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AuSable Artisan Village to Open Performing Arts Center

The organization enhances vibrancy in downtown Grayling

By Kathy Gibbons

AuSable Artisan Village’s Original Art Gallery in downtown Grayling || Photo by Radel Rosin, courtesy of AuSable Artisan Village

A new arts venue from AuSable Artisan Village is soon to offer groups visiting Grayling another gathering space option.

The nonprofit is in the process of renovating an approximately 6,000-square-foot century-old building downtown into what it is calling the Artisan Village Performing Arts Center and AAV Mud Room. AuSable Artisan Village Assistant Director Radel Rosin says the facility will include an art gallery space, clay studio, and performing arts center that will seat 175 people. Local fundraising generated $67,200 toward the project, with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation contributing $50,000.

“We’re looking to implement rental use, community involvement space, we’re hosting classes, there’s community theater—there’s a lot of opportunity opening up the space to our community,” Rosin says.

AuSable Artisan Village already operates in a former Ben Franklin store downtown. Established in 2010 and now called the Original Art Gallery as part of a branding change to differentiate it from the new property, it features a gallery with works from more than 40 Michigan artists who sell on consignment, along with a coffee shop. The gallery is attached to Paddle Hard Brewing taproom and restaurant and also offers space for smaller gatherings.

“That is kind of our vision for AuSable Arts Village—bringing people and foot traffic into downtown Grayling,” Rosin says. “The original downtown was pretty quiet. We’re seeing a lot of growth.”

AuSable Artisan Village is expanding in downtown Grayling. || Photo by Radel Rosin, courtesy of AuSable Artisan Village

Bringing “vibrancy, culture, and other community involvement” downtown has been a catalyst, he adds.

“The biggest thing is hosting space for art in downtown Grayling, but also just being widely known for community involvement,” Rosin explains. “We heavily host a lot of community events in the space—it’s big enough for hosting things like Christmas parties and Chamber events.”

Rosin hopes the new building will be complete by spring. “We’re focused on April 19 as a ribbon-cutting and grand opening,” he says. “A majority of the work has been done in there.”