Stephanie Sokol for The Oakland Post
For the second year, Meadow Brook Hall has received a Program for Operational and Project Support grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
The Hall, which was named a National Historic Landmark last summer, received $18,000 to be used toward operating support and curatorial needs, according to Kim Zelinski, director of museum operations and advancement.
“We’re happy to see that the funding increased. Hopefully that’s a good sign that the economy is getting better,” Zelinski said. “For a while, with the arts, a lot of funding was cut. It becomes really competitive. For us, it’s great to see that increase; it’s an indication that good things are meant to come.”
Typically, the Hall hosts eight exhibits, from the month-long Holiday Walk to student photography exhibits, according to Zelinski. The Hall also does community outreach, for example, teaming up with Mt. Clemens Anton/Frankel Center and OU departments to give students and community more art experiences.
The grant selection is a competitive process, according to John Bracey, executive director for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Meadow Brook’s grant application was reviewed and scored by a panel of peers before submission to the governor’s council for funding.
Last year, the Hall received $8,000. Bracey said the monetary boost is due in part to “a very generous increase for fiscal year 2013 from the governor and the legislature in our appropriation.” Grant funds went up from $2.1 million last fiscal year to $5.6 million for 2013.
Statewide, 402 requests were made for funding this year, and 312 grants were fulfilled. Oakland County alone was awarded 28 grants for arts and culture events with funds totaling $609,150, according to Bracey.
“It was recognized by the government’s office the impact that arts and cultural organizations have not only on their communities, and in terms of quality of life, but also on the economy in general as they’re working toward reinventing the state,” Bracey said.
Arts and culture help build the economy, employing about 15,000 full-time employees and providing work for 52,000 contract Michigan artists through the funded organizations, according to Bracey. But he said the impact of these institutions go beyond financial.
“Because of the services (arts and culture) provides to kids, the quality of life and the sense of place in communities are invaluable,” Bracey said. “It’s difficult to put a dollar amount on the impact that arts experience can have for a young person. The Hall is a wonderful space and museum, and the history of it is really impressive and they should be proud of the work that they do.”