ARTS & CULTURE
Mason County recognizes the importance of the arts & culture assets to our economic development and stability. Attracting creativity and innovation allows us to collectively shape and build the personality of our community. Having identified that our cultural assets set us apart, the business community, government entities, and community volunteers work together to create and expand the impact of arts in our area.
Economic Impact through the Arts & Culture Industry and Tourism in Mason County
Imagine a place that perpetually features live local, regional and national music of all genres. A place where critically acclaimed shows and intimate community theater share a common stage. A place where rediscovering literary giants from the past while engaging in conversation with talented local writers happen in tandem. A place where fine art takes many forms and invites you to explore the depths of your creativity. A place that preserves and honors its history while it progressively builds toward an innovative future.
That place is Ludington and Mason County, home to a thriving arts and culture scene.Chris VanWyck
The Mason County Region is situated in West Michigan along the Lake Michigan shoreline with easy access to the major metropolitan areas in Michigan and the Midwest Region. Driving distances to the larger metro areas are as follows:
Grand Rapids 1hr 28min | Traverse City 1hr 50 min | Chicago 3hr 47min | Detroit 3hr 36 min
Mason County has made the Arts and Culture industry a key business type moving forward for the service of locals and travelers alike. Public and private support networks for these business types have increased exponentially over the past 10 years and continue to grow and thrive in the region.
With the formation of the Pure Michigan Campaign in the mid 2000s, the tourism traffic to the region has exponentially increased, therefore, demands for Art and Culture based businesses and projects has also increased. Arts and Culture programs are a primary attraction for visitors and locals looking to relocate to the region. Combined with our diverse geographic landscape, Mason County is at a key location in the State of Michigan to support a vast cultural network.
With the formation of the Mason county Cultural Trails networks, Mason County has become a key travel destination for arts and culture activities. With that, these travelers require business and services support, creating economic and business demand in the region.
Mason County enjoys a thriving tourism economy. In 2014, an estimated $119 million in tourism dollars was injected into the local economy. In 2015, the Ludington Area Convention & Visitor Bureau reported a historic high of $12.3 million in lodging revenues. Our unique assets have created a cultural destination visitors and locals alike.
Arts & Culture Developments
Creative thinkers have shaped the expansion of cultural opportunities through integration of the arts into our community planning and development.
- Mason County Cultural Trails – Provides an interactive experience to celebrate the region’s heritage, culture, and environment in multiple ways. Utilizing technology, each of the trail stops allows visitors to scan a QR Code with their smartphone or dial a phone number to hear the stories at each stop along the trail.
- Love Ludington – The interactive project engages people that visit and live in Mason County to share stories, snapshots, and ideas to improve the community they love. This is a prime example of the inspiration this growing community inspires with a rich history and an expanding cultural scene that people love to call home.
- Waterfront Sculpture Park
- Barn Quilt Trail
- Historic White Pine Village
- Sandcastles Children’s Museum
- Ludington Area Center for the Arts
Arts & Culture contribute to:
- Strengthening cultural values and preserving heritage and history
- Building community character and sense of place
- Enhancing community engagement and participation
- Enhancing economic vitality
Mason County Looks to Grow and Continue its Rich Arts & Cultural History
Future expansion plans for Mason County cultural assets include:
- Public Library expansion
- Development of Maritime Museum
- Universally accessible trail at Ludington State Park
- The West End Development Project
- Permanent location for the The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame
- The Lumber Heritage Trail development
- Barn Quilt Trail expansion
Become a Supporting Business for the Arts & Culture Cluster in Mason County
Look to the Mason County Growth Alliance for assistance on how you can leverage the multi-million Arts and Culture Industry in Mason County and make a successful business and life for yourself here in this beautiful area.
Sandcastles Children’s Museum is a hands-on museum encouraging and inspiring children and families to explore their world while stimulating creativity, curiosity and the love of learning. Visit their website at: www.sandcastleschildrensmuseum.com to learn more. Located at 129 E. Ludington Ave.