Feb. 8 2017 12:57 PM

City of Lansing announces investment in arts

Courtesy image
A rendering of last year's Arts Impact Project, which will be completed by artist Ivan Iler this summer.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, along with representatives from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and other local arts stakeholders, gathered this morning to announce $120,000 in local arts funding.

“This comes out of the city budget and demonstrates our commitment to continue to leverage arts as a key part of economic development,” Bernero said.

The 2016-2017 Sense of Place in the Arts Program includes $45,000 in grants given to four arts organizations — the Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Refugee Development Center and REO Town Commercial Association — as well as a $75,000 Arts Impact Project. The 2017 Arts Impact Project will fund a significant placemaking effort in South Lansing. The project, which will likely be located near the intersection of Pleasant Grove and Holmes Road, will be designed and constructed by local artists David Such and Fred Hammond.

The Sense of Place in the Arts Program is funded through the City of Lansing and administered by LEAP and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

“Supporting and increasing access to arts and culture is a critical component of successful economic development,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “Placemaking projects and programs such as these represent opportunities for families and individuals in the region and across the globe to explore and grow intellectually. It’s this global culture that will help us attract and retain the best talent and businesses in the world.”

In addition, an official rendering of the 2016 Arts Impact Project, to be installed this summer near Museum Drive in downtown Lansing, was unveiled. The project, initially proposed in 2015-2016 by project partners Impression 5 Science Center, Riverwalk Theatre and R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, is designed to draw attention to the cultural attractions in downtown Lansing.

Deborah Mikula, executive director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, introduced Ivan Iler, the artists who designed and will create the large-scale sculpture.

Iler recalled visiting Impression 5 Science Center as a child but not being able to remember where it was located because of the museum’s tucked away location. As he thought about the project, the idea of “gears turning” struck. The statue features a person’s bust with thoughts, in the form of metal gears, coming out of its head and pointing toward the museums and theater.

“The idea of actually building something to actually draw attention to the area, I just think it’s great,” Iler said. “I’ve known Impression 5 and loved it, but I almost thought of it like a lost memory until I read the proposal.”

2016-2017 Sense of Place in the Arts grants:

Lansing Art Gallery will implement Pop Up Art: 2017, a collaborative project involving artists, residents, businesses and visitors. Expanding upon previous public art projects, this year’s activities will artfully transform underutilized public newspaper kiosks to distribute free newspapers and showcase Michigan-made artwork. The gallery will coordinate free demonstrations of 12 selected artists’ processes — as well as food offerings and seating — during noontime on Wednesdays throughout the summer.

Lansing Symphony Orchestra will present “Symphonic Cinema,” a free, public, orchestral concert in downtown Lansing featuring a live musical performance set to silent film. The concert will take place on April 5 at the centrally located and fully accessible Lansing Center. The selected date is strategically chosen to coincide with the beginning of the seventh annual Capital City Film Festival, a key project partner.

Refugee Development Center will launch Newcomer Voices at the ThanksLANSING community cultural festival, where it will use media arts to document 20 stories of refugees who have resettled in Metro Lansing. Participants will also tell their story through artistic representation with a tile mosaic. The final product will be composed of tile, clay and other media representing the multitude of newcomer stories to spark conversation and understanding.

REO Town Commercial Association will produce mural painted bike lanes along S. Washington Avenue. The murals will be installed in conjunction with the 2017 Art Attack. In addition, the bike lane stripes will be painted with ‘bike lane green’ paint, and a bike repair station will be installed in REO Town.