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Press Release


Kathy Achtenberg, MEDC
(517) 335-4590

Tony Roko
Founder-Art Foundation
(734) 576-2700

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


Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Art Foundation: Fostering Creative Minds in Plymouth

$40,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Downtown Plymouth will soon be home to the Warehouse Studio, the headquarters and classrooms of Art Foundation, with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Art Foundation announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $40,000 by November 7, 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:

“This space will provide a place to enjoy, support, and develop artists and artwork that are an important part of local culture,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “The Public Spaces, Community Places program is pleased to provide resources and serve as a partner in this effort.”

Funding raised during this campaign will provide programming and space to aspiring artists in the region. The campaign will transform the building in downtown Plymouth, which was formerly the wood shop area of the Plymouth Middle School, into a modern art gallery. The funds from the crowd-sourced campaign also will help to cover the cost of painting the studio, furnishing the classroom area, and outfitting the space with technology to help facilitate the use of the gallery and retail aspects of the Warehouse Studio.

Art Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at fostering budding students in Southeast Michigan, will use the funds raised to provide public programs and curriculum to developing artists and build out essential elements for a production studio and gallery. These curricula will be administered at both the headquarters in Plymouth, as well as the satellite Art Foundation location in the DEN nonprofit accelerator located on Detroit’s East Side.

“I can hardly describe how excited we are to partner with the MEDC on the Public Spaces Community Places program,” said Tony Roko, founder of Art Foundation. “With the crowd-sourced and matching funds we will be able to open our Warehouse Studio student gallery space in downtown Plymouth in the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex (PARC), creating a headquarters for the Art Foundation that will offer public showings of works produced by community members and the participants of Art Foundation’s curricula. These funds will also sponsor art expression classes for youth in underserved areas of Detroit and Southeast Michigan who don’t get the opportunities to participate in art or the support to pursue creative careers.”

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

“Having a strong arts presence is key to creating a vibrant sense of place in communities,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The Art Foundation’s Warehouse Studio not only accomplishes that goal, but also revitalizes part of an old school building in the process.”

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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