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Press Release

Matt Bach
Michigan Municipal League
c: (810) 874-1073;


2022 Bridge Builders Microgrants Winners Announced

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – The Michigan Municipal League Foundation announced today the recipients of its Bridge Builders Microgrants program. The program includes four Main Street Microgrant recipients and ten Neighborhood Microgrant recipients.

Bridge Builders Microgrants offer small, one-time grants to people or organizations within Michigan Municipal League member communities. Projects are intentionally collaborative, bringing together neighbors, artists, business owners, elected officials, and more.

“These microgrants will bring people together across Michigan communities while stimulating local economies through thoughtful, creative projects,” said Michigan Municipal League Foundation President Helen Davis Johnson. “This year’s applicants were exceptional, and we are so excited to work with these fourteen communities in the coming months.”

Funding was available in two categories: Neighborhood and Main Street microgrants. Neighborhood microgrants award up to $500 to innovative Michiganders living or working in a Michigan Municipal League community (view the member list) to design and launch creative projects or events in their neighborhoods. Main Street microgrants award up to $5,000 to Michiganders, Downtown Development Authorities, nonprofits, or Commercial Improvement Districts living in a Michigan Municipal League member community. Main Street microgrants fund mini placemaking activities that bring together community residents, local artists, and small businesses.

This year’s Neighborhood microgrant awardees include:

  • Bumblebee Plains Community Gathering, Hastings—A series of events will bring neighbors together and foster new connections. Events will include tiny porch concerts, a kids’ bike parade, and an art project.

  • Chelsea Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Service and Social Action, Chelsea—This project will unite the community around small acts of service and action, like blanket making, and empower youth to engage in systems of change.

  • DH Community Food Pantry Project, Dearborn Heights—This project, through collaborative partnerships with local businesses, nonprofits, and government, will fill and install mini food pantries across the community helping to highlight food scarcity issues in our state.

  • Downtown Iron Mountain Public Art Sky Installation, Iron Mountain—With the help of local businesses, nonprofits, and government, Friends of the Iron Mountain Downtown Development Authority will install art across alleyways to draw people downtown.

  • Friendship Poles, Romeo—The local art center will work with high school students and the area Boy Scout troop to build, paint, and install art poles to enliven downtown Romeo.

  • Heritage Garden Makeover, Ortonville—Ortonville DDA, DPW, and community members will overhaul an underused community space and turn it into a downtown hub of activity. Funding will provide lights and landscaping to kick off this multi-phase project.

  • Lennon Veteran's Park, Lennon—This project will help advance a phased approach to develop a park honoring area veterans and revitalizing downtown Lennon. Funding will provide landscaping and seating.

  • Majestic Riverview Park Mural, Cheboygan—Designed by a local Indigenous artist, this project will paint a mural on the site of a yet-to-be-developed downtown park welcoming people to Cheboygan and celebrating the community’s diversity.

  • Swingin' Good Times! New Haven—This project will support New Haven’s goal to overhaul a community park to be more inclusive. Funding will help provide an adaptive swing for the park.

  • The Plaster Creek Mural Project, Grand Rapids—Highlighting the importance of water quality and community engagement, this project will install an educational mural along polluted Plaster Creek and support seasonal clean ups too.

This year’s Main Street microgrant awardees include:

  • ARTificial Intelligence, Flint—This project will utilize Artificial Intelligence art generators in collaboration with local human artists to create original artworks from unique prompts for a public exhibit spread across downtown Flint businesses.

  • Discover the Underground Railroad, Monroe—A series of events, centered in downtown Monroe, will explore the community’s role in the underground railroad. Events will include a dramatic reading for kids, an evening lecture, and a performance of the Spirit of Harriet Tubman.

  • La Esquina Nighttime Marketplace, Detroit—Centered in Mexicantown, this project will bring together local businesses, artists, and youth entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses and empower local youth through a pop-up marketplace.

  • Magic Carpet and Music in the Courtyard, Bridgman—Local students, a lead artist, and downtown businesses will work together to design and paint a mural in a downtown public space. Local musicians will then activate the space through performances.

Grantees were selected by statewide juries after moving through a community engagement focused online voting process in August.


The MML Foundation is working to advance community wealth through strategic partnerships and investments in strong, diverse leadership for Michigan communities and place-based initiatives that drive equitable outcomes.





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