Organization to pause operations as a result of cancellation

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (June 10, 2020) – ArtPrize’s board of directors today announced the cancellation of the organization’s 2020 exhibition, joining many other festivals that have cancelled as a result of COVID 19 related uncertainties. The event had been scheduled to take place from Sept. 16 to Oct. 4, 2020 in downtown Grand Rapids.  

“Everyone had hoped to find modifications that would enable us to host the exhibition safely,” said ArtPrize board member Marc Schwartz. “We initially shifted plans to focus on outdoor spaces and large indoor venues.  However, after analyzing the situation further and considering the unknowns, we realized that hosting such an event was not the best course forward. Although very disappoint-ing, we believe it is the best decision to ensure the well-being of our constituents.”

The global COVID 19 pandemic created many obstacles that prevented ArtPrize from hosting an impactful and safe event at the level the community, artists, sponsors, venues, staff and fans of ArtPrize have come to expect. Challenges included concerns regarding artist and tourist travel, uncertainty regarding venues and possible restrictions, unpredictability regarding permitted gatherings in the State, and other safety, health and planning uncertainties. Despite the best efforts of the ArtPrize team and generous, unwavering support from businesses, community organizers, the City of Grand Rapids and many others, these challenges were not able to be overcome and have forced the board to cancel ArtPrize 2020.

“I want to thank everyone who has played a role in attempting to host ArtPrize this year despite challenges unlike anything we have ever experienced before,” said ArtPrize Founder Rick DeVos. “The ArtPrize community is talented and innovative, and we appreciate each and every one of you. While we won’t come together to experience art as we have in prior years, I hope that all of us can find our own unique way to connect with Grand Rapids in the months ahead.  Our community is known as one that comes together in challenging times and we all need each other now more than ever.”

The ArtPrize organization will pause its overall operations as a result of the 2020 cancellation and take time to evaluate the possibility of future events. Artist and venue registration fees will be refunded. Sponsors that had previously committed to participate in ArtPrize 2020 will be contacted in the coming days to arrange for the cancellation of partnership agreements. 

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ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days every other fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. ArtPrize is free and open to the public. The biennial competition attracts over 500,000 visitors. In 2014 and 2015, ArtPrize was the most attended pub-lic art event in the world, according to The Art Newspaper’s annual “Big Ticket List.” ArtPrize is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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