With opportunities to connect and interact both online and in downtown Grand Rapids, audience engagement takes center stage at the seventh annual ArtPrize Awards.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, September 30, 2015 – ArtPrize, the radically open international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury, today announced new and returning opportunities for audience engagement and viewership at its seventh annual ArtPrize Awards, occurring October 9.

Taking place at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre for the second consecutive year, the intimate ceremony will run concurrently with the WOOD TV8 Community Watch Party occurring in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, at Rosa Park Circle, with live coverage of the awards ceremony beginning at 7 p.m on NBC affiliate WOOD TV8. Audience members are encouraged to celebrate before the awards begin—no matter where they’re located—with an online Virtual Pre-Party and then continue the merriment following the award announcements at the official ArtPrize Awards after-party: the COMPLETE VII Dance Party at The Pyramid Scheme.

The seventh annual ArtPrize Awards will reveal the winners of $500,000 in public vote and juried prizes. Todd Herring, ArtPrize Creative Director and long-time River City Improv comedian will return as host of the show alongside ArtPrize Seven house band, Vox Vidorra.

ArtPrize Awards Virtual Pre-Party
The ArtPrize Awards Virtual Pre-Party running from 5 – 9 p.m. and hosted in partnership with Founders Brewing Co., will provide an opportunity for those who cannot attend the awards—or who simply want a sneak peak behind the scenes—with exclusive footage from the Civic Theatre ceremony setup, including red-carpet photos and interviews. This online event will also contain a competition component, with a series of Founders Brewing Co. merchandise and gift card giveaways. Those who wish to "attend" the Virtual Pre-Party are encouraged to keep an eye on the ArtPrize Facebook page where invitation details will soon be announced.

WOOD TV8 Community Watch Party
The Community Watch Party at Rosa Parks Circle will commence at 5:30 p.m., with a Founders Brewing Co. tent providing beer for purchase, as well as a variety of food trucks in attendance. Visitors are encouraged to head down early and enjoy the anticipation—with live music provided by Kalamazoo native and American Idol finalist, Matt Giraud—before the winners announcements commence. A jumbotron will begin live event coverage from the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre at 7 p.m., and the seventh annual ArtPrize Awards will commence at 7:45 p.m.

Grand Rapids-based DJ COMPLETE VII will host a Dance Party at downtown Grand Rapids venue, The Pyramid Scheme, which will serve as the official ArtPrize Awards After Party. In addition to COMPLETE VII, DJ AB will also play a set. COMPLETE VII Dance Parties have been occurring regularly at The Pyramid Scheme for the past year, gaining a loyal following. This event is 21+ and runs from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. Tickets are now available at ticketweb.com.

Civic Theatre
An historic institution in West Michigan and one of the top five community theatres in the nation, the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre serves over 120,000 audience members and 1,600 students annually with the dedicated assistance of over 800 volunteers. The nonprofit organization celebrates the burgeoning live theatre community, bringing world-class shows to the stage every season and engaging viewers of all ages and backgrounds. The Meijer Majestic Theatre at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre will again offer an intimate, beautifully furnished and equipped space for nominated Artists, Sponsors, ArtFans, credentialed media, and special guests to gather together to celebrate and honor the winners of ArtPrize Seven.

By Emma Higgins on