Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for the Artisan Village Performing Arts Center in Grayling

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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

LANSING, Mich. – A vacant historic building in Downtown Grayling will be transformed into a performing arts center with a clay/ceramic studio and fine art gallery retail space through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and nonprofit AuSable Artisan Village announced. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by July 31, 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:

“Revitalizing a formerly vacant space into a community center for creativity will bring vibrancy and cultural opportunities to downtown AuSable, and represents one of the highest forms of placemaking,” said MEDC Regional Prosperity Managing Director Paula Holtz. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project to complete the space through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The Artisan Village Performing Arts Center will preserve a piece of downtown Grayling’s history by restoring the building's façade to its original appearance and reclaiming the original hardwood floors and stamped tin ceiling. The new space will create an active 175-seat performing arts and event center downtown that doubles as an artist studio and a seven-day-a-week retail storefront.

The Mudroom will be the studio arts space in the building that will provide clay/pottery/ceramics classes and offer studio space open for daily artist use. The performing arts space will host concerts, live theatre, comedy, improv, and other community events. A gallery retail space will also sell artwork and act as a storefront to bring folks into the space daily.

“The performing arts center, when fully utilized, will bring thousands of patrons into our downtown resulting in over a million-dollar annual economic impact,” said AuSable Artisan Village Executive Director Terry Dickinson. “Turning a vacant storefront into a seven-day-a-week pottery studio and gallery adds to the vibrancy of the downtown experience.”

“With the expansion of the AuSable Artisan Village, this allows the community of Grayling to truly stand out within the greater Northern Michigan area. As a full-time musician for more than a decade I understand the need for a designated space to host and support live entertainment,” said AuSable Artisan Village Assistant Director Radel Rosin. “The individuals involved within the AuSable Artisan Village will continue to highlight performing arts and other cultural events for many years to come.”

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 supporter of placemaking projects happening throughout our state,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “This performing arts center will enrich the lives of the Grayling community, improving the human experience for all who utilize it. This is what placemaking 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 May 31, 2023, MEDC has provided more than $11.4 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 349 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $13.2 million raised from 65,860 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning 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.