<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1018706268302959&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Knowledge • News • Insights
In Partnership With

MEDC | Statewide Tour Kicks off 10th Anniversary Celebration of Public Spaces Community Places Grant Match Program

Michigan Business Network
May 28, 2024 8:00 AM

MEDC logo

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Public Spaces Community Places (PSCP), a grant match program that utilizes donation-based crowdfunding to generate public interest and funding to revitalize or create public spaces. Supporting the vibrancy of our communities and places across Michigan is a key pillar in the state’s Make It in Michigan economic development strategy, which focuses on People, Places, and Projects.

In celebration of this milestone, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) along with the Michigan Municipal League (MML) and Patronicity is announcing a statewide tour to highlight successful projects across Michigan. The tour kicks off on Saturday, May 26 at Factory Two in Flint, with community events and site visits scheduled through the month of June in cities such as Lansing, Midland, Detroit, and Marquette.

Designed by the MEDC in collaboration with the MML, PSCP is a crowdfunding initiative that can provide matching grant funds for crowdfunded public space projects through Patronicity, an online crowdfunding platform. Communities, nonprofits, and municipalities can submit projects by applying for a Patronicity crowdfunding campaign.

Children’s Nature Playscape, Kalamazoo

Projects that meet the program's parameters and successfully crowdfund their goal will receive a matching grant from the MEDC of up to $50,000. Since 2014, the MEDC has matched over $12.5 million in funds for PSCP projects, supporting community-led change and growth throughout the state of Michigan.

“We are excited to be celebrating this important milestone for the PSCP program,” said MEDC Regional Prosperity Managing Director Paula Holtz. “Over the past 10 years, PSCP has been a part of activating places where people play and gather, resulting in nearly 24 million square feet of public space for Michiganders to enjoy.”

In 2023, PSCP expanded the program to incentivize inclusive design and accessibility in public spaces, with up to an additional $25,000 in matching funds for eligible projects. Universal Design (UD) encourages the development of spaces, products, and services that are easier for all users to access and enjoy.

“Celebrating 10 years of the Public Spaces Community Places crowdfunding program is a milestone in innovation, public and private partnerships, and how communities can play a role in identifying, building, and funding incredible projects meaningful to their residents and citizens,” said Ebrahim Varachia, President and Co-Founder of Patronicity

PSCP 10th Anniversary Tour Itinerary

  • May 25: Factory Two, Flint, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
    • A visit to Flint’s first community makerspace to participate in a terrarium workshop and go on a nature walk as part of Factory Two’s “Making Saturdays Awesome” program, a kids program aimed at STEM topics.

  • May 30: ArtPath, Lansing, 6-8 p.m.
    • This site visit will coincide with the ribbon cutting and kickoff for the opening of this year’s ArtPath. The event will feature lawn games, chalk activities, and more. Led by the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center, ArtPath has been activating space along the historic Lansing River Trail through public art.

  • June 8: Middle of the Mitt Miracle Field, Midland, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
    • The team will visit Middle of the Mitt Miracle Field to observe the accessible play and the last scheduled tournament session at the field. This project is the first universally designed playing field with PSCP that helped encourage the development of the UD funding extension.

  • June 18: Curtis Jones Park, Detroit
    • The Curtis Jones Park project is a continuation of the public placemaking work by hyperlocal nonprofit NW Goldberg Cares, which works to make their neighborhood better one space at a time. This project transformed a vacant lot into a beautiful park, featuring a dual-purpose outdoor basketball court and event space that honors a local basketball prodigy.


  • June 22: Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace, Ypsilanti; Children’s Nature Playscape, Kalamazoo; and TOP Riverfront Pavilion, Otsego
    • A tour of three site visits will kickoff in Ypsilanti in the morning. In 2015 the local nonprofit Growing Hope created the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace by reclaiming an unused warehouse and former bank drive-thru in the center of Ypsilanti’s downtown and transforming it into an indoor-outdoor farmers market.
    • The team will then visit the Children’s Nature Playscape at Bronson Park, a transformative project that adds natural elements and engagement to an urban hardscape in Downtown Kalamazoo.
    • Finally, the team will visit TOP Riverfront Pavilion in Otsego. In 2019, the Otsego Main Street Downtown Development Authority led this project to create a year-round community gathering space along the Kalamazoo River near downtown Otsego. Since then, the public pavilion has been used for numerous community events, including the summer nights concert series, an artisan market, the winter ice rink, and a seasonal farmers’ market.

  • June 28-29: Marquette Skatepark, Marquette; Cadillac Commons, Cadillac; and AuSable Artisan Village Performing Arts Center, Grayling
    • The tour concludes with site visits to projects in northern Michigan, kicking off on June 28 with a visit to the Marquette Skate Plaza in the Upper Peninsula. As the second-ever launched campaign through PSCP in 2014, the Marquette County Community Foundation launched a crowdfunding campaign to complete the buildout of the Marquette Skate Plaza with landscaping, benches, skateable-art, and community donor recognition.
    • On June 29, the team will visit Cadillac Commons to learn about the impact this space has made on the community. In 2016, PSCP funded both the performing arts pavilion adjacent to the city park and the market at Cadillac Commons, while providing the final funding to finish the gathering space with a fireplace, splash pad, and small synthetic ice rink for children.
    • Later that day, the team will visit AuSable Artisan Village Performing Arts Center in Grayling, attending a “porch stomp” and an evening performance with The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band. In 2023, the AuSable Artisan Village expanded its impact to create a new cultural arts space in Downtown Grayling. The new performing arts center expanded the impact of Artisan Village as a cultural hub and held its grand opening in April 2024.

“After supporting placemaking across the Mitten for the last 10 years, I can confidently say that Michiganders are the most driven, creative, and community-oriented placemakers in the country," said Mahala Clayton, Public Spaces Community Places Program Director. "From makerspaces that support entrepreneurs, to nature playscapes that transform concrete urban landscapes, to universally accessible playing fields that redefine what public accessibility means, the impact of Public Spaces Community Places can be seen from our smallest towns to our major cities.”

Learn more about Public Spaces Community Places and support in-progress crowdfunding projects on the MEDC’s Patronicity page.


About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness, and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.

  • MEDC logo
  • medc_large_1200x627
  • medc-PSCP-logo-noBG-go_green (1)-1

Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.