Michigan Legacy Art Park opened to the public in September 1995, after years of concept development and site planning. The first installations of art were by artists William Allen, Lois Beardslee, Gary Kulak, Michael McGillis and David Barr. The goals of this new sculpture park were to:

  • Install outdoor sculpture;
  • Exhibit contemporary works inspired by Michigan history;
  • Provide a forum for high quality and diverse arts presentations;
  • Engage and educate the public through interactive visitor projects and artist residency programs;
  • Support schools through the development of programs that integrate art into a variety of subjects and link to the school curriculum.

Today, these goals have become reality. The Art Park continues to improve and expand every year with the support of a dedicated Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers. Generous donors see their investments flourish in the eyes of the children who visit on school field trips, the artists who are inspired to create, the musicians who fill the woods with their sounds, and the physical trails, sculpture, and structures within the park.

MLAP Field Trip mediumMission:
 Enriching lives through experiences that connect art, nature, and Michigan’s history.

Vision: We will gain statewide importance and a national reputation as a distinguished forest sculpture park by committing to artistic excellence; providing enriching learning opportunities; engaging every person who enters the Art Park; and stewarding our natural, human, and economic resources.


Artistic Excellence:  We strive to present artwork that exemplifies creative expression and innovation; is of the highest quality, significance, and merit; and offers viewers fresh insights.

Education:  We believe the arts can be a springboard for enhanced learning and are integral in the development of the whole person.

Diversity and Inclusion:  We strive for diversity in our leadership, exhibitions, presentations, and programs by involving people of all abilities and backgrounds and are committed to sharing social and cultural perspectives outside the dominant narrative.

Stewardship:  We value our entrusted resources and creating a sense of place through active stewardship.

Wellness:  We provide a healthy environment conducive to physical, intellectual, and emotional well being

Current Focus Areas:

  1. Strengthen the IMPACT of our organization.
  2. Increase visibility through heightened OUTREACH and collaboration.
  3. Commit to comprehensive DIVERSITY and inclusion.
  4. Ensure the GROWTH and sustainability of our organization.
  5. Improve our “sense of place” through active STEWARDSHIP.

Current Donors:



Current programs and activities:

  • Exhibits and maintains forty-nine outdoor sculptures.
  • Temporary sculpture exhibition in entry gallery.
  • Summer Sounds, a concert series that has presented diverse musical genres for eighteen years.
  • Education Programs including field trips, in-school workshops/residencies, and curriculum Looking to Learn materials for teachers.
  • Legacy Gala, the mission-driven signature fundraiser, earns 30% of the annual operating fund.
  • Fairies & Forts is a family event to kick-off the start of summer and features hiking, art activities, live music and refreshments.
  • Tours and activities for adults and families.

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Increased capacity of the organization by increasing the Communications Manager position to full-time in 2017, hiring an Artistic Director in 2016, and hiring an Education Director in 2014.
  • A master plan for the physical development of MLAP was completed in 2012. The Art Access for All Campaign raised nearly $380,000 by June 2016 to implement the master plan. The following capital improvements have since been made with the support of many generous donors:
    • Purchased an all-terrain, six-passenger vehicle to allow access to the upper trails for people with limited mobility and to aid in park maintenance.
    • Built an ADA compliant arrival area and 1/4-mile trail from the parking lot to the amphitheater
    • Rebuilt the amphitheater featuring a new deck and outdoor furniture
    • Expanded and named the Mo and Linda White Discovery Grove—the art education, exploration, and exhibition area for children
    • Installed Communications Vine, a sculpture by Eric Troffkin
    • Commissioned and installed six new artist-designed benches
    • Built a garage to store for the ATV, outdoor furniture and other Art Park tools and materials
  • Held the first field trip for students with disabilities on May 24 in partnership with Arts for All, TBAISD and TCAPS.
First time visitors on the ADA accessible trail. Photo Credit: John Bullington

First time visitors on the ADA accessible trail. Photo Credit: John Bullington