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Crowdfunding campaign launches for Howell’s Peanut Row Alley, with MEDC win matching grant

Downtown Howell’s Peanut Row Alley will soon feature a pedestrian plaza and an outdoor gallery with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Howell Main Street Downtown Development Authority announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $12,000 by June 30, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: http://www.patronicity.com/peanutrowalley.

“This alley is a great example of a public space that will also improve economic activity in downtown Howell,” said MEDC Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “The Public Spaces Community Places program is intended to bring spaces like this to their full potential and best use and we are pleased to be able to be a resource for this effort.”

The project is the result of community input on what to do with some of Howell’s underused downtown alleys. Combining the demand for public art and gathering spaces, community leaders created the plans for Peanut Row Alley with the idea of and fun and functional outdoor gallery in mind. The result will be a vibrant oasis with a variety of exhibitions, seating options, interactive games, and planters filled with seasonal botanical elements that will be maintained by downtown businesses and residents.

“”The alleys in downtown Howell have always been a secret gem to our residents and business owners. Improving our alleys is something that community leaders with the DDA, Howell Main Street, Chamber of Commerce, and city have been talking about for years,” said Howell DDA Director Cathleen Edgerly. “Now with the help of community donors as well as the Public Spaces Community Places program from the MEDC, we can finally take the community’s vision and turn it into a reality. For the Peanut Row Alley Project we look forward to transforming a space that people walk through into a space that they want to walk to. With the art, lighting, comfortable outdoor seating and dining sets that the community asked for, the Peanut Row Alley will be a comfortable place for people to gather with friends, sip their coffee, enjoy music and so much more in a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, MSHDA, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.

“The Michigan Municipal League strongly supports the concept of placemaking and creating spaces that people love,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Sometimes placemaking happens by building on existing assets. This crowdfunding project in Howell is an excellent example of taking something that already exists and making it even better. With the community’s support we’re confident Howell’s Peanut Row Alley Project can become a source of pride for years to come.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of May 1, 2017, MEDC has provided $3,591,500 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 117 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $4.3 million raised from 19,084 individual donors.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at www.mitalent.org for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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