Posts in News
2018 Year In Review
Bright Walls Mural Festival - Jackson, Michigan

Bright Walls Mural Festival - Jackson, Michigan

We believe, and we hope you do also, that arts and culture enrich a community and help stimulate the minds of the young, to the not so young. A perfect example is the recent Bright Walls Mural Festival that Jackson Young Professionals organized. People of all ages enjoyed visiting downtown, during the festival, to see artists at work, at such a large scale, and each with their individual style. Through your financial support we can continue in our mission to strengthen, support, and promote the arts and culture throughout Jackson County.Your Arts and Cultural Alliance of Jackson County continues its work for both art and cultural organizations and individual artists. This volunteer group in the past year has:

  • Provided fiduciary services for Bright Walls Mural Festival

  • Produced the 4th Annual Arts in Jackson Day, a community-wide advocacy day

  • Advocated for local architecture, by organizing the Stained Glass Windows Architecture Tour

  • Securing artwork by local artists in the new County National Bank branch, downtown

  • Conducting a survey to determine how locals enjoy art and what their barriers are for enjoying art

  • Sponsored Soiree Macabre, a local Halloween themed Art Exhibition

  • Promoted individual artists as well as arts organizations through paid social media posts, reaching more than 68,000 Jackson residents

Please consider a donation to help ensure that the Arts and Culture programming continues here in our hometown. You can donate online or mail a check to:

Arts and Cultural Alliance of Jackson County

P.O. Box 1463

Jackson, Michigan, 49204

Thank you for your support!

(Originally posted to our monthly email newsletter)

NewsDave Lawrencenews, update
Architecture Tour 2018 - Thank You

Dear Community Partners and Board,

First of all, thank you to Anchor Initiative for being our Title Sponsor.  Your support really helped "Stained Glass: An Architecture Tour" fly, and it definitely helped to serve your purpose of bringing people downtown.  It was so nice to see people wandering the sidewalks today, even in the rain.

When comparing last year’s numbers to this year’s numbers, although we were more successful fundraising this year, our attendance was down.  We assume that it was due to the rain.  Last year, our first lecture (10 a.m.) was the largest lecture, and this year, it was the smallest.  Ten o’clock was when it rained the hardest today.

Nevertheless, ACAJC feels really good about this event.  A big thank you to all of our docents for your wonderful work, and to the churches and County Building for having your doors open and a volunteer or staff person at your buildings all day. We received a lot of nice feedback from the event.  People loved engaging with congregational members who obviously love their church so much.  It was truly a touching event, having so many volunteers so emotionally involved in the buildings that they were presenting on.

Also thank you to the County Tower Building.  People were truly impressed that a government entity had their doors open to the public on a Saturday.  That’s true civil service!

This event engaged with the creative sector in a really good way.  I love when history can be presented through the arts.  While walking around today, I heard docents throwing in historical information about their organs, pews, statues, and more.  It was a win for the creative sector of Jackson County all the way around.

And speaking of history, thank you so much to Jeannette Woodard and Barbara Kreuger for all the content on Stained Glass.  Your research, enthusiasm and passion for the subject matter at hand, was inspiring.  The stained glass demonstration was impressive, and enlighting.  All of the articles that Barb brought to support her presentation was helpful.  I truly believe that people did not leave without learning an impressive amount on the artform, from it’s purpose to it’s process.

Thank you to Jackson District Library for allowing us to borrow your wonderful staff people to man our reception desk, and for the use of your portable microphone.  Also, we appreciated your help this week to promote “Iggy Peck, Architect,” a children’s book about architecture, with the intention of helping us reach a youth crowd for the event.  Also, thank you to Ella Sharp Museum for supplying volunteers to provide a craft for children.  It is part of ACAJC’s 2018 strategic plan to make sure there are children’s activities at our events moving forward.  This was the first time that we made sure to include a youth component, and it certainly has room to grow.

