Dec. 17 2015 08:09 AM

City of Lansing awards $120,000 to support creative projects

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 — Placemaking efforts in Lansing got a big financial boost this week as the city awarded $120,000 to projects throughout the city.

The City of Lansing announced the 2015/2016 Sense of Place in the Arts grants and Arts Impact Project at a press conference held yesterday at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. Announcements included a $75,000 Arts Impact Project as well as $45,000 in grants awarded to six local arts and cultural organizations. The Sense of Place in the Arts Program is funded through the City of Lansing and administered by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

“We believe that placemaking has a strong impact on economic development,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “As we work to develop and revitalize the city and community through economic development projects, we strive to support arts and culture and placemaking enhancements.”

The Arts Impact Project offers Lansing residents an opportunity to activate spaces in the city through creative placemaking efforts that are artistic and permanent. This year’s project, which was chosen from more than 15 proposals at an open forum, is an artistic gateway near downtown Lansing’s Museum Drive. The project’s goal is to connect the Michigan Avenue Corridor to the “Cultural District,” which comprises Impression 5 Science Center, the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum and Riverwalk Theatre.

The grant program funds public programs that additionally enhance the Lansing’s creative placemaking efforts. The purpose is to create community-driven placemaking projects that capitalize on Lansing’s assets, inspiration and potential. Grant awards ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 were awarded for building a sense of place in the arts, supporting excellence in a wide range of artistic and cultural disciplines.

“Promoting and enhancing arts and culture is part of the City of Lansing’s efforts to attract and retain talent by creating vibrant community spaces and activities — what economic developers call ‘sense of place,’” Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said. “We know that the arts are a vital ingredient in the redevelopment and revitalization of the City of Lansing and region and today’s grant awards will support those efforts.”

The grantees and their projects are as follows:

Lansing Art Gallery will implement the Great Art Giveaway, a collaborative project involving artists, residents, businesses and visitors. The project will activate underutilized public newspaper kiosks, which will be artfully transformed and will distribute free, limited-edition artwork by Michigan artists weekly. In conjunction with artwork delivery, the gallery will feature a free artist demonstration event and artwork signing from noon to 1 p.m. on each Wednesday throughout the summer of 2016.

Lansing Symphony Orchestra will present Symphonic Cinema, a free, public, orchestral concert in downtown Lansing featuring original film footage created by local filmmakers. LSO will partner with the Capital City Film Festival (CCFF) to present this orchestral concert during the annual Capital City Film Festival.

Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art will present the Great American Fish Rodeo. The anchor event is a major fishing tournament on the Grand River. But the Fish Rodeo is also a free two-day festival, including professional musicians and multi-cultural groups on stage, an art market, a creative writing contest, multiple food vendors, children's activities, boating events and more.

Old Town Commercial Association will create and install permanent signage fora self-guided historical tour and wayfinding signs for Old Town businesses and regional attractions.

REACH Studio Art Center will produce “SenseFence,” a permanent 70-foot, interactive sculpture fence which will be community designed and installed along the public alley behind REACH. The installation will be a combination of metal, concrete and wood and include parts that can be moved or manipulated to make sounds or invite sensory play. “SenseFence” will serve as a visually inviting border to REACH’s new courtyard and be easily accessible for neighborhood residents and visitors to REO Town.

REO Town Commercial Association will construct a permanent outdoor event space in REO Town with the necessary infrastructure for a variety of events.