showcases Electronic Music

Recipient: Nate Young

Award: $10,000

To bring local and international musicians together by presenting the Trip Metal Fest, a festival featuring electronic music in all its forms

"Strange Beautiful Music" Concert Expands

Recipient: New Music Detroit

Award: $15,000

To spotlight challenging new music from the late 20th century through today during "Strange Beautiful Music," a daylong marathon concert

Impact of Women in Hip-Hop Explored, Reimagined

Recipient: Piper Carter

Award: $40,000

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

Ponyride Expands Artist-in-Residence Program

Recipient: Ponyride

Award: $20,000

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

Families Wanted for New "Momm & Popp" Artist Residency Program

Recipient: Popps Packing

Award: $23,000

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

Banglatown Block Party Celebrates Role of Arts in Neighborhoods

Recipient: Power House Productions

Award: $250,000

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

Blues Jam Session to Find Permanent Home

Recipient: RecoveryPark

Award: $40,000

To support a new home for John's Carpet House, a weekly blues jam session founded by drummer John Estes

"Whithervanes" Reflect Fear in News Stories

Recipient: rootoftwo

Award: $30,000

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

African Culture Explored in Four-Day Conference

Recipient: Rowe Niodior African Dance Company

Award: $20,000

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 Expands to New Locations

Recipient: Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts

Award: $35,000

To expand an outdoor celebration of performance and installation art to neighborhoods across the city

Performance Series Looks at Detroit's Radical Past

Recipient: The Hinterlands

Award: $30,000

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

Creative Incubator Coming to Grand River

Recipient: The N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art

Award: $60,000

To strengthen creative businesses by creating Quarter Pop on Grand River, an arts incubator that provides access to new skills and storefront spaces

Series Uses Hip-Hop to Spark Conversations

Recipient: The Raiz Up

Award: $25,000

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

Detroit's Historic Signs to be Preserved

Recipient: Gratiot & Riopelle

Award: $5,000

To preserve Detroit's historic signs by documenting the typography around the city via photography and making them into useable, digital typefaces for local business and letterpress use

Commissioning Program Cultivates New Works

Recipient: Trinosophes

Award: $10,000

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

Maker Space Coming to Brightmoor

Recipient: Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan

Award: $100,000

To expand Brightmoor's community of makers by repurposing a building into the Brightmoor Maker Space where neighbors can share and develop creative skills

Pop-Up Storytelling Installations Tell Neighborhood Narratives

Recipient: WDET

Award: $60,000

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

Art Book Series Explores Detroit Artists

Recipient: What Pipeline

Award; $15,000

To expand the narrative of the city's creative talent by publishing a series of art books on Detroit-based artists

"Write a House" Program Offers Homes to Authors

Recipient: 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

Art-Filled Plaza Coming to Southwest Detroit

Recipient: Young Nation

Award: $75,000

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

Summer Hip Hop Program Expands

Recipient: YoYo School of Hip Hop

Award: $40,000