Grand Rapids’ Avenue for the Arts kicks off crowdfunding campaign through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Nate Pilon

Monday, October 20, 2014

$10,000 fundraising goal, matching grant supports new Heartside HQ

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Avenue for the Arts today announced the launch of a new crowdfunding campaign through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The campaign will support the community-led organization’s new Heartside headquarters in the S. Division corridor. 

“Avenue for the Arts has been a catalyst for economic growth in the community for the past several years, and this effort will enable residents, businesses and other groups to accelerate the amazing transformation taking place not only in the Heartside area, but throughout Downtown Grand Rapids,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “The Public Spaces Community Places initiative, one of the first of its kind in the country, is a great opportunity to pool resources and actively engage to transform public spaces in our communities.” 

If Avenue for the Arts attains its crowdfunding goal of $10,000 by November 17, MEDC will provide a $10,000 matching grant. To donate, please visit:

“We are excited about creating an anchor for Avenue for the Arts activity on the South end of our district,” Avenue for the Arts Coordinator Jenn Schaub said. “Avenue programming is firmly rooted in connecting residents, artists, volunteers visitors, and businesses with new opportunities to engage in creative activity.”

Avenue for the Arts is planning to utilize a new storefront space at 307 S. Division as its headquarters. The multipurpose space will also function as an office for learning lab interns who facilitate all Avenue events, gallery space showcasing local artists, an education/infospot where Avenue newcomers can get more information, and a community meeting space. 

Money raised through the crowdfunding campaign and the matching grant will be used to cover costs like rent, Internet, utilities, furnishings, and other office supplies. 

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of transformational projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can apply at

Avenue for the Arts is a neighborhood title for the South Division commercial corridor made up of residential, commercial and nonprofit groups working together in a creative community in Grand Rapids’ Heartside area and to shape change in the neighborhood.

Support for Avenue for the Arts programming is coordinated by Dwelling Place‘s Neighborhood Revitalization Department, which works to promote economic development in the Heartside area. Working to enhance not only the physical appearance of the commercial district, Dwelling Place works to promote the commercial district’s assets to customers, investors, businesses, visitors, and citizens. The Neighborhood Revitalization Department builds upon the existing economic base, promoting new business development.

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 For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.