April 12, 2019 | Community Spotlight: Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Hoop Skirt Alley Project in Charlevoix, Michigan
An alleyway in downtown Charlevoix will be transformed into an interactive space, improving walkability and adding to the vibrancy of town through a new crowdfunding campaign. If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $6,000 by April 30, 2019, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by the MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
“Alleys are often an uncomfortable means to a destination in our downtowns, but as creative placemakers put their minds together to activate these spaces, they become vibrant places to gather and spend time,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki.
As a result of collaborative planning efforts between Charlevoix Main Street DDA and the Junior Main Street Committee of Charlevoix High School Students, there is a communal vision for the alley. This campaign will put that plan into action, transforming Hoop Skirt Alley into a pedestrian plaza and outdoor gathering place complete with comfortable seating, decorative lighting, art and plenty of fun.
“The Public Spaces Community Places matching grant program will have a huge impact on the Hoop Skirt Alley project. Charlevoix Main Street DDA is actively trying to reduce the amount of asks we put out to our small business community and this funding helps us accomplish that. So many people in the community have asked for a project like this, and now they can invest and see their money go toward something extremely positive,” said Lindsey Dotson, Main Street DDA director for Charlevoix. “The added bonus of knowing that their money could be doubled by this match if our goal is met makes it more compelling to give. It's incredible that the students on our Junior Main Street Committee chose to move forward with revitalizing an alley to improve walkability and the overall vibrancy of our downtown.”
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC.
The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of March 20, 2019, MEDC has provided more than $6 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 199 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $7.2 million raised from 37,899 individual donors.