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On Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, the Arts Council joined Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, LEAP and more than 10 area arts organizations to announce $140,000 in 2018 First Impressions grants.The City of Lansing First Impressions Program is designed to support arts organizations and create community-driven placemaking projects. These projects capitalize on Lansing's assets, inspiration and potential, contributing to a "sense of place" for residents, businesses and visitors. 

The Program includes the following:Creative Placemaking Grants, Programmatic Support Program and the City of Lansing Arts Impact Project. These awards are funded by the City of Lansing through the Lansing Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and administered by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. 

"Since 1972 (over 45 years), the Arts Council has partnered with the City of Lansing to distribute nearly $5,000,000,000 in funds--funds that have helped Lansing become the growing arts and cultural hub that it is today," says Deborah E. Mikula, Arts Council of Greater Lansing executive director. "Lansing recognizes the important role that the arts play in making our city a vibrant and booming region and has laid a foundation for continued growth and progression in the arts that will take us successfully into the future."  

The Arts Council thanks the City of Lansing and Mayor Schor, the Lansing Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), and Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) for providing these valuable resources that help to grow our competitive advantage as one of the truly unique and creative capital cities in the Midwest.First Impressions Grantees for 2018

Programmatic Support - $45,000

Programmatic Support provides specific operational support to arts and cultural organizations who are headquartered in the City of Lansing. Arts and cultural organizations are those organizations whose primary mission is to provide an experience, including a learning experience that is based in a specific arts or cultural discipline. This category funds specific arts programs conducted by non-profit arts and cultural organizations that utilize the talents and creativity of professional artists or arts educators in all arts disciplines to advance the creative, cultural and economic environment.

Impression 5 Science Center - $9,500 -- Funds will sustain hands-on exhibit design, development and fabrication and year-round educational programs that incorporate science, technology, engineering, art and math.  

Lansing Art Gallery - $6,500 -- Funds will offer free and accessible opportunities for experiencing the visual arts through high-quality art exhibitions, educational programming and a gallery featuring Michigan artists. 

Lansing Symphony Orchestra - $9,500 -- Funds will enrich lives through excellence in music and in education outreach by presenting numerous public performances, including six MasterWorks concerts, three Pops concerts, four chamber concerts, two Jazz Band Concerts and Young People's Concerts.

Riverwalk Theatre - $6,500 -- Funds will be used to produce Riverwalk Theatre's 29th season, which includes 13 plays and musicals and other theatrical performances.   

RE Old Transportation Museum - $6,500 -- Funds will make it possible to safely display, collect and exhibit historical items within the RE Olds Transportation Museum along with improving the equipment and office-space security. 

REACH Studio Art Center - $6,500 -- Funds will support REACH's educational art programs for all ages in after-school art programs and classes, summer art camps, off-site engagements and community art projects.

Creative Placemaking Grants - $20,000

Creative Placemaking is more critical than ever to Lansing's ability to attract talent and business. The purpose of Creative Placemaking Grants is to create a lasting and genuine first impression that reflects innovation, art and our diverse culture and communities. Applications were submitted for community-driven Creative Placemaking Projects that capitalize on Lansing's assets, inspiration and potential, contributing to a "sense of place" for residents, businesses and visitors.

Capital City Film Festival - $5,000 -- The Capital City Film Festival will produce the Free-Fusion Series at the 2018 Capital City Film Festival, with 2,500 attendees projected. The cinema and music series will feature a Charlie Chaplin short film collection with old-time klezmer music, an avant garde jazz-rock mashup with contemporary films and an orchestral ensemble performing to classic cartoons.  
Impression 5 Science Center - $5,000 -- Impression 5 will create the Planet Walk Plaza, which will be located outside of Impression 5 and Riverwalk Theatre on the River Trail. It will feature a functional sundial sculpture and an ADA-Accessible gathering space. 

Lansing Poetry Club - $5,000 -- The Lansing Poetry Club will use poetry to create 8-9 poetry-etched sidewalks in Old Town, REO Town, Stadium District and the Eastside. They will engage the community to write poems that celebrate the community via a competition judged by local poets. 

REACH Studio Art Center - $5,000 -- REACH will bring to life the Street Theater Puppets and Paraphernalia Project in partnership with the Robin Theatre, local artists, HappenDance and others to plan, design and implement the construction of large puppets, banners and flags to be used in street theatre performances and parades during summer 2018 events in the REO Town district.

Arts Impact Project - $75,000

This annual project awards $75,000 for the development of a permanent creative structure that enhances a neighborhood's appearance and kindles community engagement in the City of Lansing. Applications were submitted for Creative Placemaking ideas that will have impact on making our community a better place to live, work and play. The Arts Impact Project will place artists, designers and community members at the forefront of the project conversation to ensure that the chosen project will reflect the creativity and sensibility of the neighborhood in which it resides. 

Capital City Film Festival in partnership with the Lansing Public Media Center - $75,000 -- "Lansing's Story," (working title) is a large-scale visual art piece, using animation, sound effects, film and 3-D modeling and light installations, which will be projected onto the iconic Comerica Bank building in downtown Lansing. The projection, created through new technology called video mapping, will be several stories tall and nearly 5,000 square feet in total, perfectly mapping the features of the building.  This lighted, animated, installation will be a spectacular and innovative addition to Lansing's physical landscape, adding a new dimension to Lansing's skyline throughout the entire year. Every night at the same time, the work will project iconic images from our past and present to tell Lansing's story, engaging residents, attracting tourists from near and far and inspiring the future of our community.