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$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative
LANSING, Mich. – Benton Harbor will soon add to its arts district with the addition of the GhostLight Theatre to be completed through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and local nonprofit GhostLight Productions announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by October 1, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: patronicity.com/ghostlight.
“The GhostLight Theater will provide a vibrant place for the public to engage with the arts in Benton Harbor,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to offer our first crowdfunding campaign to the city of Benton Harbor and serve as a partner in this effort.”
This campaign will complete the transformation of a vacant building in the Benton Harbor Arts District into a “black box” theater and community events space. The space will serve as a venue for plays, musicals, recitals, cabarets, workshops, classes, banquets, and other events. In addition to the large black box theater space, the plans include a front lobby, all new accessible bathrooms, workshop space for set building and costume production, backstage with dressing rooms and makeup stations, and two offices. The GhostLight Theatre will host workshops, lessons, and seminars designed to teach and inspire.
“Through this campaign, we are planning to create our 'black box' theater by renovating our building at 101 Hinkley Street in the Benton Harbor Arts District. Our goal is to engage the community and provide opportunities in performing arts that are not currently available,” said GhostLight Productions Artistic Director Paul Mow. “The space will be available to the community for whatever they can envision. We are grateful to the MEDC for this opportunity and for their essential support.”
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which 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, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.
“Developing and supporting arts endeavors is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “GhostLight Theatre fits the bill, adding a unique, engaging arts experience for the Benton Harbor community.”
The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of August 2018, MEDC has provided $5,253,166 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 165 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $6.2 million raised from 31,534 individual donors.
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.