July 16, 2014                                                     

Dear Friends of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing,                          

An important part of our mission is to advocate for arts and culture in the capital region and to engage you in support of those endeavors that build our communities through the arts. Today, we are writing to applaud the City of East Lansing for entertaining a Percent for Art proposal, and we hope that you will take time out of your busy schedules to write a letter of support.                          

On Tuesday, July 22, the East Lansing City Council agenda will include a Percent for Art proposal introduced by Mayor Nathan Triplett to reinvigorate the Public Art Fund and fully invest resources in the "City of the Arts." To ensure their success, cities like East Lansing need to follow best practices by establishing workable policies and sustainable funding sources to provide the foundation for creative communities.The Percent for Art proposal will do just that.                           

As you are no doubt aware, cities with a strong cultural presence gain social and economic value from public art, as it adds uniqueness to communities, humanizes the built environment and invigorates public spaces. Cities with an active and dynamic cultural scene are more attractive places for both individuals and businesses to locate. Additionally, embracing public art is a key component of attracting and retaining talent.                         

Mayor Triplett's proposal includes 1% of the cost to the city's general fund of all public facilities and capital improvement projects to be deposited in the city's Public Art Fund, which will be administered by the East Lansing Public Art Commission. In addition, for private development projects with a project cost greater than $500,000, 1% of total project costs, up to a maximum of $25,000 would be committed to the procurement and display of public art on the project site (or alternatively the developer could donate a work of art or contribute an amount equal to 1% of total project costs to the city's Public Art Fund.)                           

Again, we encourage you to send a letter to the East Lansing City Council regarding the importance of this funding to keep the "City of the Arts" at the forefront of creativity and economic vitality. Your message needs to encourage them to move this proposal forward by sending it to the Downtown Development Authority, the Planning Commission, and the Arts Commission for review and recommendation.  We encourage you to either attend the City Council Meeting (54-B District Court, Courtroom 2, 101 Linden Street ) on Tuesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. to voice your support in person or alternatively, letters of support can be sent to the full city council
at: council@cityofeastlansing.com where they will be placed into public record.                           

A sample letter to the City Council is linked here for your perusal.  If you choose to use it, we highly encourage you to personalize it and add information about your organization and interest in how this will positively impact your work and increase the quality of your life in East Lansing.                                                 

Thank you for taking time to voice your support for this worthy proposal,

Deborah E. Mikula                        
Executive Director