The Arts Alliance: ‘We hope to share, educate and broaden the concept of the arts’


“We believe that the arts make us human and we can understand ourselves, other cultures, and other complex things through the arts,” says Deb Polich, president, CEO, and founding member of The Arts Alliance. “We touch every aspect of the community. We hope to share, educate, and broaden the concept of the arts.”

The Arts Alliance is an organization working to sustain and grow the local art sector by advocating for and supporting the arts and creative industries in Washtenaw County, as well as communicate, celebrate, and educate the community on all that it has to offer.

It’s an umbrella organization working to bring together creative individuals, organizations, and businesses to keep the county a thriving, diverse, vibrant and steadfast place for artists of all types to share and perform their work.

Art integrates itself into more aspects of the community than we think, says Polich, who has more than 30 years of experience in professional arts administration.

“When people think of art, they think of fine arts and visual arts, but it goes beyond that. There’s no place you can go where you aren’t touched by art, it’s everywhere,” says Polich. “Art impacts education, it enhances math, history, and literature, creating a well-rounded education which prepares us for our careers.

“It impacts design in community urban developments and architecture. It’s about economic development, on a national basis, the arts and creative industries make up 4.2 percent of our GDP. Finally, it’s quality of life, living in a place where there’s something to do that makes it interesting.”

The Arts Alliance offers multiple avenues of support for creative individuals and businesses, both nonprofit and for profit. To reap the benefits of all they have to offer, Polich encourages signing up for a membership. Membership cost is $35 for first-time individual members with a $50 annual renewal fee. Cost for businesses is based on yearly revenue.

Support is offered for creative members in the form of marketing, like priority inclusion in the bi-monthly Arts & Creative Industries eNewsletter, listing on The Arts Alliance website, listing in Washtenaw County’s Annual Arts & Creative Industries Guide and social media shout-outs, Additionally, The Arts Alliance offers minigrants to fund artists and arts professionals and turns to members first when looking for opinions, insights, ideas and opportunities.

Ally memberships are also available for those who value the importance of and wish to support creative industries, but are not directly involved in the arts themselves. Membership levels range from $50 to $10,000.

To become a member, fill out the online form here:

Consuming art within the community is another way to get involved and provide support.

If you love and value art of any and all kinds, spend a day viewing public art or a new exhibit, attending a theatre or musical event, or connect with art education.


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