Lansing Mayor Andy Schor was joined this morning by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and 2019 First Impressions grant awardees at the Michigan Institute of Contemporary Art to announce $140,000 in 2019 First Impressions program grants.
Announcements included a $75,000 Arts Impact Project grant and five Arts Project grants totaling $65,000 to local arts and cultural organizations. The First Impressions Program is funded through the City of Lansing and administered by the LEAP and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.
"Investing in the arts helps to grow the City of Lansing and supports it being recognized nationally, as both innovative and thriving," said Mayor Andy Schor. "Art is an important part of a community and contributes to the visual, economic and cultural significance of Lansing. These grants will fund art projects that reflect our diverse identity and are a major component of our ability to entice new business and talent to the region. Congratulations to all the recipients and thank you to our great partners LEAP and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing for helping make these projects come to life."
The First Impressions Grant Program funds large permanent arts projects and arts and cultural organizations that promote a lasting and genuine first impression of our city and reflect our innovation, art and diverse culture and communities. This program contributes to creating a “sense of place” for residents, businesses and visitors along with driving the economy for future success.
“These programs are so important to our residents and to our region,” said Bob Trezise, LEAP president and CEO. “Funding arts and cultural projects that change the landscape of our city in positive and exciting ways, positions us as a top choice for both people and businesses.”
The city is pleased to announce the 2019 Arts Impact Project, “Below the Stacks,” a city-wide mural project that will interpret Lansing’s legacy and potential through street art. It will showcase 10 artists (local, national and international) and will activate 10 strategic and highly-visible walls throughout the city. The selected street artists represent a wide range of styles and backgrounds and will bring a unique perspective to our diverse community. Artists will work with neighborhood associations and local residents to create a historical narrative and cultural identity so that each mural will reflect the neighborhood it represents.
The five 2019 Arts Projects include Capital City Film Festival’s Interactive Series; Impression 5 Science Center’s Sensor-Friendly STEAM Programming; Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center’s Artpath; Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s Neighborhood Concerts; and REACH Studio Art Center’s Walk-in Wednesdays.
“We are so pleased and excited to have such a diverse array of projects happening through funding of this year’s First Impressions Program.” said Deborah E. Mikula, Arts Council executive director. “These projects will highlight the many facets of Lansing that make our city great and reflect our identity as a community that is rich in cultural diversity and the arts. The program provides Lansing residents with accessible arts experiences for all ages and helps to build a sense of pride in the city.”