A Few Words from Debbie–Patience, Programs and Progress

A Few Words from Debbie

Patience, Programs and Progress

Ingrained into my head since I was a small child, my mother always told me, Patience is a virtue, and all good things reveal themselves in time. As an adult, leading a strong and credible organization, I know this to be true. It takes time to build momentum and achieve great things.


For the past two years, the board and staff have been planning and strategizing and putting the ground work into place for a number of projects and programs that are just now coming to fruition, notably:


1) The Young Creatives: Artists-in-Residence Program  utilizing the talents of our member artists to work within the school environment throughout the tri-counties


2) The Creative Placemaking Summit and the implementation of permanent artistic projects in our community


3) Arts Night Out  a Friday evening event that will debut in May 2016 and will bring together our retailers, galleries, merchants, artists and arts patrons rotating each month to Old Town, REO Town and East Lansing


As you are all aware, it takes time to put ideas together, make sure all the right players are at the table, brainstorm with partners, gather best practices, and roll out the best laid plans that hopefully will take hold and make impact.


From the day that I was hired, the board made it clear that they were looking for tangible programming ideas to implement that would make greater Lansing a better place through the arts. Programs that the Arts Council could fully implement and take credit for utilizing our knowledge and expertise in all of the arts (performing, visual and literary) and throughout the tri-counties. We’ve done extensive research around the country to see what other successful arts councils offer and how the mix of programming and services is balanced in their day-to-day work. Our Arts Council is positioning itself and taking the leadership role as we continue to strengthen our community through the arts. 


 Many years ago, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing’s board made a conscience decision to give up being the landlord of the Center for the Arts and handed off a successful festival, Silver Bells in the City, to Downtown Lansing Inc. who had the capacity to keep it growing. In exchange, they built a strong model of services to the field education opportunities, facilitation, technical assistance and funding. And now we are looking to build upon that model and add tangible programs that match our mission, vision and direction. Being able to change and adapt to new opportunities is something that this organization is proud of. As we work together, we will continue to find the right balance to deliver our services and implement programming that will enhance the capital region.  


We have so much more to do to make our community the artistic and creative place that we all envision.  The Arts Council is now seeing the end results of our extensive discussions and planning to make that a reality. Our new programs are just now being released most as pilot projects that will be added to and tweaked as the years progress. We are well on our way.


I guess my mother was right all along…patience is a virtue.








Deborah E. Mikula

Executive Director