A Few Words From Debbie–News and Updates From the Executive Director

Your opinion matters!

As we kick off February, we would like to start by thanking all of you who took the time to provide input through our strategic planning survey over the past month. We know we bombarded you with reminders, but at last count, 270 surveys were collected, and we are very grateful for your thoughts, ideas and opinions. We are resolute in our belief that as our community changes and adapts, so must we. We must look for ways to bring focus to the intrinsic value of the arts as well as using the arts as an instrument for economic and community development. It is paramount that we increase arts accessibility and strengthen and focus resources for professional development of the local creative sector. To ensure that the arts play a vital role in placemaking and community revitalization efforts, we also need to strengthen our resolve to work more closely, and in partnership, with our business and municipal leadership to make Greater Lansing a thriving and dynamic place in which to live, play and do business.

A new three-year strategic plan will serve as a road map for the Arts Council; it will carefully lay out how we execute our chosen strategy to achieve our mission. This plan will focus our energy, resources and time and include concrete, realistic and measurable goals, as well as benchmarks and timelines.

Over the next six to nine months, we will continue to collect and analyze survey data and conduct focus-group discussions as well as individual interviews. The process will culminate in a board/staff retreat for the creation of a written plan and new strategy for implementation.

The new plan will guide us in expanding and improving how we deliver core services and help us envision a more creative environment for the region. It will also present a coherent mission, vision and theory of change, which will become the platform for strong and effective strategic leadership, strategic thinking/decision making and fiduciary governance/management. Additionally, participating in this process will improve organizational engagement–fostering collegiality and a creative exchange of ideas; it will help us focus our direction and work out effective solutions to challenges and opportunities.

We are excited about our forward momentum.

Leading the charge is our Strategic Planning Committee – April Clobes, Kirk Meadows, Josh Holliday, Patty Barnas, Rachel Elsinga and Kurt Dewhurst. Their leadership is central in defining our process and keeping the planning on track. Rest assured, we are paying close attention to national and local trends, and with your help and input, we will develop a plan that puts arts and culture at the forefront of the Capital Region well into the future.

Deborah E. Mikula
Arts Council of Greater Lansing, Executive Director