Education Days, presented by PNC Bank, will bring over 13,000 students to ArtPrize this fall, and ArtPrize Labs launches year-round programming during the event’s seventh edition.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. August 20, 2015 – ArtPrize, the radically open international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury, today announced education programming that will bring children from across the state to ArtPrize to explore and tap into their creativity at the event’s seventh edition. ArtPrize Education Days programming, presented by PNC Bank, returns with a renewed energy, alongside exciting new year-round arts education programming known as ArtPrize Labs, set to launch in conjunction with ArtPrize Seven this fall.

“The entire ArtPrize event is a hands-on contemporary arts experience for all ages, filled with limitless opportunities to discover, learn and create,” noted ArtPrize Education Manager, Becca Guyette. “Through Education Days and ArtPrize Labs, we seek to provide authentic, intuitive programming that will cultivate future art patrons, creative professionals and active citizens.”

Education Days
Bringing over 13,000 students and educators from around the state to downtown Grand Rapids for 19 days of unique learning experiences, ArtPrize Education Days—presented by long-time partner PNC Bank—offers an array of opportunities for educators to get their classrooms involved. From early childhood education through high school, students of all ages and their teachers are invited to take full advantage of tours, programs, grants, and educational resources.

Through a series of Educator Grants, ArtPrize provides support to cultural institutions that are administering best practice arts education programming during the ArtPrize event. The following ArtPrize Seven Education Days institutional partners received a total of $41,000 to create innovative programming with their artists for visiting students:

  • Artists Creating Together & Grand Rapids Downtown Market
  • Diocese of Grand Rapids
  • Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities & SiTE:LAB
  • Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum
  • Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
  • Grand Rapids Public Museum
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Kendall College of Art & Design (in-kind partner)
  • St. Cecilia Music Center
  • Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

These grants combined with the continued support of Education Days partner, PNC Bank, ensure that all Education Days programs—whether produced by ArtPrize or partner organizations—are free of charge to participating school groups. To supplement this programming, ArtPrize and its partner institutions created a series of Education Days kits and program guides, which are rooted in best practice and designed with specific learning objectives in mind. Educators interested in bringing their students to ArtPrize Seven are encouraged to preview programming options and these supplemental resources at to begin planning their field trip.

“From early childhood education through high school, ArtPrize Education Days are designed to get kids thinking, playing, and experimenting in order to develop their full creative potential,” said PNC Regional President Sean Welsh. “By partnering with ArtPrize, we hope to make a positive difference in the lives of local kids that will last a lifetime. That’s why we have extended our sponsorship of ArtPrize Education Days for three more years.” 

Registration for Education Days programming opens next week Wednesday, August 26 at 8 a.m. EST. Educators can preview available programming and register here. Additionally, August 26 marks the opening of Transportation Grants. Offered on a first-come, first-served basis, schools will be able to apply here to receive a grant of up to $100—intended to help offset field trip costs and ensure that school groups are able to visit ArtPrize this fall.

Additional partnerships for ArtPrize Seven include Head Start, which will invite its 64 classrooms, including children and parents, to head down to ArtPrize this fall for the organization’s September Family Engagement Day. Family Engagement Day will include teacher-guided tours using ArtPrize lesson plans and visits to the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, St Cecilia Music Center, and the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Grand Rapids, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore, Susan G Komen, Project MACHO at the Hispanic Center, and others will also be participating in new after-school Education Days programming.

ArtPrize Labs
New for this year, ArtPrize Labs—a series of year-round experiential learning opportunities sponsored by Amway, Grand Valley State University, and Herman Miller Cares—is set to launch at the seventh annual event, with the anticipation of serving 8,000 children and their families in its first year. ArtPrize has partnered with community organizations and local institutions to offer events, educational resources, workshops, youth art competitions, residencies, and more—all intended to provide the tools, programs, and support so that all ages can engage in a meaningful way during the ArtPrize event and year-round.

ArtPrize-produced ArtPrize Labs programming includes Saturday events featuring hands-on creative activities inspired by the ArtPrize artist entry categories. ArtPrize will also offer Drop-In Studios throughout the 19-day event, where families can engage in a self-directed creative experience.

Additionally, ArtPrize partner organizations will offer several family-oriented programs throughout ArtPrize Seven. Families are encouraged to check out the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Drop-In Family Saturdays and Sundays to celebrate the season in GRAMStudio, creating collaged artwork. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum will also offer several Family Art Nights, where attendees will work together under the guidance of the Children’s Museum’s staff art educator to create the art that they imagine. The Children’s Museum will also bring back Kids ArtFest on Sheldon Blvd, with free outdoor art stations, performances, and more. And partnering with the Downtown Market is Artists Creating Together to produce Creative Lab, a family-friendly event welcoming individuals of all ages and abilities to experiment with art through sensory activities.

ArtPrize Labs Schedule of Activities

  • 3D Studio | September 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ArtPrize HUB
  • 2D Studio | October 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ArtPrize HUB
  • Time-Based Studio | October 10 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ArtPrize HUB
  • Drop-In Studios | September 23 – October 11 daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ArtPrize HUB, and Noon to 8 p.m. at the AccessArt Lounge. Note: Closed Saturdays.
  • GRAM Drop-In Family Saturdays | September 26 and 27; October 3, 4 and 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Grand Rapid Art Museum
  • GRCM Family Art Nights | September 24, October 1 and 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
  • GRCM Kids Art Fest | September 27 from Noon to 5 p.m. outside the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
  • ACT Creative Lab | October 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, in partnership with Artists Creating Together

And seeking new ways to expand ArtPrize Labs and its educational program reach beyond the 19-day event, ArtPrize will pilot a school residency program in 2016, supported by the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation. During this residency, a classroom will work with creative professionals to explore creative placemaking through the lens of ArtPrize. Creative professionals will lead students through a collaborative design challenge to create a temporary or permanent piece for community display.

ArtPrize Seven will take place from September 23 to October 11, 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

By Jaenell Woods on