Crowdfunding campaign launched for ‘Tolan Square in Milan’ project

Contact: Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
[email protected]

David Snyder
Treasurer-Moving Milan Forward
[email protected]


Crowdfunding campaign launched for ‘Tolan Square in Milan’ project

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

LANSING, Mich. –Downtown Milan will soon gain a new town square and gathering space for all seasons and events with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and local nonprofit Moving Milan Forward 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 24, 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:

“Creating vibrant public gathering spots in the heart of our downtowns is what this program is intended for,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for the Tolan Square project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

This campaign will complete the new town square for Milan – creating a space for residents to gather or attend a community event, and recognizing three remarkable citizens who founded the Greater Milan Area Community Foundation, changing Milan for the better. Having the Square all on one level with six very large planters providing plenty of greenery will make this space vibrant and accessible.

This campaign will also focus on making several important improvements that will add to the space and make it inviting for all seasons and times, including adding streetlights, electric lines for events, gas lines for two future fire pits during winter, sprinkler lines, and stormwater lines under Tolan Square to keep the space dry.

“Moving Milan Forward has received an incredibly positive reaction from all those in our community who have seen plans for the ‘Help Build the Square’ effort, said Josh Kofflin, president of Moving Milan Forward. “The ambitious plans for Tolan Square would not be possible without the generous support of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Public Spaces Community Places program.”

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

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, the League’s CEO and Executive Director. “This new town square in Milan will create a welcoming place for all to gather and enjoy. With the support of the Milan area community, this effort will improve the human experience 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 July 30, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $8.9 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 285 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $10.3 million raised from 49,527 individual donors.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
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