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Press Release


Kathy Achtenberg, MEDC

Karen Chapelle  
President and CEO - Casablanca Consultants

Matt Bach
Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
734.669-6317; C: 810. 874.1073;


Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for the Detroit Heritage Theatre Festival

$7.500 goal to win matching grant through MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – The literary and theatrical champions of the Detroit community will come together this year to celebrate the city’s history through collaborative theatre and festivities thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and The Helping Hands Campaign announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $7,500 by May 28, 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:

“Collaboration- and place-based events are powerful tools in placemaking and the Detroit Heritage Theatre Festival utilizes both,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort under the Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The campaign will support the events and activities during the festival and beyond. Detroit Heritage Theatre Festival invites playwrights of all ages to showcase their talents during an amazing and immersive new festival. Participants are invited to present work that inspires and innovates, intentionally subverting the traditional narratives about Detroit. The festival is designed to utilize as many of the spaces in Detroit’s cultural corridor as possible, in addition to reaching out and including the oldest, newest, professional, amateur and student artists. The festival will take place over three days and include many more performances and festivities throughout the year.

“The benefit of the Public Spaces Community Places program to the Detroit Heritage Theatre Festival Project is tremendous! It will enable us to utilize the spaces of more public spaces in the realm of theatre and art,” said President and CEO of Casablanca Consultants Karen Chapelle. “This will increase audience engagement throughout the city as well as our impact.”

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

“Providing inclusive cultural opportunities is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The Detroit Heritage Theatre Festival is playing its hand well by including such a variety of participants and venues by which to share inspirational stories of the city.”

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 April 20, 2018, MEDC has provided $4,875,166 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 157 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $5.8 million raised from 29,181 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 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 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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