News

The Cultural Plan: Update Breakfast

(… 4/21/2008) The Cultural Plan: Update Breakfast held Thursday, April 17 at the Chelsea Comfort Inn & Village Conference Center was a huge success! The program, turn-out and inspirational speaker were all terrific. In addition, State Representative Pam Byrnes joined us to report on an exciting package of bills to establish cultural districts in Michigan communities. A special thanks to everyone who made the event such a success, and to all of you who were able to join us. For those of you who couldn't make it to the Cultural Plan: Update Breakfast – fear not! We videotaped Ben Cameron's dynamic keynote address. Watch for details on how you can see the video, read his speech, and get the midpoint report on the cultural plan.

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Cultural Plan – Update Breakfast

(Chelsea… 4/10/2008) RSVP today for the Cultural Plan: Update Breakfast. Don't miss the opportunity to hear nationally-acclaimed, Ben Cameron speak!

Learn what's next by being one of the first to receive updates from the five task forces developed as a result of the Washtenaw County Cultural Plan (Community & Culture) and hear the progress report for the whole project.

We'll talk about what's being addressed from our cultural plan and the steps we are taking to create a long-term, county-wide action plan.

Thursday, April 17
7:30-9:30 a.m.
Chelsea Comfort Inn & Village Conference Center
1645 Commerce Park Dr., Chelsea, Michigan 48118
Click here for directions.

Prepare to gain a new perspective from our keynote speaker, Ben Cameron, Program Director at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He'll challenge the way we view arts & culture through his dynamic and very thought-provoking speech.

As he says, “What is it in the world-in an external world-that mandates the flourishing of the arts in our communities today?”

Please RSVP by April 9 to Cindy. Space is limited.

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FY08 Minigrants awarded to eleven organizations

(… 4/2/2008) The Arts Alliance awards $27,700 of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) minigrants to help fund eleven projects from nonprofits promoting art and culture in Washtenaw and Livingston County.

MCACA grants are awarded to Michigan nonprofit organizations with projects designed to increase public access to art and culture. The MCACA FY08 grants were awarded to organization with projects taking place between April 1, 2008 and September 30, 2008.

MCACA FY08 funds were awarded to:
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, $795 for Playing Around 2: Readings from New Works
Playing Around is a playwriting contest for emerging playwrights in the Southeast Michigan area, which culminates in staged readings and author talk-backs of the top two plays selected by a judge.
People Dancing, $3,600 for Fascinating Rhythm Concerts
Three concerts of dance and related arts are planned during the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival; Aug. 14-17th, inclusive, at Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti. An encore performance will be made in September at a rural historic theatre.
Riverfolk Music and Arts Organization, $2,880 for Story Play: Riverfolk Theater 2008; A program of all ages workshops to build skills in ensemble performance, storytelling, and improvisation; followed by two original stage productions, to be developed in ensemble.
Brighton Art Guild, $943 for Open Studios: Visit Where Livingston Artists Work
Open Studios: Visit Where Livingston Artists Work is a self guided tour of 19 artist's private studios, held on May 3-4, 2008, presented by the Brighton Art Guild and Run Away with the Arts in the Pickney Community (RAAP).
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, $4,000 for New Art New Artists
The New Artists program will showcase juried student artists from local colleges and universities and also present an exhibition and workshops on digital art and time based media. This innovative program strives to create an understanding of the revolutionary qualities of art from the traditional to the technological.
The Phoenix Players, $1,689 for Proposals by Neil Simon
Funding will support a production of Proposals by Neil Simon for two weekends in May 2008 at the South Lyon Theater. This play recalls the fictional Hines family during the 1953 visit to the Poconos.
Ann Arbor Youth Chorale, $1,500 for Summer Choral Academy
Funding will support the inaugural year of its Summer Choral Academy, including access for needy children though scholarships. They estimate a minimum of 50 children enrolling and, based on their experience during our regular Sept-May season, they expect to offer ten full scholarships or equivalent full/partial, in line with out philosophy of turning no child away for financial reasons.
Ann Arbor Summer Festival, $3,233 for Ann Arbor Summer Festival Education
Activities are planned for audiences of all ages and take place on the campus of the University of Michigan, near downtown Ann Arbor. Through variety of collaborations and local partnerships, the Festival's 24-night ticketed indoor Mainstage Series features approximately 16 performances by 14 artists of international acclaim.
Howell Area Chamber of Commerce, $3,380 for Howell’s Sunday Farmers’ Market Entertainment
The Howell Area Chamber of Commerce is host to the Howell Sunday Farmer's Market, which provides a setting for local growers, crafts people and artisans to sell their products. Local artists are invited to showcase their talent with live performances every Sunday from May through September.
City of Saline, $1,680 for Saline Puppetry Arts Festival
The project is the Eighth Annual Saline Puppetry Arts Festival, to be held Saturday, September 13, 2008, from 10-4. This festival celebrates the life work of the late Meredith Bixby, a nationally renowned puppeteer.
City of Saline, $4,000 for Saline Celtic Festival Artistic Entertainment
The project is the artistic entertainment portion of the 13th annual Saline Celtic Festival, to be held July 12, 2008 at Mill Pond Park. The park is not only a beautiful setting but is easily accessible, with on-site handicapped parking as well as on-street parking.

