All News News Posted April 1, 2021 By Choose Marshall

MAEDA receives MEDC grant to support Franke Center for the Arts project

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance (MAEDA) has been awarded a grant to support a business expansion project for the Franke Center for the Arts. This funding, provided through the MEDC’s Match on Main program, is available to communities that participate in the Michigan Main Street program or are certified as a Redevelopment Ready Community (RRC). Marshall is a certified RRC. The communities, who receive the grant funding from the MEDC, in turn award grants of up to $25,000 to eligible businesses seeking support. MAEDA received the maximum $25,000 grant.

“Receiving the Match on Main Grant Funding for the Franke Center’s expansion and renovation project is very helpful,” said Jim Durian, CEO, Choose Marshall (MAEDA). “The Franke Center’s importance to the health and vitality of Marshall’s downtown cannot be overstated. Awarding funds to aid in its planned improvements will only add to its reputation as a must-visit destination and will benefit Marshall as a whole. We thank the MEDC for this important funding.”

“We are grateful for MAEDA’s support and this grant application on our behalf,” said Jacob Gates, Executive Director, Franke Center for the Arts. “The plan to upgrade our underutilized kitchen space to a certified commercial kitchen, plus adding a full-service bar to the Downstage Club area, will better position us to host weddings, luncheons, and other community gatherings. Greater revenue from refreshments also will help our future financial sustainability. We look forward to working with MAEDA and seeing this project to its finish.”

Durian and Gates add that the Franke Center becoming a true full-service destination will benefit the surrounding downtown restaurants and retail establishments by attracting visitors for potentially longer stays; and the ability to host weddings and receptions also will benefit area hotels, Marshall’s historic bed-and-breakfasts, and will draw those who may have been unaware of Marshall as a wonderful place to visit.

Helping businesses open and grow is a key focus of both MAEDA and MEDC. The Match on Main program is one of MEDC’s tools that provides opportunities for new and expanding businesses located in downtown districts to grow and succeed. For more information on the program, visit

For more information about the Franke Center for the Arts and its upcoming classes, workshops, and events, visit

For more information about Choose Marshall/MAEDA, news, and events, visit or call the Welcome Center at 269-781-5163.