GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) has officially opened the doors to its new Westside headquarters Wednesday morning.

The new facility, located at 614 First St. NW, Suite 300, will occupy the entire top floor of the brand new three-stroy building. The 22,040 square foot space offers the community programming through visual arts and technology engagement, workforce development, and social enterprise, all with a focus on providing equitable access to opportunity for families in West Michigan.

There was a donor event and ribbon cutting with representatives of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, community partners, staff and students Wednesday morning at the new facility.

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WMCAT ribbon cutting ceremony at new facility on Grand Rapids' Westside.
Courtesy of WMCAT

After a community-driven capital campaign that exceeded its $8.5 million goal, the nonprofit was able to move in ahead of schedule and on budget. The facility is located on a block of new development, including the Bridge Street Market. Local architecture firm Lott3Metz custom-designed a space that features Steelcase furniture. Custer, a Steelcase dealer, collaborated with WMCAT to create integrated learning environments that will meet the unique needs of various WMCAT students.

WMCAT's new Westside facility includes:

  • Increased studio, classroom and collaborative spaces.
  • Seven studios available for creative programming in arts and technology.
  • A recording booth for music and video production
  • A dark room for photography
  • Full-outfitted ceramics studio
  • Specially-designed studios for fiber arts, illustration, and creative computing.
  • Four classrooms and one pharmacy lab are available for workforce development programming.
  • An innovative, custom-designed training space that is inspired by Stanford University’s d.school and the IBM Innovation Lab.
  • A town hall and café area to foster community and connections between students, staff and the community.
  • A gallery and teen space to showcase finished projects, and host guest speakers and performers

WMCAT says its previous and first location on East Fulton Street was too small and prohibiting growth for unique programming across the entire organization.

Classes for adults and teens begin September 10.

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