Creative 360 to Move in September
May 1, 2023, Midland, MI. –The staff and Board of Directors of Creative 360 are excited to announce that they will be relocating to the former Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church, at 5501 Jefferson Avenue, this summer. The move reflects the arts non-profit’s commitment to serving the community by offering opportunities for creativity, wellness and community.
Founded in the summer of 1994 by Linda Z. Smith and Cynthia Keefe through a residency at the Alden B. Dow Creativity Center, the Creative Spirit Center, as it was originally known, started in a small space on Townsend Street above what is now Crepes Et Amis. They quickly outgrew the space and in 2004 purchased the current venue, the former Salvation Army Church designed by Alden B Dow in 1962, with support from a number of community foundations. The approximately 5000 square foot building on Bayliss Street has served as the home for such programs as Express Yourself Artshop, Yes We Can!, Artfest 55, the Midland Artists Guild, Old Time Radio Shows, Broadway Flights and more ever since.
“Creative 360 is an organization that loves to say “yes”,” explained Executive Director Laura Vosejpka. “Our goal is to offer our community as many ways as we can to experience the value of the creative process. Lately, space constraints have been limiting our ability to say yes as often as we would like. The new location will allow us to better serve our community in the ways we always have through classes, performances and exhibits, but also in brand new ways that we are really excited to explore.”
The arts center recently opened up two gallery spaces in downtown Midland on the corner of Ashman and Larkin Streets. The East Ashman Galleries serve as fine arts exhibit space, classroom space, and arts retail space. Vosejpka said that Creative 360 intends to remain downtown, adding that the increased visibility has been positive for the organization and the additional space for exhibitions, art sales, and classes has allowed an expansion of offerings, including serving as a home for the Midland Chess Club, Alignment 8 Yoga, and the Creative Minds visual arts series.
After the congregation and its leaders made the difficult decision to close Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church in 2021, many members were welcomed into Memorial Presbyterian Church. As Memorial had been instrumental in founding Chapel Lane over 60 years ago, MPC assumed stewardship of the Chapel Lane property. When they became aware of Creative 360’s search for a larger, more accessible space, they offered the Jefferson Avenue building for consideration.
“The congregation, including former members of Chapel Lane, enthusiastically supported this new direction for a beloved building,” said Senior Pastor Matt Schramm. “The work that Creative 360 has done in the community these last 25+ years is work that fits well with the legacy of the Chapel Lane congregation, as the arts have always been an important part of their ministry. We are confident that Creative 360 will use this special space in a way that creates a positive impact.”
The organization will be moving over the summer months, with plans to offer a special series of events in September to celebrate the opening of the new space. The Board hopes to find a buyer who will continue to use the Bayliss Street property for the benefit of the community.
Founders Keefe and Smith, who are both still highly engaged with Creative 360, are very supportive of the move to the new building and the continued commitment to their holistic artistic vision. “It is rewarding to know that throughout these 29 years, our original mission has always been at the forefront of all decisions,” said Linda Z. “This next step and move is perfect. Dave and I are extremely proud!”
“The Bayliss Street Stage and Gallery has been a warm, welcoming part of Midland for nearly twenty years,” remarked Vosejpka “We don’t ever want to lose that feeling. We know that we have more than enough energy, love and ideas to fill that big new space and the Board and I cannot thank our supporters, donors, staff, and guests enough for all they have done to support our mission, vision and values. We look forward to at least another 29 years of serving Midland.”