GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 10, 2013  ArtPrize, the world’s largest art competition, today opened group volunteer registration for all businesses and organizations who want to use the event as time for coworkers and colleagues to volunteer together. Registration is open through August 2 at www.artprize.org/get-involved/volunteers/groups.

Every year, corporate teams, sponsors, community service organizations, non-profits, special needs groups and groups of friends participate. Local corporations, including Steelcase, Comerica Bank and ITC, have coordinated teams of employees as a fun and beneficial way for their employees to grow together, while giving back to their community.

“The power of volunteering is a big part of what Steelcase believes – encouraging our employees to give to the community is not only a way to increase their pride and engagement, but also a way for them to share, to learn, to experience different and diverse environments which will make our company better. ArtPrize is a part of these efforts,“ said Laurent Bernard, Steelcase VP Global Talent Management. 

Group volunteering is more than simply fun. It also benefits employees by increasing pride in their organization, improves team morale and cooperative engagement and, because it’s ArtPrize, inspires creativity.

“Group volunteers are vital for creating connections and spurring conversations among the crowds of ArtPrize participants. These conversations open us up to new ideas and bring us closer together as a community,” said Amelea Pegman, director of Community Engagement at ArtPrize. “I am deeply inspired by the commitment and energy that each organization brings as a team to the ArtPrize experience.“

To ensure that large groups can all volunteer together, at the same time, group volunteers can select their volunteer shifts before the online volunteer calendar opens to the general public. Additionally, ArtPrize gives a small gift to each member of the group that incorporates the group name, ensuring that all ArtPrize visitors recognize the local groups that support ArtPrize.

As ArtPrize guides and ambassadors of downtown Grand Rapids, group volunteers are assigned to a specific location throughout the ArtPrize district where they welcome visitors, provide directions, answer questions, and promote the area assigned. Individuals are typically paired in teams of 2-3, with all group members assigned to similar locations within the ArtPrize district.

“ArtPrize and Steelcase gave my coworkers and I an opportunity to rally together around our love of creativity and our passion for Grand Rapids,” said Jeff Schutte, director of Turnstone Market Development at Steelcase.  “Together, we spent time outside, talked to new people about challenging art, and shared information about Grand Rapids. It was a wonderful experience.”

Additional information and group volunteering signups can be found at http://www.artprize.org/get-involved/volunteers/groups.

About ArtPrize
ArtPrize is an international art competition, open to any artist and decided by public vote. It invites artists to try out new ideas on a large and diverse population of people. It seeks to broaden the critical dialogue around contemporary art by awarding the world’s largest art prize, at $560,000. Registered artists and venues connect online at artprize.org and agree to present the artwork for public display during the 19 day event. The public votes using mobile devices and the web to distribute $360,000, while an additional $200,000 in juried awards are decided by a group of international art experts. ArtPrize 2012 included 1,517 entries from 46 countries and 41 U.S. states and territories, as well as 400,000 active participants. Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 1.7 million votes for public art.

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By Meredith Fennema on