Heidelberg Project Received Grant To Expand Education, Community Development

In Press Release

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan Makes Grant for Growth and Program Expansion of Detroit’s Heidelberg Project


DETROIT—The Heidelberg Project is pleased to announce that the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has pledged a $50,000 grant over two years to support the implementation of a strategic plan for strengthening the nonprofit arts organization as it continues to expand its education and community development programs.

The Heidelberg Project is best known for its funky, two-block art installation environment on Detroit’s near-east side created by artist Tyree Guyton and volunteers from the neighborhood. The site has gained worldwide recognition for its mission to “change lives and communities through art” by transforming abandoned structures and materials into an artistic attraction that engages an estimated 275,000 visitors a year. Portions of the Heidelberg Project have been exhibited nationally and internationally and Guyton’s work is in the permanent collection of several leading museums, including the Detroit Institute of Art.

Over recent years, the Heidelberg Project has increasingly expanded its reach beyond the original installation site, which suffered unprecedented damage from a series of arson fires in 2013. The HP offers classes for children, lectures, tours and a young adults program for leadership through both creative and service projects. As the organization retools after the fires, the HP will place a greater emphasis on community engagement while expanding partnerships with other anchor organizations within its immediate community.

“This grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a show of support for our continued growth and evolution as an arts organization and important resource in the Detroit cultural community,” said Jenenne Whitfield, Executive Director of the Heidelberg Project. “We will use the grant to implement the strategic plan we are developing with the assistance of the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.”

The DeVos Institute offers consultation, training and support to arts nonprofits nationwide, based on a rigorous selection process.

The board of directors of the Heidelberg Project issued the following statement about the opportunity represented by the Community Foundation grant: “the Heidelberg Project’s inspirational model has spread internationally, while the organization remains a force for community change in—and at the heart of—Detroit. As we enter 2014, we look forward to supporting the staff as we shape a new vision over the next three years.”

The Heidelberg Project is a 501 (c) 3 Detroit-based community organization designed to improve the lives of people and neighborhoods through art. Our mission is to inspire people to appreciate and use artistic expression to enrich their lives and to improve the social and economic health of their greater community.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations committed to the future of southeast Michigan, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $598 million through more than 47,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties.