We’re currently in the midst of planning for 2017, and it’s hard to believe that in just over six short months kids and families from across the region will be heading to downtown Grand Rapids to experience ArtPrize Nine. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be confirming field trip events and activities available to school groups through our Education Days programming; and working with a group of returning and new ArtPrize Partner Schools on year-round art education opportunities.

“By far, the most exciting part of 2016 was the 119% increase in Grand Rapids Public Schools students participating in ArtPrize educational programs,” said Becca Guyette, ArtPrize Education Director. “I could not be more proud of the work we do with GRPS and I am honored to work with the talented educators, students, and passionate administrators who pave the way for this work.”

As we look ahead at what 2017 has in store, we’ve been reflecting on last year’s event for inspiration and insight. ArtPrize Eight saw the return of ArtPrize Labs stations and studio events where visitors of all ages could create their own works of art -- and the launch of the Mobile Workshop, which brought this experience out to pop-up venues around the city. We piloted the STEAM Village learning lab, complete with a virtual reality experience, coding stations, experiential learning software and the 2015 grand prize-winning entries. And we deepened our partnership with GRPS to provide arts education opportunities to children and families living and working in our community.

“Grand Rapids Public Schools is proud to partner with ArtPrize. Through our work together we are expanding opportunities for students and families, providing increased access to quality arts education experiences within our community,” said Kurt Johnson, GRPS Executive Director for K-12 Fine Arts and Student Activities. “We are excited to continue our partnership with ArtPrize to create numerous community arts education opportunities for our students and families for years to come.”

This past year alone:

  • 18,800+ students from across the state of Michigan came to ArtPrize through Education Days -- to explore, create, experience contemporary art and participate in conversations about art and culture.
  • $10,000 in transportation grants were awarded to schools to help offset field trip costs.
  • 11,500+ visitors participated in unique experiential learning opportunities through ArtPrize Labs.
  • 7 local schools, including 6 GRPS schools, joined the ArtPrize Partner Schools program -- working closely with our team year-round to help deepen their students' ArtPrize experience within the classroom.
  • Our team created online resources and lesson plans for educators to deepen their students’ learning experience beyond their field trip.

Through all of the programming mentioned above, we seek to provide opportunities for everyone to have a voice in the conversation of what art is and why it matters -- inspiring generations of artists and art-lovers.

For a complete look at 2016 ArtPrize Education programming, check out our online annual report.

Stay tuned for these upcoming posts on art education at ArtPrize! Over the next few weeks we’ll be:

  • Heading to UICA with Cook Arts Center for a spring program.
  • Offering a sneak peek at Education Days partner programs, as well as Kevin Kammeraad and his new partnership with GRPS and PNC Bank.
  • Announcing an exciting opportunity for schools and afterschool programs.

A huge thank you to the ArtPrize Sponsors who make this arts education programming possible each year. ArtPrize Education Days is presented by PNC Bank. The STEAM Village is powered by Switch. ArtPrize Labs is supported by Amway, Grand Valley State University and Herman Miller Cares. And the Mobile Workshop is sponored by Herman Miller Cares. We couldn't do it without them!

By Jaenell Woods on