Building Community through the Arts
MSUFCU has always had a strong connection to the arts and historical communities, from sponsoring events such as the East Lansing Art Festival and Jazz Festival to building relationships with programs both on and off campus. In 2017, MSUFCU strengthened partnerships with local arts programs to help increase awareness of and participation in the arts in our Greater Lansing and Oakland County communities.
Enhancing MSUFCU’s partnership with Oakland University and Meadow Brook Hall, MSUFCU teamed up to help sponsor Free Fridays at Meadow Brook Hall. The last Friday of each month, individuals can visit Meadow Brook Hall for free from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for self-guided tours. Each Friday also features a new tour or exhibit that attendees can enjoy specific to that date, allowing members of the community to visit and learn about the history of the Dodge family.
MSUFCU also works with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra (LSO) to promote its shows and host contests for members to win tickets to shows such as Impressions Featuring Jeremy Denk, MasterWorks 4: Scottish Fantasy, Holiday Pops, and Broadway Rocks. Following a similar track the MSUFCU Showcase Series with the MSU College of Music helps promote the college’s artists through concerts such as Piano Monster, which featured four dueling pianos played by four MSU College of Music piano faculty artists. Throughout the year, MSUFCU also hosts a Blue Mondays concert series at its Headquarters in East Lansing. The 2016–2017 season featured artists: Rufus Reid, jazz bassist; Anat Cohen, jazz saxophonist; and Conrad Herwig, jazz trombonist. As part of the MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence Program, the visiting artists also visit local schools to promote healthy participation in the arts and discuss their career paths and love of music with children and teens.
Reaching younger audiences for participation in the arts, MSUFCU hosts several art exhibits at its Headquarters lobby including the High School Art Exhibit, which features student art from local high schools, and the Communications Arts and Sciences (CAS) Art Exhibit, which allows MSU students to display work they have done throughout the year. This year’s exhibit included art, media, and more. Students enjoy these art exhibits because they get to show their friends and families the hard work they have put into their art pieces while also learning from a different guest speaker each year who is a prevalent member of the art community.
Working with Peckham Art from the Heart, MSUFCU showcases art from Peckham Community Partnership Foundation in the Headquarters lobby. This year over 100 family, friends, and community members attended the opening reception to support and view art that was created by Peckham participants. Peckham, a non-profit vocational rehabilitation organization provides opportunites for persons with disabilities to strive for greater independence and self-sufficiency.
“Peckham Art from the Heart is truly one of my favorite events of the year,” said Julia, an MSUFCU employee. “I love seeing all of the beautiful art and it’s fun to see how excited the artists are to tell you about their art and the stories behind each piece.”
MSUFCU is proud to give back to the community and help support programs that feature history and art.