Idlewild, Michigan Transformation Initiative

Community Cultural Economic Development Readiness Organization and Roles

Vision: Assist Yates Township citizens and property owners in preserving, restoring and developing Idlewild, Michigan, a National Register Historic District and Enterprise Community, as a national rural retreat, resort and tourism destination.

Goal: Help Yates Township achieve prosperity by leveraging Idlewild, Michigan's natural environment, historic buildings and sites, cultural heritage, creative talent and other assets to spur financial investment and economic growth.


  1. State of Michigan Due Diligence - work as an inter-agency team to inventory, assess and leverage state holdings and assets for creation of a coordinated stewardship agenda
  2. Community Engagement - engage Idlewild/Yates Township civic leaders, community residents and stakeholders in public dialogue and planning to improve community cohesion and stability, and develop a new transformative vision for Idlewild, Michigan
  3. Technical Assistance - work as an inter-agency team, with consultants/partners/advisors, to assist community transformation
  4. Strategic Planning - work in collaboration with the Idlewild/Yates Township civic leaders, community residents and stakeholders to craft a comprehensive transformative economic development (master) plan (including historic landscape management plan and wayfinding assessment)
  5. Funding - assist Idlewild/Yates Township government and community-based organizations identify and secure financial resources (i.e., grants, gifts, loans and incentives) to support master plan implementation (including short-term and long-term strategic signature projects) and community transformation
  6. Marketing - work as an inter-agency team, with consultants/partners/advisors, to market Idlewild, Michigan as a high-value cultural tourism destination


Provide leadership on behalf of the Governor

Governor-Appointed Advisory Committee (i.e., commission, panel or task force of influential stakeholders)
Serves as an advisory body to the Governor and Co-Chairs to foster the revitalization, preservation and celebration of Idlewild, Michigan

  • Assist and support creation of a 'transformational vision' for Idlewild, Michigan
  • Assist development, monitor and assess transformation efforts and return on investment
  • Foster best practices
  • Promote regional cooperation and the benefits of cultural economic development to quality of life and community prosperity
  • Help identify, secure and leverage resources
  • Provide public information

Inter-Agency Transformation Team (Representation from participating state agencies/departments and others) Serve as a forum for state agency discussion, policy development and implementation, collaboration and programming/services synergy

Planning Assistance Team (HAL, MDOT, MEDC, MSHDA)
Serves as a sub-committee to the Inter-Agency Transformation Team focused on Idlewild economic development (master) plan development, offering planning oversight, technical assistance and resources (i.e., funding and services) to Yates Township and/or the Transformation Partnership

Transformation Partnership Facilitators (State Agency Captain, Local Community Captain, and Agency Co-Leaders) Facilitate Transformation Partnership activities

  • Organize, convene and administer the Transformation Partnership
  • Help facilitate Partner participation
  • Facilitate "cutting of red tape" to expedite implementation
  • Monitor, document and assess Partnership progress
  • Report partnership progress to the Inter-Agency Transformation Team and Community

Transformation Partnership
Serves as a forum for 'on-the-ground' planning and soliciting transformative projects, formulating requests for resources (i.e., funding and services) from state agencies/departments and other partners, and performance measurement

Transformation Tool Box
Networked resources (i.e., funding and services) that may be available to support economic development (master)a plan and partnership implementation


  • HAL MCACA Arts and Cultural Grants
  • MDOT Enhancement Grants
  • HAL Historic Preservation Tax Credits
  • DNR Programs
  • HAL MCACA Rural Arts and Culture Program
  • MEDC CBDG Funds
  • SBA Loans
  • Summer Youth Program
  • Michigan Humanities Council Grants
  • Department of Corrections (services)
  • MSHDA CAT Team
  • MSU Extension
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • U.S. Forest Service

Transformation Committees (Community and Partnership Representatives)
Serve as a forum for highly-focused 'on-the-ground' dialogue, needs assessment, and planning as sub-committees to the Transformation Partnership