Thank you to Jackson Community Foundation for the Arts and Literacy Grant, which helped to support our Marketing Committee’s job, which was to promote this event.  Marketing Committee did a wonderful job.  After the event, I had dinner with my parents who both said that they heard the event promoted everywhere.  That is especially interesting to me, coming from my Dad, that he noticed at all :)  Mallette Blum did a beautiful job with the brochures, and Elaine Lok's photos are a work of art!  Great Lakes Graphics did an awesome job with the always!

Some impromptu conversations today with guests and volunteers, leads us to the idea that we may be able to promote some follow up materials for further reading about stained glass.  It’s nice to feel like the community reached that level of engagement when we’re being asked for additional information.  I will make sure to follow-up on these ideas.

On behalf of ACAJC, I wish to extend our gratitude to all involved, for another successful event!

Best Wishes,

Kate Manville-Schwartz

Event Chair

Stained Glass the Highlight Of Architectural Tour of Jackson

Jackson Architectural TourArts and Cultural Alliance of Jackson County’s (ACAJC) upcoming architecture tour will celebrate stained glass throughout downtown Jackson.This self-paced walking tour, sponsored by Anchor Initiative, highlights stained glass within architecture in the downtown area on Saturday, August 25. The tour can be completed at a leisurely pace in about 40 minutes.“Jackson’s stained glass is primarily seen from the outside,” says Kate Schwartz, ACAJC’s chair. “Our tour lets Jackson residents see it from the inside of buildings, where it really shows off its luster.”The tour will kick-off with a special presentation by Jeannette Woodard of Woodard & Associates, Architects. Woodard will give three presentations at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church at 120 N Jackson St.Docents will be stationed throughout the day at the historic buildings from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Cost is $8 per child (16 and under), $10 per adult.Additional support for the architectural tour comes courtesy of Jackson Community Foundation’s Art and Literacy Grant.

Take the Jackson County Arts & Culture Survey

The Arts & Cultural Alliance Community Plan Committee is working on an important information gathering survey.We are interested in your participation in art and cultural offerings in Jackson County. Your participation will help shape the future of important creative opportunities, and continue to contribute to the quality of life we enjoy here in Jackson County!Please take a few moments to complete this survey by Friday, May 25.Take the survey ⤇Feel free to share this link with anyone in your social media or email contact list that lives in Jackson County.Thanks in advance!

Arts & Cultural Alliance Earns MCACA Grant for Jackson County Art News

MCACAArts & Cultural Alliance of Jackson County has been awarded a $1,400 grant from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). The grant was awarded through the MCACA peer review process and was one of 575 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2018 funding.The MCACA grant will fund outreach efforts, information sharing, and promotion of artists and cultural organizations throughout Jackson County through ACAJC’s “Art News” email newsletter, and paid social media promotions. The “young leader grant” lasts through September 30, 2018.“Thanks to this generous MCACA grant, the Arts & Cultural Alliance will reach more people, of all ages and backgrounds, helping to spread the word about local arts and cultural opportunities,” Kate Schwartz, ACAJC’s board chair, says. “Our goal is to build public access to the arts, especially in rural and underserved areas of Jackson County.”Organizations receiving a MCACA grant award are required to match those funds with other public and private dollars. Jackson County residents can make a donation to ACAJC at also receives significant volunteer support from the community, including its marketing committee. Kaiti McDonough, a young leader in Jackson that will spearhead outreach efforts, is the subject of the grant application, and serves on the ACAJC marketing committee.Jackson County residents can sign up for “Art News," and follow ACAJC on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences.A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241-4011, or by visiting the MCACA website.

