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Supporting Investments in Technology

The Digital Access for the Arts Program, a programmatic initiative in partnership with the Gilbert Family Foundation, helps CultureSource member organizations harness transformational technology and prepare to thrive in blended in-person and online artistic environments. The program is comprised of research cohorts, convenings, virtual resources, and funding to support arts organizations in Southeast Michigan in embracing the online and digital futures of creative work.

Tech & Arts Recipes

For the past several years, CultureSource has partnered with the Gilbert Family Foundation to understand the digital tech needs of our members, award $160,000 in grants for tech investment, present skill-building seminars, offer tech consulting, and conduct research to gain insights into the state of arts & tech.

We want to learn more, and we need your help. 

We have developed four Tech & Arts Recipes that are linear, step-by-step experiences about the artistic, administrative, or audience engagement dimensions of the work our members do. We are seeking 12 organizations to complete one of the recipes and report on their experience during the process. Each participating organization will receive an unrestricted $8,000 stipend.

Our research partner 8 Bridges Workshop will use the aggregated data to develop a report on what organizations need, recommendations on better supporting them, and what CultureSource specifically might provide or advocate for. We will also publish full and refined recipes alongside the report.

Recipe 1

Securing Passwords and Data

Step up your cybersecurity game and start using an end-to-end encrypted password manager in one day. This recipe offers a user-friendly password manager and instructions on how to get started on storing your passwords safely across all your devices.


  • Internet Access
  • Computer
  • Smart phone (iOS or Android)
  • 1Password Subscription
  • A list of your softwares and logins (at least 15)
Recipe 2

Creative Video with Artificial Intelligence

As an introduction to creative AI, this recipe will help you create video from a static image using generative video software. Generate short promo video for a music recording, make a Spotify Canvas, or artistic short video content in a few clicks.


  • Internet Access
  • Music track OR 2D visual art OR a creative prompt concept
  • Computer or tablet
  • subscription
  • Adobe Creative Suite subscription
Recipe 3

Social Media Images with Impact

Using an existing organization logo, create a new banner for social media using accessible graphic design software—and track its impact. This recipe supports both computer and iPad users to refresh their web presence in just a few hours.


  • Internet Access
  • Instagram or Facebook Accounts
  • Google Analytics
  • iPad or computer
  • Adobe Creative Suite or Procreate
Recipe 4

Modernized Office Productivity

Explore new productivity tools to manage your workload and use a weighted scorecard to keep track of which software meets your needs, enabling you to select the best one to implement into your existing practices.


  • Internet Access
  • Mac or PC computer
  • Free trials to five productivity and note-taking tools
  • One productivity tool subscription
  • Airtable account with scorecard template


Organizations are eligible if they submit a completed questionnaire and are members of CultureSource.

Participants will complete brief assessments before, during, and after the recipe making process as well as provide general feedback. Our collaborator on this is 8 Bridges Workshop.

$8,000 per participant; stipends are unrestricted and may be used to purchase equipment, software, or licenses in the ingredients list or to offset staff time spent on the recipe or to support general operations

Technologist Support
If participants hit roadblocks or have questions during the recipe making process, they are able to schedule free consultations with CultureSource’s technologist-in-residence.

Recipes are designed to be completed by one person who sets aside 8-12 hours during 1-2 months. Participants will need to have “entry-level” tech skills and reliable internet access too.

Prospective participants with questions should reach reach out to  [email protected].


Submit Questionnaire
To be considered for participation, organizations must complete a questionnaire that guides organizations in assessing themselves whether they have the capacity to participate. (Most of the questions are yes/no responses or check boxes.) We anticipate it will take approximately 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire.

Due Date
Questionnaires are due May 16, 5pm Eastern. Notifications of selection the week of May 27.

Based on completion of the questionnaire; if we receive more than 12 completed questionnaires, we will randomly select 12 participants


February – June 2024
Online Consultation
Do you need help choosing a laptop or camera? Do you want to get feedback about an idea you have for streaming a performance or digitizing a collection? Are you looking for ideas on which password management, CRM, or mobile apps to choose?
CultureSource members can schedule a free call with our Technologist-in-Residence Jon Riley for guidance. He can help you address day-to-day tech issues, strategize for implementation of creative ideas, and plan for long-term sustainability of digital systems. Jon can also help CultureSource member organizations apply for and implement a tech recipe.
Learning Experiences

Our seven-part workshop series is designed to help people working at arts and culture organizations question, challenge, and expand their knowledge on current trends in the online cultural space. Intended to be supportive and empowering, all workshops will be followed by 30-minute hack sessions, where participants will learn skills to enhance their work in the digital landscape.


