Alpena, MI - August 2022
This past August, The Sunset Project had the great pleasure to award Alison Hosinski of Alpena, MI with The Sawyer J. Boyd Creatives Grant - a $1000 funding opportunity to help local creatives expand their passions and endeavors.
We sat down with Alison at the event to discuss her unique story, why she applied, and what she is hoping to accomplish with her funding.
How is this grant going to help you achieve your creative goals?
So the plan is right now to have a consultant come in and help me get a polished plan for my app, and really take my idea for the app from just an idea into something more than that.
I have a pretty good idea of what I’d like to see, but I don’t know what the next steps are and that’s where a developer and a marketing person can really give me the support I need to take it to the next level.
I really want to provide foster individuals with more support than just what the system can prove them with, and I want to give them a community and resources that they might not have otherwise. When I was in the foster care system, I only knew of resources because someone told me once, and they were really hard to find once I knew they were there. I had to jump through like ten million hoops just to get a piece of funding for me to get something.
Kids are already having a hard time being in the system, and if it's even hard yet to find help then they’re just going to give up.
So then what does the future look like for you? Do you hope to turn this into a career or what are the next steps in your mind?
I don’t exactly know if it’s going to turn into a career or anything, maybe we’ll just see how far it goes and what it turns into, and then it might have some career potential. I really just want to create a community and more awareness around the foster care system, because there is a lot more stuff available for those individuals it's very hard to find and I want to create awareness and make that stuff more visible.
What are your thoughts on the current, creative environment in Northeast Michigan?
I just don’t think it’s very out in the open. There are a lot of people who are creative it’s just very limited on ways you can be creative since Alpena is such a small town. There are only so many avenues you can approach, and there are only so many resources you can tap into.
Like I had this idea for the app, but I didn’t have a clue who to approach about it. Who even does app development in Alpena yah know? It’s such a niche thing and so you don’t get the exposure for stuff like that here.
I am seeing a change though, with people opening up more shops, and the murals around town, so there is more creativity coming to town which I think is great.
Do you think that things are starting to change in the right direction from a creative side?
Yeah, I think there is a good change happening especially in the last few summers, especially in the downtown area. There have been a lot more events, and more liveliness, and with that comes more creativity.
So yes, for sure seeing improvement – before that, Alpena was always “the retirement town” and we start to see a move away from that title now.