All the Cool Cities Have Them!

All the Cool Cities Have Them!
Artist Live/Work Space for Lansing?

It’s true. Artist live/work spaces have popped up all across the U.S. especially in the last 15 years or so, with thousands of existing cooperatives currently in operation. These community artist living spaces have boosted the economy and engaged communities in cities like Portland, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, N.Y. and Detroit and have brought art to the heart of cultural and economic development.

Let’s go Lansng!

So why not add Lansing to the list! Creating an artists’ live/work space in the tri-county could be the key to attracting and keeping creative talent in Lansing and expanding our reputation as a city built on the arts.

The Arts Council is more than eager to see this become a reality, and recent funding through the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council Community Reinvestment Fund* has been slated to get the conversations started with experts in the field. 

Art at the center
“We are excited to be able to bring area artists together to start exploring possibilities for Lansing,” says Deborah E. Mikula, Arts Council Executive Director. “Having a space like this in Lansing is something that should be explored,” she says. “We have a growing arts community and the region has been actively involved in placemaking efforts as well as the repurposing of historical buildings, all things that are central to successful artist community spaces.” 

First-hand account

The Arts Council has created three sessions to explore the topic, bringing in speakers who can address the issues and the questions from a place of experience. The first session, which took place on June 26, 2014, offered a statewide perspective from Jane Robinson who was actively involved in Armory Arts Project of Jackson, Michigan. Jane got the session off to a great start, helping area artists gain perspective and vision and ask lots of questions. “There are many lessons learned that will greatly benefit artists in the planning-to-reality of an artist live/space,” says Jane. “Artists are a vital part of bringing economic benefits and entrepreneurialship into our communities across Michigan.” 

Gathering the community

As arts advocates and arts leaders in the community, one of the Arts Council’s goals is to open up conversations that bring area artists and arts community builders to the table. “We are grateful to MID-MEAC for providing us with the funds needed to convene artists in this capacity and include perspectives from a variety of experts on the topic of live/work spaces,” says Mikula. “This is an opportunity for us to support artists and gather them together for a project putting art and culture at the heart of Lansing’s tri-counties.”

Artist Live/Work Communities Workshops
Register Today!

Session One: A statewide perspective with Jane Robinson (This session has concluded.) 

Session Two: A national perspective with Heidi Kurtze of Artspace of Minneapolis (This session has concluded.) 

Session Three: A Community perspective and panel with area municipal and community leaders


When: September 25 , 2014 @  2 – 4 p.m.  

Where: The Community Room at the Marshall St. Armory, 330 Marshall St., Suite 300, Lansing, MI 48912

Register for this session! 

Confirmed panelists include:


Lori Mullins, Community and Economic Development Administrator, City of East Lansing


Bob Rose, Public Service Department-Engineering Division, City of Lansing


Eric Schertzing, Ingham County Treasurer


Terry Terry, President, MessageMakers 

For more information about the sessions visit 

This project is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development to the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission as part of the Community Reinvestment Fund which is administered by the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council.