Initiatives

The following are some of the major activities undertaken so far by the Arts Alliance since its founding in 2001:

CURRENT INITIATIVES

  • Community Cultural Calendar: We worked with the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and website developer Internet Applications & Solutions, Inc. (IAS), to develop this ground-breaking calendar that lists nearly every cultural event occurring in the County. A private part of the calendar also helps local organizations plan major events to avoid conflicts for the local audience of supporters. Visit the Calendar

  • Creative Connections: Creative Connections is a monthly gathering for creative & cultural folks in our region. Locations change, but the time's the same: Mondays from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

  • Washtenaw County Artists' Census: How many artists (visual, performing and literary) live and work in Washtenaw County anyway? No one knows. The Artists' Census will help us determine an more accurate number of artists in our area and allow us to give them the credibility they deserve. Be counted in the census (no matter your age or training) on April 1 through May 17 at www.artscount.org.

  • Washtenaw County Cultural Plan: Our newest initiative has recently received its first grant funding, and work will begin soon. This will include a roster of artists and cultural organizations, researching major issues and opportunities involving arts and culture throughout the county. Watch for more information as we move into this important task.

  • Community Arts Facility: Information Coming Soon

ONGOING INITIATIVES

  • Minigrants: Since 2003, the Arts Alliance has been the official re-granting agency for minigrants funded through the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, for the counties of Washtenaw, Livingston, and Lenawee. As part of this work, we conduct seminars on grant application writing, and review and judge applications for the mini-grants in two granting rounds each year. For more information, see our Mini-Grants page.

  • Pigskins on Parade: In celebration of the Super Bowl in Detroit in 2006, the Arts Alliance and the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau worked with local businesses and artists to decorate large footballs that were placed around downtown Ann Arbor. Funds received in excess of expenses went to the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation to provide grants to arts agencies. This activity received a “Golden Paintbrush” Award from the City of Ann Arbor.

  • Cultural Leaders Forum: This gathers leaders from the major cultural organizations in the County, to share ideas, help each other with problems, and build collaborative activities.

  • Culturezone.org: This off-shoot of the main cultural calendar focuses on activities geared to children and youth.

  • Arts Space Survey: One of the strong concerns heard from local artists and cultural agencies is about the difficulty finding suitable and affordable space in which to create art and manage their work. Our study, based on a survey of local artists and organizations, documented a need exceeding 50,000 square feet in Washtenaw County, and found the major factors influencing space selection decisions. Following up on the study, we are actively pursuing opportunities to support the development of arts spaces in the County.

  • Economic Impact Study: This study used extensive surveys in 2002 of the activities of local arts and cultural organizations, as well as of the spending habits of patrons at local arts events. Among our findings was that the total economic impact of not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations in Washtenaw County was $165 million in the study year, and that such organizations provided 2,600 jobs. Nearly 2.4 million people enjoyed various cultural activities in 2002, with visitors from outside the county saying the event was their primary reason for visiting the county.

 
 
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