ArtPrize seeks volunteers to welcome 400,000 visitors to Grand Rapids during the sixth annual event.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. August 14, 2014 – ArtPrize, the radically open, international art competition today announced the launch of volunteer registration for the sixth annual event. ArtPrize seeks volunteers to fill over 12,000 volunteer hours this fall, who through their time and dedication form an essential component of the visitor experience. The ArtPrize Volunteer season will commence with the Volunteer Kickoff Event: Carnival of Curiosity on August 21 and will continue through October 12.

Volunteers lie at the heart of the ArtPrize event, as nearly 1,000 individuals, friends, families, and groups step forward as ArtPrize Volunteers to welcome over 400,000 visitors to Grand Rapids each year. Their enthusiasm and commitment truly makes ArtPrize a community effort and is the cornerstone for the annual event’s success.

“ArtPrize belongs to the people that participate in it—artists, venues, visitors, and volunteers alike—who experience a collective sense of curiosity about this city, the art, creativity, and the community that they belong to,” said ArtPrize community engagement director Amelea Pegman. “There are many reasons that people come down to ArtPrize, and our volunteers offer a spark to ignite this curiosity and start the conversations that are so unique to this annual event.”

Volunteer schedules will be open to the public on August 22 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The online self-registration and schedule-building system at artprize.org allows volunteers to select the positions and shifts to meet their unique interests and availability. The schedule of volunteer shifts will go live on August 22. Returning volunteers may log into their volunteer accounts to view the schedule and select their desired shifts through October 12—however new volunteers must create a volunteer account by September 18 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Volunteer Kickoff Event: Carnival of Curiosity

The ArtPrize Volunteer season will launch with the Volunteer Kickoff Event: Carnival of Curiosity. Everyone is invited to join the ArtPrize team at this community event, a time of celebration and anticipation of the  upcoming ArtPrize season. Founders Brewing’s 2014 ArtPrize Beer, Mosaic Promise will make its public debut at the event, and Love’s Ice Cream will be offering tastes of their locally-sourced, organic frozen treats. Additionally, those interested in volunteering will have the opportunity to create a volunteer account on site in preparation for volunteer schedules going live on August 22. The ArtPrize Volunteer Kickoff Event presented by Grand Rapids Community College will be held at the Ledyard Building in downtown Grand Rapids on August 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Volunteer Training

The required Volunteer Training for ArtPrize 2014 presented by Notions Marketing will offer morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend sessions from September 15 to September 20 at the ArtPrize HUB. During training, volunteers will hear from ArtPrize staff and partners about the event’s history and how it functions, as well as participate in breakout sessions around specific volunteer roles.

“We absolutely love the idea of supporting the ArtPrize volunteer community for their tireless contribution,” commented Notions Marketing, ArtPrize Volunteer Sponsor. “As a primary supplier to your local craft or art supply store, expanding the creative arts industry is at the core of our business. Like you, we are proud to be a part of this great West Michigan event and proud to shine a light on the richness that the creative process adds to life.”

Volunteer Opportunities

There are a variety of volunteer opportunities to fit everyone’s schedule and interests during ArtPrize. HUB Volunteers greet visitors inside the HUB and at the pop-up park, assist in the retail space, and act as docents for the 2012 and 2013 Public Vote Grand Prize winners on display in the ArtPrize HUB Soundstage. Wayfinders serve as ArtPrize tour guides and ambassadors of downtown Grand Rapids, stationed around the ArtPrize district and equipped with maps and resources to welcome visitors, they provide directions, answer questions, and promote activities and Venues in the surrounding area. New volunteer opportunities for ArtPrize 2014 include Sustainability Posts at the new bike valet and zero-waste zones, encouraging visitors to maintain an eco-friendly event, and the Media Street Team to document the event and ArtPrize special events.

Artist Hosting

For those who wish to get involved but cannot share their time through the traditional ArtPrize volunteer program, Artist Hosting presents an equally important opportunity. ArtPrize attracts artists to Grand Rapids from around the world. Each year, ArtPrize helps match out-of-town Artists with volunteers offering free temporary housing, offsetting some of the cost associated with participating in the event. The deadline to register for the Artist Hosting program is September 3.

Volunteer Rewards

Volunteering with ArtPrize is not without its perks. Every ArtPrize Volunteer receives a free Event Guide with map, an ArtPrize Wristband for free public transportation on The Rapid and DASH transit systems, access to the Volunteer Lounge located at the Ledyard Building for refreshment and relaxation, and a daily raffle entry to win exciting prizes donated by local businesses and organizations. Additionally, volunteers will receive a gift from the Local Epicurean after their first shift, for every three shifts completed volunteers earn discounts towards purchasing merchandise at the ArtPrize Retail store located in the HUB, and after completing five shifts each volunteer will earn an exclusive ArtPrize volunteer gift.

For details on ArtPrize’s volunteer program and how to register, visit artprize.org/get-involved/volunteers. ArtPrize 2014 will run from September 24 to October 12 in downtown Grand Rapids.

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 $260,000, while an additional $300,000 in juried awards are decided by a group of international art experts. ArtPrize 2014 will include 1,536 entries representing 51 countries and 42 U.S. states and territories. ArtPrize 2013 attracted more than 400,000 active participants. Since its inception, individuals of all backgrounds have cast more than 1.7 million votes for public art.

ArtPrize is made possible in part through the generous support of many organizations. Premier Leadership sponsors include Amway, The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Founders Brewing Company, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Meijer, PNC Bank and The Rapid. Leadership sponsors include Consumers Energy, CWD Real Estate Investment, Deloitte, The Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, The Frey Foundation, The Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Haworth, The Iserv Company, Steelcase Inc., Trivalent Group | HP, The VanderWeide Family Foundation and Wolverine Worldwide. The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation is the Founding Sponsor of ArtPrize.

By Jaenell Woods on