Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
Executive Director, Lions and Rabbits Center for the Arts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2021
Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for ‘Creston After Dark 2021’ project in Grand Rapids
$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative
LANSING, Mich. –The Creston neighborhood in Grand Rapids will soon be home to new murals and installations, festivals and events centered around public art with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Lions and Rabbits Center for the Arts announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by October 25, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: patronicity.com/afterdark2021.
“Public art that is intentional and part of a larger cooperative effort between business owners and local artists results in positive social and economic change in our communities,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
Funding from this campaign will directly support the completion of seven new installations in Grand Rapids’ Creston neighborhood and many communal events to follow and celebrate the completed works. For the third year, Lions and Rabbits Center for the Arts is using a model it has pioneered that combines public art and placemaking to drive community and economic wellbeing on a local level. This campaign is a chance for local artists to be acknowledged for their craftsmanship and the economic vitality it brings to business districts. These initiatives create lasting relationships with municipalities, businesses, and community members as they celebrate local artists.
“The PSCP matching grant will benefit our project by funding our public art initiatives in the Creston neighborhood, helping to create an inclusive arts community,” said Lions and Rabbits Center For the Arts Fundraising and Operations Director Montana Major.
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.
“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that build on existing assets and enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Michigan Municipal League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin. “The new murals, installations, and activities planned around public art in Grand Rapids’ Creston neighborhood does both. This effort will create a space that will attract people and become a source of pride for years to come. That is what community wealth building is about.”
The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of Aug. 31, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $9 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 290 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $10.5 million raised from 50,104 individual donors.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.