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Winds of Change
New Growth and New Roles at the Arts Council

It is no secret that change has been in the air at the Arts Council over the last few months. As a creative entity, we recognize the importance of growing an environment that always allows for inspired expression within our community and our organization, and we are very excited to stretch our wings in new directions! Therefore, we are excited to announce that longtime Arts Council team member Taylor Rupp is stepping into a new role at the council as membership and program manager.

Rupp started her journey at the Arts Council as a programming intern in January 2015. At that time, she was enrolled in Michigan State University’s Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science undergraduate program and earned her master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from MSU the following year. She rejoined the Arts Council in 2016 as interim Arts Night Out coordinator, and that position eventually grew into a permanent one that included the titles of administrative assistant and Artists-in-Residence coordinator.

Branching out

While her new role has some of its original components, it has been uniquely designed to support the growth of the organization as well as the Arts Council team as a whole. Rupp’s position builds on the former program manager role while capitalizing on the varied experience and expertise she cultivated through her previous positions.

In this new role, she will be working with the council’s artist and arts organization members to offer support, consultations, grant program management and technical assistance. She will also head up our education branch, managing smARTS workshops and the Artist-in-Residence Program, and will support outreach efforts within our community to build and strengthen relationships.

“I am so happy to be stepping into this role as it aligns perfectly with my skill set and my experience of working with members and grants,” says Rupp. “I’m really excited to work more one-on-one with our membership and manage grant administration as that was my focus in my previous position with the Anton Art Center in Macomb County, as well as my masters program,” Rupp says. She noted that she really enjoys working within the artists community and meeting new people. “I really love working with the creatives in our region, and in this new role, I will be able to focus on that even more.”

Members at its core

Currently the Arts Council has more than 200 artists, arts organizations and arts entrepreneurs in its membership base--a base that has been steadily growing over the last several years.

“Our members are the roots of this organization,” says Meghan Martin, interim executive director. “They are at the core of the work that we do in our region, from granting to public art, to creative placemaking and beyond. As arts and culture continue to fuel our creative economy, it’s the perfect time to build a position that focuses on our membership in a new capacity, Martin says.  “We want to provide strong and sustainable programs and grant opportunities for our members, and Taylor has the experience and creative ingenuity to take that on.”

Growing a vision

The membership and program manager position was created in part through the vision of the new interim director, Meghan Martin, who worked with the current Arts Council team, including Rupp, communications and events manager Dawn Gorman and graphic designer Ryan Logan to personalize the roles and responsibilities within the organization and strengthen the work that they already do.

“We have a really great team here, and we are looking forward to elevating our work with the arts community and the region as a whole. Arts and culture are a key component in the on-going success of our region,” Martin says. “We want to continue building on that foundation for Greater Lansing, and we are excited about all of the changes we are making.”