The City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan's Business School will host the Michigan Green Communities Leadership Academy July 16 & 17. The Academy, facilitated by the Institute for Sustainable Communities and sponsored by the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Ann Arbor SPARK, will be an opportunity for local government leaders and their regional partners to learn and develop strategies to further green economic development. 18 cities, from Marquette to Detroit, are sending teams of three or four individuals to participate in the event. Those teams will learn about sustainability initiatives in Michigan and across the country that can be adapted and implemented locally. They will learn valuable strategies for engaging the public and communicating about the economic and community benefits of sustainability. And they will build leadership capacity and skills to advance sustainability initiatives together when they return home.
The Michigan Green Communities network is dedicated to bringing unique peer-learning and technical assistance opportunities, such as this Leadership Academy, to its members. Mark your calendars now for the third annual Green Communities conference November 2 in Lansing. To join the network, contact Laura Matson.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him by email or Twitter.
The third annual Michigan Green Communities conference is scheduled for November 2, 2012, at the Michigan Municipal League's Capital Office in Lansing. Staff and elected/appointed officials from local government, colleges and universities, or other organizations partnering with local government are invited to submit a proposal to present at the conference. Initial presentations to the entire audience of 75 will last 10 minutes. Presenters will then have the opportunity to lead break-out discussion sessions with 10-30 attendees to continue a more in-depth conversation about the presentation topic. Submit your proposal here by July 27.
Contact Laura Matson with the City of Ann Arbor with any questions. Visit the Green Communities webpage for presentations and videos from the previous two conferences.
The Ford Foundation has given itself 10 years--and a $100 million budget--to positively impact the arts. The foundation’s new Supporting Diverse Arts Spaces initiative funds arts groups undertaking three types of projects; 1) Developing new arts spaces; 2) Launching new programs and addressing sustainability; and 3) Expanding and renovating established facilities.
In general, the initiative argues that having spaces for art and artists (things like sustainable arts facilities, incubators and affordable living for artists) not only supports the health of the creative economy, it can also impact an entire local economy and revitalize neighborhoods. The initiative involves granting funds for development and redevelopment projects, as well as seminars on “topics related to sustaining arts centers,” which will be presented by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., over a two year period.
According to the Ford Foundation, “The cultural richness of our country is no less important in times of economic uncertainty. We must promote the creative work of individual artists and institutions in these difficult times," said Luis Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation. "We also believe that this investment in arts infrastructure will advance the well-being of our communities because artists and art spaces can play a significant role in boosting local economies,” he said.
Call for Proposals: The Ford Foundation, Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) and the MetLife Foundation have teamed up to offer Ford Foundation Space for Change planning and predevelopment grants for “organizations that are in the early stages of planning facilities that support artistically innovative and culturally diverse endeavors that will strengthen relationships between the community and artists,” according to the Ford Foundation. Grants of up to $100,000 will be distributed through an open RFP process.