LEAP Awards $20,000 for Public Art, Artist-Entrepreneurs with Support from PNC Foundation

Delhi Township and Meridian Township Receive Public Art Grants to Enhance Business and Talent Attraction

A picture of a sculpture called Keeping Time located in TIme Piece Park, Charlotte Michigan shows a metal hand playing a keyboard sitting on top of a bench that moves the keyboard when sitting.

The Keeping Time Sculpture in Charlotte’s Time Piece Park was funded in part by a 2018 LEAP Public Art for Communities Grant.

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) announced its continued investment in public art and artist entrepreneurship Wednesday, April 19, 2021, by awarding $20,000 for public art through its Public Art for Communities (PAFC) grant program. LEAP looks forward to boosting the Lansing region’s sense of place with support from PNC Foundation by contributing to two new permanent public art installations that will help the region compete for business and, especially, talent going forward.

“LEAP has emphasized for years the importance of placemaking in economic development,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “Now, as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic safely, we must sharpen our focus on our sense of place. We know mid-size markets like the Lansing region are increasingly desirable in the vastly different economy shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enjoyable, engaging, attractive, and memorable places are essential for increasing and maintaining our competitiveness. Talent can work from anywhere nowadays, and we want that talent to choose Lansing for their home.”

LEAP received a record-high number of applications for the PAFC grant program in 2021, indicating the region’s robust culture surrounding placemaking and public art.

“It’s encouraging in this uncertain time to see so many communities taking steps to elevate and diversify our region’s cultural appeal,” said Dillon Rush, LEAP’s tri-county development and placemaking manager. “We are deeply thankful for our Placemaking Committee members, who made difficult choices in narrowing down so many deserving applicants to just two awardees. We, of course, wish there was enough money to fund all of the proposals.”

In 2021, the PAFC program will facilitate new permanent art installations in Delhi Township and Meridian Township, which understand the need to deploy rigorous talent attraction efforts. Delhi Township will add a gateway sculpture to its award-winning “Realize Cedar” business district at the corner of Cedar Street and Keller Road Meridian Township will add a signature sculpture at the heart of its new and active Marketplace on the Green farmers market on Central Park Dr. by the Meridian Mall.

Rush added, “Over the past year, we worked to connect hundreds of struggling small businesses, which are deeply integral to the unique fabric of our community, with millions of relief dollars. We’re excited to continue this work by supporting artist-entrepreneurs and small businesses to enhance our public spaces through PAFC grants.”

Since 2012, the PAFC grant program has invested $270,000 in growing a collection of strategically placed, permanent, public art across Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties. The program has funded more than 35 individual pieces furnished by artist-entrepreneurs showcasing a diversity of mediums from murals, alley walks, creative bike racks, sculptures and more. These pieces enhance community image and elevate critical areas in need of further economic development through intentional placement.

In 2015, LEAP began working with the PNC Foundation, a strong advocate of regional placemaking. The PNC Foundation’s annual $10,000 contribution has helped expand the program and the number of pieces funded each year.

“PNC’s ongoing support of LEAP’s public art grant program reflects our Main Street values and commitment to the communities where we conduct business,” said Timothy Salisbury, PNC regional president for Mid-Michigan. “This program is an example of what can be accomplished through strong public-private partnerships. It’s particularly important to support local business people as our communities face the many challenges presented by the pandemic.”

Both awarded communities will launch a public Request for Proposal to seek submission ideas with the goal to complete the installations in fall 2021.



About LEAP
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all–working every day to grow, retain and attract business to the Lansing, Michigan, region.

About PNC Foundation

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (www.pnc.com), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.