What we're Doing - UPDATE!!!
Thank-you Thank-you Thank-you....we have reached our goal! REACH still needs you if you haven't had a chance to give. Now that we have the funding to finish our courtyard and gallery, our next step is raising the funds we need to build out the Teen Studio, Main Classroom and lobby section of Expanding Our REACH. So go ahead and keep giving...we have until the end of October 16 to raise more funds to put toward our next phase!
We are putting a new face on our block of REO Town in Lansing, Michigan! Already those walking by have stopped our construction crew, daily, to tell them how great the gallery looks and how wonderful this is for the neighborhood.
Imagine a spacious creative facility for making art and community art projects for youth and adults - right in the heart of our capital city. Imagine this rundown area of S. Washington Ave near Mt Hope Road becoming a vibrant center of creative activity, with refurbished facades and an entire block, re-imagined, into art studio classrooms, a youth art gallery and an outdoor courtyard. We did. And we’re doing something about it!
In fact, we’ve already started! And we are excited to share how we are EXPANDING OUR REACH in REO Town and the whole Lansing area.
You see, REACH started with just one small storefront on our current block almost eleven years ago. We went from serving just a handful of youth and adults at the end of 2003 to over a thousand in 2010. And we just keep growing. So with a $75,000 grant, we bought the block and we are re-developing all the storefronts into Lansing’s only dedicated community art space for all ages. That’s what travelers to downtown Lansing and residents of the surrounding city neighborhoods will benefit from as they walk, ride or drive through REO Town along S Washington Ave.
Our space will more than quadruple its capacity to offer creative, art classes, workshops, programs, and events for the whole Lansing community and beyond.
We’ve already completed a lot of work on this project. Last year, we renovated the North building into our clay studio and completed the demolition, gutting and re-roofing of the rest of the buildings. So far we've raised $415,000 for Expanding Our REACH ¬¬ That is almost half of what we need to complete the entire expansion!
A community friendly courtyard is being planned for the space where some old and unusable buildings used to be. Besides providing much needed outdoor recreation space to more than 1000 kids who participate in REACH art programs, the courtyard will be used for fun and engaging stuff like summer outdoor movies, sculpture exhibits, outdoor art classes and neighborhood gatherings.
Make art, have fun, change lives, change perceptions.
That’s what we do at REACH.
Why it Matters
We believe art and being creative is an essential part of life and learning. We also believe that connecting with neighbors and community in positive ways makes good things happen—For EVERYONE. That’s why we are making REACH a bigger and BETTER place. For YOU.
For years this part of town has been perceived as run-down, crime-ridden, and just plain scary. People from outside our neighborhood don’t want to visit; residents--both youth and adults in our neighborhood, aren't sure they can visit (they wonder: Are the activities for us? Where can we participate since there’s no green space or not enough classroom space?). We want you, our neighbors and visitors, to drive, walk or ride by and do a double take because of the absolute ‘coolness’ of our block – making REO Town a destination rather than just a place to quickly get past. With all this potential on Washington Avenue, we want to create more space for making big sculptures, teaming up with lots of other cool organizations, hosting family fun nights and attracting safe and healthy fun on the block.
…Yep. We want everyone to LOVE coming to REACH’s corner of REO Town.
So here’s the deal. We’ve already prepped the space for our courtyard and youth art gallery by demolishing one scary mess-of-a storefront in the middle of the block. We thought we had raised enough money to complete the Courtyard and the Youth Art Gallery, but discovered a lot of unforeseen (and expensive) things that needed to be fixed. (A whole wall had to be rebuilt and another section had to be demolished and rebuilt because of rotted wood). Long story short, we came up short on funding for everything we need to do to complete the Gallery and Courtyard. This is where you come in!
How you can Help
If you HELP US REACH OUR $48,000 goal, your donation (and our funding) gets DOUBLED—thanks to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation providing a 1:1 match if we meet our goal. Please give what you can. Every gift gets us closer to our goal! And to thank you for your donation we have put together an awesome list of fun thank-you gifts.
From the bottom of our heARTS,