Arts & Culture Challenge


Providing sorely needed operating funds and support for arts and cultural organizations in southeast Michigan during tough economic times was the purpose behind the Arts & Culture Challenge.


The economic downturn that began in 2008 impacted donations to arts and cultural organizations across the country. Recognizing the important role arts and culture play in enhancing the quality of life throughout the region, and in light of the tough economic climate at the time, the Community Foundation partnered with the Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan to launch the Community Foundation Challenge — Arts & Culture.

On August 18, 2009, 75 organizations across southeast Michigan participated in the Community Foundation’s first-ever online fundraiser, where donations made to participating organizations would be matched at 50 percent by the Community Foundation until the $1 million matching funds ran out or September 18 — whichever came first.

Within the first 12 hours of the intended month-long challenge, thousands of donations poured in, raising nearly $4.9 million and surpassing the original goal of $3 million, thanks to the strong outpouring of support from donors and the hard work of the 75 participating organizations.

In response, the Community Foundation increased its initial commitment of $1 million in matching funds to $1.6 million.


The challenge raised funds for the following organizations:

All The World’s A Stage $10,208
The Art Center $289,293
Arts and Scraps $15,788
The Arts Alliance $8,076
The Arts League of Michigan $17,055
ArtServe Michigan $16,638
Automotive Hall of Fame $40,620
Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center $9,900
Birmingham Music Society of Detroit $6,090
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History $80,873
College for Creative Studies $108,413
Communities in Schools of Detroit $34,200
The Community House $84,212
Cranbrook Educational Community, including:

  • Cranbrook Art Museum
  • Cranbrook Institute of Science
  • Cranbrook House and Gardens
  • Cranbrook Summer Theatre School
Detroit Artists Market $59,438
Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings $42,324
Detroit Historical Society $92,663
Detroit Institute of Arts $585,749
Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation Inc. $8,138
Detroit Public Television $92,066
Detroit Repertory Theatre $15,921
Detroit Science Theater $34,170
Detroit Symphony Orchestra $596,054
Detroit Zoo $179,138
Edsel and Eleanor Ford House $55,575
Eisenhower Dance Ensemble $49,215
Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival $42,690
The Heidelberg Project $6,259
The Henry Ford $241,095
Heritage Works $533
Howell Conference and Nature Center $11,820
InsideOut Literary Arts Project $24,905
Leslie Science and Nature Center $41,132
Macomb County College Foundation, including:

  • Macomb Center for the Performing Arts
  • Lorenzo Cultural Center
Matrix Theatre Company $2,813
Meadow Brook Hall $37,290
Meadow Brook Theatre $112,629
Michigan Opera Theatre $318,984
Michigan State University Community Music School-Detroit $14,618
Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit $81,315
Motown Historical Museum $450
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) $106,245
Music Hall Center for Performing Arts $112,763
Northville Art House $1,013
Paint Creek Center for the Arts $2,445
Performance Network Theatre $47,513
Pewabic Pottery $61,005
Plowshares Theatre Company $4,721
Plymouth Historical Society $46,974
Preservation Wayne $2,558
PuppetART/Detroit Puppet Theater $6,525
Purple Rose Theatre Company $38,580
Rackham Symphony Choir $25,875
Sphinx Organization $105,353
Stagecrafters $14,255
Troy Museum and Historic Village $5,025
University Musical Society $167,250
University of Michigan, including:

  • Museum of Natural History
  • University of Michigan Museum of Art
  • Henry Ford Estate-Fairlane
 Variety FAR Conservatory of Therapeutic and Performing Arts  $29,393
 Village Theater at Cherry HIll  $59,882
 VSA Arts of Michigan  $3,450
 Wayne State University, including:

  • Wayne State University Art Galleries
  • College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts
  • Hilberry Theatre
  • Wayne State University Press
Woodward Avenue Action Association $29,886
Y-Arts/YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit $9,300

Questions? Feel free to contact