Potter Park Zoological Society has been awarded a grant of $24,000 for operating support and $8,550 to complete a renovation for part of the zoo’s farmyard from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). The grant was awarded through the MCACA peer review process and was one of 659 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2020 funding.
With this support, the zoo is able to further its mission of inspiring conservation of animals and the natural world to all members of the community. Part of our ongoing project, Naturally Unique, An Inclusive Zoo Just For You, includes becoming more diverse, accessible, and inclusive to individuals in the community.
Organizations receiving a MCACA grant award are required to match those funds with other public and private dollars. Supporters of the project include the Capital Regional Community Foundation, Jackson National, McLaren Greater Lansing, Lansing Rotary, the Bartsch Memorial Trust, the Red Oak Foundation, the Gannett Foundation, City of Lansing Neighborhood Grants, and many individual donors. Potter Park Zoological Society also receives significant volunteer support from the community.
Naturally Unique – An Inclusive Zoo Just For You is a multifaceted project to make improvements in inclusion, accessibility, and diversity for Potter Park Zoo. This project will allow the zoo to serve as a template for other cultural institutions wishing to do the same. The accessibility barriers addressed by this project include physical (zoo pathways, viewing areas, doorways, bathrooms) relational (understanding and empathetic staff/volunteers trained in accommodating visitors with special needs), economic (fees, transportation), and cultural (lack of zoo experiences and adult illiteracy).
The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences.
A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241-4011, or by visiting the MCACA website at www.michigan.gov/arts