Creativetithing.org was founded by four artists living and working in Detroit: Billy Mark, Sarah Mark, Stefanie Cohen, and Corey Gearhart— members of a faith-based artist collective called ONE.

How This Thing Works

Through Creative Tithing we open up and reconfigure the front and back end of the creative process: 

  • On the front end, our work receives fresh influences when our imaginations aren’t restricted to fit that which is attractive to institutions with purchasing power.  

  • On the back end, when art, through the support of tithers, is gifted on a grassroots level, people may receive art who wouldn't otherwise. 

  • More broadly, we ask, if other artists work in this gift economy within their communities, how might the art world expand and transform?

The Model

Our model is simple: an individual contributes an ongoing financial gift toward an artist’s practice; the works the artist creates are given as gifts.


Throughout history, and across a wide variety of faith communities, tithers (from the word tithe, meaning a tenth) typically give 10% of their income to an institution or a cause in which they believe.  Creative Tithing combines that ancient practice with the modern, “1% for the arts”.  This mixture creates a little pocket of grace in our society; a place in our economy where we can give and receive art instead of buying and selling it. 

Artist Cohorts

The cohort structure brings together a small groups of artists that advocate for one another and fundraise together if they so choose. We believe in this system of art-making that strengthens the type of horizontal community that we have experienced in Detroit.


Through creativetithing.org, as more artists and tithers practice creative tithing they will form interconnected groups of cohorts within each city.