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FOCUS45 is a creative advancement-focused program providing individual and community-based opportunities through the development, implementation, and support of creative scenes in Northeast Michigan.

Current Projects

2023 FOCUS45 Photography Contest

The Sunset Project's second annual FOCUS45 Photography Contest kicks off on October 1, 2023! Stay tuned to our social media channels and the FOCUS45 Photography Contest webpage for more information.

2023 Sanctuary Selections Film Competition

The Sunset Project's collaborative effort with the Thunder Bay International Film Festival kicks off on October 1, 2023 featuring a $5,000 cash prize! For more information on competition details, submission requirements, and more, visit the official Sanctuary Selections webpage today.

Past Projects

2023 Fresh Waves Mural Competition

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 Film Competition

The Sunset Project offered over $1,200 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
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