Capacity Building: Michigan Lakeshore

About the Program

The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, in partnership with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, is pleased to announce Capacity Building: Michigan Lakeshore, a two-year technical assistance and planning intensive for up to 15 arts and cultural organizations throughout Holland, MI and the Michigan Lakeshore.

The program will begin in Fall 2022, and is fully underwritten by the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation.

The arts and culture sector is changing rapidly, but certain fundamentals remain: all organizations require highly distinctive programming, vigorous marketing campaigns, strong boards, and a robust family of donors, members, and funders.

These essentials, however obvious, can be difficult to assemble and maintain.

This is the key role of this program: to assist participating organizations in their efforts to develop consensus on mission, vision, and values and to put in place simple, effective, and right-sized strategies to execute in each of these essential areas of practice.

Program Components

Capacity Building: Michigan Lakeshore will:

  • Provide six in-person training intensives and monthly consultation for executive staffs and board leadership
  • Engage each participating organization in a six-month strategic planning process that will result in a tailored, five-year strategic plan
  • Provide six months of subsequent implementation support
  • Host four roundtable discussions between program participants and local stewards of economic development


This opportunity is open to cultural organizations in Holland, Zeeland, Saugatuck, and Grand Haven, as well as their surrounding towns. In addition to completing an online application, applicants must:

  • Provide a compelling rationale for participation
  • Provide a signed commitment by executive, artistic, or board leadership (or equivalent)
  • Provide the previous year’s audited financial statements
  • Evidence at least three years of operation and programming
  • Employ at least one permanent staff member (or part-time equivalents)

Time Commitments

The program estimates approximately 70 hours from each core participant over the 2-year period. However, participation will vary according to the role of each attendee.

  • Training and strategic planning participation typically includes three representatives – executive, artistic, and board leadership (or equivalent). Here we estimate approximately 70 hours over the 2-year period. This includes attendance at the group intensives, roundtables, and strategic planning meetings. It also includes preparation time between intensives and strategic planning meetings, as well as time spent on implementation calls.

  • Strategic planning participation will include additional staff, board, and key stakeholders – any “voices” essential to the long-term development of the organization. This time commitment is approximately 15-20 hours over six months.

Application and Selection Process

Successful applicants will be selected through a broad-based process that assesses goals, financial status, artistic plans, and commitment to the program. The DeVos Institute and the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation will prioritize assembling a cohort of dynamic, diverse arts organizations committed to building capacity through the program.

To apply, please click HERE. Applications are due Friday, July 29. Participants will be notified by August 26, 2022.

Information Session

An Information Session was held on Thursday, June 23 and hosted by Institute President Brett Egan to discuss the program and respond to questions from potential applicants. The session was recorded, and interested parties that were unable to attend live can view the session HERE


Questions regarding the program, application process, or information session may be directed to Marie Gossman at

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 410        Washington, DC 20004        P: 301.314.0963     

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