Lansing Arts and Culture Commission strives to make the arts accessible

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Art and culture are everywhere around Lansing. Admire an awe-inspiring mural under the 496 Bridge that features a portrait of George Floyd. Stroll through aisles of fresh produce and treats at Allen Farmers’ Market. Watch a dance performance at the Wharton Center. 

Lansing resident Morgan Butts said she wouldn’t be who she is today without art and culture, and Lansing wouldn’t be the thriving city that it is, either. 

“The arts strengthen the quality of life for our citizens. It strengthens the economy. It strengthens the culture and connectivity of our city,” said Butts.

Butts, 30, is the director of marketing and communications at the Michigan Environmental Council and is a newly appointed member of the Lansing Arts and Culture Commission. The commission was made permanent in October, and at a City Council meeting on Feb. 14, seven new members, including Butts, were appointed. 

Butts said creation of the commission is a “declaratory statement that Lansing is invested in the arts” and “committed to bettering the artistic and cultural landscape of our city.” 

At the meeting, City Council President, Adam Hussain, said he attended almost all the candidates’ appointments, and the vetting processes were thorough. The commission has 12 board members appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council. 

CeCi Bordayo, founder of a local nonprofit called Pass It On and music director at Maranatha Bilingual Church, was also appointed as a commissioner on Monday. Bordayo, a singer-songwriter, said the board is diverse, and members contribute their unique vision to the team. She said it’s an honor to be able to serve the community that she was raised in. 

“I get to be a part of change and make a difference at the same time for a city that I love,” said Bordayo.

According to Bordayo, the Arts and Culture Commission’s aim is to promote development in the arts and culture to connect with residents and visitors.

If you’re looking to engage in the arts and culture of the city, come to Lansing Winterfest on Saturday, Feb. 26, to taste local food, view art and participate in outdoor activities, such as cold-butt boat races. The event is free and will be held in downtown Lansing at 112 S. Washington Square and along the Lansing River Trail. 

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