Application window open for grants supporting placemaking projects that unite Michigan communities

What’s happening: The application window is officially open for the Bridge Builders Microgrant program from the Michigan Municipal League Foundation. This latest round of microgrants has the foundation increasing its awards in the Neighborhood Microgrant category from $500 to $1,000; Main Street Microgrants remain at $5,000 per grant.

What it is: This is the fourth round of Bridge Builders Microgrants, a program made available to Michigan Municipal League (MML) member communities that rewards creative projects intended to bring people together and unite communities. The $5,000 Main Street Microgrants are available to downtown development authorities, commercial improvement districts, municipal governments, and local businesses in traditional downtown areas. The $1,000 Neighborhood Microgrants are available to individuals, informal organizations, and neighborhood organizations and associations.

Why it’s important: The most recent Bridge Builders Microgrants were awarded in October 2022. Our sister site UPword covered one such grant-winning project in downtown Iron Mountain, a public art installation organized by the DDA there. Public art is a popular instance of placemaking, and one that brings people together – just what the MML wants to see.

As Mindy Meyers, program director for the Iron Mountain Downtown Development Authority, told UPword at the time of the news, “(Public art) brings people to the center of our downtown. And I think that's what's most important. It's bringing your community together, and it supports economic growth for small businesses that are within their area.”

How to apply: Interested parties have until Sunday, April 23, to apply for this latest round of Bridge Builders Microgrants. Visit the Michigan Municipal League Foundation website to learn more about the application process, important dates, and more.

What they’re saying: “These microgrants are for community-centered projects that will bring people together,” said Helen D. Johnson, President of the Michigan Municipal League Foundation. “We love Bridge Builder Microgrants and the program has been so successful that we’re thrilled to double the size of the Neighborhood Microgrants while continuing our Main Street grants. We can’t wait to see how this year’s projects foster collaboration across sectors and bring people together in communities.”

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
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