Advocacy Blue Arrows


Michigan Prosperity Agenda: The Economic Development Role that Arts and Culture Play in a Community

Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan

radioshowOn this month’s Prosperity Agenda radio show we talk about some of the projects included in a new book being released by the Michigan Municipal League. The book, “The Economics of Place: The Art of Building Great Communities” will soon be available at and explores great placemaking examples taking place throughout the state. The Prosperity Agenda is a monthly radio show that challenges listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play by creating vibrant and prosperous local communities. It has aired on News/Talk 760 WJR since 2010.

The hour-long radio program is hosted by Dan Gilmartin, CEO of the Michigan Municipal League (the League). The show is sponsored by the League and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

THIS MONTH’S SHOW airs at 7 p.m., September 24 on News/Talk 760 WJR, and you can listen by clicking the links below. Listen as we talk about how a new renaissance of economic development in some hard hit Michigan cities is being spurred by an eclectic mix of trendy bars and restaurants, award-winning craft beers, and a lively cultural arts scene.

View past radio shows here.

Listen to the full show: (37:51)


Dan Gilmartin

Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League, explains that the Prosperity Agenda radio show is about challenging listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play. Gilmartin said having vibrant and prosperous local communities is a key factor.

- Dan Gilmartin explains this month’s show. (1:05)

John Notarianni

John Notarianni is the Director of Media Strategies for the Michigan-based Issue Media Group (IMG), which produces publications covering what’s next in cities, creating new narratives that document transformation and growth—including Model D that covers placemaking success stories in Detroit. Co-host for this Michigan Prosperity Agenda, Notarianni discusses what placemaking is and also switches things up by interviewing host Dan Gilmartin on the Michigan Municipal League’s new book.

- John reacts to the League honoring IMG next month and then turns the tables on Dan and asks a couple questions about the League’s new book. Listen in. (6:37)


Gary Heidel

The Chief Placemaking Officer for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), Heidel began his work with the organization 25 years ago as the Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Relations. In this show, Heidel hits on the importance of placemaking and how he integrates his role at MSHDA to help create a vibrant Michigan. PlacePlans, a project in which MSHDA works with the Michigan Municipal League, is also discussed.

- Placemaking can take place in all different types of communities – from large urban cities to small rural village. The only difference is scale, Heidel explains. (10:28)


Mona Lang

The Executive Director of the Marquette Downtown Development Authority since 1998, Lang has been instrumental in obtaining over $5 million of grant funds for the City’s downtown district and over $12 million in public improvement projects. Land joins this month’s Michigan Prosperity Agenda to discuss the revitalization the Marquette waterfront underwent, which has a whole chapter dedicated to this topic in the new Michigan Municipal League book. She also talks with us about what upcoming changes she sees for the city.

- Lang explains how Marquette continues to evolve in the last decade and has bucked some of the statewide trends when it comes to property values and other economic markers. Learn what they did. (10:02)


Tom Woiwode

Woiwode has spent decades working to preserve natural spaces, creating greenways and otherwise make a greener state, region and planet. In 2001, he developed the GreenWays Initiative for the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan, serving as director for that initiative ever since. His GreenWays work having been profiled by Time Magazine, Tom explains to us why this initiative is important to promoting placemaking and economic development on this month’s Prosperity Agenda.

- GreenWays can be the thread that tie communities together and greatly contribute to an area’s revitalization. Listen to Woiwode discuss some of the trails that have done this. (9:47)


Aug 27, 2014: The Economic Development Role that Arts and Culture Play in a Community

July 23, 2014: What We Can Do to Make Michigan More Immigrant-Friendly

June 25, 2014: Placemaking and Michigan's Aging Population

May 28, 2014: A Conversation from the National Main Streets Conference in Detroit!

