Old Art Building Captures the Sun:

All Points North Foundation Awards Solar Grant to LCCC

Leland, MI- The Leelanau Community Cultural Center (LCCC) has been awarded a $60,000 grant to install a 20 kW rooftop solar system on the Old Art Building. The solar panels will produce electricity equal to, or above, the building’s current annual usage.  Funding for the project is from All Points North Foundation, a private family foundation dedicated to supporting programs that promote solar energy awareness, education, training and hands-on application of solar as a practical and cost-efficient energy source. Peninsula Solar, LLC, of Leelanau County and Marquette, will do the installation in the spring.

“The Leland community cares about the quality of the environment,” said Dan Lisuk, Board President of the Leelanau Community Cultural Center, in explaining the reason they sought a solar power at the Old Art Building.  “As an organization, we continually try to reflect community standards, and this region places a high premium on the quality of life, including a vibrant cultural scene and clean, beautiful and natural surroundings.” 

Students in the science classes at Leland Public School will incorporate the solar project into their learning.  Jenifer Zywicki, 8th grade science teacher says, “I am continuously looking for connections between my classroom and the ‘real world’.  It is exciting to be able to partner with a local organization. This collaboration will allow our students to interact with the process to see the benefits and challenges of solar energy along the way.”

“We have a dual mission, promoting projects that increase solar energy awareness, and also improving public middle school education,” said Laura Staich, Executive Director, All Points North Foundation. “This project combines both, and reflects our vision of striving toward a better future for our planet and our children.”

Becky Ross, LCCC Executive Director asks everyone “to mark your calendars for our Solar Celebration on June 22nd! We’ll have an energetic concert featuring singer songwriter Seth Bernard, science projects created by the students, solar art and more…”

For over 96 years the Old Art Building has been both a touchstone and a welcome home sign for the residents and visitors of Leland, Michigan to enjoy a variety of over 600 programs focused on education, arts and culture. Today, the building is known as one of the oldest, continuous art centers in the state, where young and old can come together and learn how to dance, paint or see a world class concert.

Since becoming a nonprofit in 1992, the LCCC has been administering these cultural programs and working to maintain the Old Art Building. In addition to providing a clean energy source, the new power system will help mitigate the rising cost of energy. A monitoring display unit on the outside of the building will provide the public with real time information on energy consumption and savings. The LCCC will coordinate on-site visits for both private and public area schools. In addition, LCCC will highlight the benefits of solar energy through lectures and tours of the building and will produce a flyer for the 16,000 visitors who come through the doors every year.

While the primary mission of the LCCC is to promote cultural enrichment programs and events, and provide a gathering place for the community, the new PV solar system helps to ensure that the building will continue to be a significant part of Leelanau history for years to come.

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