Lansing Mayor Andy Schor today announced that the Mayor’s Arts and Culture Commission (MAACC) has submitted its annual report per its Charter. The report outlines the MAACC’s 2020 achievements and how they plan to achieve their 2021 goals. Additionally, the MAACC has elected new leadership including Co-Chairs Stephanie E. Vasko (MSU Center for Interdisciplinarity & Local Artist) & Barb Whitney (Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center), Vice Chair Mike Marriott (Opportunity Arts), Treasurer William Matt (Broad Art Museum) and Secretary Clara Martinez (Everett High School Teacher).
“The Mayor’s Arts and Culture Commission has continued to promote art and build a sense of placemaking in the City of Lansing for everyone to enjoy, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The MAACC helped administer grant funding to support ARTpath, the live streaming of concerts and other safe, creative endeavors,” said Mayor Schor. “The MAACC held multiple community listening sessions that featured important conversations about arts education, increased access to arts funding, equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as the role the arts can play in helping us understand and shape our culture.”
In its second year, the MAACC continued to find additional ways to support the arts and cultural sector of the Lansing community. Before in-person gatherings became impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MAACC hosted two listening sessions, one for working artsis and the other for arts educators, to learn how Lansing can better support their work. Additionally, the MAACC played a key role in recommending recipients of City Arts and Cultural Grant dollars, as well as shaping, encouraging and ultimately recommending public art projects in Lansing.
“I’m very excited to continue the great work of the Commission this year, especially around listening to and responding to the needs of local creatives and around building relationships between the universities, colleges, and local creative communities,” said Stephanie E. Vasko, Co-Chair of the Commission.
“I second Co-Chair Vasko's sentiments and am thrilled to support the excellent work our committees have initiated. Despite the difficult circumstances due to the pandemic, our local arts and culture sector has offered opportunities for community engagement and self-expression. These are critical to moving forward as a society, and I'm proud to serve the Mayor's Arts and Culture Commission in Lansing," said Barb Whitney, Co-Chair of the Commission.
The Mayor’s Arts and Culture Commission was established by Executive Order in August of 2018, and was charged by the Mayor with advancing arts and cultural initiatives inside the city to drive social and economic development in order to enhance quality of life and experiences for residents and visitors alike.
The Mayor’s Arts and Culture Commission is currently comprised of the following members: