Mayor Bernero Announces Sense of Place in the Arts Grant Recipients and Arts Impact Projects

City of Lansing Awards $120,000 to Support Creative Placemaking Projects

LANSING, Mich.  Mayor Virg Bernero was joined today by Bob Trezise of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and Deborah Mikula of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing to proudly announce $120,000 in investment toward creative placemaking efforts in Lansing. The 2016-2017 Sense of Place in the Arts Program grant and project announcements include a $75,000 Arts Impact Project, and grants awarded to four local arts and cultural organizations totaling $45,000. The Sense of Place in the Arts Program is funded through the City of Lansing and administered by LEAP and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

In addition, an official rendering of the 2016 Arts Impact Project to be installed this summer at Museum Drive in downtown Lansing was unveiled. The project, initially proposed in 2015-2016 by project partners Impression 5 Science Center, Riverwalk Theatre and R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, will serve as a beacon and must-see attraction in the vibrant cultural district of downtown Lansing.

“The City of Lansing is proud to continue investing in arts and culture because it helps create a ‘sense of place’ that is part and parcel of our economic development efforts,” said Mayor Bernero. “These new projects and programs are impressive, immersive, and creative! In conjunction with my Block by Block (B3) neighborhood revitalization program, I’m particularly excited to see the 2017 Arts Impact Project placed in Southwest Lansing, which is a B3 neighborhood of focus.”

The Arts Impact Project is an opportunity for Lansing residents to activate spaces in the City of Lansing through creative placemaking efforts that are artistic and permanent. This year’s 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. The purpose is to create community-driven placemaking projects that capitalize on Lansing’s assets, inspiration and potential, contributing to a “sense of place” for residents, businesses and visitors. 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.

“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 grantees and their projects are as follows:

Lansing Art Gallery will implement Pop Up Art: 2017, a collaborative project involving artists, residents, businesses and visitors. Expanding upon previous public art projects, 2017 activities will artfully transform underutilized public newspaper kiosks to distribute free newspapers and showcase Michigan-made artwork. The gallery will coordinate free demonstrations of the 12 selected artists’ processes, food offerings, and seating during noontime on Wednesdays throughout the summer of 2017.

Lansing Symphony Orchestra will present “Symphonic Cinema,” a free, public, orchestral concert in downtown Lansing featuring 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 selected date is strategically chosen to coincide with the beginning of the seventh annual Capital City Film Festival, a key project partner.

Refugee Development Center will launch Newcomer Voices at the ThanksLANSING community cultural festival, where they will use 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. The final product will be comprised of mosaic of tile, clay, and media representing the multitude of newcomer stories to spark conversation and understanding.

REO Town Commercial Association will produce mural painted bike lanes along S. Washington Avenue. The murals will be installed in conjunction with the 2017 Art Attack. In addition, the 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.”


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.