Crowdfunding campaign launched for ‘New! Black Arts & Cultural Center (BACC)’ project in Kalamazoo

Friday, December 3, 2021

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


LANSING, Mich. – Kalamazoo’s Black Arts & Cultural Center (BACC) will create a new home for its arts programs and new public spaces with the help of a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Black Arts & Cultural Center announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by January 14, 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:

“This new space for the BACC will create greater access to the arts and bring more cultural offerings to the Kalamazoo community,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

This campaign will create the new BACC – a space that will provide co-working space for community creatives, cultural programs to the public, and art classes for adults and youth. Funding from this campaign will help complete the space with a large-scale gallery, public access to co-working computers and a suite of digital services, a café, and allow for a new more inclusive membership structure.

The move will place the art center in the former Nature Connection space in the Epic Center at Lovell & Burdick/S Kalamazoo Mall. This new space provides easier access among the downtown traffic and more visibility allowing BACC to provide cultural evening and weekend programs and entertainment for the Kalamazoo Community.

“We need greater visibility to show more artwork and the diversity of the artwork and the artist. A bigger space would provide a dedicated space to work and have opportunities for artistic development,” said artist Gerald King. “And for someone who never even drew or created digital art before, this could be their start for inspiration and inspire others in the city.”

“I have seen so many awesome community space initiatives come to life across Michigan via the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's PSCP grant program that as soon as the opportunity to create an active public space for community came to my organization, I knew we too could yield similar success as the projects I've seen before,” said Sydney Davis, executive director of the Black Arts & Cultural Center. “I am beyond full of gratitude to participate in the Public Spaces Community Places grant program.”

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

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, the League’s CEO and Executive Director. “Creating the new home for Kalamazoo’s Black Arts & Cultural Center does exactly that. With the support of the Kalamazoo-area community, this effort will improve the human experience for all for years to come. That is what community wealth building is about.”

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 Dec. 1, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $9.6 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 297 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $11 million raised from 51,338 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning MEDC matching funds.

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.