The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has committed $24.3 million over five years for community development initiatives in Detroit, and to increase access to and diversity in arts organizations in southeast Michigan.
The foundation is working to support community development corporations and community-based organizations in six Detroit neighborhoods, chosen in large part to leverage initiatives already active in the areas. In addition, the foundation awarded grants to increase access and diversity among arts and cultural organizations serving Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw counties.
"We hope these grant awards will make a statement about our commitment to strengthening neighborhoods and expanding the reach of arts and cultural experiences at a time when resources are limited," said David F. Smydra, Sr., the foundation's Detroit-based community liaison program officer. "As a relatively small funder in the philanthropic context of southeast Michigan, our committee felt strongly that for Knight to succeed, our investments must encourage collaborative approaches that complement and leverage existing efforts to fit into the community's broader agenda."