I should start by saying that, ‘2019 was a big year!’ However, that would be a massive understatement. 2019 was more than just a big year for the Arts Council, it was a year that brought an organization-wide shift and re-dedication to our work. We were able to navigate a large, transitional event, find new strengths and set new goals. And I am so proud to state that we have maintained our organization as a strong leader in arts and culture; that we were dedicated to engaging new, diverse audiences; that we were consistent in our quality of service and that we were open to new ideas and hearing our region’s voices.
We understand that, in a time of organizational change—like the hiring of a new executive director—there is a potential for setbacks. Therefore, it was very important to the Arts Council staff and me that the level of care, consideration and attention given to our members, donors and partners did not falter. There are many examples and figures in this annual report that illustrate this, but here are a few significant highlights we are especially proud to share: We promoted a new membership and program manager to focus on the specific needs and goals of our membership; we developed new opportunities for sponsors to directly help artists through Creative Placemaking Summit scholarships, and we were able to continue our role on the Lansing Area Economic Partnership (LEAP) board of directors, connecting the threads that tie economic development, arts and culture together.
Above all, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing exists to support, strengthen and promote arts, culture and creativity in the Capital Region. To us, that means that we are not only supporting world-class arts and cultural organizations and individuals in this region, but we are making sure that everyone—locally and beyond—recognizes that we are rich in creativity. We lift up the voices of our talented members and ask that this community supports their work. In 2019, we were able to accomplish this in so many ways. Take a look at what the Arts Council was able to do with the help of our board, supporters and community and then, get excited for what is to come in 2020!
Executive Director, Arts Council of Greater Lansing