Supporter of the Month

Care to meet the generous people and businesses whom we’ve honored as 826michigan Supporters of the Month?

TuesdayFebruary 2016

We are bursting with pride to be a 2015 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit grant winner and honor the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for their support of our students.

826michigan receiving Knight Arts Challenge grant

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has been a tremendous partner in helping 826michigan complete our expansion to Detroit by investing $150,000 to open the Detroit Robot Factory. Just three months after being awarded this incredible opportunity, 826michigan has raised $100,000 of new gifts designated to match our $150,000 Knight Arts Challenge grant. These gifts have been donated by inspired members of the community who believe that our idea can spark positive transformation in Detroit.

Front facade of the Detroit Robot Factory under constructionAll told, the resulting $300,000 is part of our overall 3-year, $1,550,000 Detroit expansion plan. In addition to building the Detroit Robot Factory, we will host new programs on-site as well as grow out our programs currently operating in Detroit neighborhood schools and libraries.  Last school year, 826michigan served more than 550 Detroit students, and our ultimate goal is to build our Detroit outreach to be on par with our Washtenaw County successes, reaching 2,500 students a year.

Since 2005, we have hosted our writing and tutoring programs from the Liberty Street
Robot Supply and Repair in downtown Ann Arbor. The Detroit Robot Factory is the natural extension of our ten years of service to thousands of students across the Southeastern Michigan region. With the help of architect Noah Resnick, the Detroit Robot Factory is intended to spark students’ imaginations by giving them the power to manufacture their own unique stories and ideas.

Being awarded the Knight Arts Challenge grant has catapulted our vision of the Detroit Robot Factory to new heights, making it possible to connect 826michigan with a wider audience. Such visibility is critically important in not only gaining the funding to make our writing and tutoring programs available, but also to informing families and students that 826michigan is here in Detroit especially to serve them.

826michigan staff in the Detroit Robot Factory while it's under construction

Our unconventional robot theme is an essential part of 826michigan’s identity as a place where students arrive equipped with a mind to work and their own brand of whimsy. Students will enter the second floor writing and tutoring lab through the Detroit Robot Factory shop featuring themed gifts and student publications. There they’ll find an amazing workforce of volunteer tutors who will work side by side with them to complete homework, take on writing projects, and craft their own creative stories. Even more volunteers will be dispatched to Detroit neighborhood schools and libraries where they’ll offer even more writing programs. And the best part? It is all provided free of charge!

The $150,000 Knight Arts Challenge grant is helping 826michigan reach our mission to inspire school-aged students to write confidently and skillfully with the help of adult volunteers in their communities. We are proud to be recipients of this outstanding gift and look forward to the many ways in which its impact is demonstrated through the work of our students.

Detroit Robot Factory rendering

To contribute to 826michigan’s $150,000 Knight Arts Challenge to open the Detroit Robot Factory, please visit: or

The Knight Arts Challenge will again be accepting submissions in April for the best ideas for the arts in Detroit. If you have an idea, visit April 4 – May 2 and submit it.

WednesdayJanuary 2016

Art education and public engagement are the center of life in the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. This becomes apparent in the “living canvas” that is MOCAD’s ever-changing facade and the tremendous public programs led by museum staff, local artists, and teens from the Detroit community. The Museum of Contemporary…

SundayDecember 2015

Tyler Weston, Ypsilanti Real Estate Guy Standing 6 feet 7 inches tall in a city that’s only 4.26 square miles makes it difficult not to notice Tyler Weston –a community-minded residential and commercial realtor, captain of the Ypsilicious basketball team, founder of the Washington Street (Cleanup) Club, and creator of…

FridayNovember 2015

As stated on their website, the Detroit Creativity Project is a group of working actors, writers, directors, and musicians whose roots are in Detroit. They include writers, directors, Grammy award-winning artists, Second City alumni, and graduates of Wayne State University. With new roots planted in Los Angeles, the DCP has maintained…

FridayOctober 2015

The Eyrie As volunteers act as the lifeblood of 826michigan, working alongside students to help us reach more than 3,200 youth in the Southeastern Michigan region, a number of local businesses and community supporters step in as enthusiastic public agents, spreading the word about 826michigan’s work. This October, we celebrate…

WednesdaySeptember 2015

Achieving a tenth anniversary of service to students across Southeastern Michigan is no easy feat and we simply could not do it without tremendous support. That support comes not only from the volunteers you see working alongside students each day, but also from funders who generously allocate dollars to keep our programs…

SaturdayAugust 2015

A Trio of Ann Arbor Rotarians 826michigan is pleased to honor the Ann Arbor Rotary Club as our Supporter of the Month! There are many reasons to recognize such a fantastic group and all of their contributions to the Greater Washtenaw community, but we are especially grateful for the investment…

WednesdayJuly 2015

Five of our illustrators were able to attend the Lantern release party! (L to R: Lyla Lutz & daughter!, Oliver Uberti, Erin Johnson, Erin E. Stead, Philip C. Stead) Click here for official Illustrator Bios. Friends, it’s our tenth anniversary year and there have been so many reasons to celebrate. Liberty Street…

FridayJune 2015

This June, we are delighted to honor our friend and neighbor, the University of Michigan Credit Union, as Supporter of the Month! Earlier this year, they were a wonderful source of support to 826michigan as a sponsor for Give Local Day. In conjunction with our friends at Suburban Chevrolet Cadillac…

MondayMay 2015

  Have you heard of our friends at Suburban Chevrolet Cadillac of Ann Arbor? They represent a dealership that understands cars are tools that help people access resources that can make an incredible difference in the course of their lives. Under the leadership of general manager Mike Mosser, Suburban Chevrolet…

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