Art Park Receives Major Capital Grants

Amphitheater and Discovery GroveDuring the last seven days Michigan Legacy Art Park was awarded five grants totaling $137,805. The majority of the funds received are specifically for capital improvement projects identified in the Legacy Art Park’s new Master Plan. The total cost of these capital projects is $320,000 which includes a new barrier-free trail, upgrades to the amphitheater, a new outdoor educational center, and commissioning new sculptures.


Michigan Legacy Art Park was a proud recipient of one of the twenty-two grants announced by Rotary Charities of Traverse City on Tuesday, December 10. This $40,000 challenge grant supports building a new barrier-free trail and welcoming arrival area so that all visitors – regardless of physical abilities – can experience the outdoor sculptures, workshops, performances and the natural environment of the Legacy Art Park.


On Friday, December 13, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) awarded the Art Park a $75,000 capital improvement grant. This grant will support the barrier-free projects in the arrival area; build a shed to store the new all-terrain vehicle used to offer tours for those with limited mobility; implement specific erosion control measures along the trails; and rebuild the nineteen-year-old log amphitheater according to its original plans designed by Traverse City architect Bob Holdeman. The new amphitheater will increase the safety and aesthetics of this cherished outdoor venue for the performing arts in Benzie County. In addition to this capital grant, MCACA awarded the Art Park a $17,000 grant for operations.


These major grants from Rotary Charities and MCACA must be matched with community support. A matching campaign to raise the remaining $170,000 will be launched this winter. The Aline Underhill Orten Foundation has stepped up to the challenge with a $5,000 grant. The Community Foundation in Traverse City has awarded the improvements to Discovery Grove, the student art exploration and exhibition area, an $805 grant. “Being a barrier-free cultural destination in northern Michigan is the project’s primary goal,” stated Warren Call, Art Park treasurer and fundraising committee chair. “We are thrilled that these major foundations have stepped up to support this goal.”


These capital improvements are slated to break ground in spring 2014. To help with a matching gift now before the end of the calendar year, please call Renee Hintz at (231) 378-4963. Checks, made payable to Michigan Legacy Art Park, can be mailed to: Michigan Legacy Art Park, 12500 Crystal Mountain Drive, Thompsonville, MI  49683. Online gifts are accepted at by clicking the blue “donate now” button. Select “Barrier-Free Access Project” during the checkout process. 

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