The MCACA Minigrant Program awards up to $4,000 to nonprofit organizations. Applicants must be from Livingston, Monroe or Washtenaw County and may be arts or non-arts nonprofit organizations, public or private schools, cities, townships or villages.

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FY09 Round 1 Minigrant Workshop Dates Announced

(Ann Arbor, MI… 3/4/2008) The Arts Alliance, an arts service organization that administers the Minigrant program on behalf of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), will offer three free workshops in May explaining how to apply for these MCACA grants. The Arts Alliance manages the Minigrant program for Washtenaw, Livingston, and Monroe counties.

The workshops will take place on:

•May 6, 2008 4-6pm for Livingston County at the Brighton Chamber of Commerce 131 Hyne Street, Brighton MI
•May 7, 2008 4-6pm for Monroe County at the Ellis Resource and Information Center 3700 South Custer Road, Monroe MI
•May 8, 2008 4-6pm for Washtenaw County at the Ann Arbor Chamber 115 W Huron St 3rd Floor, Ann Arbor, MI

The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) Minigrant Program awards grants of up to $4,000 to Michigan nonprofit organizations for high quality, locally developed projects that increase public access to art and culture. The upcoming application deadline of August 1, 2008 is for projects taking place between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. Applicants must be from Livingston, Monroe or Washtenaw County and may be arts or non-arts nonprofit organizations, public or private schools, cities, townships, or villages.

MCACA is encouraging everyone to submit an application. Prospective applicants, as well as any staff, volunteers or board members of nonprofit organizations interested in learning more about this funding opportunity, are welcome and encouraged to attend. To reserve a place at any workshop, please contact Cindy Johnson, at cindy@annarborchamber.org or 734/214-0115.

The MCACA Minigrant program awards grants twice a year, with application deadlines in July and February. Activities such as exhibits, performances, artist residencies, festivals, and conferences are eligible for funding. For more information or to download a Minigrant application and guidelines, please visit www.a2artsalliance.com

The Minigrant program is an initiative of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The Ann Arbor-based Arts Alliance is a service organization that works to enhance the region’s quality of life by increasing participation in arts and cultural activities and strengthening the cultural organizations that provide these programs.

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MCACA Minigrant Applications due Feb. 4, 2008

(Ann Arbor… 2/1/2008) Due to the Severe Snow Storm Weather Alert, the Chamber and the Arts Alliance office will be closed. The MCACA minigrant application deadline has been extended to Monday February 4, 2008.

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Community & Culture

(Ann Arbor, MI… 11/21/2007) In October 2007, The Arts Alliance launched a major initiative called Community & Culture: Creating a Plan for Washtenaw County. This ambitious project will produce a five-year plan outlining ways in which arts and culture are integral elements in achieving goals we all share, such as preparing our youth for jobs in the 21st century, creating and maintaining vibrant downtowns, and preserving our high quality of life. Read more…

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Creative Connections is November 19 - Sign Up Now!

(Ann Arbor, MI… 11/15/2007) Haven’t been to this free networking event? What are you waiting for – an invitation? Well, consider yourself invited! We’ll be at The Neutral Zone, 310 East Washington, Ann Arbor from 6:30 – 8:30pm. The teens are planning the program – so you won’t want to miss it! See NZ’s cool recording studio, performance space, art studio and more. Just let us know you’re coming so there’s enough food – RSVP to cindy@annarborchamber.org or call 214-0112.

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IMPORTANT Arts News affecting the MCACA minigrants for FY 2008.

