Lansing secures $ 2 million in funding for new performing arts center

On Wednesday, September 22, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor announced that a state budget accord had been passed for 2021-2022, which included $ 2 million in funding for a Lansing performing arts center. .

This $ 2 million is in addition to the $ 8 million from public, education and government budgets that will support the addition of the Lansing Public Media Center.

Schor, Senator Curtis Hertel Jr, and Executive Vice President of the Capital Region Community Foundation Laurie Strauss Baumer, among others, had a major role to play in this project.

While East Lansing has the Wharton Center, which can accommodate 2,254 seats, Lansing does not have a suitable space for emerging artists or more intimate performances. In addition, the Wharton Center is almost continually booked.

“We are at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting artists and the performing arts to the capital simply because we don’t have the space that other parts of the state offer,” Hertel said. in a press release.

Schor praised Hertel, who represents Lansing in the State Senate, for his work in making this project a reality.

“We have been working on the establishment of a performing arts center in Lansing for many years which will primarily serve as a concert hall,” said Schor. “I am proud that my advocacy and the leadership of Senator Hertel will help make these interim plans a reality for our city and region.

Strauss Baumer, who sits on the facilities committee of the mayor’s arts and culture commission, said she was excited at the prospect of seeing musicians thrive at the performing arts center.

While the performing arts center will be a scaled-down version of its original design, Strauss Baumer is anxiously awaiting what the new plan might mean for Lansing.

“I think it’s going to be a fabulous setup – I’m excited about it, we all are,” Strauss Baumer said. “We see it as a must-have place, in fact I think we could use more of it. “

Strauss Baumer said she was excited when she thought of “amounts” that could be set aside for the new performance center.

“People who might be under the radar because they haven’t been in the top ten yet… and if they come to Lansing on their rise… that’s pretty cool,” said Strauss Baumer.

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