Broad Art Lab in downtown East Lansing permanently closed

EAST LANSING, Michigan — The Broad Art Lab at Michigan State University on Grand River Aveenue was a space in downtown East Lansing that once hosted innovators and lifelong learners. It is now empty after closing its doors for good.

“It was the idea that this was an incubator for all of us to learn about ourselves through the arts,” said Broad Art Museum director Monica Ramierez-Montagut.

The Broad Art Lab opened in 2016 and Ramierez-Montagut said it offered a bit of something for everyone.

“We offered hands-on arts activities, like learning to make paper or learning to print, learning to sew, doing some ceramics, but there was also space to do exhibits in partnership with our communities,” she says.

Funding for the lab came from the MSU Federal Credit Union in what Ramirez-Montagut explains as a five-year project.

“Funding from MSU Federal Credit Union was instrumental and a privilege, in fact, to be able to have a space where we could experiment and where we could learn from each other,” Ramierez-Montagut said. “It was a very important space for creativity in downtown East Lansing.

December 2022 would have marked the end of the five-year art lab project, but due to canceled classes and financial issues, they decided to close early.

“We’re putting it down a bit earlier than planned due to financial constraints,” Ramierez-Montagut said. “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you know, many programs, community gatherings, and hands-on activities just might not happen.

While it’s hard to see the lab closing, Ramierez-Montagut said he was fulfilling his mission and now was the time to take the connections they had made in the lab and place them in the Broad Art Museum. on the other side of the street.

“We’ve done a lot of exhibits in partnership with our communities here at the museum,” Ramierez-Montagut said. “Last semester, we did exhibits on mass incarceration and we had 120 collaborators from off-campus communities. So a lot of that strategy and engagement and trust was put in place, you know, because we had the opportunity to meet people at the art laboratory.

They also plan to move their programs to the museum.

“As sad as we are to have lost the art lab, we are equally thrilled to say that we offer most of these programs across the street at the museum, and we continue to be free and open. to the public,” Ramierez-dit Montagut said.

A full list of events at the Broad Art Museum can be found on their website.

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David H. Henry