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DTE Energy Foundation awards $1.25 million to create vibrant and diverse arts and culture initiatives

·6-min read

Seven organizations will use funding to create opportunities for Michiganders to experience the voices of communities statewide

Detroit, Nov. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The DTE Energy Foundation today announced it has awarded grants to Michigan-based organizations focused on arts and culture and enriching diverse communities across the state. Grant recipients include the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Public Museum Foundation, Historical Society of Michigan, Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation, and University Musical Society (UMS). Organizations will use this support to encourage cultural understanding, offer special experiences to youth, and honor unique qualities and perspectives of their regions.

“Arts and culture bring people together by fostering understanding and celebrating the diversity in all of our unique backgrounds,” said Lynette Dowler, president, DTE Foundation. “We care deeply about the communities we serve throughout Michigan – and about the unique cultures and traditions within them. Our partners will use these grants to teach, inspire and expand students and spectator’s views alike on how through a deeper appreciation of the arts, we deepen our respect for one another.”

The DTE Foundation’s goal is to encourage diverse communities by addressing racial equity and justice through arts education, public engagement work, and cultural institutions. As one of the state’s largest foundations committed to Michigan-focused giving, it supports initiatives focused on arts and culture, community transformation, economic progress, education and employment, environment and human needs.

“Through the support of the DTE Foundation, the Grand Rapids Public Museum is continuing after school STEAM programming, designed to provide young learners with advanced knowledge and skills in science and engineering practices through hands-on activities and experiments, exposing students to potential career opportunities in STEAM fields,” said Dr. Stephanie Ogren, Vice President of Science & Education at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. “In these after-school programs, students experience science in a hands-on way, led by local professionals. We are extremely thankful to the DTE Foundation for the role they are playing within the community.”

"We're so thrilled that DTE Energy Foundation has awarded UMS with one of its Arts and Culture grants," said UMS Vice President for Education and Community Engagement Cayenne Harris. "On November 29, for the first time in nearly two years, we'll be welcoming K-12 classrooms back to Hill Auditorium for a live performance by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, with additional School Day Performances scheduled throughout the season. These events, which come with a preparatory learning guide and additional classroom opportunities, are a terrific way to introduce many students to the arts for the first time, as well as to inspire them to use the arts as a vehicle for discussions around race, history, health and well-being, and more. We're also delighted that this program supports our annual selection of the DTE Educator of the Year, which honors the integration of arts in classroom learning at the K-12 level."

The following grant recipients will use the DTE Foundation’s support to drive knowledge, broaden perspectives and encourage thought and action in diverse communities across Michigan.

  • Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History – $300,000

    • The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History opens minds and changes lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture. During a time when global perspectives, diverse discussions and contemporary experiences are so relevant, this grant will support programming that furthers their vision of sharing African American history to inspire everyone toward greater understanding, acceptance, and unity.

  • Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) – $100,000

    • The DIA has been a beacon of culture for the Detroit area for well over a century and serves as one of the premier art museums in the United States. It offers learning about the world’s histories and cultures through its longstanding commitment of showcasing compelling art that tells the story of our time. The DTE Foundation grant will support the ‘Van Gogh in America’ exhibition set to open on Oct 2, 2022. The DIA was the first U.S. museum to purchase a Vincent Van Gogh painting in 1922 and will serve as the exclusive venue featuring more than 60 Van Gogh pieces that tell the story of how the artist’s work came to America.

  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) – $300,000

    • The DSO has been at the center of Detroit’s musical heartbeat for more than 130 years and is focused on spreading an inclusive, accessibility-first mission of artistic excellence for families and communities throughout Detroit and the world. Funding will support the DSO’s efforts to provide free concerts in community venues throughout Southeast Michigan. These concerts deliver authentic musical experiences in each space, foster partnerships with local theaters and gathering spaces, and deepen connections between audiences and musicians.

  • Grand Rapids Public Museum Foundation – $100,000

    • The Grand Rapids Public Museum inspires passionate curiosity and a deeper understanding of the world through exhibitions, events and educational programming. This grant will support STEAM based after school programming, removing barriers to access for students in the community for hands-on enrichment and to encourage children to see themselves in science. Additionally, the grant will support K-12 STEAM programs, and upcoming exhibits ‘Pterosaurs’ and ‘Fashion and Nature’.

  • Historical Society of Michigan (HSM) – $75,000

    • HSM encourages citizens in the collection, preservation, interpretation and publication of Michigan history. The DTE Foundation is a lead sponsor of the Michigan Centennial Farm Program, which supports farms that have remained in the same family for 100 years or more and highlights the farm’s contributions to the state. Along with overall operations support, these funds will provide extra resources allowing the organization to connect with new members and continue to service existing members.

  • Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation – $330,000

    • The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade, now known as America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Gardner-White, was founded in 1924. The DTE Foundation’s support will help the organization continue its more than 75 year tradition of offering a one-of-a-kind spectacle of fantasy, holiday spirit and community enthusiasm.

  • University Musical Society (UMS) – $50,000

    • UMS believes the performing arts build creativity and expose students to new ways of looking at their world. This support will be used to fund the organization’s K-12 School Day Performances, a series of one-hour field trip opportunities featuring some of the best performing artists from around the world. It will also fund the DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year award, which highlights outstanding work in arts education.

About the DTE Foundation

The DTE Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.3 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.3 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2020, the DTE Energy Foundation provided more than $16 million in grant support and approximately $21 million in COVID relief to nonprofits where the company has a business presence. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in communities across Michigan in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Visit DTEFoundation.com to learn more.

CONTACT: Aimee Ridella DTE Energy 313.235.5555


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