Our Start

In 1996 Canton Township began investigating the need for a performing arts center in their community. In 1998 the Partnership was formed with a focus on establishing a nonprofit organization to assist in raising funds for the performing arts center.  Over the following 6 years we raised more than $5 million towards the construction of The Village Theater, a 400-seat premiere performing arts center. It opened to the public in 2004.

The theater is now home to several Western Wayne County performing arts organizations, including an orchestra, a band, a choral group, youth, adult, and senior drama theater, and more.

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Visit the Theater

Funding the Arts: 2008-2016

Since opening the theater, we, along with Canton Township, the Commission for Culture, and Arts and Heritage have worked together to expand art and culture programs.  With our passion to foster a culture of art appreciation we have awarded grant funding totaling over $1.2 million to 15 local groups, local schools in Canton Township, including programs such as Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Canton’s International Festival, and Canton’s Acts of Culture Week.

We have also been able to provide funding for several local initiatives.

“African American History Through Artist Eyes” (AAHTAE)

February 2008-2013 – AAHTAE was a production performed at The Village Theater for all 5th grade students within the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools and local charter schools. With the help of funding for the program’s expansion and bussing, the program grew to include 2800 students from over 17 schools.

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Art Show

April 2011-2019 – We contributed funding for their annual K-12 art show, which showcased over 2000 pieces of visual art from every school in the district.

View Grant Recipients
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Village Arts Factory Project

On the grand opening night of The Village Theater in 2004, Tom Yack (20 year-township supervisor) told the Leisure Services Director that they now needed to acquire the abandoned national historic parcel just down the street. His proposal was to turn the property into a venue with studios, an art gallery, boutiques, and eateries.  His vision was to develop an arts district with The Village Theater and the Village Arts Factory being the anchors of Cherry Hill Village. From that vision we embarked on a mission to create a space where the arts and humanities could flourish in our area.

2012 The Village Arts Factory Property is Purchased

In 2012, we purchased a 14 acre parcel in Canton’s historic Cherry Hill Village District with the mission of developing the Village Arts Factory and the purpose of producing a regional visual arts complex. The development of this property is on going, but we have completed and opened our Warehouse building. The Warehouse is home to 14 local small businesses. In 2021 we were able to offer housing to 4 disabled veterans at the historic Veterans Dormitory. We are fundraising to finish the restoration of our Henry Ford Village Industry Factory. We have completed the restoration of the outside of the Factory, but the interior still needs to be finished.

We started to raise funds for the dormitory renovations, site demolition and additional construction preparations. Over the next several years we completed renovations as funding was received.

Demolition Begins!

Zero-Day collaboration through the Ford Motor Fund community grant

The dormitory was the first building to be completed, including city sewer & water hook-ups and site work. Watch our video!

The Village Arts Warehouse & Ford Factory Renovations Start

Canton Township approves the building permit for the Arts Warehouse and renovations begin, including: roof, façade, plumbing, fire suppression, exterior windows & foundation repair.  Final parking lot revisions are approved by Wayne County. The Partnership acquired their first arts warehouse tenant, the Cherry Hill Potter’s Guild for a 4,000 sq ft studio with a 10 year lease.

Village Arts Factory Fully Occupied

As of 2022, the Village Arts Factory is now 100% occupied with a variety of small, local businesses ranging from visual and craft artists to dance and fitness studios. The art gallery hosts regular exhibits of local fine art and the Shaw Gathering Place serves as both a community room and rental space. Our vision of incubating a local arts community has become a reality!

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Our Staff

Team member
Kevin Ryan
Community Program Director
Team member
Jessica Gallina
Administrative Manager
Team member
Jennifer Provenzano
Grants & Development Specialist

Executive Board

Team member
Tom Yack
Board Chair
Retired Canton Township Supervisor (20 years)
Team member
Ann Conklin
Past Chair
Retired Executive Director Michigan Recreation & Parks Association
Team member
Herb Scott
Veterans Liaison
Managing Partner, NutriTech USA
Team member
Daniel P. Fisher
Board Treasurer & Finance
Merrill Lynch
Team member
Jon LaFever
Vice Chair
Canton Leisure Services

Board Members

Team member
Greg Demopoulos, B.A. J.D
Board Member
Team member
Saad Muhammad
Board Member
Residential Visiting Physician Services
Team member
Mark Waldbauer
Board Member
North Ridge Church
Team member
Michael Siegrist
Board Member
Canton Township Clerk

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commitment

The Partnership for the Arts and Humanities is committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment where all board members, staff, volunteers, tenants, patrons, and guests feel respected and valued regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or identity, disability, education, or any other potential bias.

We are committed to being nondiscriminatory and providing equal opportunities for employment, volunteering, and advancement in all areas of our work.

We respect the value that diverse life experiences bring to our board, leadership, and staff, and we strive to listen to their views and give them value.

We are committed to modeling diversity, inclusion, and equity, and maintaining fair and equal treatment in all of the work we do.

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