(… 4/13/2007) On March 29th, Governor Jennifer Granholm issued a moratorium on state grants. Among the many organizations affected is the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), which serves to encourage, develop and facilitate an enriched environment of artistic, creative, cultural activity in Michigan. MCACA’s many grant programs include its minigrants for non profit arts and cultural organizations. The Arts Alliance has been issuing MCACA minigrants to Washtenaw, Monroe, and Livingston Counties for the past three years.

Because of the moratorium, it is unknown which grant programs will survive for the FY 2008 granting period. However, John Bracey, the Executive Director of MCACA, is moving forward with FY 2008 programs. Although MCACA is not certain they will be receiving any funds for FY 2008, they are “encouraging everyone to continue participating in our grant application process.”

Therefore, the Arts Alliance will be accepting grant applications for the July 1, 2007 deadline. The projects submitted must take place anytime between October 1, 2007 and September 30, 2008.

As soon as the Arts Alliance is informed of any other developments in the current situation, we will update the website.

If you are interested in joining the Arts Alliance and other arts and cultural organizations in advocating support of arts and culture in Michigan, please contact Tamara Real at artsalliance@annarborchamber.org or at 734/214-0112.

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Important Change to MCACA Minigrant Application Cycle Announced

(Ann Arbor, MI… 4/26/2006) There will be only two grant deadlines for Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) Minigrants in the 2007/2008 funding cycle, according to Tamara Real, Director of the Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area. The deadlines will be July 1, 2007 for projects starting October 1, 2007 and February 1, 2008 for projects starting April 1, 2008. All Minigrant projects funded in the 2007/08 funding cycle must be completed by September 30, 2008. Previously, there had been a third opportunity – on October 1 — to submit a MCACA Minigrant proposal.

“Funding for the Minigrant program has decreased,” Real said, “and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs has decided that there should only be two funding rounds in Fiscal Year 2008. This means that applicants who had been planning to submit a grant proposal for the October 1st deadline may want to submit their request by the July 1st deadline in order to comply with the Minigrant scheduling requirements.”

The Arts Alliance will offer free workshops explaining how to apply for an MCACA Minigrant. Staff, volunteers or board members of nonprofit organizations interested in learning more about this funding opportunity, are encouraged to attend.

The workshops will take place on:

  • Thursday, May 24 at the Ellis Reference & Information Center, 3700 South Custer Road, Monroe, 48161 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm
  • Friday, May 25 at the Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce, 131 Hyne Street, Brighton, 48116 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, May 30th at the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce, 425 South Main Street Suite 103, Ann Arbor, 48104 from 4:00 – 6:00pm

Contact Tamara Real, Arts Alliance Director, at artsalliance@annarborchamber.org or 734/214-0112 to reserve a place at any workshop.

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Arts Alliance Announces Three New Board Members

(Ann Arbor, MI… 3/28/2006) The Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area, a division of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce, announced the addition of three new members to its board of advisors. They are Larry Newhouse, Program Director of the Ford Gallery, Arthur Talbot, President of Internet Applications and Solutions (IAS), and Whitnie Crown Wolverton, Founder and Executive Director of Vox Early Music Ensemble.

The Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area, a division of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce, works to enhance the region’s quality of life by increasing participation in arts and cultural programs and strengthening the organizations that serve them.

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Arts Alliance Recieves Golden Paintbrush Award

(Ann Arbor, MI… 6/7/2005) The Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area, a division of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce, received a Golden Paintbrush Award from the Commission on Art in Public Places of the City of Ann Arbor during the June 6 City Council meeting. The award recognizes the “ ArtRide” project which placed posters featuring artwork created by U-M students on AATA buses. The Arts Alliance shared receipt of the Golden Paintbrush Award with its collaborators in the project, Arts at Michigan, an organization that encourages student interest in the arts, and the Ann Arbor Transit Authority (AATA).

The ArtRide project was designed to establish a greater sense of community between Ann Arbor residents and U-M students by offering a glimpse into the students’ world through their artwork. The project, which ran from February to September 2004, consisted of five exhibitions of student artwork reproduced as posters and placed aboard all 88 AATA buses. Each exhibition ran for six weeks and displayed work by four student-artists selected through a jury process. Artwork was also displayed at the Blake Transit Center and on AATAs website. The project was made possible by a generous grant from Pfizer Global Research & Development.

The Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area is a division of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce that works to enhance the region’s quality of life by increasing participation in arts and cultural activities and strengthening the cultural organizations that provide these programs.

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Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area Recieves Grant from Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation for Youth Initiative

(Ann Arbor, MI… 7/6/2004) The Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area has received a grant from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation to support its efforts to make information about youth-oriented cultural activities in Washtenaw County more accessible to the public. In particular, this funding will support the Arts Alliance’s website www.culturezone.org, where information about fun cultural activities in Washtenaw County can be sorted by location, type of activity, and target age group. Funding will also be used for a roundtable forum to be held in September 2004 that will enable cultural, workforce development, civic, and parent group leaders and educators to explore ways to better serve the area’s youth.

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Arts Alliance Receives $16,000 Grant from the State of Michigan

(Ann Arbor, MI… 10/4/2002) Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area, a division of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce, was awarded a $16,000 grant by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs in their distribution of funds for the 2003 calendar year. The Alliance is one of a select group in Washtenaw County to receive funds totaling $1.5 million. The grant will support the Cultural Information Clearinghouse Project, a program that will collect, consolidate, and communicate cultural information of all types: economic impact, organizational profiles, calendar of events, etc.

The foundation of the Cultural Information Clearinghouse is a comprehensive database that will link and support the newly launched Washtenaw Calendar of Events, introduced by the Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The database will assist individual organizations as they measure their own performance and gather information they can use for their own grant applications. We plan to gather this information every year and publish a ‘State of the Arts’ report annually,” says Debra Polich, Chair of the Arts Alliance Advisory Board. As the cultural database fills with information, it will provide an increasingly detailed picture of the strengths and weaknesses of Washtenaw’s cultural community.

The mission of the Arts Alliance is to “support efforts to increase participation in arts and cultural activities, and strengthen the cultural community and organizations that provide these programs, thereby ensuring that all citizens benefit from this area’s outstanding cultural resources.” The Alliance is a division of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce, a 1400 member organization, and receives funds through the Chamber’s 501(c)3 foundation, the Ann Arbor Council for Community Excellence.

For information about the Arts Alliance contact Tamara Real, Arts Alliance Interim Manager, 734-669-4360.

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Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce Creates New Division of the Chamber, the "Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area"

(Ann Arbor, MI… 8/2/2001) The Board of Directors of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce approved the formation of a new Chamber division, the “Arts Alliance of the Ann Arbor Area” (A5).

The Arts Alliance is a result of the Arts Summit held two years ago, and county-wide focus groups conducted after that. At the Summit, a task force representing a cross-section of the entire arts and cultural community was established with the goal of bringing together the arts and business communities. The new Chamber division is an outgrowth of the efforts between the Chamber, the Arts Summit Task Force and the broader arts community.

The mission of the A5 is to support efforts to increase participation in arts and cultural activities, and strengthen the cultural community and organizations that provide these programs, thereby ensuring that all citizens benefit from our outstanding cultural resources.

The A5 will be guided by an Advisory Board led by community arts and cultural leaders. The Advisory Board will be made up of representatives from the cultural community, the business community, the funding community, citizens at large, and one representative from each of the collaborating organizations. At this time, the A5 has three collaborating organizations: the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, and Nonprofit Enterprise at Work. The Advisory Board will be responsible to the Board of Directors of the Chamber. The Chair of the Advisory Board will become a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

The A5 Advisory Board, in cooperation with Chamber staff, will develop programs and services that appeal to the entire spectrum of arts and cultural organizations and their supporters and participants. According to data from the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies (MACAA) online directory, there are an estimated 283 arts and cultural organizations in Washtenaw County. There are probably another 250 individuals in the area working on arts and cultural activities. The Chamber will provide a staff position and a part-time student intern to support the new A5 division.

The A5 is just one of several Chamber and Chamber-sponsored programs that is enhancing and promoting the community’s quality of life. The innovative getDowntown program promotes alternative transportation, while the Housing Innovation Initiative seeks affordable housing options for area employees. Parent University is an ongoing parent education program co-sponsored by the Ann Arbor Public Schools, and Leadership Ann Arbor, in its eighteenth year, is an eight-month leadership development course for area businesspeople.

The Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in Washtenaw County with over 1,400 members. The vision of the Chamber is to be an organization that will effect positive change to ensure a sustainable economic, social, and natural environment for current and future generations.

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