The Kresge Foundation has announced two-year operating support grants totaling $4.2 million to 66 arts and cultural organizations in the Detroit metropolitan area.

The grants were awarded through the foundation’s Detroit program, which supports efforts to create long-term economic opportunity that advances social equity, promotes cultural expression, and re-establishes the city as the center of a vibrant region. More than half the total awarded will help support 55 small and medium-size arts groups, with the balance going to 11 large organizations.

Small organizations such as the Detroit Artists Market and the Scarab Club received two-year grants of up to $30,000, while midsize organizations such as Pewabic Pottery and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit were awarded as much as $100,000. Large institutions including the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Zoo, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra received up to $200,000 over two years.

Since 2007, Kresge has awarded $15.3 million to arts organizations through its Detroit Arts Support initiative, which provides operating funds for arts and cultural organizations in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. “We know that’s been helpful to arts organizations during the economic downturn,” said George Jacobsen, an associate program officer at the foundation. “The Detroit Arts Support grants weren’t created with that in mind. But it’s clear that they’re provided some stability in a difficult period.”

The 2012 grants provide as much $100,000 over two years to medium-sized organizations such as Pewabic Pottery and MOCAD, and up to $30,000 over two years to small organizations like the Detroit Artists Market and the Scarab Club.

Grants to large institutions such as the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Zoo and Detroit Symphony Orchestra provide as much as $200,000 over two years.

Kresge is committed to supporting and promoting arts and cultural organizations, arts-infrastructure groups, and artists as part of a nine-part strategy guiding its efforts in Detroit.

“We really believe that this is one of the ways to strengthen the economic, social and cultural fabric of greater Detroit,” says Laura Trudeau, senior program director.

The Detroit Program’s investments in the arts and cultural community also include funding activities such as arts-management education, fellowships and an annual award that recognizes an exceptional artist for his or her professional achievements and contributions to the cultural community.

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