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What changes will be made with ArtPrize 2.0

ArtPrize returns to Grand Rapids on Sept. 14 and continues through Oct. 1, 2023. Here's what you need to know:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — ArtPrize 2.0 is coming. 

After 13 years, organizers handed over the reins to the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI), and Kendall College of Art and Design.

They say the partnership will build on the legacy of the original international art competition and begin a new chapter.

This year, the public vote grand prize is set at $125,000. The five juried category winners claim $100,000, second place gets $50,000 and third and honorable mentions will get $25,000. Awards up to $20,000 will be granted to 51 artists based on scores in specific categories, as well. 

MillerKnoll will be awarding visibility prizes at $75,000 each. These will be awarded to pieces or artists recognizing under-represented communities and demographics.

In the first ArtPrize 2.0, 74% of the 928 artists are based in Michigan and 21% are local. Outside of Michigan, 31 states and 12 countries will be represented. In Grand Rapids, there are 152 exhibiting venues.

A new ArtPrize Oasis is planned for 555 Monroe, with events and activities for all. Organizers say there will be yoga, meditation, art workshops, block parties, intramural soccer tournaments, yard games and longue seating. 

A closing ceremony is also set for Rosa Parks Circle. It'll be an opportunity to celebrate the winner as well as gather as a community. There will be local food vendors, immersive experiences and a live musical performance by The Dip. 

The ArtPrize Board of Directors said they were 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 look largely the same for 2023."

ArtPrize is scheduled for Sept. 14 through Oct. 1, 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 the second version of the event.

"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.

You can stay up to date on their website here.


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