Crowdfunding campaign launched for Jackson School of the Arts in downtown Jackson

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Downtown Jackson’s iconic Masonic Temple will soon be home to an accessible and engaging arts center with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Jackson School of the Arts Association 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 17, 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:

“Dynamic public gathering spaces can activate a downtown and be a catalyst for further economic development,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “This space will do just that, and we are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The crowdfunding campaign will complete the transformation of the masonic temple into a fully accessible arts center in downtown Jackson. The Jackson School of the Arts provides art education programming that not only serves hundreds of children and youth, but includes expanded programming for teens, adults, seniors and those with special needs.

The funding will create a wide-open community gathering space on the first floor complete with a stage, local coffee bistro, updated and accessible public restrooms, and improved handicap accessibility to the entire space. The relocation of the Jackson School of the Arts to the newly renovated Masonic Temple will further drive local community engagement and development throughout the downtown.

“In September 2017, the City of Jackson and Jackson School of the Art became partners. Our shared goal is to breathe life into an iconic building and with it create a compelling downtown destination that will benefit our community for generations to come,” said Executive Director of Jackson School of the Arts Kim Curtis. “The PSCP program will specifically support the creation of a welcoming community space inside of the first floor of the historic Masonic Temple.”

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

“Creating inviting public spaces is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Transforming the Masonic Temple into an engaging arts center for all ages will breathe new life into the building and the downtown area as a whole.”

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