May 10 2016 12:55 AM

Lansing wins NEA grant to improve riverfront park

TUESDAY, May 10 — Lansing’s Adado Riverfront Park, home to events like Common Ground Music Festival and Michigan Pride, was awarded a grant to improve the park’s offerings.

The Arts Council of Greater Lansing and the City of Lansing today announced that the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Lansing a $40,000 Art Works grant to plan major improvements to Adado Riverfront Park, including a permanent outdoor entertainment area and performing arts stage. Lansing’s award is part of more than $80 million in federal funding for local arts projects and partnerships announced today by NEA Chairwoman Jane Chu.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” Chu said. “Supporting projects like the one from the City of Lansing offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

“This is a great step in the right direction as we continue transforming Lansing into the hub of the wheel for arts and entertainment in Metro Lansing,” said Mayor Virg Bernero. “An outdoor amphitheater at Riverfront Park would be an excellent addition to our city and region, and we are so grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for this generous financial award.”

The award comes after months of deliberations and planning meetings that brought together numerous Metro Lansing leaders, including the Arts Council of Greater Lansing’s executive director, Deborah Mikula, who assisted in writing the project grant.

“Adado Riverfront Park is a beautiful natural resource in Lansing, but it is often underutilized as a park,” Mikula said. “A permanent stage will offer so much more in the way of public entertainment and festivals and will encourage people to support more arts and cultural activities in downtown Lansing.”

The NEA Art Works grant will help pay for community charrettes that will create a shared vision for the future of Adado Riverfront Park, as well as preliminary designs for the performing arts stage and surrounding environs.

“A state-of-the-art performing arts facility will be a permanent source of entertainment for Metro Lansing, which will generate additional tax revenue for the city, increase property values and encourage future economic development projects in the region,” said Lansing Economic Area Partnership CEO Bob Trezise. “It will be the perfect addition to Metro Lansing’s amenities and reinforces the importance the arts play in the life of the community and in attracting and retaining young talent.”