Since 1965 the Arts Council of Greater Lansing has empowered both lovers and creators of art. The Arts Council’s mission is to build a strong basis for overall growth in the Lansing community for artists and arts and cultural foundations. “Our work is really to support, strengthen and promote arts and culture in the greater Lansing area,” said Executive Director Deborah E. Mikula. “An arts council begins its work because they find that there is a lack of artistic endeavors that are happening in their community, and they are there to help convene and facilitate more activity.” As the Lansing community has grown over the years, the Arts Council found a need to shift their focus to local artists and the progress of organizations and programs that have already been implemented. Since its start, this membership organization has created the Center for the Arts as well as the Silver Bells Festival. The Arts Council also runs the Greater Lansing Festival Alliance, which helps to market and promote over 30 local festivals. “If we can help get the word out and we can help build impact by how much is actually happening in our region, then arts and culture grows leaps and bounds because more people are paying attention to that,” said Mikula. The organization is run by 18 board members, which are all on a volunteer basis. Every year the council hosts two annual fundraisers. In May, they sponsor A Taste of Art & Life at a unique home in the Lansing area and Holiday Glitter during the holiday season. Based in Old Town, one of Lansing’s thriving cultural neighborhoods, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing has a store front office space. “We feel very connected to this area and to helping to build it into a dynamic and thriving place to live and work,” Mikula said. The Arts Council’s smARTS program works to bring in local, state and national leaders to help build the knowledge and expertise of their members. The workshops, hosted five to six times a year, are a unique way for the council to connect with its members. The Arts Council uses the interest on their endowments to grant funds to individual artists, organizations and students within the area. “Our organization has taken more of a service focus and is more about professional development,” Mikula said. Next year the Arts Council will celebrate 50 years of service to the Lansing community. “We’re an organization that helps to bring people together to look at their community in authentic and original ways,” said Mikula. For more information on the Arts Council of Greater Lansing visit their website at www.lansingarts.org.
A senior at Michigan State University pursuing a career in communications and public relations, Danielle enjoys cooking, traveling and all Middle Eastern food.