Local artists raise money for elementary art programs

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As schools scrape for funding, art programs are often left scrambling to supply students with materials. JiveOne5even is trying to make sure this isn’t the case in Lansing.
On March 21, the company presented the Lansing District Board of Education a check for more than $8,900 to assist elementary art programs.

From left: Paul Vetne, Marcus Cottom, Brad Zibbell, Kim Zibbell

A local T-shirt company, JiveOne5even threw its fifth annual Love Lansing party on Jan. 17. The event, held at Green Door Bar & Grill, featured five bands, work from 18 artists and contributions from more than 100 local businesses. The theme was The Mitten Project, and local artists designed their interpretations of Michigan. Some used paints, while others created wood or metal 3D projects. Money was raised through a $10 admission, raffles, live auctions for art created at the event, as well as silent auctions for the Michigan mittens and items donated by the community.

The organizers of the event, Paul Vetne, Marcus Cottom and Kim Zibbell, preach the importance of art to young minds.

“I’m an artist, that’s what I do for a profession,” said Vetne. “It’s kinda something I think about all the time. It’s a way of life for me. I’m thankful I had that inspiration as a young person.”

In five years, over $30,000 has been raised at the Love Lansing parties. All this was born because of a group of friends who simply wanted to make a difference.

Jiveone5even has raised more than $30,000 for elementary art programs at its ‘Love Lansing’ events over the past five years.

“We were talking about our own art experience as kids in school,” said Zibbell. “Marcus, being in Lansing, had a very different experience than I did growing up in a more affluent community in southeast Michigan. Paul was raised by two artist parents and had lots of different exposure to art. With their T-shirt business and liking to be involved in parties, we were trying to figure out what we could do to make art better for Lansing students.”

On its website, JiveOne5even acknowledges their T-shirt company along with other creative elements in Lansing might not exist without elementary art.

“We all appreciate art,” said Cottom. “We all want to see it stay in schools and stay an important part of education.”

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