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After 13 years, ArtPrize prepares for new vision, new leadership

The partnership will build on the legacy of the original international art competition and begin a new chapter called "ArtPrize 2.0."

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After 13 years, ArtPrize organizers will be handing over the reins to the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI), and Kendall College of Art and Design.

The partnership will build on the legacy of the original international art competition and begin a new chapter called "ArtPrize 2.0."

The ArtPrize Board of Directors says they will be closing operations but is grateful to the community for 13 years of support to make the event possible.

“What started as an experiment in 2009 quickly became something more, and we have an entire community to thank for embracing the ArtPrize idea and taking it to amazing heights,” said ArtPrize Founder and Chairman Rick DeVos. “While there are certainly mixed emotions, we know the time is right to conclude the original ArtPrize experiment and open up space for new energy and creativity. We are thrilled that the partnership of DGRI, KCAD, and the City of Grand Rapids is stepping forward to continue to produce an incredible fall event.” 

Tim Kelly, President and CEO of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. says they'll be working on the next event, hoping to keep the interest alive.

"We'll be doing an event in 2023," said Kelly. "We're kind of in this transitional organizational phase right now. But from the public's perspective, things should should look largely the same for 2023."

Since the very first event in 2009, ArtPrize has awarded more than $6 million through public votes, juried awards and grants. ArtPrize annually awarded $450,000 directly to artists. 

“Every destination community has a destination event that captures the spirit and aspirations of that community. For us, ArtPrize has been a manifestation of the independent creative spirit that defines Grand Rapids, and has captured the imagination of people from around the world,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalyn Bliss. “Rick DeVos and the ArtPrize Board have laid out a roadmap and a foundation that we’re grateful for and excited to build upon.”

ArtPrize has always been a big driver of tourism to Grand Rapids. Doug Small, President and CEO of Experience GR said, they're looking forward to 2023.

"So I think with these organizations that have stepped up to create a new event vision that, in my opinion, will go well beyond the traditional art prize that you've seen, from involving technology and other aspects is hugely exciting, and a great opportunity that I know, I'm going to ask staff to just embrace and let's get after it," said Small.

Official plans for ArtPrize 2.0 have yet to be announced, but you can stay up to date through their website.

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