Western Michigan is home to ArtPrize from September 18-October 6. For 19 days, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, becomes an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown, and it's all free and open to the public.
Every year, artists from all over the world fill hundreds of venues around the city of Grand Rapids with their artwork. The city hums with creative energy for 19 days, across three square miles of downtown. During ArtPrize, Grand Rapids becomes an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in a conversation about art. It’s all free and open to the public.
The whole city of Grand Rapids becomes an art gallery when hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world converge to experience, explore, and actively participate in the radically open and independently organized international art competition. This year’s festival runs September 18 through October 5 and you will find ArtPrize entries in locations including world-renowned museums and private galleries to public parks, restaurants and local coffee shops.
From self-guided tours to creative response writing and hands-on activities in art, music and performance hosted by leading cultural institutions throughout the city, there’s something for everyone.
There are also special transportation options to get you around the city. During ArtPrize, buy an ArtPrize Wristband (2 for $5!) at the ArtPrize HUB, any Exhibition Center, or one of several area Meijer stores to gain unlimited rides on the DASH and all Rapid buses for the duration of the event. Or, explore on foot on a series of designated walking paths that will take you past ArtPrize Exhibition Centers and venues, along with many of the city’s natural features, landmarks, restaurants, and shops. With nearly 1,000 bicycle parking spaces available throughout downtown Grand Rapids, you can avoid parking and take your bike out.
If you are with the kids, be sure to leave extra time to explore the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum location in the heart of the competition. Participate in an ArtWalk, a three-mile group walking tour through the heart of downtown, or for something more challenging, try an ArtFitness Bike Tour. You will learn how to exercise your body and mind by exploring the core questions that guide you through a discussion about art.
During the competition, the public will award artists $360,000 in prize money by voting online, via text message, or on the mobile app. Throughout two rounds of voting, entries are narrowed down to the top ten, as voted by fans, and then the winning submission, which will receive a $200,000 prize.
While you are adventuring, examining, scouting, and participating in ArtPrize, be sure to see the other gems of the city including cultural attractions like Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park and the new Downtown Market, awesome dining and nightlife, inspiring natural beauty and exhilarating community spirit. Venture through the walkable downtown jam-packed with more than 90 restaurants, clubs, theaters and museums. Create new foodie experiences bursting with flavor and with over 20 local breweries serving up some of the finest and most unique craft brews, find why they hold the title of Beer City, USA.
For details about this year’s ArtPrize visit the michigan.org events calendar. For Grand Rapids travel help and suggestions, click here.
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