April 23, 2014: Revenue Sharing and the Importance of Investing in Communities

Mar 26, 2014: Crowdfunding Movement; Making a Better Michigan

Feb 26, 2014:Placemaking is a vital part of making our state prosperous again

Jan. 22, 2014:Jobs, jobs and more jobs

Dec. 20, 2013:“PlacePlans” effort taking hold and improving communities across the state

Nov. 27, 2013:The National Media’s Perspective on What is Happening in Detroit

Oct. 23, 2013:The League’s efforts toward an urban policy agenda that moves Michigan toward prosperity

Sept. 25, 2013:Strategic lessons on placemaking from the League’s annual conference in Detroit

Aug. 21, 2013:Michigan’s Port Communities – a Vital Element in the State’s Economic Prosperity

July. 24, 2013:Michigan cities and downtown centers experiencing population growth despite challenges

June. 26, 2013:Complete Streets – Designing roadways to accommodate all users, not just motorists

May. 22, 2013:Engaging citizens is vital to creating prosperous communities

Apr. 24, 2013: Repurposing Property Through Private and Public Partnerships to Revitalize Communities

Mar. 27, 2013: Town-Gown Partnerships Between Cities and Universities Helping to Move State Forward

Feb. 27, 2013: Retiring Baby Boomers Provide Opportunity to Communities

Jan. 23, 2013: Aging in Place

Dec. 26, 2012: Placemaking in Michigan – A Year in Review

Nov. 26, 2012: What is Placemaking and What is MSHDA’s Role in It?

Oct. 24, 2012: Embracing Green Technology in Neighborhood Revitalization

Sept. 26, 2012: Entrepreneurs are Key to Economic Turnaround

August 22, 2012: The MIplace Partnership Initiative Improving Cities and Neighborhoods

July 25, 2012: Arts and Culture Important to Placemaking

June 27, 2012: Entrepreneurs Key to Thriving Michigan Communities

May 23, 2012: Attracting Talent Key to Michigan's Future

April 25, 2012: How Do We Bring it Back to Michigan?

March 28, 2012: Vibrant Michigan Downtowns Good for Business

Feb. 18, 2012: Making Our State More Sustainable

Jan. 25, 2012: The Benefits of Federal Funding for Neighborhood Stabilization

Dec. 29, 2011: The Year in Review

Nov. 27, 2011: Transportation in the State and the Role it Plays in Michigan's Future Economic Prosperity

Oct. 26, 2011: League’s Recently Released Book Emphasizes Quality of Place to Michigan’s Economic Prosperity

Sept. 26, 2011: How will Michigan’s foreclosure crisis impact the state’s future prosperity

August 24, 2011: League Releasing Book Emphasizing Quality of Place

July 27, 2011: What's Happening in Detroit and Other Communities to Make Michigan Better

June 22, 2011: What's Happening in Detroit and Other Communities to Make Michigan Better

May 25, 2011: Why Transit Matter's to Michigan's Future Prosperity

April 27, 2011: Why Place Matters to Michigan's Future Prosperity

Mar. 23, 2011: Gov. Rick Snyder’s Proposed Budget and What it Means for Michigan

Feb. 23, 2011: Gov. Rick Snyder’s Proposed Budget and the Potential Impact on Michigan Cities

Jan 26, 2011: Civic Engagement and Getting People Involved in the Community

Dec 23, 2010: Why Higher Education is Among Main Pillars for Building Michigan's Future

Nov 24, 2010: New Leadership and the Impact on Jobs, Education and Quality of Life

Oct 20, 2010: Michigan Governor Candidates Talk Cities

Sept 23, 2010: Economic Development and Entrepreneurship

Aug 25, 2010: Green Initiatives

July 28, 2010: Economic Gardening

June 23, 2010: Rightsizing Cities

May 26, 2010: Attracting and Retaining Talented Young People

Apr 28, 2010: The New Urban Neighborhood

Mar 24, 2010: Arts, Entertainment and Culture

Feb 24, 2010: Talking Transit

Jan 27, 2010: Making a Better Michigan





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