Skip to main content
To help artists and arts organizations reach broader audiences and strengthen ties with communities, the Knight Foundation has launched the Knight Art + Tech Expansion Fund.

The Expansion Fund seeks to support artists and arts organizations across Detroit by equipping them with technology to further their work. We caught up with Koven Smith, Knight Foundation Senior Director of Arts, to learn more about the opportunity.

Koven Smith

Knight Foundation

About the Fund

This Expansion Fund is part of the initial tech and arts investment that Knight announced earlier this year. The Knight Art + Tech Expansion Fund provides support for technical capacity-building to arts practitioners in Detroit. This is designed to support specific technology needs that working artists and smaller nonprofit arts organizations have. The grant is not project-based; an organization or individual doesn’t have to create new work, a new publication, exhibition or performance in order to qualify for funding. Funding decisions will be made based on applicants’ demonstrated capacity to use technology to increase the impact of their work.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Expansion Fund is open to individual artists, non-profit arts organizations, and arts collectives based in Detroit. Applications must explain how an artist or arts organization will use technology to further their work or mission.

How much funding can I request?

Individual artists may ask for up to $25,000. Organizations or collectives may ask for up to $100,000

The idea is that artists and arts organizations who have demonstrated a real commitment to doing work in Detroit and continuing to do so are not held back by not having the technology and resources needed to do their work.

Koven SmithKnight Foundation Senior Director of Arts
What experiments or new technology can arts organizations invest in with their grant funds?

Proposals can encompass a wide variety of digital technology. For example, one of the categories of support for individual artists is digitization. An individual artists with a large collection of visual art could use the grant funds to create digital images of their work, create an online portfolio, and then use that to increase the reach, drive more sales, and create additional revenue streams.

Here are some additional ideas:

  • Purchase and installation of hardware and/or software (e.g., licensing of archiving software, installation of live streaming equipment, purchase of cloud storage)
  • Build-out/permanent infrastructure (e.g., installation of networking equipment, outdoor projections)
  • Staff or contract support (e.g. contract videographer, full-time web developer, social media manager)
  • Website design and development
  • Mobile application development
  • Digitization/archiving (e.g. digital collection photography, media conservation/preservation, archives records management, etc.)
What kind of proposals are most interesting to the foundation?

Applications that identify a need and demonstrate significant opportunity to increase their capacity and impact overtime. We encourage applicants to be as detailed as possible on how the application of technology will have a lasting impact on their work, and ultimately, on their community.

Applications that emphasize the long-term impact of the application of technology will have an edge over those that emphasize short-term or unclear goals.

What is the application timeline?
  • October 12, 2023: Virtual information session. Register.
  • October 16, 2023: Application opens.
  • October 16, 2023: In-person information session. Register.
  • November 3, 2023: Application closes.