Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for the Shine Bright Saginaw Mural Project

Friday, December 1, 2023

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



LANSING, Mich. – The Shine Bright Saginaw Mural Project will soon transform a large, blighted silo complex into the second-largest mural in the United States through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Saginaw Community Foundation announced the campaign today, which is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by January 29, 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:

“Large-scale public art has the potential to transform whole communities and create a more vibrant and engaging environment for all,” said MEDC Regional Prosperity Managing Director Paula Holtz. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project, which will provide accessibility and space for arts and cultural programming, through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The now blighted and massive silos will be transformed by world-renowned muralist Okuda San Miguel to create a beautiful work of art that will transform the landscape of Downtown and Old Town, greeting everyone who enters the gateway to Saginaw. The project is looking to address several community needs by creating a public arts and culture space, improving the Saginaw Riverfront, generating tourism that will support local businesses, and creating a new backdrop for some of Saginaw's most important community assets.

The Shine Bright Saginaw Mural Project is led by project leaders Mark Flegenheimer (President and CEO of Michigan Sugar, retired) and Larry Preston (Co-Founder, President and CEO of Tri-Star Trust Bank, retired) and made possible through the Saginaw Community Foundation. The property surrounding the mural will become a place for artists to gather and create visual and performing arts for the Great Lakes Bay community. This will serve as a space that plays host to a variety of art festivals, cultural festivals, concerts, community theater, Plein Air Painting, public art exhibitions and much more.

“This campaign is a critical component of the Shine Bright Projects Funding. With the help of Patronicity and the MEDC, we are able to offer our entire community an opportunity to participate and play an integral role in bringing this impactful project to life in Saginaw and the Great Lakes Bay,“ said Mark Flegenheimer, project co-chair. “As a result of this project, our city, region, and community will have an incredible arts and culture-centric community space and world-class mural for generations 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 around our state,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the League. “This mural is going to enrich the lives of everyone who views 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 Nov. 30, 2023, MEDC has provided more than $12.2 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 365 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $14 million raised from 68,052 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.