$1.3 million in grants to support 28 transformative projects across Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck neighborhoods
Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit Plus funds the visions of community organizations and residents
DETROIT, MI, June 23, 2022 — Twenty-eight community groups will spend the next two years planning and implementing projects that transform, beautify and connect communities, sharing $1.3 million from the Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit Plus (KIP:D+) grant program.
“We have grantee projects that reopen historic venues, create birthing centers, and analyze the impact of pollution on communities, to name just a few examples,” said Lauren Boone, grant programs manager at Co.act Detroit. “Nonprofits and community organizations support each aspect of our society, and their role in developing neighborhoods is no exception.”
Organizations from all seven City Council districts of Detroit, as well as Hamtramck and Highland Park, make up the 2022 cohort of selected grantees. Their projects comprise visions as diverse as the communities they serve. This year’s selection committee, which included residents, artists, and nonprofit and community partners, was led by Co.act Detroit in collaboration with The Kresge Foundation. The committee chose the 28 groups to receive the grants, ranging from $4,000 “Pre-Planning” grants to $150,000 “Implementation” grants.
Detroit Sound Conservancy, one of two “Implementation” grantees, will use funds to reopen the historic Blue Bird Inn as a music venue, gathering space and cultural education center. “This project will allow the Blue Bird Inn to become again a place to gather and to educate,” said Michelle Jahra McKinney of the Detroit Sound Conservancy. “Our children will learn new ways of being in community, connect with Detroit artist mentors, access archival collections and hear great live music in our neighborhood.”
A clear plan for resident engagement was a critical component of each selected project. In addition to implementing projects, many organizations are using funds to leverage data and technology to ensure resident voices inform what comes next for their neighborhoods.
“Our project creates space for engaging our community in ways that we have not had the resources to do until now,” said Rev. Sharon Buttry, of the Detroit Hamtramck Coalition for Advancing Healthy Environments. “It is a life-and-death matter for us to understand the cumulative health impacts that industry and pollution have on our residents. The conversations we will have and the data we will collect will help us secure the health resources our community deserves.”
Also supported by the new KIP:D+ funds:
- Downtown Detroit Youth Boxing Gym’s Youth Program will plan for a new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) lab on Detroit’s east side.
- American Indian Health and Family Services will design and build a new facility and campus for health and well-being to create a space that bridges the gaps between communities, cultures, and care.
- Detroit Zoological Society will conduct an accessibility audit, engaging with persons with disabilities and hiring consultants with expertise and lived experience to design and develop universal design spaces.
- Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development will serve as the nonprofit sponsor of a community-based planning process—in collaboration with local business owners, nonprofit agency representatives and community residents—to address the increased need for parking and mobility solutions following recent improvements in Clark Park.
A total of 264 Detroit-, Hamtramck-, Highland Park-based nonprofit and community organizations responded to a November 2021 request for proposals to transform neighborhoods with projects that reflect resident priorities.
Of granted organizations, 57 percent have leaders who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous or people of color) and 61 percent are led by women. Organizations include a wide range of budget sizes, with 71 percent having annual operating budgets of less than $500,000 per year. Sixty-one percent of organizations have been in operation for 10 years or longer.
Since 2017, Michigan Community Resources has managed the grantee cohort experience, providing wraparound support to each grantee and convening groups of grantees to build mutual support networks across the area. MCR has also co-led the design and evaluation processes for the last four rounds of grants, ensuring applications are accessible and that grants can meet the needs of organizations at a variety of capacity levels.
“MCR has been elevated as a trusted partner of The Kresge Foundation in helping to shape the KIP:D+ grant program to more deeply and effectively support community organizations,” said Amber Umscheid, Director of Organizational Impact and Analysis with MCR. “We work closely with organizations and create authentic mechanisms for feedback. We’re able to share what we learn about our clients’ needs with Kresge and Co.act, and together, create better experiences for grantees and applicants.”
Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of Kresge’s Detroit Program, noted that KIP:D+ is an extension of the Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit (KIP:D) initiative, launched as a pilot in 2014 to tap the vision and creativity of residents to improve quality of life in their neighborhoods in Detroit — and to spread the energy of revitalization from downtown and Midtown out into the city’s neighborhoods.
“We found that across the city, there are residents and their organizations that know intimately what their neighborhoods need and have concrete visions on how to realize those visions,” said Jackson. “And in other areas, neighbors are anxious for the opportunity to gather, connect and prioritize what needs doing. What residents and organizations need in either case is the resources and technical support to determine next steps.”
Added Jackson, “Partnering with MCR and now with Co.act brings the support, resources and administration of KIP:D+ closer to the neighborhoods being served, making for a stronger, more participatory process.”
Kresge continues to fund KIP:D+ and has committed an additional $2 million for grants over the next two years. Michigan Community Resources will continue to manage the grantee cohort experience, providing wraparound support to each grantee and convening cohorts to build mutual support networks across the city. MCR has played this role in partnership with Kresge since 2017.
The addition of the “plus” to the longstanding KIP:D program represents the incorporation of Co.act Detroit to the years-long partnership between Kresge and Michigan Community Resources. It also represents the inclusion of Hamtramck- and Highland Park-based organizations to the eligibility pool.
Co.act will again administer the next round of the program launching this fall, leading the application and evaluation process and making final grant award decisions in collaboration with Kresge and a selection committee of residents, artists, and nonprofit and community partners.
Meet the Grantee Cohort
- Arts & Scraps
- Detroit Hamtramck Coalition for Advancing Healthy Environments
- Detroit PAL
- Detroit Zoological Society
- Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program
- Family Assistance for Renaissance Men
- Green Living Science
- Highland Park Urban Development Initiative, Inc
- Michigan Interfaith Power & Light
- People’s Water Board Coalition
- Righteous Sons
- Virtual Dialysis Support Center
- Detroit Community Solutions
- Eastern Market Partnership
- Freedom House Detroit
- Friends of Rouge Park
- Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LASED)
- Matrix Theatre Company
- O’Hair Park Community Association
- People for Palmer Park
- Rosedale Fun Litter Pickup Club
- The Friends Of Parkside
Planning + Implementation Grants
- American Indian Health and Family Services
- Birth Detroit
- Garage Cultural
- Detroit Sound Conservancy