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Jackson is one step closer to housing the Glidden Parker mural after receiving $75,000 from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) at their awards ceremony Friday, Sept. 18.

MCACA officials reviewed nearly 600 grant applications from around the state before awarding nearly $10 million in grants to recipients including schools, municipalities and museums. Jackson received the highest funding allocation – no awardee received more than $75,000 – and its grant application scored the second highest out of the 462 applicants, second only to the Detroit Institute of Arts. This is the second competitive grant the project has earned after becoming one of 66 projects nationwide to receive a National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” Grant in July of 2014.

“This has been the most difficult season of grant reviews since the days of the Great Recession when there was so little money, now the issue is how to reach as many eligible organizations as possible around the entire state with our increased, albeit still limited, funding,” said MCACA Executive Director John Bracey.

The project to build a climate-controlled art gallery for the lighted 9-by-28-foot has now raised $344,000 in committed funds, including $119,000 from the Jackson Public Arts Commission, $100,000 from CP Federal Credit Union and $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts. City Councilman Derek Dobies plans to continue to find partners in the community to close the $50,000 gap to fully fund the project and begin construction in spring of 2016.

“This award underscores how important and exciting this project is to our community,” said Dobies, who lead the writing of the grant application. “Beyond its intrinsic value, we know art can contribute to economic development. This project will surely help in our downtown revitalization efforts and create a great sense of place for all to experience.”

When finished, the building at Horace Blackman Park in downtown Jackson will house the lighted mural depicting the history of power generation, and include a gallery for local works of art as well as art collections curated by the Ella Sharp Museum of Art and History and the Jackson Civic Art Association.

Visit www.gliddenparker.org for more information on the project.

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