Arts and culture are essential components of a thriving, knowledge-based economy. A healthy creative sector attracts and retains residents and businesses, and produces economic benefits including jobs, a stronger tax base, downtown and neighborhood revitalization, and tourism.
Make Your Case for Cultural Economic Development
Start a conversation about initiating arts and culture projects in your community. Here are some talking points to share with neighbors, organizations and local government officials:
- Arts and culture placemaking projects foster economic development by creating jobs and attracting new businesses.
- Creative placemaking fosters American leadership in globally competitive industries like film, music, design and architecture.
- Public art can help cities become safer and more inviting.
- In 2002, more than 3.6 million people (about 2.7%) of the American workforce, were considered cultural workers.
- 85% of people feel that the quality of the space around them has a direct impact on their lives and the way they feel
- When residents started a new community garden in Ontario, crime in the area was reduced by 30%
A wide variety of resources on cultural economic development are available on our Resources and Tools page.
The following case studies illustrate the unique ways that Michigan communities have drawn in more arts and culture.
NEW! East Lansing’s Percent for Art Program
East Lansing’s Percent for Art program sets aside a fraction of the budget for all public facility and capital improvement projects and dedicates it to their Public Art Fund, fostering a creatively and economically prosperous community.
|NEW! Crowdfunded Ironwood Art Park
A vacant downtown lot becomes a lively community hub for art displays and performances through a collaboration between the city and several community organizations.
|St. Joseph Public Art
The city of St. Joseph Public Art project fills downtown with unique sculptures from the area’s artists and has helped turn the west Michigan lake community into a tourist destination.
|The Alley Project
Professional artists, teens, and neighbors worked together to build an infrastructure for creative expression and community responsibility in a diverse and thriving neighborhood but also sees a high rate of illegal activity.
|Artist Village Detroit
A once-abandoned commercial strip serves as a creative hub for artists, students, business owners, and neighbors living and working in the heart of Old Redford.
This grassroots initiative is a way to bring neighbors together to build relationships, share ideas and raise money for local projects happening in the community.
Inside|Out brings 80 reproductions of masterpieces from the Detroit Institute of Art’s collection to the streets and parks of greater metro Detroit.
|Frankfort Historic Landmarks Arts Center
The Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts is a re-purposed Coast Guard Station and serves as a popular community hub for residents and visitors.
|Growing the Economy Through Arts and Culture
Located halfway up Lake Michigan’s beautiful coastline, Ludington harbors a rich cultural heritage of a bygone mill and lumbering era. The city was poised to celebrate its past and future, bringing art, nature and history together, and provide an impetus for future development.
|The Noquemanon Trails Network
Local leaders advocated for a new nonprofit to form in order to maintain and expand the Noquemanon Trails Network. The trails promote year-round sports activity, tourism and healthy living.
Recycle Here! started out as a traditional drop-off center in a community with few recycling options. Through the creativity of its staff, volunteers, and participating citizens, it has become a community gathering place and a showcase for artists and musicians.