First Impressions Program: A Key Investment in Lansing Arts
The City of Lansing, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing recently joined forces to announce their latest project, the First Impressions Program. This new program is a revamped concept, formerly known as Lansing’s Sense of Place in the Arts Program, that offers funding and support to local 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 local arts.
“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 First Impressions Program will be divided into three separate categories: Creative Placemaking grants, which fund a variety of specific projects from $1,000 to $20,000; Arts Impact Projects, which provides $75,000 in funding for an individual permanent project or installation; and 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 underscore 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.
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