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LANSING, Mich. – A permanent, accessible stage will be built at Durant Park in downtown Lansing through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and local nonprofit Friends of Durant Park announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $10,000 by September 26, 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/stage.
“This performance venue will not only enhance a beloved historic park, but it will also provide a wide variety of public art, music and theater programming for residents and visitors to enjoy,” said MEDC Executive Vice President of Economic Development Incentives Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for the Durant Stage project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
This campaign will be the final funds needed to complete the permanent stage for year-round use, whereas currently the temporary stage is only brought in once per year and does not remain on site. Adding this new permanent stage will enhance the park and provide opportunities to carry out activities on a year-round basis. This campaign will open up many new possibilities for Durant Park and allow more neighbors to participate and use the space.
The park was donated to the city of Lansing in 1921 by Billy Durant, an important local historical figure who was involved in starting Oldsmobile, Buick, Chevrolet, and his own company in Lansing. His factory was one of the largest employers in the area in the 1920s. Durant bought the land for the park and then had it professionally landscaped, after which he donated it to the city. The lighted arch in the southeast corner of the park was paid for with private funds in his honor in 1924.
“The Friends of Durant Park have raised two-thirds of the funds necessary to build the permanent stage in the park,” said Diane Sandborn, president of the Friends of Durant Park. “The funds raised through Patronicity and MEDC are the final piece to the puzzle to bring this dream to fruition.”
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.
“The Michigan Municipal League is a strong believer in building community wealth,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “This accessible stage at Durant Park speaks directly to the arts and culture component of community wealth building. This project will create a positive impact on the community for generations to come, which is really what community wealth building is all 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 July 31, 2022, MEDC has provided more than $10.4 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 319 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $12 million raised from 55,312 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning our 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 www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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