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Press Release


Kathy Achtenberg, MEDC
(517) 335-4590

Ben Tierney, Communications Officer
Midland Area Community Foundation
(989) 839-9661

Matt Bach
Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073;


Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for The Downtown Midland Transformation

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

LANSING, Mich. – Downtown Midland will soon become a pedestrian-friendly and welcoming walkable community promenade with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Midland Area Community Foundation (MACF) announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by December 1, 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:

“These types of people-first transformations are the key to economic development within our downtowns,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “The Public Spaces Community Places program is pleased to provide resources for and serve as a partner in this effort.”

Funding raised during this campaign will complete the revitalization efforts within downtown Midland. This campaign will add stone fire pits, flexible seating, chess/checker tables, public art and other amenities to the walkable streetscape. The improvements will include widened sidewalks, festival-friendly streets, and large gathering spaces. The investments are expected to attract quality businesses, encourage foot traffic and generally enhance the existing downtown.

“When you look at what makes a vibrant community, downtowns come up again and again,” said MACF President & CEO Sharon Mortensen. “These amenities can create a sense of community, a sense of place. Community members and visitors can come sit around a fireplace or enjoy a game of chess while visiting downtown Midland. It’s a simple way to create quality spaces where people want to gather and spend time.”

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

“Communities with inviting, active downtown amenities are in a great position to draw in residents, visitors and businesses,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Midland will certainly create that kind of atmosphere with its downtown transformation.”

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 September 30, 2017, MEDC has provided $4,117,333 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 142 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $5 million raised from 25,977 individual donors.

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 and talent 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 Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers. Join the conversation on: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at




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