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Enabling Creatives to Make a Career Leap

The Arc Fund seeks to invest in Southeast Michigan culture-workers of color. This $1.5 million initiative aims to spur growth in the careers of culture workers who have experienced historical trends of disadvantage, underrepresentation, and oppression due to their race.

The initiative offers funding, professional development, and social networking opportunities to culture workers of color to those trends and help culture workers of color advance their careers.

The initiative will distribute 74 unrestricted awards of $15,000 each. Plus, all Arc Fund applicants aligned with the vision of the initiative will be awarded access to professional development experiences as well.

The Arc Fund was launched in collaboration with CultureSource, Ford Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.

Make a Leap

Funds can be used in a variety of ways to support your personal and professional life

Pay Medical Bills, Childcare Expenses, Car Payments

Help Support Cost of Living Expenses

Fund Your Next Big Project or Invest in Your Practice


All are welcome to apply! Applicants will be considered for awards if they align with the points below:

  • They live full-time and work in one of the seven counties of Southeast Michigan: Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, Wayne.
  • Their primary professional focus is advancing arts and culture in Southeast Michigan, whether they be an arts administrator, artist, arts organizer, curator, or arts programmer.
  • They are a practicing arts and cultural professional who has continued to experience historical trends of disadvantage, underrepresentation, and oppression given their race.
  • They share a compelling vision for making a leap in their career whether it be artistically, professionally, and/or personally, and are prepared to make the leap

Note: As a coalition of cultural organizations and creative people, CultureSource believes that participation in networks can catapult individuals, organizations, and communities to greater success than they could achieve alone. While applicants are not required to be affiliated with a CultureSource member organization, those who are will receive additional points during the review process. Affiliation includes employees, contractors, board members, volunteers, resident artists, or presented artists. Inquire about CultureSource membership.


Applications Open
Applications open Thursday, April 25. Aligned applicants may submit only one application.

Application Closes
Applications are due by Friday, May 24 at 5:00pm.

Review Process
Applications will be reviewed and scored in June by arts professionals who have ties to and/or context for the Southeast Michigan cultural sector. Reviewers will read and score a batch of applications; all applications will be read by three reviewers.

Award Notification
Following the review process, all applicants will be notified of the status of their application by email in early-July.


Arc Fund applications are open. All are welcome to apply. We expect to send application decisions via email in early-July. CultureSource will also make a public announcement after applicants are notified.

Deadline: Friday, May 24 at 5:00pm

Investing in the careers of people of color who work in the arts is a benefit to everyone in Southeast Michigan, as it unlocks inspiring and important creative energy that has historically been stifled by systemic oppression.

Omari Rush

More Information

Questions? For questions about alignment and application content, please contact CultureSource at [email protected]

Who is the Arc Fund for and how can the award be used?

The Arc Fund seeks individuals looking and prepared to make a leap in their career trajectory. Fund awards might be used to invest in learning new skills, pursue novel or delayed artistic endeavors, finance or pay off obligations (loans, leases, caregiving expenses, etc.) that limit career flexibility, and fund anything else that supports awardees making a professional leap.

Who is considered a culture worker?

In the context of this program, culture workers are individuals who dedicate significant resources toward creative and cultural expression for an audience, with aspirations to have it be their primary source of income or profession. These individuals (working in incorporated or unincorporated settings) might be teaching artists, DJs, museum curators, muralists, orchestra marketing managers, church choir directors, arts nonprofit executive directors, photographers, gallerists, poets, dance instructors, arts-specific journalists, etc.

How was the Arc Fund designed?

CultureSource staff sought insights, guidance, and feedback from a breadth of arts and cultural professionals in Southeast Michigan to help inform the design, launch, and administration of the Arc Fund. We convened a fund advisory committee and a rubric development committee to contribute to the Fund’s equity strategy and development.

Does the Arc Fund have a research component?

Yes! Insights gathered from applicants and awardees will be used to paint a clearer and more compelling picture of the artistic landscape in Detroit and Southeast Michigan. In partnership with Detroit PBS and WolfBrown, key data points will be identified and visualized in recorded programs to recognize the contributions of creative individuals of color to the vibrant artistic ecosystem of Southeast Michigan.

In Collaboration With

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