The City of Alpena earned top honors as the Michigan Municipal League's Region 6 Community Excellence Award winner at the Michigan Municipal League 2012 Capital Conference Lansing on Tuesday. The region includes all communities in the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula.
Alpena used a $20,000 pilot grant from the League's Center for 21st Century Communities (21c3) to partner with Michigan Arts and Culture, Northeast on a cultural economic development project to promote the area as an arts and culture destination to drive economic development and enhance quality of life while creating a true sense of place.
"This project encompassed several entities from around the region. It is truly a regional approach that reaches from Standish to Cheboygan," said City Manager Thad Taylor, who accepted the award with Mayor Matt Waligora. "We are moving toward making Alpena the arts and culture hub of the entire region."
Alpena competed for the regional title against two other projects: Rogers City's Facebook page that was developed to communicate with the public and showcase the city at no cost; and Manistee's "Ham It Up," a campaign intended to promote healthy all-season activity through the reuse of a former industrial site for non-motorized recreation.
Alpena will now go on to compete against the other six regional winners for the statewide CEA at the League's annual convention Oct. 3-5 on Mackinac Island. The CEA program, affectionately called "The Race for the Cup," was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan's cities, villages and urban townships.