The Marquette nonprofit Masonic Arts, Theatre, & Innovation Company (MÄTI) will be bringing the silver screen to life at outdoor venues and community events around the north-central Upper Peninsula through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and MÄTI announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $17,500 by August 9, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: patronicity.com/matimqt.
“This form of mobile drive-ins creates a gathering opportunity that is timeless and accessible to all. This project is another example of how Marquette continues to enhance the sense of place in its community and improve the quality of life for its residents and visitors,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
MÄTI is a growing 501(c)3 non-profit organization based out of the Masonic Building in downtown Marquette whose mission is to “provide the community with a creative, collaborative hub to share their vision with the public and promote innovation through all art mediums.” MÄTI Presents: Movie Nights series was successfully kicked off in downtown Marquette last year during the height of the pandemic. In years to come, MÄTI plans to share the opportunity with other communities and locations beyond their downtown rooftop parking lot.
This campaign will allow the purchase of equipment to create a Mobile Drive-In Kit. This allows for set up and break down the projector screen anywhere, rain or shine, in just three hours. This effort will also lower the cost of admission for all attendees through 2021 and 2022 and allow MÄTI to partner with other organizations in the region to share resources and bring meaningful events to local communities.
“This Patronicity campaign will support taking the show on the road to surrounding communities, rain or shine. Without the match from MEDC’s Community Spaces, Public Places program, our newer nonprofit would never be able to create this level of impact on our own, “said Masonic Building Manager Ryan Engle. “If fully funded, we will be able to purchase the projector and upgrade screening equipment, procure a trailer and weather-resistant screen, and reduce admission costs in 2022 for attendees.”
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.
“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that build on existing assets and enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, League’s CEO and Executive Director. “The effort to bring a portable drive-in theater to Marquette is community wealth building in action. With the support of the Marquette community, MATI’s work will continue to bring people together, and improve the human experience for all. That is what community wealth building is about.”
The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of May 31, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $8.5 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 275 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $9.9 million raised from 48,007 individual donors.
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