Eastend Studio & Gallery, formerly GreenStreet Arts, was started by the vision of professional artist Michael Peck to bring an Art Incubator to Calhoun County. After having served on the original board of Directors for The Franke Center for the Arts, Peck envisioned a place to ignite a renaissance of handmade creativity for visual arts and related industries.
He followed the plan Cultural Economic Development - A Practical Guide for Communities from Governor Granholm’s office “Cool Cities” Initiative 2004. Initially, Peck worked with nationally acclaimed Minneapolis-based nonprofit arts developer Artspace Projects Inc., Detroit architect Douglas McIntosh of McIntosh & Poris Associates, Neeta Delaney, Director of the Jackson Armory Arts Project, Randy Case, Battle Creek, architect, Judy Peters, Marshall Historic Landmark District, and Randy Lake of Dramatic Action in order to create an Art Incubator in Albion, Marshall or BattleCreek.
By February 2005, Peck had presented his Artspace Initiative Marshall to the Marshall City Council and LDFA. (1 Cultural Economic Development- A practical Guide for Communities. Authorized by Neeta Delaney with contributions by Ric Geyer- Cultural Economic Development Executives on Loan. Office of Governor Jennifer Granholm, June, 2004) (2 The Marshall Chronicle, Feb. 21, 2005 - Artspace initiative could come to Marshall - ‘Incubator of artists making marketable products explored’.)
Peck worked closely with the City of Marshall Economic Development Director and Executive Director of the Arts & Industry Council of Calhoun County (AIC), Kathy Eftekharii, in developing the regional grassroots movement of the arts. The joint efforts of GreenStreet Arts and the AIC were recognized and applauded by America for the Arts. Michael Peck and Shelly Preston developed the Afterschool Arts Apprenticeship Program which won a state award for the most innovative new project utilizing both youth and arts & culture in Michigan.
By April 1, 2006, GreenStreet Arts was opened and operated by Peck who assembled board of directors, 12 Showroom Artists, rented studio space and 6 apprenticeship courses taught by Peck & Preston. By Fall, the Showroom had grown to 25 artists and the Artists Association was formed to manage the Showroom with their own elected board of directors.
Eastend Studio & Gallery continues to serve the arts and was established and has grown by support from local, state and national, groups, individuals, businesses, and organizations. It is truly a story of community support and remains to be a cultural asset
in our city and state.