Important Changes to ACAJC Membership

For the past 15 years, the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Jackson County (ACAJC) has supported the creative sector in Jackson by offering artists and creatives paid memberships.In an effort to bring our services to more people, the ACAJC Board has decided to discontinue paid memberships, and to continue on with the support of donations, so that we can offer our services to all artists and creatives living and working in Jackson County.We appreciate and value the artists and creatives who have been dues-paying members over the years, and we will continue to provide support and advocacy for the arts across the county.Individuals interested in being a booster for the arts are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation to the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Jackson County. We hope you will participate in future Outreach Committee meetings to help us learn how to advocate and support the arts in our community.Outreach Committee meetings are held on the fourth Monday of every month at 6 p.m. at varying locations. If you would like to share ideas with the creative sector in Jackson, please attend the Outreach Committee meetings.To receive updates, including the location of the Outreach Committee every month, please send an email to:

Celebrate Arts In Jackson Day October 25

Arts In Jackson Day 2017Jackson County, the Arts & Cultural Alliance wants to see your best and brightest.The second annual Arts in Jackson Day is happening Wednesday, October 25. This year’s theme celebrates the diversity of work being made about and in Jackson County.Artists, musicians, authors, crafters, makers, videographers and everyone from the creative sector are invited to share your work, projects, events, and businesses on social media throughout the day using the hashtag #artsinjackson. If you make anything – share it!"We have such a talented county and community, but a lot of that talent goes unnoticed," says Kate Schwartz, ACAJC chair. "We want to spread the word: there's a lot of creativity in Jackson."Not a maker or creative? You’re still encouraged to participate, simply share the work of your favorite local creative on your social media channels.The purpose of Arts in Jackson Day is to raise awareness of work in our community and help expand the definition and perception of who is an artist. ACAJC is also accepting donations to help raise awareness of artistic and cultural talent in the county.Last year, ACAJC kicked off the first Arts In Jackson Day in conjunction with International Artist Day.

A Note From '20s Roar Into Jackson

Dear Sponsors, Partners, Volunteers, Committee Members and Board,Thank you all for your wonderful work with "'20s Roar into Jackson." We received a lot of great feedback from the event and it served it's purpose of raising funds for Arts and Cultural Alliance of Jackson County...WOO HOO! Besides raising funds, this event connected the general public with architecture, which is an area of the creative sector that deserves more attention, and that was equally as important to us as raising funds.  While I was listening to many of the docents give their presentations, I learned some Jackson history regarding  other areas of the creative sector, including: industrial design, jewelry arts, music halls and performing arts, cinema, interior design, and sculpture. This event was a win for the creative sector, all the way around!In the four years that I have been on the board, ACAJC has never conducted an event with the main purpose of connecting the general public with architecture, but has focused solely on more iconic areas of arts and culture: visual art, music, and literature. Arts and culture is so much more then that!  According to our strategic plan for this next fiscal year, starting October 1, the board has determined that Outreach Committee should create a list of donors/partners/sponsors that we would like to expand to and have deeper relations with that expand farther across the Arts and Culture scene. I'm proud to announce that Valerie Herr, our newest board member, will be the new Chair for Outreach Committee. Val has some fresh ideas, with plans to offer education, networking, and ambassadorship opportunities within each Committee Meeting.Being that this architecture tour is in its inaugural year, and there were so many arts opportunities available this weekend with Museum Day, we were very pleased to have 110 patrons attend this event. This event has a lot of room to grow and we appreciate all the support given by our wonderful volunteers. I'm convinced ACAJC has the best supporters!A special thank you to Jeannette Woodard for partnering on the event. She did a wonderful job of preparing the docents, and encouraging tour guests to use their imagination to understand what Jackson was like in the 1920s, and how that affected our built environment. Also, thank you, thank you, thank you to Anchor Initiative, Experience Jackson, Jackson District Library, and Ella Sharp for your financial contributions, and docent recruiting support.The community loved the concept of this event and we got so many compliments that our docents were so very knowledgable! Thank you to Bill, AJ, Amy, Elaine, Phil, Sandy, Gary, Kaiti, Byron, Cheryl, Rick, Maggie, Jackie, and Lora for being excellent docents! Also, thanks to Christine and Anna for your support at the welcome desk and Melanie for your social media presence.On behalf of the board, I wish to extend our gratitude to all of you!Best wishes,Kate Manville-Schwartz
ACAJC Board of Directors, Chair