Crowdfunding campaign launched for “Imagination Factory” project in Iron Mountain

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LANSING, Mich. – Iron Mountain will be home to an interactive and imaginative learning center through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and local nonprofit, Our Place Community Center-Imagination Factory Children’s Museum, announced Monday. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $25,000 by September 15, 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/if.

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, in which 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 Imagination Factory will engage the leaders of tomorrow and create a gathering space for the region,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The Imagination Factory Children’s Museum will be the centerpiece of the new Our Place Community Center in Iron Mountain. This campaign will provide the funding needed to purchase and build museum exhibits creating a place where everyone belongs, and children can learn by doing. All ages will be able to gather and meet new friends.

The nonprofit has worked to consult with community members to support a collaborative design process with inspiration from thriving children’s interactive play spaces across the country. The Our Place Community Center will transform a vacant middle school into a thriving community gathering space. The Imagination Factory will occupy the upstairs creating 30 or more interactive exhibits within the space.

“We are confident that our campaign will enable the creation of an interactive learning children’s museum to be open to the public at the end of 2019. As the exhibits are created, success in opening the doors of the Imagination Factory will be accomplished through the generosity of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Public Spaces Community Places grant program, our loyal community contributors and grant funders,” said Barb Reisner, Co-Director of the Imagination Factory Children’s Museum. “We are excited to be participating in the PSCP program that will double each donation if we hit our goal by September 15.”

“Activating public spaces by enriching cultural activities is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Iron Mountain’s children’s museum will not only accomplish that goal but transform a vacant school into an active community space in the process.”

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 July 12, 2019, MEDC has provided more than $6.6 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 218 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $7.8 million raised from 40,529 individual donors.

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