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Community Advocacy Organization

Barb Whitney-Art as a Driving Force

Lansing’s own Ms. Barb Whitney is the Executive Director of Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center, where she fosters leadership, management, fund development, and public relations. She is passionate and well suited for her position. Barb Whitney has been working with the Lansing Art Gallery for 11 years. She has her undergraduate degree in Art and Art history, and her Masters in Art Administration.

The Lansing Art Gallery has been in motion for fifty two years, and for thirty three of these years they have helped promote Michigan’s art with a High School Show. Barb as well as other employees of the Lansing Art Gallery felt the need to allow the students to further their expertise after High School. So the Lansing Art Gallery conducted a state wide survey to see who would agree that the Lansing Art Gallery needed to provide activities after graduation. The State of Michigan agreed as well as Michigan State University. MSU became the title sponsor for the collegiate Art show. Barb hopes for Michigan State University’s continued support to assist with the collegiate show. The Collegiate show that the Lansing Art Gallery offers is the only one in Michigan and it’s available to college student’s state wide.

Barb is not only proud of the Collegiate show, she also is happy about the Art for Art’s Sake. It’s a show that runs for at least two months back-to-back. Most importantly the Lansing Art Gallery sells art for Michigan artists that are created by Michigan artists. All proceeds stay within the state of Michigan which helps the local economy. In addition, the Lansing Art Gallery has a K-12 Ingham County Student Art Exhibit. The art at the exhibit can be seen for up to a year. At the end of the year the art gets professionally framed, and returned to the students.

Moreover, Barb expressed her pleasure of working with Catherine Tonning – Popowich. Catherine received a grant from the Local Art Council to start “Our Art Has No Barriers” Program. The Lansing Art Gallery Hosts this program whole heartedly. The program is for a selected market but Catherine specializes in activities for people with needs of all kinds. This program is of no cost to the community. In fact the RE Olds Foundation has helped with “Funding for Art Has No Barriers” program this year but matching funds would be greatly appreciated to accommodate everyone who wants to participate.

Neither Barb nor Catherine wants anyone to get turned away due to lack of funding. The Lansing Art Gallery is a 501 C3 non-profit organization so all donations are greatly appreciated and put to good use. The Lansing Art Galleries mission is to provide public awareness, education, and enjoyment of Visual Arts by promoting The Works of Michigan art. Barb Whitney’s position and passion for art allows her to do her part in fulfilling that mission.

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