Research – Public and Philanthropic funding for Arts and Culture in Metro Detroit / Part 1 : Overview

Summary: the total reported ongoing public and philanthropic support for Arts and Culture in Metropolitan Detroit is estimated to be approximately $47.0M / year.

Of this, $0.7M (1.5%) goes to individual artists$0.5M (1%) goes to small not-for-profits and sponsored projects$2.7M (6%) goes to medium-sized ($100k-$1M revenue) not-for-profits,  and $42.7M (91%) goes to large (>$1M revenue) not-for-profits, of which $32.3M (69%) goes to the Detroit Institute of Arts$375k (<1%) is currently unallocated.

By far the most significant funding source is the DIA Millage ($29.5M). If this is removed, the distribution is as follows: 4.1% goes to individual artists2.8% goes to small not-for-profits and sponsored projects15.7% goes to medium-sized not-for-profits, and 75% goes to large not-for-profits, including the Detroit Institute of Arts

Background: This study examines ongoing and publicly reported philanthropic and public funding schemes that fund arts and culture in Metropolitan Detroit. It traces where the money comes from and where it goes. The intention is to establish a baseline overview of the pipeline of repeatable year-over-year funding for arts and culture in the region.

The scope of the study excludes the following: “speculative” grant applications where local arts organizations (and cultural producers) compete against comparable organizations in other regions; “invisible” (relationship-based) funding that takes place in private between a grantor and grantee; and one-off funding for institutional campaigns. All of these funding streams are excluded because they are either not publically reported or not repeatable. However, this study does include state and federal funding because these schemes are publicly reported and are of sufficient scale to represent a repeatable year-over-year form of funding for arts and culture in the region.

Methodology: Metropolitan Detroit is defined as the Tri-County region of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

Funding sources for Arts and Culture in Metropolitan Detroit were determined by an iterative process of (i) identifying who funds different arts organizations in the city (typically listed on the organization’s website) and then (ii) going to the funder’s website and looking at who else they are funding.

For each funding source, we obtained the latest annual list of grant recipients (as of 7/31/2022). If necessary, this was filtered down to recipients from the Tri-county area. In general, we used the funders’ own definition of what counted as an arts and culture organization. In situations where a funding source didn’t categorize their grants, we filtered the grantees down to those that were consistent with the arts and culture organizations that appear elsewhere in this study.

For consistency, project administration costs (such as those paid to organizations such as Culture Source) were removed from the list of grants.

In a few relatively minor situations, the regional scope of the funding source is the seven counties of Southeast Michigan, and it is impossible to break it down to funding specifically for the Tri-County area. In this case, we assume that 75% of the total funding goes to the Tri-County area. This is consistent with the percentage of Southeast Michigan funding that goes to the Tri-County area year-over-year in the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) grants. Since the broad-based MCACA program covers many different types of organizations and projects, it is assumed to be a good general indicator.

For reporting and analysis purposes, not-for-profits were divided into three categories: Large (those with annual revenues above $1M), Medium (with revenues between $100k and $1M), and Small (with revenues less than $100k). Not-for-profits were categorized using the latest revenue figures taken from Propublica NonProfit explorer.

Funding Sources listed in order of decreasing annual value:

Detroit Institute of Arts Millage ($29.5M/year): public funding from a 0.2 millage property tax in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties, which is in place until 2032. The $29.5M figure is taken from the DIA’s latest released annual financial statement. Of this figure, $1.3M is assigned for specific activities through separate service contract agreements with the three counties. The rest is spent at the DIA’s discretion.

Detroit Arts Support ($4.06M/year): general operating support funding for not-for-profits with greater than $100k/year revenue provided by The Kresge Foundation, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, and DeRoy Testamentary Foundations. The foundations share a common application process but assign grants based on their separate priorities. Seventy-four arts and culture organizations were supported in the current three-year funding cycle. Of the four foundations involved, only Erb published the specific grants (total of $1.5M/year) they made through their “anchor arts” grants. Hudson-Webber ($585k/year and DeRoy Testamentary ($300k/year) provided their specific grants for this study by personal communication. The Kresge Foundation failed to respond to multiple requests for information, and the study estimated their granting profile from the aggregate of the other three organizations.

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Arts&Culture Initiative ($3.38M/year): provides $3M/year general operating support for 11 large organizations and $500k/year support for small to medium-sized arts and culture organizations. The breakdown of the $3M is as follows: Arab American National Museum ($100,000/year); Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History ($300,000 /year); Detroit Historical Society ($200,00 /year); Detroit Institute of Arts ($700,000 /year); Detroit Symphony Orchestra ($700,000 /year); Detroit Zoological Society ($150,000 /year); Holocaust Memorial Center ($100,000 /year); Michigan Opera Theatre ($200,000 /year); Michigan Science Center ($200,000 /year); Motown Museum ($200,000 /year); and The Henry Ford ($150,000 /year). The grant guidelines for the $500k are to be announced, but the press release indicates that the money will “support other arts and culture nonprofits, primarily of small to medium size, across the seven counties of Southeast Michigan.” This figure is estimated to correspond to $375k/year for institutions in the Tri-County area.

The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs ($2.9M/year in the Tri-County area): In 2022, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) will provide a total of $10.7M in grants for arts and culture projects in the State of Michigan. Of this, $2.9M is allocated to projects in the Tri-County area.

Robert H Tannahill Foundation ($2.1M/year): The Tannahill Foundation distributes $3M/year to eight cultural, educational, and church organizations in Metropolitan Detroit. Of these, four (Detroit Institute of Arts ($1.5M/year), Detroit Artists Market ($75k/year), Detroit Symphony Orchestra ($375k/year), and CCS ($150k/year)) are consistent with the types of arts and culture organizations that appear elsewhere in this study.

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan ($1.7M/year in the Tri-County area): in their 2022 yearbook, the CFSEM record that they distributed a total of $103M in grants throughout the seven counties of Southeast Michigan (the Tri-County region plus Livingston, Monroe, St Clair and Washtenaw Counties). Of this total amount, $1.7M was distributed to arts and culture organizations in the Tri-County area that are consistent with those that appear elsewhere in this study. The CFSEM also administers the “Staging Change Detroit” project, and grants from this project are not included in the $1.7M.

DTE Energy Foundation ($1.1M in the Tri-County region): in their latest round, the DTE Energy Foundation made grants totaling $1.25M to Michigan arts and culture organizations. Of these, $1.1M are in the Tri-County region.

Staging Change Detroit ($990k in most recent round): Staging Change Detroit is a multi-phased Knight Foundation project (in collaboration with the CFSEM) to support theater in Detroit. In the most recent round, 10 theater organizations received a total of $990k.

Kresge Artist Fellowships ($600k/year): each year, Kresge Arts in Detroit awards 20 fellowships @$25k, 10 “Gilda” awards at $5k, and one $50k eminent artist award to artists in the Tri-County area.

National Endowment for the Art ($570k): in 2021, the NEA distributed $570k of grants to arts and culture organizations in the Tri-County area.

Creators of Culture ($75k/year)provides a total of $100k/year for individual cultural producers in the seven counties of Southeast Michigan. This figure is assumed to equate to $75k/year for cultural producers in the Tri-County area. The funders are The Erb Family Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Rocket Community Fund.

Flourish Fund ($45k/year): provide six individual grants of $10k to cultural producers in the seven counties of Southeast Michigan. This figure is assumed to equate to $45k/year for cultural producers in the Tri-County area. The funder is the Andy Warhol Foundation.