Greater Lansing is experiencing an unprecedented arts and creativity rebirth. Nearly one in ten residents now work in creative fields. Total arts and culture nonprofits eclipse most other U.S. cities and are on par with Seattle, Washington. Our food system, folk scene and immigrant entrepreneurial communities are innovating substantially and gaining national interest.

Yet few visitors, commuters, students and even residents know it. In other words our funk, our creativity, our sass, diversity and, yes, our richness has remained a secret for far too long. Our goal with The Ave? Let the secret out – on the street, on our phones, on the web – one story at a time.

We like art. We like stories. We like to build things and say “what if” and “why not?” We are citizens and storytellers, place-lovers and magic bean buyers hoping to make our community a happy place to live, work and have fun through the arts, great stories, new ideas and good living. We hope you'll join us for a walk on the Ave to hear the great stories about creativity, culture and history our region has to offer. We are:

Vincent Delgado: An academic specialist in Civic Engagement with the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) at MSU is the lead collaborator on the project team.

John Monberg: An assistant professor in MSU’s College and Arts and Letters, worked with students and community members to develop the Ave’s first iteration, the “Our Michigan Avenue” website. He’s been piloting story collection with students.

Laura DeLind: An anthropologist at the RCAH and MSU’s College of Social Science has been piloting story collection with students.

Geri Alumit Zeldes: An associate professor in MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences, innovated an early incarnation of The Ave with students and refugees. She and her students have been piloting story collection.

C. Kurt Dewhurst: Director of Arts and Cultural Initiatives at MSU bridges The Ave efforts of a Greater Lansing Cultural Economic Development work group and the MSU Museum Traditional Arts Program and Cultural Engagement Council.

Celeste Sturdevant Reed: An outreach specialist with Michigan State University’s Outreach and Engagements Community Evaluation and Research Collaborative, spearheaded the project’s evaluation.

Stephanie Glazier: RCAH academic specialist and assistant director with the Center for Poetry, managed the project.

Kristin Phillips: An RCAH freshman, scoped out placard locations and kept team meetings on track.

Emily Morgan: An RCAH sophomore, piloted story collection.

Thea Card: A 2012 graduate from the School of Journalism, is in crazy love with radio reporting. She though also has impressive info graphic skills.

Emanuele Berry: Received in the last year a long list of MSU, state and national awards for her radio and TV stories. One award is intended for the top student journalist in the country.

Lansing Economic Development Corp.: Supported this pilot and the development of the backbone technology with a $28,500 grant – and technical support and assistance every step of the way.

Arts Council of Greater Lansing: Created the work group on Cultural Economic Development that inspired The Ave and then helped us work it out.

Redhead Design Studio: Helped with the brand, the design and all the technology in between.

Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau: Supported this pilot and the development of the backbone technology with a $2,500 grant.

Mid-Michigan’s creative citizens: It’s their stories we’re telling and they have been open and willing to share at every turn.

MATRIX, The MSU Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online: Shared technology, advice and content.

Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network assisted in recording the phone tree script at WKAR's studios.

Mario Quagliata: Photograper who took image on the homepage of Michigan Ave at night

With support of the City of Lansing Arts and Cultural Grant Program funded and administered through the Lansing Economic Development Corporation with assistance from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

  • lansing michigan, virg benero
  • arts council of greater lansing
  • Greater Lansing Michigan Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Michigan State University
  • Lansing Economic Development Corporation
  • Redhead Design Studio