Click here to read the Sunday, June 11th article from the front page of the Canton Observer.
How did veterans become a part of the Village Arts Factory project?
During strategic planning in 2013, the VAF project was selected to participate in a Michigan State University Fundraising & Philanthropy course, part of a Masters Program in Advertising and Public Relations. Upon completion of the course, the students recommended that the dormitory be tied back to its historic roots to extend art therapy options to local veterans. In 2014, the Partnership recruited Brigadier General Carol Ann Fausone (retired) to be a Partnership board member. She served our country for 36 years in the U.S. Air Force and Michigan National Guard. Through her continued work with veterans nationwide, she was able to show the need for local support and connect the Partnership with the Eisenhower Center.
How do veterans tie into the Partnership mission?
The Partnership’s mission is to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Greater Canton Community. The goal is to now expand their commitment even further by producing a regional arts district in Cherry Hill Village for Western Wayne and Eastern Washtenaw counties. The re-opening of the dormitory will allow the Partnership to utilize the arts as a powerful, therapeutic healing tool for local veterans and further strengthen cultural ties.
What is the benefit of incorporating veterans?
The Partnership is uniquely positioned to leverage the existing market conditions and enhance the quality of life. Canton resident’s affection and support for historical preservation and their support of local arts will provide the art community with the ability to give back to our local veterans. The restoration of Henry Ford’s Cherry Hill Ford Factory Complex will have a significant outcome by preserving a piece of history that most people never even knew existed and providing veterans of all eras and all branches of the military with opportunities in the arts.
Creating an inclusive gathering place for all………
The Partnership’s long term goals are to encourage the development of the arts in our region. Not only will the Village Arts Factory restore a national landmark, it will uncover its unknown past to communicate its heritage with future generations. VAF will fill a public demand for visual arts, creating a regional hub where individuals of all ages and cultures can come to learn, experiment and grow through art inspired education, entertainment and healing. Once all phases are completed, the revenue earned from this complex will be utilized for the VAF operating expenses and re-activation of annual grant funding to local artist groups and schools.
Canton Township hosted their 7th annual “Acts of Culture Week” in May 2017. This event gives different cultures a chance to share their heritage and event calendar. The Village Arts Factory project will be able to make that cultural awareness impact on a daily basis, instead of just one week out of the year. It will be a place for people to gather year round to enhance human experience, promote our state’s economic vitality and repurpose a national historic landmark.