As the state government's lead agency charged with developing arts and culture policy and grant-making, MCACA is made up of up to 15 members who are appointed by the Governor, and also has an internal staff at MEDC.

Council Members:

  • W. Omari Rush, Chair, Ann Arbor
  • Anne Belanger, Rogers City
  • Ritch C. Branstrom, Rapid River
  • April Clobes, Bath
  • Frederick (Rick) Davies, Jackson
  • Joshua Davis, Lake Leelanau
  • Lilian Demas, Bruce Township
  • Pamella Roland-DeVos, Ada 
  • Aaron Dworkin, Ann Arbor
  • Christian Gaines, Grand Rapids
  • Susannah Goodman, Detroit
  • Rich Homberg, Bloomfield Hills
  • Carol Snapp, Vice Chair, Kalamazoo
  • Ara Topouzian, Farmington Hills
  • Shannon Easter-White, Fenton

Council Staff:

MCACA Mission

The mission of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs is broad, yet simple: To encourage, initiate and facilitate an enriched artistic, cultural and creative environment in Michigan.  

This mission statement has never been more important. It clearly frames the purposes of the Council as part of the broader environment in Michigan that strives to reinvent the state. This mission statement recognizes the need for a strong creative sector in Michigan that is fully engaged with many of Michigan's other key sectors including industry, healthcare, education and tourism.

As the state's government's lead agency charged with developing arts and culture policy and grant-making, MCACA recognizes the need for, and seeks out, a wide variety of public and private sector partners to help fulfill this mission. Our partners provide needed services to the field through collective knowledge, expertise and genuine care for the mission of the Council and the fulfillment of our collective goals.

Furthermore, the council works to fulfill its mission by serving as champions, advocates and a point of connection and coordination for the field with legislative, corporate and other leaders with an interest in seeing the mission of MCACA fulfilled. The council also seeks out those other champions, inside and outside the halls of government, in order to give voice to all concerned and to better achieve the council's mandate and mission. Lastly, the council serves to advise the Governor concerning the various ways that the arts and support for the arts can integrate with gubernatorial policies and goals, especially in connection with economic development, place-making and education initiatives.


MCACA is guided by a set of values that serve to strengthen the Council's commitment to facilitating the delivery of quality services to people and communities statewide. We use these values help to keep our focus on our mission.

The Council holds that in a dynamic state:

  • Arts and culture must be available for all people...everybody in, nobody out;
  • Arts and culture are critical elements of our future quality of life: economically, individually and communally;
  • Arts education and arts in education are central to a complete education;
  • Arts and culture are central to human communication and collaboration among individuals or groups, domestic and foreign.

Strategic Plan October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2019

During a two-day retreat in the spring of 2014, the members of the council and council staff discussed several issues including: our environment, the results of the independent field-wide survey, and the outcomes from the previous plan. We then outlined goals for our next five years and developed overarching commitments.

The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs will continue to assist the field through grant making, convening important discussions and connecting arts and culture to other state agencies and initiatives. In an environment where it is imperative that there is value for every dollar spent, the Council has never been more relevant both as a policy advisor to the Governor and as the statewide grant-maker. Through its efforts, the Council plays a pivotal role in fostering an environment that provides access to arts and cultural programs for all Michigan citizens and families, encourages a welcoming and diverse environment and works to ensure that Michigan’s children all have the opportunity to experience and participate in arts and cultural programs in and out of school.

Council members and staff firmly hold that a strategic plan must be nimble enough to inform present day operations and provide guidance in the unknown future. As you read the FY 2015–FY 2019 MCACA strategic plan, please note:

  • The first two years will identify our more immediate near term goals.
  • Our third year will have fewer goals, but will serve as a check-in year to ascertain if any changes need to be made or addendums need to be created due to new opportunities or significant environmental changes.
  • Years four and five will recognize those goals in the first three years that may need more time to ferment and mature before they are realized.
  • We believe this plan provides a firm vision and enough general flexibility to allow us to be ultimately successful again.