Binder Park Zoo receives Grant Awards from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

Binder Park Zoo has received an operations grant of $20,000 from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). Announced on October 16, the grant award was made through the MCACA peer review process and was one of 597 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2021 funding. A total of $9,168,440 in grant funding was awarded to 470 organizations including arts and history centers, performance arts and cultural institutions for arts and culture projects in Michigan.

The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences.

“It is really wonderful to see so many great grant applications,” said Alison Watson, Director of MCACA. “During these tough times, it is a strong affirmation that the field is still vibrant, and the value of our programs is not only recognized, but can contribute to ongoing efforts support vibrancy in our communities throughout the state.”

Earlier this year, Binder Park Zoo also received a $3000 Emergency Relief Fund grant to provide relief from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. MCACA awarded a total of $502,400 in Emergency Relief Fund grants to 176 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations around Michigan.

“We are grateful for the generous support from MCACA. Both the Emergency Relief and the operational grant aid us greatly in continuing to maintain zoo operations to the highest level while providing guests with a quality experience during a time of historic challenge,” said Diane Thompson, President & CEO of Binder Park Zoo, “ supporting our mission to Connect. Inspire. Conserve. Connect people with nature. Inspire them to conserve.”

The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs is dedicated to ensuring that every citizen and community in Michigan enjoys the civic, economic and educational benefits of arts and culture. A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241-4011, or by visiting the MCACA website at

Binder Park Zoo is located in southwest Michigan and home to a diverse array of exotic and native animal species. The natural and spacious habitat design that blends animal habitats into the surrounding landscape is a 43-year hallmark of the zoo that respects animals and delights guests. Delivering the message of conservation through engaging programs and memorable experiences lies at the heart of the zoo’s mission to Connect. Inspire. Conserve.  Connect people with nature.  Inspire them to conserve.

Binder Park Zoo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and an accredited member of  the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).