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A Year of Accomplishments in 2016
Reflections on an Exciting Fiscal Year

With the closing of our fiscal year as of Sept.30, it is amazing to reflect on the accomplishments that have taken place. FY2016 brought to fruition many of the initiatives that the Arts Council board and staff have been planning and working hard to achieve over the past three years.  We are following a well-laid out strategic plan, and we feel great pride when those objectives and strategies are realized.  Below is a run-down of the great work that happened in FY2016 at the Arts Council.

We received $18,000 for MCACA operational support and $5,000 for capital improvements and $2,800 for the Young Leaders Program; $15,000 from the Lansing Rotary Foundation for the Young Creatives Program; $5,000 from the Dart Foundation for our Young Creatives Program; $15,000 from the MSUFCU for smARTS and $7,500 for Young Creatives; $5,000 from Jackson National for our Young Creatives program; $10,000 from the Capital Region Community Foundation for the pilot year of Arts Night Out, in addition to patron and sponsorship support.

We held the first Creative Placemaking Summit with over 150 Attendees, eight breakout sessions, four TEDx presentations and one keynote address by Fred Kent; we received over $15,000 in sponsorship, and we unveiled the “Greetings from Lansing” mural.

We were one of the local sponsors of the NEA/NEH 50th Anniversary Celebration, a sponsor of East Lansing’s “Love your City” event with Peter Kageyama as well as a sponsor of one of the Grand River Connection events that connects us to tri-county region up-and-coming talent.

We unveiled the 517 ArtSearch Mobile App.

The board of directors updated our strategic plan, and we rebranded the Arts Council with a new and exciting logo.

We kicked off our pilot year of Arts Night Out in four rotating neighborhoods – Old Town, REO Town, East Lansing and Downtown Lansing.

We held our Fall Creative Mixer at Clinton Co. Arts Council in St. Johns, our Winter Creative Mixer at Saper Galleries in East Lansing; our Spring Creative Mixer at Eggleston Gallery in Bath; and our Summer Creative Mixer at the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame.

We held opening monthly receptions for our Gallery Exhibits, showcasing the work of Michelle Detering, Britta Urness, Catherine Tonning-Popowich, various youth artists, Julian Van Dyke, Abby Deneau, Bobbi Kilty, Pamela Wilburn, Jane Reiter and Ruth Egnator.

We worked in partnership with the City of Lansing and LEAP to announce $45,000 in grants to support the Sense of Place in the Arts Grants and announced a $75,000 Arts Impact Project awarded to a partnership of Impression 5 Science Museum, Riverwalk Theatre and the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum to create an iconic entry to Museum Drive.

We held our first fall and spring grant award ceremonies and announced grants to arts and cultural organizations and artists, including over $110,000 in Ingham County Hotel/Motel Grants for cultural tourism; $13,000 for Chris Clark Fellowships; $7,500 for Young Creative’s Grants; and $32,000 for MCACA Mini-Grants.

We hired our first-ever development director.

We held the thirty-seventh annual Holiday Glitter and recognized seven outstanding individuals and businesses with Applause Awards, including the Ted Sondag Individual Leadership Award – John Loose; Business Leadership Award – LEAP; Civic Leadership Award – Ingham Co. Board of Commissioners; Arts and Cultural Organization Award – Impression 5 Science Center; Individual Artist Award – Craig Mitchell Smith; Art Educator – Tina Newhauser; and finally, the Creative Community Award – REO Town Commercial Association.

We revealed the Art in the Sky Billboards, showcasing the outstanding artistry of seven area visual artists, and in March, in celebration of National Youth Arts Month, we unveiled 10 youth-inspired digital billboards.

We held numerous smARTS workshops that provide professional development for the creative sector, including Establishing an Internship Program; Securing your Creative Practice; Getting Involved in ArtPrize; Grants, Data and Dollars; Working in Partnership with VSA Michigan; The Power of Happiness; and a roundtable discussion with Ayanna Hudson, arts education director at National Endowment for the Arts.

We held semi-annual meetings with over 30 festival directors and distributed 13,500 Festival Alliance Brochures throughout Michigan and the Capital region.

Through our new Young Creatives:  Artists-in-Residence Program, we served nine Lansing School District  elementary schools and 33 unique classrooms, spanning kindergarten through fourth grade and reaching close to 1000 students.  Seven teaching artists (two music, two visual, two dance and one theatre) made this possible.

We designed and distributed 3,500 Young Creatives Resource Guides.

We wrote a successful grant to the National Endowment for the Arts on behalf of the City of Lansing and were awarded $40,000 to design a permanent stage for Riverfront Park.

We held a successful Spring Fundraiser, A Taste of Art & Life, at the Kelly Rossman-McKinney and Dave Thompson home.

We helped facilitate a pop-up graffiti experience on the Gillespie Group Building on Cedar Street.

In partnership with the University Club of MSU, we took a group of 40 art patrons on a bus trip to ArtPrize in Grand Rapids.

We worked with LEAP to facilitate the Under the Bridge Project, which will be completed in 2017.

And so much more.

Those are the highlights – of course, plenty more takes place on a daily basis. But now is the time to keep moving forward – into 2017—with a feeling that we are moving fast, adapting to community inspiration and making a difference in Greater Lansing through art, culture and creativity.

Deborah E. Mikula
Executive Director