Access to high quality, affordable childcare is an essential element of a thriving community. In Michigan, there is only one childcare space for every four children under the age of 12. This situation is often even more challenging in Northern Michigan and rural areas, like Emmet County, where more than one third of families pay more than $1,000/month for childcare. The impact of this undersupply is felt throughout the community and North Central Michigan College is responding to this systemic issue. It launched the first phase of its three-phased Child Care Initiative in 2022, pulling together multi-sector partners to develop a community-centered plan for a sustainable and viable local child care system.
Public art that contains images of people that look like you and that reflects your lived experience creates a sense of pride, respect, and belonging. The Diatribe’s 49507 Project engaged youth from its arts programming in community listening sessions with residents to gather creative input to understand how they imagine themselves and how they want to see their neighborhoods evolve.
Ebony Road Players’ Story2Stage Fall Intensive engaged a creative and dynamic group of middle schoolers in community arts. The young actors came together on Saturday mornings to learn about theatre, storytelling and performance under the direction of artist, entertainer and writer Darius Colquitt.
While Michigan’s economy is strong, many people who are employed struggle to find homes they can afford in our communities. In West and Northern Michigan, our partners are collaborating across sectors to explore innovative solutions to housing accessibility and affordability.
Strong leaders make strong organizations. To support the growth of nonprofit leaders in northern Michigan, the Frey Foundation partnered with area community foundations and Rotary Charities of Traverse City’s NorthSky Nonprofit Network. Together they designed the Leadership Learning Lab and expanded Northsky programming to serve 22 northern Michigan counties, including Charlevoix and Emmet Counties.