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Expanding Creative Advancement Opportunities and Ending Mental Health Stigmas for All of Northeastern Michigan

With the organizations developing list of programs and projects, The Sunset Project provides a unique approach to expanding creative advancement opportunities and ending stigmas related to mental health in Northeast Michigan.

What is FOCUS45?

FOCUS45 is the centralized program for all creative advancement opportunities that The Sunset Project is involved in. There are three different types of projects that are supported by The Sunset Projects FOCUS45 Program:


Internal Projects

These projects are created, executed, and managed by The Sunset Project team and often utilize internal resources and funding with the goal of creating more creative advancement opportunities in the Northeast Michigan community. 

External Projects

These projects are created, executed and managed by businesses, organizations or individuals outside of The Sunset Project, but are involved with The Sunset Project either through consultation, funding or marketing verticals.

Current Projects

FOCUS45 handles a variety of both internal and external projects, with some of the most notable being:

2022 FOCUS45 Photography Contest

The Sunset Project’s first internal project under the FOCUS45 program. This project distributed over $3,500 worth of prizes to contestants, collected over 70 photo submissions from people aged 17 - 72, and garnered over 500 individual voters in less than 48 hours.

2023 Thunder Bay International Film Festival

The Sunset Project contributed a $500 sponsorship, as well as social media outreach for the 2023 Thunder Bay International Film Festival, joining the presence of other local sponsors such as the DTE Foundation, Besser, and The Northeast Michigan Community Foundation.

2023 Fresh Takes Competition

The Sunset Project offered over $1200 worth of GoPro Hero 10 cameras to the 2023 Fresh Takes Competition to be included alongside their 1st, 2nd and 3rd places prizes with the hope of helping winners expand their hardware collections for any future projects thy may wish to pursue.

How does FOCUS45 impact Northeast Michigan?

The goal of creative advancement opportunities is to support the arts and creative industries and to provide individuals with access to resources, skills development, and exposure to diverse cultural experiences.


Northeast Michigan has long been an area with limited resources, but outstanding community support. The Sunset Project’s goal through FOCUS45 is to help rally community support around resources to expand creative advancement opportunities into the future. These opportunities can benefit communities in several ways:

Cultural Enrichment: Creative advancement opportunities provide a platform for local artists and cultural groups to showcase their work, thereby promoting cultural diversity and appreciation within the community.

Economic Development: The arts and creative industries can contribute to local economic growth, providing job opportunities and stimulating small business development.

FOCUS45 Photography Contest Submission
FOCUS45 Photography Contest Submission

Education and Skills Development: Creative advancement opportunities can provide children and adults with access to educational programs, workshops, and training in creative skills, boosting their confidence and expanding their personal and professional horizons.

Community Building: Creative advancement opportunities can bring people together, fostering a sense of community, and promoting social cohesion and interaction.

Mental and Emotional Well-Being: Engaging in creative activities has been shown to have a positive impact on mental and emotional health, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and promoting a sense of well-being.

FOCUS45 Photography Contest Submission



Build a community driven toward the betterment of people.

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