MSU's Year of Arts and Culture


Policy-makers and planners in Michigan are intensely focused on economic development. Increasingly, cultural development is being recognized as an essential ingredient in creating an environment that fosters economic growth.

Across the state and nation, art and culture influence business development and expansion decisions, inspire downtown revitalization and historic preservation, build community identity, and promote diversity and inclusiveness. Where technology, innovation and creativity anchor the economy, you will find a strong cultural sector.

Michigan State University is at the center of energizing cultural entrepreneurship and development in Michigan’s Capital Region and beyond. One recent study found that the state’s arts and cultural activities employ more than 108,000 people and generate $1.9 billion in income. Now MSU economists are helping devise an innovative tool to measure even more precisely the economic impact of the arts as part of Michigan’s first Cultural Economic Development Strategy.

Working with the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries, the MSU Museum is documenting the state’s craft economy and connecting the threads of handmade goods and production, cultural heritage and community economic prosperity.

Arts and culture also are the cornerstones of Creative Futures, a collaborative approach to promoting the diverse arts and cultural expressions of Michigan’s Capital Region. Formed in 2006, Creative Futures includes MSU’s Cultural Engagement Council, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Lansing State Journal. The group has arranged a series of forums bringing together area artists, event planners, developers, business owners, municipal officials and educators to explore how arts and culture can be nurtured and applied as a strategy for regional economic development.

To recognize the central role arts and culture play in nurturing the human spirit and in preparing students for a global world, we have declared this academic year MSU’s Year of Arts and Culture to showcase the many ways the university advances arts and culture through teaching, research and outreach.

The Year of Arts and Culture—coordinated by the Office of University Outreach and Engagement—comprises activities that involve all arts and culture units and academic programs, cut across multiple disciplines, enrich the student experience, align with local economic development efforts and engage the community.

Highlights will include the opening of MSU’s new Residential College in the Arts and Humanities; groundbreaking for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum; the 25th anniversary of the Wharton Center for Performing Arts; anniversaries of the MSU Museum and the Department of Theatre; a public lecture by Orhan Pamuk, the winner of last year’s Nobel Prize in Literature; the first full academic year since the School of Music became the College of Music; signature events; and much more.

And, just as every year at MSU, there will be a vibrant and plentiful array of public performances, exhibitions, programs, lectures and other events throughout the year. Members of our community and visitors from near and far learn and grow as they delight in our music, performing arts and concert centers; libraries and museums; and gardens, public art and historic sites across campus.

I invite you to join us in celebrating MSU’s Year of Arts and Culture. Learn more at


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