The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum celebrates the art of play and promotes learning through interactive, hands-on environments and programs. We are excited to partner with their fun and energetic staff, who offer early childhood programs to classrooms, daycare centers, and their families during ArtPrize Education Days.

I had the opportunity to interview Jessica Luiz, GRCM's Education Manager, to learn more about the museum and their engaging programs:

Becca Guyette (BG): Tell me about yourself.

Jessica Luiz (JL): I am the Education Manager at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and have been playing professionally here at the GRCM for four-and-a-half years. My background is in Pre-K education and theatre, and I feel very lucky to have found a career where I get to play and encourage play!

BG: What is the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum?

JL: GRCM celebrates childhood and the joy of learning by providing an interactive, hands-on environment that inspires learning and encourages self-directed exploration.

Our official statement of values summarizes this nicely:

  • Play is essential for healthy development.
  • Play has the power to transform.
  • Play benefits all ages.
  • Everyone has the right to play.
  • Play benefits families.

BG: What can families expect to see at GRCM for ArtPrize Education Days this fall?

JL: The GRCM offers a special art and parent engagement workshop for pre-school children and their grown-ups. This is a program we look forward to all year. Children and their grown-ups get to tell a story together with movement and music, learn about art from an ArtPrize artist, and learn about the importance of play in child development from our Play Expert. Plus, play time at the museum!

BG: How many years has GRCM has been offering early childhood programs to school groups visiting ArtPrize?

JL: The GRCM has been offering this program since 2011. The ArtPrize Education Days program works in conjunction with our Discovering Play Program, a program focused on play education for parents of preschoolers.

Click here to learn more about GRCM.

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By Becca Guyette on