Upper Peninsula Arts and Culture Alliance and Roadmap Development (Michigan)

Project Description

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan boasts some of the most treasured wilderness destinations in the country, yet it experiences disinvestment and a declining population. To promote economic development across the 15 county geography of the Upper Peninsula, the Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development agency (CUPPAD) has served as the catalyst for the development of an Arts and Culture Alliance and a planning process to explore the role of the arts and culture sector in creating community vibrancy as well as supporting the growing tourism industry.  CUPPAD has entered into a three year major funding agreement with ArtPlace America, which is supporting this planning and development effort.  The initial formative work has as well been supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs,  ArtPlace America has provided an apt description of this work:

As ArtPlace America notes, “Creative Placemaking seeks the full and robust integration of arts, culture, and community-engaged design into the decisions that define the ebb and flow of community life.” 

Arts Midwest, through the Arts Lab program, is facilitating the development of The Upper Peninsula Arts and Culture Alliance as an affiliation organization comprised of artists, artisans and arts organizations; historians, culture bearers and their affiliated organizations; as well as allies in related sectors such as tourism and recreation, local and regional government, and local and regional planning and economic development.
The purpose of the Upper Peninsula Arts and Culture Alliance is to foster and promote creativity through artistic and cultural activities un the Upper Peninsula.  The Alliance intends to be a hub providing informational and strategic assistance to existing and emerging organizations and individual artists and performers, as well as to encourage connections between artists, performers, audiences, businesses, and art and culture organizations so as to create a sense of pride and a sense of place throughout the communities of the UP.

What are the goals of this work?

1. Form an Arts and Culture Alliance

  • Build processes for Alliance development, including infrastructure and communications
  • Build a network of leadership, partnerships, and alliances to propel the work forward.

2. Complete a roadmap outlining a path for development.  This broad brush plan will include

  • An assessment identifying and mapping key assets and opportunities key to the growth of an arts and culture presence.
  • Articulation of a vision within the broader regional context, clarifying key guiding principles to shape the work.
  • Articulate and build an understanding of and commitment to the arts as a key economic driver for the region.
  • Implementation work plans for at least years 1-3.

The Team

A roster of the Alliance Formation Team can be found here.