2021 Mainstreet Grant Project Winners Announced


Matt Bach
Michigan Municipal League
C: (810) 874-1073; [email protected]


2021 Mainstreet Grant Project Winners Announced

Recipients of $5,000 Grants are in Hamtramck, Muskegon Heights, Morenci and Escanaba

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – The Michigan Municipal League Foundation announced today the project recipients of its Bridge Builders Mainstreet Microgrant program. The four projects selected will each receive $5,000 toward a local art installation designed spur activity along a commercial corridor.

The Bridge Builders Project began as a pilot program in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and was greatly expanded this year following the success of the program a year ago. The microgrant program is designed to encourage the acts of creativity, selflessness, and connection that will help Michigan communities recover from the pandemic. The Mainstreet Microgrant program was added to the 2021 Bridge Builders microgrants thanks in large part to support from the DTE Energy Foundation.

“Arts and cultural activities are an integral part of a thriving business district,” said Michigan Municipal League Foundation President Helen Davis Johnson. “These Mainstreet Microgrant projects build community wealth and belonging by bringing diverse members of the community together while also supporting local businesses.”

This year’s winners include:

  • Anton Art Center, Mount Clemens Cultural Harmonies, Mount Clemens  This project partners withs local musicians and connect Mount Clemites to their neighbors’ traditions via hands-on learning with the park’s varied instruments. The goal is to support business activity while also creating a new community cultural experience for downtown.
  • Heights History through our Artistic Eyes, Muskegon Heights – This project will capture the history of Muskegon Heights through the eyes of the community, artists and business owners. The art installations will beautify downtown properties and be coupled with workshops that will teach local youth how to create art while learning about local history.
  • Morenci Downtown Lot Reclamation, Morenci – With this grant, the Revitalize Morenci Initiative Committee alongside a group of residents will create positive change as they transform an empty lot through the installation of an interactive mural, seating and picnic areas. The area will feature new permanent corn hole game boards and interactive play opportunities, as well as lighting, landscaping and high school art installations.
  • Racks for Rides: Inter-RACK-tive design for a Bikeable Hamtramck, Hamtramck – This effort will provide up to 8 new bike racks on Joseph Campau Street, aligning with the Joe Louis Greenway initiative. To further engage the community, an art competition will be hosted utilizing the bike racks as a canvas for artists to create original designs, and residents will vote on the designs to select a winner.
  • Resilient Ludington Street, Escanaba – Developed by the Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Regional Commission in Escanaba, this project will include a streetscape placemaking experiment featuring pedestrian friendly improvements including café seating, street side planters, integrated community art, music and recreational events based around participating businesses.

Grant recipients were selected for their ability to support community wealth building, which the MML Foundation defines as “strategies that build community and individual assets, creating resilient and adaptable systems to address social and economic needs.” Grant projects are required to take place in a Michigan Municipal League member community and involve at least three local businesses and one lead artist.

For additional information, contact the League’s Matt Bach, assistant director of strategic communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell) and [email protected].

The MML Foundation is working to advance community wealth building across Michigan. The foundation does this work through strategic partnerships, investments in strong, diverse leadership for Michigan communities and place-based initiatives that drive equitable outcomes.

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