State arts council awards grants to TCA and Art Trail
The city of Tecumseh received notification on Friday, Dec. 7, of two grant awards from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). Art Trail Tecumseh will receive $6,000, and the Tecumseh Center for the Arts (TCA) was awarded $12,000.
The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural affairs approved $5,675,400 in grants to 312 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, educational institutions and municipalities in 47 counties. This year, the council received nearly 600 applications requesting more than $8,2 million in funding. Tecumseh received its awards from the Program for Operational and Project Support, competing with 277 grant applications.
The fiscal year 2013 grant awards represent the council’s first increase in general appropriation funding since facing near elimination in 2009. Governor Snyder had recommended and the legislature approved an appropriation of $6.15 million, making Michigan one of only four states to provide an increase in arts and cultural funding this year.
Tecumseh Economic Development Director Paula Holtz said that the Art Trail has previously received funding from MCACA, but not in 2012, and is pleased to be able to proceed with plans for next year’s Art Trail, which would be its sixth season. She said being able to obtain partnerships for funding is important in being able to continue.
“Actually, this really does enable us to have continuity in this program and make sure that we can keep it moving forward,” Holtz said. “Art Trail has been so successful for us, and we’ve heard from a number of other communities trying to emulate what we’ve done here.”
Holtz said the city works closely with Midwest Sculpture Initiative who administers the program and allows the city to tap into a vast artist base.
“If we had to do all our own marketing, we’d never have the reach that we have through this partnership,” she said.
Other partnerships have included funding assistance from the Downtown Development Authority, although it was unable to participate this past year due to financial constraints, and gifts from the Sage Foundation. Holtz will also be approaching local organizations to talk about the project and to seek additional opportunities to partner on the project.
“We’re always trying to keep things new and exciting, and it’s been so well received,” she said. Plans for future years could also include the potential addition of other media, such as murals or mosaics. Holtz said a lot depends on continuing support for the project, but people do seem to enjoy having the art in the community.
Shelley Lim, Director of Cultural and Leisure Services said the MCACA funding would definitely help support the TCA’s 2013 season and next summer’s Black Box season. The monies will cover approximately 40 percent of the cost of programming toward The Jason Bishop Show, a magic and illusion program on Saturday, Feb. 9, Frank D’Ambrosio’s Hollywood: Songs from the Silver Screen, scheduled for Saturday, March 9; and Celtic Crossroads on Sunday, April 7, along with the summer series.
“The funding will go toward offsetting the cost of those programs along with our bringing in Zonya Foco for this year’s Weight Loss kickoff on January 13,” said Lim. “The grant will definitely make a dent in that and we’re very happy to have received the funding.”