Lansing/East Lansing Set New Goals With Cultural Economic Development Plan

A diverse group of organizations, municipalities, artists and community members recently released the “Cultural Economic Development Plan for Greater Lansing's Urban Center,” a blueprint of the area’s cultural assets designed to enhance cultural economic development in the Capital region.

The development plan includes four generalized goals for cultural economic development including building a leadership community for the creative sector that can implement an action plan; cultivating creative entrepreneurship; identify financing; and developing a Michigan Avenue center for creative business arts.

“Some of these things bode well with progressive changes,” says Chris VanWyk with CiesaDesign.

In a sense, the group did what the City of Lansing is doing with its master plan — bringing the region's creative entities to the table and laying out a map for future growth and enhancement.

“This really is about pulling all of the reins and going in the same direction,” says Kent Love, with the Wharton Center

The plan is in its infancy, but the goals are set and those involved expect the plan to change and morph as they move forward.

“We want the creative sector to have access to economic tools that other sectors have access to,” says Leslie Donaldson, executive director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

The assessment shows that the Capital region has a younger population than most cities of similar size and a creative workforce slightly greater than that of other cities. Nine percent of the Capital region’s workforce works in the creative sector compared to seven percent in other cities.

The cities of Lansing and East Lansing, Michigan State University, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the State of Michigan worked on the plan, hosting several focus groups, compiling an online survey and contributing months of time and energy to assessing the area’s cultural assets.

For more details concerning the plan, click here.

Source: Chris VanWyk, CiesaDesign 

Ivy Hughes is the managing editor of Capital Gains and can be reached here.

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