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A Framework for Arts and Culture in Northwest Michigan

A Framework for Arts and Culture in Northwest MichiganDeveloped as part of the Framework for Our Future: A Regional Prosperity Plan for Northwest Michigan, the report focuses on information and strategies to support and build arts and cultural opportunities and capacities in communities throughout the region. 

A Framework for Arts & Culture in Northwest Michigan (PDF)


Northwest Michigan Arts & Culture Network

Northwest Michigan Arts & Culture NetworkThe Northwest Michigan Arts & Culture Network is an arts and cultural services organization dedicated to connecting, promoting and supporting the individuals, organizations and creative projects that create and further arts and culture in Northern Lower Michigan. To learn more about the Network and becoming a member, please visit

Northwest Michigan is recognized as a regional hub for arts and culture - the creative sector - as home to thousands of artists, musicians, writers, festivals, museums, galleries, theaters, venues, training spaces and related cultural organizations and for-profit businesses. They are multidisciplinary and multigenerational, contributing individually and collectively as economic drivers, while also pivotal to placemaking, community culture and our regional prosperity. 

There are more than 100 arts and cultural organizations in the 10-county region as well at least 1,000 individual artists, musicians, performers, designers, gallery owners, filmmakers, writers and other ‘creatives.’  Expanding to the entire creative sector of nonprofit and for profit organizations and individuals, there are at least 957 creative sector businesses and nonprofits, and close to 3,000 employees in Northwest Michigan’s ten counties, according to Americans for the Arts. Government adds additional stakeholders with many local cities, villages and townships integrating public art and a culture of creativity’ into community planning. Studies show Michigan communities see an average $51 in economic activity produced for every $1 invested in arts and culture. 

A robust creative sector benefits local communities as well as the entire region economically through enhanced revenue streams, job creation, quality of life, workforce retention, tourism, community building, access and education.  This sector can be an active and fruitful partner in creating regional prosperity as well as quality of life. 

Resources are available to support planning, advocacy and networking (see Research and Resources page). Those in the creative sector are encouraged to participate in the Northwest Michigan Arts Network. Please visit to learn more about the Network and becoming a member.

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Northwest Michigan Arts Professionals


Join the Northwest Michigan Arts Network

The Northwest Michigan Arts Network is open to individuals, organizations, businesses and community builders in Northwest Michigan’s creative sector. This includes individual artists, musicians, performers, writers, historians, filmmakers, educators and all arts, cultural and creative industry professionals as well as performing venues, theatres, ensembles, galleries, museums and the many nonprofit, for-profit and community organizations that bring arts, culture and community to every corner of our region.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Calcutt using our contact form.

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The professionals at Networks Northwest help our City Council, Planning Commission, and staff make thoughtful decisions to ensure our community is sustainable and resilient for many years to come.
- Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix City Manager