City of Lansing Announces First Impressions Program

City of Lansing Announces First Impressions Program
City to Fund $140,000 for Arts and Culture

LANSING, MI — The City of Lansing, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing are pleased to announce the First Impressions Program. This new program (formerly the City of Lansing Sense of Place in the Arts Program) offers three types of funding and support to City of Lansing creatives, artists, and arts organizations. The City recently increased arts program funding by $20,000 for a total of $140,000 in support of the arts in Lansing.

“A strong investment in arts and culture is key to our economy in today’s world,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. “Placemaking is economic development, and we are committed to it.”

The three categories of the First Impressions Program include: 1) Creative Placemaking grants, which fund a variety of specific projects by artists and arts organizations from $1,000 to $20,000, 2) Arts Impact Projects, which provides $75,000 in funds for an individual permanent project/installation, and 3) Programmatic Support, which is by invitation and provides $45,000 to support arts organizations that meet the required criteria. 

“We know that intentional strategic placemaking efforts are a driver for attracting new talent and businesses, and for keeping the great talent and businesses we already have, right here,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “The City of Lansing continues to be a true leader in placemaking activity within our region, and this increase in funding for arts and culture will underscores that commitment.”

The First Impressions Program works to establish a strong arts-focused community and positive first impression of Lansing—an image that invites tourists, visitors, and potential new residents to the area, and one that creates a sense of place (and pride) for our current residents. The program provides a variety of opportunities for residents to connect with art and the city, encouraging them to become ambassadors for the region.

“This is such an exciting and wide-ranging program for funding the arts in Lansing,” said Deborah E. Mikula, Arts Council executive director. “We are so proud of our city for its support of the arts in Lansing and the region as a whole. The arts play a huge role in creating successful cities, and we are so pleased to present this program that helps put our city in this league.”

Guidelines and eligibility criteria for all First Impressions Program categories are available on the funding page of the Arts Council website at To provide additional information, the Arts Council will hold two workshops at the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau on August 3, 2017: Programmatic Support Workshop at 1 p.m. and Creative Placemaking Grant Workshop at 2 p.m. To RSVP, contact Meghan Martin, Arts Council program manager, at


The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders committed to building a prosperous and vibrant region where business can thrive. To do this, we help entrepreneurs start new businesses, help existing businesses grow, and attract new businesses to the region. For more information about LEAP, please visit