Detroit theater organizations share $1M to innovate, broaden reach

Noelle Gray
The Detroit News

Detroit — Ten theater organizations in Detroit will share a $1 million donation to help them innovate and reach new audiences.

The gift to Staging Change Detroit from the Community Foundation in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will support efforts to enrich the arts and culture community, according to a news release. 

“A vibrant theater scene in Detroit is vital to our economy and plays an essential role in our community,” said Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation. 

The 10 Detroit theater organizations receiving grants from Staging Change Detroit are:

  • The Hinterlands: $75,000 for expanded programming, including support for local artists and a space to engage and collaborate with international artists.
  • Shakespeare in Detroit: $100,000 for a return to in-person, onstage performance and capacity building.
  • Detroit Public Theatre: $100,000 for the launch of an accessibility initiative and connectivity and engagement management.
  • Plowshares Theatre: $100,000 for the production, “Hastings Street,” an original musical about the erasure of a Black business district.
  • Black & Brown Theatre: $65,000 for digital and in-person expansion of a theatrical series targeted to children, families, and educators.
  • A Host of People: $100,000 for the theatre’s ensemble to bolster core staff positions to bridge administrative and artistic functions.
  • Mosaic Youth Theatre: $125,000 for expanding programming and upgrades to operational and programmatic technology and equipment.
  • Matrix Theatre: $85,000 for increased organizational capacity, expanded community programming, and technology and digitalization needs.
  • Planet Ant: $125,000 for improvements to the physical and digital infrastructure while building capacity and expanding community impact.
  • CMAP (Carrie Morris Arts Production): $115,000 for changes to its organizational structure and implementing a multilingual rebrand.

Before the pandemic, the organizations shared ideas in workshops about innovation in the theater. The workshops facilitated by New York-based arts organization EmcArts addressed issues and situations theater organizations face when dealing with challenges, and helped them develop skills to assist them.

To learn more about the Staging Change Detroit program, please visit