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Press Release


Kathy Achtenberg, MEDC

Lindsey Dotson
Main Street DDA Director

Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
734.669.6317; C: 810.874.1073;


Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Hoop Skirt Alley Project in Charlevoix

$6,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – An alleyway in downtown Charlevoix will be transformed into an interactive space, improving walkability and adding to the vibrancy of town through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the City of Charlevoix and Charlevoix Main Street DDA announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $6,000 by April 30, 2019, 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:

“Alleys are often an uncomfortable means to a destination in our downtowns, but as creative placemakers put their minds together to activate these spaces, they become vibrant places to gather and spend time,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

As a result of collaborative planning efforts between Charlevoix Main Street DDA and the Junior Main Street Committee of Charlevoix High School Students, there is a communal vision for the alley. This campaign will put that plan into action, transforming Hoop Skirt Alley into a pedestrian plaza and outdoor gathering place complete with comfortable seating, decorative lighting, art and plenty of fun.

“The Public Spaces Community Places matching grant program will have a huge impact on the Hoop Skirt Alley project. Charlevoix Main Street DDA is actively trying to reduce the amount of asks we put out to our small business community and this funding helps us accomplish that. So many people in the community have asked for a project like this and now they can invest and see their money go towards something extremely positive,” said Lindsey Dotson, Main Street DDA director for Charlevoix. “The added bonus of knowing that their money could be doubled by this match if our goal is met makes it more compelling to give. It's incredible that the students on our Junior Main Street Committee chose to move forward with revitalizing an alley to improve walkability and the overall vibrancy of our downtown.”

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

“Turning underutilized areas of town into creative, engaging public spaces is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “This project will transform Hoop Skirt Alley into an inviting pass-through as well as an appealing place to stop and enjoy.”

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 March 13, 2019, MEDC has provided more than $6 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 196 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $7.2 million raised from 37,743 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.

iMichigan 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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