Detroit Arts Organizations to Receive $20 Million

By Megan Westberg

The arts scene in Detroit today received a significant Halloween surprise—$20 million, in fact, courtesy of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This is not the first time the Knight Foundation has invested in Detroit’s arts institutions (according to its website, since 2012 it’s spent $52 million to support the arts in Detroit), and the along with its commitment to this new investment, the Foundation today released the results of a multi-year study that “reveals that over the past decade—and in spite of the recession and the city’s changing financial situation—the arts have flourished in Detroit, playing a pivotal role in shaping the city and reinvigorating its reputation as a national center for arts and culture.”


Among the organizations to receive support are Detroit Symphony Orchestra ($2.5 million to “activate the campus of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center by redeveloping the courtyard into a community space, presenting multi-disciplinary programming that attracts new audiences, and transforming the façade of the building with digital content) and the Sphinx Organization ($1.5 million “to create a diverse network of leaders in classical music with Sphinx LEAD, the professional development and fellowship program for emerging leaders of color in Knight cities”).