Kresge Arts in Detroit Announces the 2020 Kresge Artist Fellows and Gilda Award Recipients

Kresge Arts in Detroit is pleased to announce the artists receiving 2020 Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards in Film & Music and Live Arts! 

Kresge Arts in Detroit remains steadfast in its support of the arts community, which has been incredibly hard-hit by the pandemic and economic downturn. Thanks to the generous support of The Kresge Foundation, there are 30 awards total this year — 20 Kresge Artist Fellowships and 10 Gilda Awards — representing an increase of $90,000 in no strings attached support to individual artists in Detroit. The foundation has committed to also fund the increased number of awards in 2021.

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LIVE ARTS FELLOWS:

Ajara AlghaliDance
Kia ix ArriagaInterdisciplinary Work
Shawntai BrownPlaywriting
Karilú Alarcón ForsheeInterdisciplinary Work
Debra J. White-HuntDance and Choreography
Chris JakobInterdisciplinary Work
Melanie ManosPerformance Art
Michael MansonDance and Choreography
Andrew MortonPlaywriting and Theatre Directing
SalakastarInterdisciplinary Work

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FILM & MUSIC FELLOWS:

Vincent ChandlerMusic Composition and Performance
Marcus ElliotMusic Composition and Performance
Amp FiddlerMusic Composition
bree gantInterdisciplinary Work
Mike KhouryMusic Composition and Performance
Rafael LeafarMusic Composition and Performance
Joo Won ParkMusic Composition and Performance
Naima ShamborguerMusic Composition and Performance
Brandon WalleyFilm Directing
Paige WoodScreenwriting and Film Directing

In addition to a $25,000 no strings attached award, Kresge Artist Fellows receive one year of professional development support. This year, for the first time, Kresge Arts in Detroit will lead the professional development program — formerly handled by third parties — which has been reimagined and will be driven by participants. Fellows will select the skill-building, networking, promotion, and coaching support that best suits their goals and definition of success.

This year also marks the first time a prior recipient of the Gilda Snowden Emerging Artist Award has received a Kresge Artist Fellowship. “Winning a Gilda Award in 2018 gave me the resources I needed to boost my career, much of which came in the form of an automobile,” Aja Salakastar Dier said. “Having a car enabled me to teach more classes, go to more rehearsals, collaborate with more artists, attend more classes and workshops, and play more gigs. Having the space and time to experiment as an artist, especially as a Black woman artist (and especially during this time), is crucial. My intention as a Kresge Artist Fellow is to take my work to the next level, connecting to a global experience while being rooted in my hometown.”

GILDA AWARDS IN LIVE ARTS:

Celia BenvenuttiDance and Choreography
Aj SimsDance and Choreography
Thank You So Much For Coming (Maddy Rager, Scott Crandall)Interdisciplinary Work
Lis Chere ThomasPerformance Art

GILDA AWARDS IN FILM & MUSIC:

Ian FinkMusic Composition and Performance
Karl KingsonScreenwriting and Film Directing
Emily RogersMusic Composition and Performance
Summer Like The Season (Summer Krinsky)Music Composition and Performance
TeddyBoyInterdisciplinary Work
We Are Culture Creators (Michael Reyes, Elizabeth Stone, Xavier Cuevas)Interdisciplinary Work

Gilda Award recipients were chosen from among the applicants for the 2020 Kresge Artist Fellowships. In keeping with Gilda Snowden’s encouragement and mentorship of early-career artists, Gilda Awards recognize artists who are early in their artistic career, are gaining momentum, and who demonstrate exceptional potential through creative risk-taking and pushing the boundaries of their chosen art form. In response to the increased number of awards, William G. Boswell, Gilda’s husband, says, “It is wonderful to know that Gilda continues her legacy of uplifting, as well as creating a positive impact for new talent. Our family congratulates all of the emerging artists!”

The awardees were selected by independent panels of local and national artists and arts professionals who reviewed the applications over many months and several rounds of review. “It was meaningful to serve as a panelist for an organization that values racial equity within the arts,” said Film & Music panelist Marshalle Montgomery Favors. “I am excited about this cohort of Kresge Artist Fellows. They are a reflection of the rich and diverse talent that we have in our community.”

LIVE ARTS PANELISTS:

Sherrine Azab, Theater Maker; Director; Educator; Co-Director, A Host of People; 2018 Kresge Artist Fellow
Anna Drozdowski, Cultivator; Curator; Guide
Miryam Johnson, Dancer; Co-Founder, Collective Sweat Detroit; Student Fellowship Coordinator, Daring Dances; Dance Educator and Youth Dance Ensemble Director, Living Arts
Toby MacNutt, Dancer; Choreographer
Jeff Michael Rebudal, Dance Maker; Educator, and Consultant, Rebudal Dance

FILM & MUSIC PANELISTS:

Ephraim Asili, Artist; Filmmaker; Professor of Film and Electronic Arts, Bard College
Leith Campbell, Composer; Creative Programmer; Sculptor; Professor of Music, Wayne State University; Staff, College for Creative Studies
Amy Denio, Composer; Musician; Record Producer; Publisher; President, Tiptons Sax Quartet LLC; Vice President, Seattle Composers Alliance
Marshalle Montgomery Favors, Filmmaker; Producer/Director; Co-Founder, Trinity International Film Festival; Co-Founder, Fearless Tribe of Fanatic Filmmakers
Oona Mosna, Artist; Author; Curator; Director, Media City Film Festival

The selection criteria for Kresge Artist Fellowships include: A demonstrated track record of artistic achievement and high-quality work, the potential to grow and advance in their artistic career, and the potential to reflect, enhance, or impact communities within metropolitan Detroit.

A celebration of the 2020 award recipients will occur online on July 16. Building on the 2020 award announcement, Sidewalk Detroit is curating a group of past recipients of Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards to present work in a hybrid virtual and socially distanced performance series titled NOW:FUTURE. From July 24 to August 14, musicians, theater-makers, dancers and more – including Marion Hayden, Britney Stoney, A Host of People, and Erika Stowall — will present work exploring the story of Detroit artists today and the future they desire to actualize.

The awardees were selected by independent panels of local and national artists and arts professionals who reviewed the applications over many months and several rounds of review. “It was meaningful to serve as a panelist for an organization that values racial equity within the arts,” said Film & Music panelist Marshalle Montgomery Favors. “I am excited about this cohort of Kresge Artist Fellows. They are a reflection of the rich and diverse talent that we have in our community.”

Funded by The Kresge Foundation, Kresge Artist Fellowships and Gilda Awards are administered by the Kresge Arts in Detroit office of the College for Creative Studies. In announcing the 12th cohort of award recipients, Kresge Arts in Detroit has thus far awarded 218 Kresge Artist Fellowships, 22 Gilda Awards, and 12 Kresge Eminent Artist Awards for a total of more than $6 million.