Albion Cool Cities Team goes to Lansing


The "Creating Cool" conference took place Thursday Dec. 11, 2003 at the Lansing Center in Lansing. 650 people were expected, but over 1400 signed up and were in attendance. The conference was sponsored by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Department of History, Arts and Libraries, and the Department of Labor and Economic Growth.

The keynote speaker that was the reason for the big attendance was Richard Florida, author of the book "Rise of the Creative Class." The conference was aimed at making Michigan cities more attractive to a new class of people, that make a living using their creativity.


At right, Dr. William Anderson, Director of the Department of History Arts and Libraries, Richard Florida, author of "Rise of the Creative Class" and Governor Jennifer Granholm listen to Betty Boone (not pictured) the Executive Director of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affair make introductory comments.



In an afternoon breakout session, Neeta Delaney, the Director of Jackson's Armory Arts Project spoke to a standing room only audience. The Armory Arts Project is still in the planning phases, and will be housed on Cooper St. within the walls that once surrounded the National Guard Armory. Jackson is using the arts as a redevelopment tool that is bringing about changes within the community.

The Albion "Cool Cities" Team, met together after the breakout sessions, along with other Southwest Michigan communities.

Some of the Albion team is in the photo at right.  Shown from left to right is: Albion Volunteer Service Organization Office Manager Judy McGuigan, City Planner John Hart, Victory for Kids Co-Chairman Leslie Cavall, Albion Recreation Director Rod Ferguson, Kids 'N Stuff Executive Director Elizabeth Porter, United Arts Council representative Donna Stohl, Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce CEO Sue Marcos, Albion Design President Maggie LaNoue, and (behind) the Rev. Stan Sims of Lewis Chapel.(not pictured but also in attendance City Manager Mike Herman, Nidia Wolf, Albion Downtown Development Authority Director and Johan Stohl.)


The team planned ways that Albion can begin to revitalize its image, and become more inviting to new businesses, and families.

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A photo tour by Maggie LaNoue

copyright 2003.