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MCACA awards to regional sites will bolster arts

The Upper Peninsula is blessed with a vivid arts and culture scene, which got a little brighter recently with the awarding of $700,000 to a number of nonprofit organizations by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

“The arts and culture in the state of Michigan forms the heart and soul of who we are as people,” said Nheena Weyer Ittner in a story from Journal Staff Writer Trinity Carey. “The places, the performances and the visuals — it creates a quality environment, a quality community. And oftentimes the arts are harder to fund but yet they provide such an essence in who we are.”

Weyer Ittner is executive director of the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and is council member for MCACA. She pointed out these nonprofit organizations contribute to the cultural significance of our communities by providing events and services such as ballet, symphony performances, art galleries and more.

“All of that just enriches the community,” Weyer Ittner said. “I’m just totally honored to be a part of the council and that we can really help advocate for the arts and culture to be healthy in our state of Michigan.”

Locally, Marquette County received $157,688. Among the nonprofit agencies in the county who received grant funding were Ishpeming Public Schools, the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency, the Liberty Children’s Art Project, the Marquette Maritime Museum, the Marquette County Historical Society, Superior Arts Youth Theater, Marquette City Band Inc., the Marquette Symphony Orchestra, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, Superior String Alliance Inc., Lake Superior Theatre Inc., Lake Superior Art Association, Northern Michigan University-DeVos Art Museum and the city of Marquette Arts and Culture Center.

The MCACA also awarded $76,740 to Chippewa County, $78,875 to Delta County, $1,000 to Dickinson County, $71,610 to Gogebic County, $131,447 to Houghton County, $137,500 to Mackinac County and $25,500 to Ontonagon County for a total of $678,360 awarded.

Grants were given in several categories such as operational support to fund day-to-day and staffing costs, specific funding projects and capital projects for building renovations, etc. Most organizations are expected to match the funds granted 1 to 1, Weyer Ittner added.

For a full list of grant recipients and amounts, visit the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs on the web at www.michiganbusiness.org.

According to the MCACA website, the grants “encourage, initiate and facilitate an enriched artistic, cultural and creative environment in Michigan.”

We are happy the organization is able to boost arts and culture programs, we congratulate the grant winners and we encourage our readers to get involved in the local arts scene. Your soul will be enriched by doing so.