News Flash

BCEGA News

Posted on: September 16, 2022

Coldwater's DDA launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Public Spaces, Community Places Project

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Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for “New Children's Museum of Branch County” Project in Coldwater

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative


LANSING, Mich. – The Children’s Museum of Branch County will be relocated to the iconic, historic Taylor’s building at 60 West Chicago Street in downtown Coldwater through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and city of Coldwater announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. 

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by October 28, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: https://www.patronicity.com/project/new_childrens_museum_of_branch_county#!/.

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“Revitalizing historical buildings and relocating a community gem back to the downtown creates greater vibrancy and brings renewed attention to community assets,” said MEDC Executive Vice President of Economic Development Incentives Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project to do just that, through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The Coldwater Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is looking to relocate the Children's Museum of Branch County (CMBC) from its current location on Marshall Street back to downtown Coldwater where the museum first began. The DDA is renovating nearly 7,000 square feet of interior space in the historic Taylor's Building, located at 60 West Chicago Street in Downtown Coldwater. Through this campaign and with the community’s support the new museum will be equipped with: new bathrooms, a multipurpose room, brand new carpeting and paint, a retail area for children’s games and gifts, tempered storefront glass, updated electrical and HVAC systems, roof repairs, and more. A portion of funds will also be used toward new exhibits and programs.

It will also revitalize a key corner of the downtown, just across from the Tibbits Opera House.The museum is a place for families of all backgrounds to come for engagement and enrichment. The DDA is excited to make a home for the museum at 60 W. Chicago Street, where there will be more space for interactive displays and exciting programs. Bringing families downtown is a step towards our goal of making downtown a family-friendly for all residents and guests.

“A newly renovated space built specially for the museum will encourage its growth as a community organization, and will bring greater vibrancy to our downtown as a whole,” said Coldwater Mayor Tom Kramer. “We couldn't do it without our partners including the Coldwater City Council, the Downtown Development Authority, donors, supporters, and the PSCP program.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.

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“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth,” said Dan Gilmartin, “This children’s museum will have a lasting, positive impact on the Coldwater community for generations to come, which is what community wealth building is all about.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of Aug. 31, 2022, MEDC has provided more than $10.5 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 324 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $12.2 million raised from 58,024 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning our matching funds. Questions? Contact Kathleen Achtenberg with the MEDC at 517.489.0557 or at achtenbergk@michigan.org. You can also contact Audrey Tappenden, the Main Street Director, at (517) 279-9531 x 6913 or at atappenden@coldwater.org.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC): The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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