Coming from the Michigan industrial cities of Saginaw and Detroit, on to bright lights of national stages, Stewart Francke’s creative work has impacted the lives of thousands who’ve heard his songs or read his writing. In 2009 his hometown of Saginaw recognized him by awarding him a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Saginaw County Arts Commission, for “the enjoyment and insight his songs have brought to so many in his hometown, home state and beyond.”
Stewart’s been recognized by his peers through numerous Detroit Music Awards, including Best Artist, Songwriter & Album, totaling 13 awards. Hour Detroit readers voted him most popular musician 2002-2003. He was awarded a Creative Artist Grant by Artserve Michigan in 2004. Numerous cover stories and feature articles detailing Stewart’s music have appeared in regional, national and international publications.
All of his music has been self-financed, recorded in Detroit, and independently distributed and promoted internationally through innovative use of the internet, increasingly, and deep trust with his loyal audience. He has successfully used crowdfunding services three times to fund his three most recent records.
A leukemia and bone marrow transplant survivor, Stewart has fused his music and cancer outreach, and was recognized by the Points Of Light Foundation in 2001 for his personal work in cancer patient support. The Stewart Francke Leukemia Foundation was presented the prestigious Partnership In Humanity Award by the Detroit Newspapers and he was named Volunteer of the Year by the National Marrow Donor Program in 2002.
The SFLF has raised more than $200,000 since 1998, funding groups such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Children’s Leukemia Foundation, Gilda’s Club, and the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link. A living endowment in Francke’s name exists at Karmanos Cancer Institute, with the express purpose of funding minority bone marrow searches. In 2002 Stewart formed Musician’s Outreach of Michigan (MOM), placing musicians of all genres in hospitals to perform for patients and families.
In 2006, Wayne State’s Ridgeway Press released “Between The Ground & God,” a collection of Stewart’s writing on music, life and Michigan living. The book won two 2007 National Indie Excellence Awards, and led to an invitation to read at the New York Book Festival. In 2013, a memoir of his battle with cancer, “What Don’t Kill Me Just Makes Me Strong,” was published by San Francisco-based ebook publisher Untreed Reads.