City announces recipients for creative placemaking grants

Several creative placemaking efforts in Lansing received funding through a two-prong, $120,000 investment funded through the City of Lansing and administered by the Lansing Area Economic Partnership and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.  The 2016-17 Sense of Place in the Arts Program consists of a $75,000 Arts Impact Project and $45,000 in grants to four local arts and cultural organizations.
“Partnering with the City of Lansing and LEAP to administer these project dollars is representative of the ways that artists, arts organizations and municipalities can collaborate to put creativity at the forefront of economic development,” says Deborah E. Mikula, Arts Council executive director. “These grant projects and the Arts Impact Project work to provide metro Lansing residents with accessible arts experiences and help to build a sense of pride in our communities.”
The Arts Impact Project provides Lansing residents the opportunity to activate spaces in the city through artistic and permanent placemaking efforts. The 2017 project was chosen from more than 15 proposals at an open forum, and will be placed in Southwest Lansing, likely near the intersection of Pleasant Grove and Holmes Road. The project was proposed by At-Large Councilmember Kathie Dunbar and will be designed and constructed by local artists David Such and Fred Hammond. 
The Grant Program will fund public programs that further enhance the City of Lansing’s creative placemaking efforts that capitalize on Lansing’s assets, inspiration and potential. Grants ranging from $5,000-$30,000 have been awarded for building a sense of place through a wide range of artistic and cultural disciplines.
The Grant Program recipients and their projects include:
Lansing Art Gallery: Pop Up Art 2017. The collaborative project involves artists, residents, businesses and visitors and expands upon previous public art projects. The project will artfully transform underused public newspaper kiosks to distribute free newspapers and showcase Michigan-made artwork. The gallery will coordinate free demonstrations of the processes of 12 selected artists, and offer food and seating during noontime on Wednesdays throughout the summer.
Lansing Symphony Orchestra: “Symphonic Cinema.” The free, public, orchestral concert in downtown Lansing will feature a live musical performance set to silent film. The concert will take place on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at the centrally located and fully accessible Lansing Center. The April dates coincides with the beginning of the seventh annual Capital City Film Festival, a key project partner.
Refugee Development Center: Newcomer Voices. Launched at the ThanksLANSING community cultural festival, the project will involve the use of media arts to document 20 stories of refugees who have resettled in metro Lansing. Participants will also tell their story through artistic representation with a tile mosaic.
REO Town Commercial Association: Mural painted bike lanes along S. Washington Avenue. The murals will be installed in conjunction with the 2017 Art Attack. Bike lane stripes will be painted with ‘bike lane green’ paint, and a bike repair station will be installed in REO Town.
“Supporting and increasing access to arts and culture is a critical component of successful economic development,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “Placemaking projects and programs such as these represent opportunities for families and individuals in the region and across the globe to explore and grow intellectually. It’s this global culture that will help us attract and retain the best talent and businesses in the world.”
The 2016 Arts Impact Project proposed in 2015-2016 by project partners Impression 5 Science Center, Riverwalk Theatre and R.E. Olds Transportation Museum will be installed this summer at Museum Drive in downtown Lansing. The project will serve as a beacon and must-see attraction in the vibrant cultural district of downtown Lansing and will be designed by artist Ivan Iler.
Source: Lansing Area Economic Partnership
Writer/Editor: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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