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Press Release


Kathy Achtenberg, MEDC

Carrie Morris  
Director - CMAP

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


Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Sculptural Playscape, Outdoor Puppetry Performance Space in Detroit

$5.500 goal to win matching grant through MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Detroit will soon gain an outdoor sculptural playscape and puppetry venue through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Carrie Morris Art Productions (CMAP) announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $5,500 by May 30, 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:

“Creative placemaking is the essence of the Public Spaces Community Places program,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort.”

The campaign will support several pieces of performance and space activation. The funding will create an outdoor sculptural playscape and amphitheater, a collaborative shadow puppet show with the Bangla School of Music, which has received a grant from the Jim Henson Foundation , and finally the 2018 Detroit Fringe Forward Festival, a community-engaging celebration supporting more than 50 Michigan performing artists a year. 

Since its incorporation, CMAP has facilitated hundreds of programs that range from the production of new creative works to training Detroit teens in digital media production, hosting intimate performances in renovated vacant spaces, and curating puppetry events for families.

“The benefit of the PSCP matching grant program will help us support the community feedback sessions and construction of our Pedestrian Permeable Architecture project, a neighborhood amenity that transforms vacant lots into a public greenspace for residential use and creative programming,” said CMAP Director Carrie Morris. “It will also help us go bigger and bolder with the programming we present in 2018, including the Detroit Fringe Forward Festival, which supports the work of more than 50 Michigan performing artists every year.”

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

“Enhancing public spaces and turning them into appealing community assets is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “CMAP’s efforts are all the important because they serve the dual purpose of reclaiming a vacant lot and transforming it into a creative performance venue for the community.”  

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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