$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative
Photo courtesy of Ivan Labra
LANSING, Mich. – Lions & Rabbits Center for the Arts (LRCFA) is once again partnering with local artists and businesses throughout Grand Rapids to activate spaces with public art. This effort will be made possible through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Lions & Rabbits Center for the Arts 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 October 15th, 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/lionsandrabbits.
“This project engages the local economy on multiple levels, through elevating local artists and their work and bringing new life to local businesses and public spaces,” said MEDC Regional Prosperity Managing Director Paula Holtz. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
LRCFA is a nonprofit that will facilitate and help complete several public art projects throughout Grand Rapids during 2023. Funds raised through this campaign will go towards four public art projects (murals and installations) and one vendor market space event and block party. All funds raised will ensure that artists are compensated, have high-quality materials, have proper training, and that events include entertainment and activities for all ages.
The programming LRCFA makes possible gives local artists paid opportunities, brings awareness to a variety of local businesses, and engages community members with exciting events and impactful public art. Past events have included live music, food & drink, artist, business, and nonprofit vendors, and activities like a dunk tank and “Mural Guess Who.” LRCFA propels a new model of public art as economic development forward and has created a framework for this work to be replicated.
“Bringing public art to life is a worthwhile struggle that depends on the execution of so many nuanced moving parts,” said Hannah Berry, Executive Director of LRCFA. “The MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program continues to have a huge impact on our public art projects, ensuring that projects are funded, and artists are paid well. The Patronicity platform fosters the community collaboration and funding required to make these projects a success.”
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 supporter of placemaking projects happening around our state,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “These public art displays will enrich the Grand Rapids community and improve the human experience of all who see them. This is what placemaking is all 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 May 31, 2023, MEDC has provided more than $11.8 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 361 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $13.6 million raised from 67,337 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning matching funds.
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.