The Power of Art to Resurrect the Economy

Arts and Culture are Essential to Economic Health

During a recent strategic planning meeting of the Board for the Lansing Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), a no-interest loan was voted into effect. The Board earmarked a hundred thousand dollars in an effort to support the arts and culture industry during a particularly challenging time in our economy and community. This no interest loan pilot program, similar to that in the Kalamazoo region, is the first of its kind in Lansing community, and will support a wide variety of arts and culture disciplines and the economy as a whole.

DIY Business Offers More Than Pottery

2009-jan-pieceofmine3694People who assert “I don’t have an artistic bone in my body!” might need to amend that statement when they discover their creative spark at Piece of Mine, a flourishing paint-your-own-pottery business in downtown Grand Ledge. With an invitation to “release your inner artist,” owner Jaron Osmar gives his customers the chance to explore, create and innovate. Piece of Mine supplies the raw materials, a friendly and nurturing atmosphere and an experienced staff who can guide even the most tentative of budding artists as they make something wonderful. And it’s not only the finished product that brings a sense of satisfaction.

Seeing Things From a Different Angle

2009-jan-leiserowitz3008Mel & Nancy Leiserowitz

How did you get started? 

Nancy: (Mel) had several careers before coming into art. He was 38 when he came back to the University of Iowa (from WWII) as a student.

Mel: (After graduating) I became an advertising manager for a department store, and then came back to Des Moines. I got my MA in 1964, and I got a job at Michigan State. 

Nancy: This is a second career for me. I was a nurse. I got sent (to nursing school) when I was 17. It seemed like the practical thing for a farmer’s daughter in Nebraska to do, at least according to my father. I did a three-year program and then worked as a nurse for three years.

Perfectly Unconventional

2009-jan-trellis3039While many people cherish the idea of retirement and look forward to spending this time of their life with some degree of rest and relaxation, Malinda Falardeau decided to spend her retirement by going in a completely different direction. The wife, mother and grandmother has turned her passion for art and creativity into a successful Mid-Michigan business.  Falardeau owns The Trellis in downtown Mason, a unique shop featuring original local artwork, one-of-a-kind gifts, handmade jewelry and beading classes. 

A Simply Marvelous Place

lansartgal_3059-cropPoet, philosopher and author Thomas Merton said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Spending time at the Lansing Art Gallery helps us to realize the truth of this statement. Each piece not only reveals to us visual beauty but also invites us to new insights and understanding, along with a sense of discovery. From vibrant oils to dreamy watercolors, stunning jewelry to striking pottery and delicate works in glass, the Lansing Art Gallery is truly a marvelous place to lose ourselves in the displays of talent, skill and genius, as well as to introduce us to new ways of seeing, feeling and creating. 

The Art of Co-ops

coops1-artisanscircleNestled deep in the heart of Lansing‘s Old Town are some of the latest in creative entrepreneurs. The Artisan’s Circle is one of a growing number of co-ops allowing artists to not only create but also to take ownership in their work. “We’re in control of our destiny and we like that,” says Paula Gibson, one of the founding members of The Artisan’s Circle Co-op. 

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