(Crystal A. Proxmire, July 6, 2017)
Madison Heights, MI – Madison Heights Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss did not have to look far for examples of successful Arts and Cultural Committees. “This type of committee has been successfully implemented in quite a few local communities like Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, and Saline. Lots of great local inspiration to draw from,” he said.
At the most recent Council Meeting, Bliss requested that a citizen-led committee be created. “We’ve seen here in the city what a timely and enthusiastic board of citizens can accomplish. Whether that’s with our senior citizen board, our parks and rec board, ITAC, we’ve got so many great boards filled with experts focused on a single area, that if we can fill a board with actors, writers and singers and artists in this city and lean on their expertise. I’m 100% positive that we can boost our arts and culture within the city,” Mayor Pro Tem Bliss said at the meeting
Following the meeting he added “The new committee would be tasked with working with council and city staff to increase the amount of public art and cultural programming in our city. Because of the success of ITAC I’m certain that this new board will be able to make a difference quickly, and similar to how we rolled that out I’m asking for a staff report and public comments to get this kicked off right.
“I’d love to see this committee create festivals, art exhibits, classes, concerts, theatre, small programs like allowing artists to display their art for sale in city buildings and “block party” style concerts, shows, and art exhibitions in our parks would likely be hugely popular in our city, but wouldn’t take the complex planning and resources to put together like the 4th of July festival does. Arts and culture play a huge role in the pulse of a city. They also have an economic impact and boost local businesses. Plus, communities with thriving arts and cultural programming are seeing larger increases in property values and a higher demand for folks wanting to live in those cities.”
The ITAC – Information Technology Advisory Committee – was one of Bliss’s first projects as Councilperson. “I think we’re the only city in the state with a citizen-led technology board,” Bliss said. ITAC was recently recognized as Group of the Year for the city.
“I’d encourage any residents who’d like to be involved with this committee, or those who simply believe it would be beneficial to the city, to either come to our next couple city council meetings and share their thoughts under open comments, or call or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org or (248) 274-4673),” he said.
Council may take the matter up at a meeting in August.
For more on the City of Madison Heights visit https://www.madison-heights.org/