Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for “Muskegon Placemaking with Lions & Rabbits”

Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
[email protected]

Jarran Fountain
Director of Programs
[email protected]    


$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

An artist kneels on the ground painting a heron and sunset on the sidewalk.

Image courtesy of LRCFA

LANSING, Mich. – The Lions & Rabbits Center for the Arts will be activating the streets throughout Muskegon showcasing the work of local artists who will design and paint storm drain murals and one large-scale mural. This effort will be funded through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Lions & Rabbits Center for the Arts (LRCFA) announced the campaign today, which is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by August 2nd, 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:

“Public art has the potential to spark imagination and creativity in any viewer, and when it activates public amenities and space it can change a built environment,” said MEDC Regional Development Managing Director Paula Holtz. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

In partnership with Muskegon Public Schools and artist Jubenal Rodriguez, LRCFA is launching a targeted creative placemaking initiative to ignite the untapped potential in Muskegon’s youth and communities. Through this campaign they will fund 20 storm drain ground murals in Muskegon, one large-scale mural at Bunker Elementary and facilitate one to two days of community clean up and service.

This Storm Drain Mural program mobilizes artists’ unique ability to capture and direct people’s attention. LRCFA commissions artists to paint thought-provoking sidewalk murals next to storm drains to beautify the area, spark conversations and encourage environmental stewardship.
The program also provides training and resources to each participating artist, so they’ll be equipped to lead and execute additional placemaking initiatives that further enhance and engage their communities. Youth-led community development is a part of lasting placemaking and develops the next generation of leadership.

“This Muskegon campaign approaches placemaking as a vehicle for youth enrichment. By engaging elementary students in community activities and collaborating with high school artists to design, plan and execute mini-murals, Muskegon is empowering its future generations,” said Jarran Fountain, Director of Programs at Lions & Rabbits Center for the Arts. “We eagerly anticipate the completion of a storm drain mural initiative, which promotes environmental sustainability and watershed stewardship, as well as an exterior school mural that signifies generational pride and leadership.”

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

“Art is one of the many ways that people connect with the world around them and one another,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “These murals will bring people together and get them involved in their community. They will create memories and a legacy of supporting the arts that will last for generations to come.”

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 June 28, 2024, MEDC has provided more than $12.9 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 381 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $14.7 million raised from 71,009 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning matching funds.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
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