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A2AC Art in Public Fundraising Campaign

Encore, encore, more ART!

The Ann Arbor Art Center (A2AC) is expanding on the success of last year’s A2AC Murals project inside the Creative District and continuing on our journey to transform downtown Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County into the go-to place to experience public art.

Wow, in just 38 days, we’ve raised over $100,000! $50K from you and $50K from the MEDC’s Public Spaces, Community Places matching grant program. THANK YOU for supporting talented artists and investing in our vibrant community by donating to this public art initiative.

Further, your enthusiasm and support inspired a local couple to pledge an additional $50,000 in matching funds. So let’s keep going!

Success is new murals popping up on blank downtown walls and up to four immersive alleyway installations for townies, employees, students, and visitors to explore and enjoy.

Support talented artists and invest in our vibrant community by donating to this public art initiative. Funds raised will pay selected artists to design and implement new artworks inside and outside the Creative District downtown.

For over 111 years, the Ann Arbor Art Center has played a vital role in the local arts community, providing a fun and accessible venue for artists and art-lovers. Fueled by a passionate community of artists, organizers, instructors, and students, together we challenge perspectives, elevate local artists, and inspire our community through exhibitions, art classes, and immersive art experiences.

The Vision

We believe the experience of art should be accessible and equitable to everyone. We collaborate with local organizations, businesses, and individuals to help bring high-quality art into public spaces and elevate Ann Arbor as a destination for creatives and art-lovers alike.

Our vision is to fill Ann Arbor with art—together, we can accomplish this by completing a core concentration of art inside the Ann Arbor Creative District. With the core firmly established, art will expand beyond the district and permeate throughout the city and beyond.

Art sparks wonder, excitement, and curiosity and has the unique capacity to stimulate tourism, attract business and top talent, and enhance the overall vibrancy and sense of well-being of a downtown community.

Art Everywhere—that is our vision. Let’s keep it going!

Bringing Our Vision to Life

Individually and collectively, our community has the power to bring the vision to life. The funds raised during this campaign will support two simultaneous initiatives: A2AC Murals and A2AC Alleys. Read on to find out more about each one!

A2AC Murals will attract local, regional, and national artists to create new murals in downtown Ann Arbor. We pair downtown buildings and business owners with artists who visually transform their buildings and spaces with beautiful and thoughtful public artworks. In 2020, with the support of our community and the MEDC, ten murals were created and installed in the Creative District, collectively providing an exciting and safe opportunity to enjoy a world that didn’t feel exciting or safe at the time. It is clear from the outpouring of gratitude that everyone is thirsty for more.

A2AC Alleys expands beyond walls to bring you a brand new spatial installation art experience. We’ve invited architects, designers, engineers, and artists from around the world to participate in A2AC Alleys: Activating Ann Arbor’s Alleys through Art, a design competition to reclaim these forgotten pedestrian spaces through immersive art installations. The competition is already underway, and we’re excited to select up to five artists that will make their vision come to life in a downtown alleyway!

The primary goal of these two projects is to breathe more life into downtown Ann Arbor, building our creative identity by infusing art into the experience of our community.

The A2AC has demonstrated experience with large-scale installations. In 2015, we hosted POP-X (a 10-day festival that housed ten site-specific immersive art installations inside pavilions.) In 2018 and 2019, we partnered with artists Pat Perry and Jesse Kassel, who painted two separate multi-story murals in downtown Ann Arbor. And, in 2020, we partnered with business owners, building owners, and artists to install one sculpture and ten (!) large murals!

Your contribution isn’t just about today or tomorrow. Your gift ensures that Ann Arbor remains a vibrant, creative city for decades to come.

The Places

The Plans

We’re now working to secure funding to launch this expansive vision of art in the public spaces of Ann Arbor. 

The funds that you, our community, donate during this campaign help cover the costs needed to create these new murals and installations including:

  • Artist fees for design and installation of murals and to design, fabricate and install the alleyway installations
  • Accommodations for regional, national, and international artists 
  • Paint, paintbrushes, and other supplies
  • Safety equipment, scaffolding, boom lifts, and barricades
  • On-site support for the artist teams
  • Dedicated resources necessary to support the artists and coordinate the project
  • Community programming surrounding the Art in the Public program

So what?

Visual arts have the ability to transform neighborhoods, to inspire and transport viewers, to bring hope to a community — it’s thanks to artists that this is possible. By donating to this campaign and the A2AC Art in Public program you are supporting the artists who make our world a more beautiful place by paying them for their work and valuing their talent, ensuring that they can continue engaging the world through art, and elevating Ann Arbor as a destination for creatives and art-lovers.

The A2AC Art in Public program creates a unique sense of place and pride throughout the Ann Arbor community, the county, and all of SE Michigan and keeps visual art accessible and equitable to everyone.

We need you!

In the event you are unable to make a donation and still want to make sure this project happens, there are plenty of ways you can help! Share this campaign with your friends and family, tell your coworkers about it, or let us know if you’re interested in volunteering.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact Andrew Cohen (acohen@annarborartcenter.org).