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NEWS RELEASE: New Alley Activations in Mason Adds to Regional Collection of Permanent Public Art Funded by LEAP Public Art Grants

Michigan Business Network
October 19, 2018 7:00 AM

Children at Play

City of Mason Activates Downtown Alley’s with Public Art

LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) was joined by City of Mason Mayor Russell Whipple, representatives from the PNC Foundation and regional placemaking advocates, to unveil the 20th public art grant funded by the LEAP’s Public Art for Communities Grants.

“Investment in public art is proven to increase economic opportunity and activity and contribute to a strong sense of place—important factors that draw and keep good talent in the region,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “For six years LEAP’s Public Art for Communities grant program has advanced creative methods for developing stronger downtowns and community spaces. This project is another demonstration on our regions innovation approach for economic development”

Through the activation of three alleys in Downtown Mason, the city was able to support five artists and installations. The Art Alleys project builds connections between local businesses, and will foster functional utilization of these unique venues for community events and festivals.

“We are thrilled to see the realization of the Art Alleys thanks to the grant from LEAP and PNC Foundation. After years of investment in Downtown by the City, County, special programs and grants through the State, and, of course, our dedicated property owners, the murals and artwork are an important addition.  The Art Alleys provide a vivid enhancement to Downtown Mason, converting underutilized public spaces into attractive assets through which both residents and visitors will experience our community in a whole new way.”

“PNC’s ongoing support of LEAP’s public art grant program reflects our Main Street values and commitment to the communities where we conduct business,” said Timothy Salisbury, PNC regional president for mid-Michigan. “This program is an example of what can be accomplished through strong public-private partnerships.”

The City of Mason applied for grant funds in 2018 and was one of three Public Art for Communities grant recipients, along with CharlotteRising and Downtown Lansing Inc. Three more communities will receive funding in 2019, which will bring the total number of pieces funded through the program up to 33.

Applications for the 2019 grant program opened Oct. 9 and will be accepted until Jan. 31, 2019. Submission guidelines, eligibility and criteria, including the policy guideline template and the RFP, can be found on LEAP's website. Grantees will be announced in March and artwork will be unveiled in October.

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