Moving forward toward building a U.P. Arts and Culture Alliance, the second planning session for the newly formed Upper Peninsula Arts and Culture Alliance met at the Peter White Public Library Community Room in Marquette.
While the mission of the group is still being determined, it has been indicated that a large regional alliance of artists, creators, partners, and stakeholders would be beneficial to draw regional connections, drive economic development, and retain creative talent in the Upper Peninsula.
The first meeting, held in Houghton, focused on the need for such an alliance.
Pasqua Warstler, Bonifas artistic director, and Sue Roll, Bonifas business director, attended the meeting in Marquette and at the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University, where leaders are committed to work on alliance planning and structure throughout 2017.
“We’re excited to be moving forward,” said Warstler. “In the U.P., each town is isolated, so as we work together and share resources, we’ll be able to do more.” Collaborating on grant applications and regional promotions could, for example, help all involved, she said.
The alliance “will lead and inform the work of integrating arts and culture into the fabric of economic development work through sound community-based planning that celebrates the identity of the Upper Peninsula as a unique place where natural resources play a prominent role,” said Emilie Schada, regional planner with the Central Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Regional Commission, also present at the meetings.
The second meeting in Marquette focused on creating an entity and inner organization to accomplish these goals.