To assess the needs of CultureSource members, we commissioned 8 Bridges Workshop to discover how organizations use technology in their work. This research provides insight into how organizations used digital tools to adapt their work for virtual presentation, and makes recommendations as to how arts organizations can build their digital capacity.

Resource Library

We complied a set of asynchronous resources to explore as you consider building your organization’s digital infrastructure, upgrading equipment, or infusing digital accessibility into a program. Beyond making routine investments in technology, these resources are designed to help you imagine possibilities, explore resources, and plan next steps.

Early Iterations

From February through May 2021 and all of 2022, Technologist-in-Residence Jon Riley offered free consultations with DAAP participants and CultureSource members to provide individualized support in strategizing organization’s digital work. Jon synthesized common challenges and offered recommendations to combat them in a program report.

More Information

For questions about the Digital Access for the Arts Program? Send us an email at [email protected]

Previous Grantees
In the program’s lifespan, 36 grants have been issued to CultureSource member organizations to fund their digital evolution, and transform their work in preparation for a sustainable future.

2022 Grantees

Sixteen (16) grants of $5,000 were awarded to CultureSource member organizations to support strategic investment in their digital infrastructure, and augment their programmatic work through emerging technology.

  • Ann Arbor Film Festival
  • Black & Brown Theatre
  • Chaldean Cultural Center
  • Detroit Public Theatre
  • Detroit Puppet Company
  • Detroit Sound Conservancy
  • Girls Rock Detroit
  • Live Coal
  • Living Arts
  • Michigan Arts Access
  • Mint Artists Guild
  • Motor City Street Dance Academy
  • Sphinx Organization
  • TéMaTé Institute for Black Dance & Culture
  • The Carr Center
  • Y Arts / YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit

2021 Grantees

Twenty (20) grants of $5,000 were awarded to CultureSource member organizations to support sustainable technology investments that enhance digital work. Members used their grants to fund the purchase of new equipment, explore digital content delivery, and support their organization’s evolving digital capacity needs.

  • Black and Brown Theatre
  • Mexicantown Community Development Corporation, Inc.
  • Shua Group Arts
  • Plowshares Theatre Company
  • Poetic Societies
  • The Arts League of Michigan (the Carr Center)
  • We Are Culture Creators
  • TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture
  • Chamber Music Society of Detroit
  • FAR Conservatory of Therapeutic and Performing Arts
  • Y Arts (YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit)
  • Motor City Street Dance Academy
  • Paint A Miracle
  • Sphinx Organization
  • Sidewalk Detroit
  • Garage Cultural
  • Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society
  • PuppetART
  • Detroit Sound Conservancy
  • The Scarab Club

In Collaboration With

Evolution of Our Tech + Arts Focus


Conference session at the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies on the intersection of art + tech inspires our focus on digital evolution


The National Endowment for the Arts launches a national study to understand the intersection of art and digital tech; CultureSource is invited to join the advisory committee and hosts a roundtable on behalf of the Endowment to convene regional practitioners


Rocket Community Fund gives CultureSource $125,000 to launch DAAP, a program focused on building our member’s digital capacity

January 2021

CultureSource launches virtual workshops focused on topics in art + technology; Jon Riley joins DAAP as Technologist-in-Residence

April 2021

First round of grants made to 20 organizations

August 2021

Omari is commissioned by the Arts Endowment to write an essay on how the arts sector can support transformational technology; Rocket Community Fund makes a second investment in our digital programs

October 2021

CultureSource and 8 Bridges Workshop publish findings from a research cohort that assessed the needs of arts organizations as they worked to adapt their programming to online environments

March 2022

CultureSource renews it’s Technologist-in-Residence for the remainder of 2022

June 2022

CultureSource co-hosts a national symposium with the Indiana University Center for Cultural Affairs on innovating arts institutions and digital tech

October 2022

CultureSource is selected to present a tech and arts panel for philanthropists at the Grantmakers in the Arts conference in New York

November 2022

Second round of grants awarded to 16 organizations

January 2023

Gilbert Family Foundation renews its investment in DAAP for a third year

February 2023

Knight Foundation makes a $1M investment to help CultureSource grow its digital programming

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