In 2010 Dr. Tom Quinn, president of Kirtland Community College, began encouraging his service communities to consider the creative economy and the arts as an economic revitalization tool. Several local business people, including Curt Jansen, MaryAnn Ferrigan, and Kim McClain began organizing community meetings in Grayling to allow our citizens to be inspired by Dr. Quinn’s vision.
In the fall of 2010 a few committed community members organized Artisan Village as a non-profit corporation to stimulate the arts and cultural experience in the Grayling region.
By the spring of 2011 a group of volunteers turned a 5,000 square foot vacant building in the heart of downtown Grayling, previously known as the Ben Franklin, into an art center and gallery. Three years later, with the help of some local investors, AAV was able to purchase the premises.
In December of 2016 we launched a crowd-funding capital campaign and with a matching grant from Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan State Housing Development Authority and raised over $65,000 to renovate the infrastructure and repurpose the basement as classroom space we call the Creativity Center.
Artisan Village operates with an all-volunteer staff and hosts over 60 local and regional artists.