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 include building birth centers, reopening historic venues and analyzing 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 the 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 Developmentt 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 solutions following recent improvements in Clark Park.
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.
This round of grants brings the total of granted projects and planning efforts to 155 for a total of $12.4 million since 2014, when the Kresge Detroit Program announced the foundation’s first effort to invite proposals from nonprofits for transformative, neighborhood-based projects.
The full list of the new 28 recipients of KIP:D+ grants is: American Indian Health and Family Services, Arts & Scraps, Birth Detroit, Detroit Community Solutions, Detroit Hamtramck Coalition for Advancing Healthy Environments, Detroit PAL, Detroit Sound Conservancy, Detroit Zoological Society, Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program, Eastern Market Partnership, Family Assistance for Renaissance Men, Freedom House Detroit, Friends of Rouge Park, Garage Cultural, Green Living Science, Highland Park Urban Development Initiative Inc, JOURNi, Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED), Matrix Theater Company, Michigan Interfaith Power & Light, O’Hair Park Community Association, People for Palmer Park, People’s Water Board Coalition, Righteous Sons, Rosedale Fun Litter Pickup Club, Soulardarity, The Friends of Parkside, Virtual Dialysis Support Center.
An interactive map showing project or organization locations for all KIP:D and KIP:D+ grants along with project descriptions can be found at the bottom of our KIP:D+ webpage here. Use the drop-down menu to sort grants by year.