ArtPrize operates according to a Mission and a set of Guiding Principles. Recently the ground shifted, and so far the policies and statements of the current  administration have made what were once broadly agreeable sentiments into urgent calls to action.

The ArtPrize team is committed to these principles so we’re  compelled to speak out. 

ArtPrize opposes any efforts to:

  • Discriminate against anyone based on religion, race, gender, sexual identity, physical ability or economic status. 
  • Detain or persecute refugees and immigrants. 
  • Limit or undermine a free press or freedom of speech.  
  • Prevent any child in the United States from accessing a quality education that includes the arts and humanities.

ArtPrize has always existed to encourage exchange between disparate points of view, and the tensions that arise are a key feature of the event. Now, the cultural and political frictions that animate ArtPrize have suddenly become much more intense. Disagreements are messy and minds don’t necessarily change, but providing a meeting ground for dissent and contradictory ideas is as important to art as it is to democracy.

ArtPrize hasn’t changed and our mission remains the same: ArtPrize is an international art competition and festival open to all and determined equally by public vote and expert jury. We encourage critical discourse, celebrate artists, transform urban space and promote cultural understanding.

Here are our guiding principles:

ArtPrize is Open. Any artist can enter. Any space in the district can be a venue. Artists and venues connect at artprize.org to independently organize. ArtPrize is free to the public, who vote for the winners.

ArtPrize Celebrates Artists. We celebrate the vision and courage of artists who take risks and embrace the spirit of ArtPrize.

ArtPrize is a Catalyst. We build community through countless instances of independent participation. Everyone has a voice in the conversation and a stake in the outcome.

ArtPrize Transforms Urban Space. By working with independent venues and curators who create unique experiences, we strive to fill every available space with art.

ArtPrize is an Educational Experience. ArtPrize provides programs and resources that transform Grand Rapids into an open learning laboratory where students, teachers and visitors have meaningful learning experiences, inspiring generations of artists and art-lovers.

ArtPrize Challenges Everyone. Unpredictable by design, ArtPrize vigorously promotes examination of opinions, values and beliefs, encouraging all participants to step outside of their comfort zones. We expect that this will surprise and delight but may also confound and infuriate.

ArtPrize Generates Conversation. Because of its open, independently organized format, ArtPrize expects and embraces critical discourse and debate from all perspectives.

ArtPrize Promotes Social Good. ArtPrize is not just for “anyone” it’s for “everyone.” We produce programs that are intentionally inclusive and that have positive social and economic impact. We believe that real involvement for all happens by embracing identity and experience.

ArtPrize Embraces Technology. Technology is baked into the ArtPrize model and makes it possible. Pivotal to success are innovative features and functionality for our stakeholders that are constantly improving.

ArtPrize is an Evolving Experiment. We are agile, constantly soliciting stakeholder feedback and implementing year-over-year improvements that are data-driven and thoughtfully executed. Change is embraced and encouraged.

By ArtPrize on