Lansing wins NEA grant to plan improvements to Adado Riverfront Park

A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts will fund the initial steps in creating a shared vision for Adado Riverfront Park that includes major improvements like a permanent outdoor entertainment area and performing arts stage.
The Arts Council of Greater Lansing and the City of Lansing announced receipt of the $40,000 NEA Art Work grant in early May. The award came after months of planning meetings and deliberations by metro Lansing leaders.
"The Arts Council was pleased to lead the steering committee for the project," says Deborah Mikula, Executive Director for the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. "Adado Riverfront Park is a beautiful natural resource in Lansing, but it is often underutilized as a park."
Mikula added that a permanent stage in Adado will broaden possibilities for more and different types of public entertainment and festivals, and will encourage more people to support arts and cultural activities in downtown Lansing. A functional outdoor stage with performance infrastructure like lighting, speaker trusses, and dressing and storage rooms will also help make the park a destination and gathering space for residents and visitors.
The NEA Art Works grant will help pay for two to three community charrettes in the coming year to gather public input into the facility design and for the park as a whole. The grant will also help fund environmental or hydrologic studies to determine the approach to and effect of build-outs or construction. Additional funding will be sought to construct the facility and transform the park.
Mikula says the idea is to turn underused green space into a vibrant cultural space that provides continuous programming on a seasonal basis. The new Adado will "connect the dots" between the Lansing Center, the Lansing City Market, and the downtown and Old Town districts, she says, and has the potential to be Lansing's version of Chicago's Millennium Park, Detroit's Campus Martius, or the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
"When people move here, when we try to retain talent that is already here, they want know their community is continuing to upgrade and continuing to think about things that will impact people's lives," Mikula says. "This will be one of those kinds of things, one of those kinds of facilities and parks that will really draw and be that economic driver."
Source: Deborah Mikula, Executive Director, Arts Council of Greater Lansing
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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