Crowdfunding campaign launched for the ‘McGee Community Commons’

Monday, February 8, 2016

$38,250 goal to win matching grant through MEDC and MSHDA’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Marygrove College today announced a new crowdfunding campaign through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The campaign will support the McGee Community Commons project to create a green space with public art and a place for community stories in northwest Detroit.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $38,250 by April 2, 2016, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MSHDA and MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“The installment of this public art sculpture and green space project to transform a non-utilized space into a community spot for stories and gathering is the exact purpose of the Public Spaces, Community Places program,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. “We are excited to partner with Marygrove College on the creation of the McGee Community Commons.”

“The McGee Project focuses on an important neighborhood crossroad with the intent of making it a welcoming greenspace for locals and visitors,” said Kevin Elsenheimer, executive director at MSHDA. “This is the type of creative placemaking we like to see in our communities and as part of the Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The McGee Community Commons is a lot on the corner of Six Mile and Wyoming that will be developed into a green space and will feature a relief sculpture created by local artist Charles McGee. The project exemplifies creative place-making at the center of this northwest Detroit community. It combines public art, a seating area and walkway with permeable paving, a healing garden with low maintenance plants and drip irrigation, technology access for community stories about the creative history of the neighborhood, low voltage LED lighting, and signage. The design and construction of the Charles McGee Community Commons are part of a larger community project between Marygrove College and the neighborhood community called “Connecting, Recognizing and Celebrating Neighborhood Creatives.”

The McGee Project shapes a public space with a lasting impact that telegraphs the revitalizing spirit and resilience of the neighborhood. The Charles McGee Community Commons will create a space where the artistic history of Northwest Detroit can be shared and college and community can come together.

“This is a project we've worked to bring to fruition for more than five years,” said Rose DeSloover, Marygrove professor emerita. “Being able to join with Patronicity and MEDC/MSHDA is a wonderful opportunity, and all the people working on the project with us are newly energized about reaching our goal.”

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

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About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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