City invests in Neighborhood Match Fund 2023 projects

Published on May 04, 2023


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids recently made investments totaling $78,000 to support projects designed to bring community together and promote a deeper sense of belonging among neighbors.  These investments were completed with 25 contracts brought forward by local resident leaders as part of the City’s Neighborhood Match Fund (NMF) program.

Each project is led or co-led by a Grand Rapids resident. All applications were reviewed for completeness and alignment to NMF objectives. The approved ideas moved forward in the contracting process by having each project lead meet one on one with the NMF team to create shared understanding on project scope and NMF contract requirements and discuss strategies for intentional and inclusive project outreach and impact.

Next round of NMF project submissions will be accepted June 1-30 for projects taking place September through February 2024.

NMF contract awards for 2023 projects went to:

  • Anishinaabe Circle – Anishinaabe Circle 28th Annual Sobriety Walk: This project walk, originated by the Native American community, promotes sobriety, community engagement, health and wellness. Project date: June 10
  • Alger Garfield Neighbors Collaborative – Gather and Share 49507 “What Flavor is Your Story?”: This project was inspired by a proposal from the GR participatory budget process.  Project will provide an opportunity for neighbors to connect across racial and cultural barriers over a locally made meal. Project dates: February 20 & April 20
  • Boston Square Neighborhood Association – Boston Square Fair:  This project is the third annual community fair for the neighbors of Boston Square. Project is designed to bring neighbors together to heal and discuss violence prevention, voter’s rights and celebrate one another. Project date: July 8
  • Puertas Abiertas Inc. – Fostering Mental Health and Awareness: Encouraging Healthy Latinx Adolescents: This project provides two-hour weekly group support for six months led by licensed therapists for adolescents and will assist with preventing violence and providing healthy outlets for adolescents to heal from trauma and learn how to break the cycle of abuse. Event kicked off March 1
  • Stocking Elementary School - Grady’s Garden at Stocking Elementary: This project partnered with Stocking Elementary and the surrounding community to build and plant a community garden with opportunities for classroom learning, volunteerism and community engagement. Project date: April 27
  • Fulton Heights Neighborhood Association – Fulton Heights Community Sign: This project brings neighbors together to design and build a community board to post event information to gather and build community as a way for neighbors to meet each other and engage in common areas of interest. Event kicked off in March
  • Tierra de sol y sombra gr (Land of Sun and shadow GR): This project will collect the stories of immigrants who have settled in Grand Rapids and produce a documentary that shares the experiences of settling in Grand Rapids and how they have contributed to the City through their traditions, culture and customs. The documentary will tell stories of resilience by highlighting the strengths of the immigrants as they adapted to another language and lifestyle.  Project month: August
  • Victory Gardens: This project is a full day workshop designed to teach people how to grow their own food by creating Victory Gardens for food production, self-sufficiency and food sustainability. Project month: May
  • Grand Rapids United Rocket Football League: This project will teach youth in Grand Rapids fair play, work ethic, life skills and educate on the fundamentals of football. Project date: August 19
  • Grand Rapids Media and Film Incubator – GR-MiFi Podcast Initiative: This project assists at least 15 people in Grand Rapids with sharing their stories in a podcast setting by matching podcasters with local content creators/tech guides to help produce, record, edit and distribute their stories to a bigger audience. Project kicked off March 20
  • Dream K.I.M. – A Dreams Tea: This project is a one-day event for up to 50 young women ages 12-24 where speakers will provide education on self-esteem, motivation, and future career planning. Project date: May 6
  • Grand Rapids Community Juneteenth Parade Dickinson Park Dunumba – This project is a communty parade of pride for the federal holiday. The parade processional will begin at noon at 1300 block of Eastern Ave. and Hall St. SE. and will proceed right on Cottage Grove to Grand Rapids, MI Dickinson Buffer Park. Project date: June 19
  • Aim to Inspire – A Prom for Me: This project is a dance created to give the special needs community a meaningful experience at their own night to shine. At the event, participants can dress up and feel beautiful, dance, eat and enjoy time connecting with their peers.  Project date: May 13
  • I Matter We Matter: This project will provide education and support to individuals in the Black and Brown community that struggle with diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness. Services are provided by a licensed Master Social Worker and will occur weekly for two months. Project months: March and April
  • Martin Luther King Park Neighborhood Association – King Park Neighbors Block Champion Program: This project will activate King Park Neighbors Build Block Champion Program by providing three months of training on City services and resources to 15 people designated as block champions to share with people in the neighborhood. Training began in March
  • Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders (GRIL U) – Youth Voices Raising Awareness: This project raises awareness around social justice education equity and advocating for change for teens. GRIL U students learn and gain skills on the advocacy of BIPOC youth to advocate change, public policy, and raising awareness to these issues through a photo awareness campaign. Event kicked off in March
  • A.rtists and M.usicians P.rocessing T.ogether (A.M.P.T.):  This project is an informal, collaborative group of folks who decided that the Grand Rapids music and arts scene has been facing issues with abuse for too long without being addressed. To communicate this information in an easy, entry-level, simple way, the project will print 100 30-page 'zines, which will use hand-drawn art from artists in the community. Event kicks off June 11.
  • Great Start Parent Coalition – Community Baby Shower: This project is a community baby shower and will provide diapers, wipes, literacy information, community resources and event food for families in the community who struggle with diaper access. Project date: July 22
  • Early Education Equity Fair: An early childhood education summit for people who would like to learn more about serving in the early childhood field and parent leadership. This event will demonstrate the components of equity in early childhood education and explain the importance and impact. Project month: May
  • Creston Neighborhood Association – Living Green in Creston Culturally Competent Gardening Workshops: This project focuses on three gardening workshops plus a farm visit and plant exchange for neighbors. Project kicks off in June
  • Felons Do It Better - #PitchBetter: This project will provide two monthly meetings, resources, mentorship and alternatives for formerly incarcerated people.  #PitchBetter is designed to help those affected most thrive in areas of mental hygiene, tech training, business and employment assessment, expungement and resources. Project date: June 1
  • Eta Pi Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated – Swim 1922: This project is a free Swim clinic promoting water safety and skill development to assist with breaking down the barriers that some have created by not having equal opportunity to learn the basic swim skills in neighborhood parks. Project date: June 24
  • Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network: This project is designed to provide mutual aid and direct giving assistance to Grand Rapids residents in support of COVID-19 recovery for food, housing assistance and financial support of essential needs.  Project date(s): Ongoing
  • Grand Rapids African American Arts and Music Festival:  This project will include a minimum of three events continuing the organization’s ongoing effort to celebrate the outstanding contributions of African American artists in the Grand Rapids community. This scope of work will be accomplished through visual and performing arts. Event kicks off in July
  • Community Artist Series: This project will host six free music concerts targeting artists that may not have the opportunity to play in front of a crowd and debut artists (people who have never performed before).  The project will also provide mentorship connections with other artists. Project months: March through August
Tagged as: