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$5.5M MSU Federal Credit Union gift to support the arts at Michigan State University

A $5.5 million gift commitment from MSU Federal Credit Union will advance three MSU arts programs over five years and bolster the university’s arts strategy.

The new arts strategy will connect the campus and communities with creativity and exploration through three pillars: integrating arts into the educational experience, research, and campus infrastructure and placemaking.

“Michigan State considers the arts to be key instruments of knowledge and understanding embedded across the university’s educational, research and creative endeavors,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “Our arts strategy is an important component of the university’s strategic objectives of student, staff and faculty success; impactful innovation; and diversity, equity and inclusion. I want to thank MSUFCU for sharing our vision and investing in this vital area.”

“We are grateful for our partnership with, and the longstanding support of MSUFCU, which will help enhance the breadth and scope of MSU’s excellence in the arts,” said MSU Provost Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “This gift will expand access and opportunities to engage with the arts and help catalyze MSU’s new arts strategy, while also supporting our strategic plan goal to elevate the visibility of the arts at MSU – enriching the student experience and deepening learning with opportunities for creative expression and engagement with cultural experiences.”

The gift includes $2.5 million for the MSUFCU Arts Power Up Endowment, which will fund two pilot programs: the MSUFCU Arts Power Up Arts Residencies at the STEAMpower Project, and the MSUFCU Arts Power Up to Start-Up program. An additional $2 million will support the MSU Museum’s new CoLab Studio, which evolved from the museum’s partnership with Science Gallery International. Another $1 million will support the College of Music’s MSUFCU DREAM Fund, or Detroit Regional Engagement and Access Music Endowment.

“As MSUFCU celebrates 85 years of partnership with MSU, we’re proud of all we have accomplished together on behalf of campus and community,” said MSUFCU President and CEO April Clobes. “We’re pleased to continue our support through these creative and innovative projects that will enhance the lives of our members.”

MSUFCU is one of MSU’s largest funders, investing more than $30 million over its history, half of which has gone to support the arts. Since 2008, MSUFCU has supported programming in the arts that has advanced career readiness, provided opportunities for students to work with high-caliber artists, offered lifelong learning programs in the performing arts and supported residency programs for artists and scholars.

The MSUFCU Arts Power Up Arts Residency at the STEAMpower Project is designed to spark new research and modes of cross-disciplinary learning by bringing artists, researchers and graduate student collaborators together to address global challenges. The second program, MSUFCU Power Up to Start-Up, will provide mentored internships for advanced high school students and MSU undergraduates, building career pathways to a variety of fields associated with arts and culture nonprofits.

“We are excited about partnering with MSUFCU on these initiatives. Together, these programs advance MSU’s and MSUFCU’s commitments to driving change, building opportunities in our communities and empowering youth,” said Judith Stoddart, associate provost for University Arts and Collections. “They leverage MSU’s strengths in arts and sciences, build on our many successful K-12 arts programs and community partnerships and connect with the university’s support programs focused on student success. MSUFCU’s longstanding support for arts programs shows its understanding of the transformational impact of the arts in our communities.”

Receiving $2 million from MSUFCU is the CoLab Studio at the MSU Museum, the next iteration of the former Science Gallery at MSU. MSU partnered with Science Gallery International in 2017 to launch the first Science Gallery in the Americas in Detroit, thanks to a $1 million grant from MSUFCU. The CoLab Studio represents the evolution of programming and learning at the nexus of science and art in the MSU Museum.

“We are immensely grateful for MSUFCU’s substantial investment in the mission of the CoLab Studio, a division for innovation and experimentation at MSU Museum,” said MSU Museum Director Devon Akmon. “This catalytic gift will enable new methods for designing and implementing novel, transient and experimental programming, informal learning and community engagement.”

A million dollars of the gift will support the College of Music’s new Detroit Regional Engagement and Access to Music Endowment, or MSUFCU DREAM Fund. The DREAM Fund is designed to provide sustainable resources to support the College of Music’s outreach and engagement programs in Detroit.

“Whether it be our highly successful MSUFCU Jazz Artist-in-Residence program, our career-focused MSUFCU Entrepreneurial Musical Artist-in-Residence program, or other initiatives over the years, the College of Music and the MSUFCU have an extensive history of creative, effective and sustainable collaborations,” said College of Music Dean James Forger. “The MSUFCU DREAM Fund is a continuation of that strong partnership. It enhances the lives of many children and youth through access to sequential music education at our Community Music School in Detroit, provides a new and exciting concert series at the MSUFCU Detroit Marquette facility, and supports internships for MSU Music students through research, creative work and mentorship opportunities.”

The MSU Community Music School-Detroit has had a significant presence in the city since 2009. With the endowment in place, CMS-D plans to empower Detroit youth through the Aspiring Musician Program and a K-12 sequential music education program, which includes a subsidized tuition program. Funds will also go toward instrument loans for CMS-D students in need as well as an MSUFCU Detroit Arts Leadership Engagement Program and an annual MSU On the Road at MSUFCU Detroit Concert Series.

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