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City of Lansing awards $140,000 in 2019 art grants

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Ozay Moore of All of the Above Hip Hop Academy and Dustin Hunt of Muralmatics unveil a city wide plan for 10 murals as part of their "Below the Stacks" project.

This story has been updated.

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 — Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and Deborah Mikula, executive director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, have announced the recipients of $140,000 in arts grants. The programs — the Art’s Impact Project and the First Impressions Grant — fund large permanent arts projects within Lansing. The winners include: Capital City Film Festival, Impression 5 Science Center, Lansing Gallery and Education Center, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Reach Studio Art Center, REO Town Commercial Organization and the “Below the Stacks” City-Wide Mural Project.

“Investing in the arts helps to grow the city of Lansing and supports it being recognized nationally, as both innovative and thriving,” Schor said. “Art is an important part of a community and contributes to the visual, economic and cultural significance of Lansing.” The most significant grant, the Art’s Impact Project, will see $75,000 go toward 10 collaborative murals named the “Below the Stacks” project. Ozay Moore of All of the Above Hip Hop Academy and Dustin Hunt of Muralmatics put forth the idea and will oversee its completion. Moore said the idea came from seeing the opportunity and space for more murals in Lansing. “It is designed to highlight the stories and beauty that exist at ground level in Lansing. We will activate 10 locations throughout the city and invite the world to collaborate with local artists.” Murals are slated for Knollwood Willow, Basset Park, Colonial Village, Fabulous Acres, Downtown and Northtown, as well as locations in west, southwest, east and southeast Lansing. The program will administer to families with children who are diagnosed with a sensory disorder with monthly events, executive director Erik Larson said. “A few years back, about one in every 200 children were born with that label. Now it is one in 48. It is the audience we will be dealing with and serve in the future,” he said. The other winners received grants from the remaining $65,000 as part of the First Impressions Grant Program. A $19,250 grant was awarded to Impression 5 Science Center for its proposal to integrate sensory friendly STEAM programming in partnership with Lansing Arts Galley and Michigan History Center.

Additionally, another $19,250 was awarded to the Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center for the ARTpath project, which will see its 10 public art sites along the 3.5 miles of the Lansing River Trail boosted to 20. Capital City Film Festival was awarded $12,500 to complete the House of More virtual reality space and Science of Cinema program designed to explore the art and science of filmmaking. “This grant will be used in particular to support the Science of Cinema. It allows us to teach the art and science of moviemaking to all ages,” co-founder Nicole Szymczak said. REACH Studio Art Center received $6,140 to facilitate its drop-in, free art workshop program. “It is the heart and soul of reach and a great opportunity to pay artists to come to lead curated workshops addressing new mediums and techniques,” youth program director Sara Gothard said. The Lansing Symphony Orchestra will receive $6,360 for its neighborhood concert pop up series where the orchestra travels to more intimate and familiar settings.

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