The ArtPrize Story

ArtPrize was created to disrupt the landscape of curated art prizes and to create and celebrate public art for the people, by the people.

The vision for ArtPrize was simple: to create an art competition open to anyone willing to submit work and to award the world’s largest art prize to a participating artist based solely on votes from the public at the event. The first ArtPrize competition was held in 2009. That year, more than 150 venues throughout the city displayed the entries by 1,262 artists from more than forty states and a dozen countries.

Over the last ten years, ArtPrize has evolved, building a suite of grant programs to support the artists, venues and educators that make the event possible, and national pitch nights that have grown the scope and reach of the competition. 

In 2011, ArtPrize became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Directors. Though the initial vision for ArtPrize was based on the signature competition, today the organization conducts multiple events and programs that shine a light on the impact of the arts in our community and beyond.

Your Gift Matters

ArtPrize is dependent on the generosity of individuals who have a passion to bring art to our community. Donating to ArtPrize provides support for critical ArtPrize programs that serve the social good. As a donor, your investment in the ArtPrize organization will have a lasting effect on education, business and art in our city for generations to come.

Here are some of the ways your support of the organization impacts our community:

  • ArtPrize: Our original signature event, a biennial art competition, transforms downtown Grand Rapids into an immersive arts and cultural experience over 19 days. ArtPrize is free and open to the public and attracts over 500,000 visitors.
  • Project Series: Produced by ArtPrize, these multi-sited exhibitions feature nationally and internationally renowned artists commissioned to create massive outdoor sculptures, installations, performances, urban interventions and community-oriented projects. Learn about the first in this new series, Project 1: Crossed Lines.
  • ArtPrize Programs: Nearly 19,000 PreK-12th grade students participate in meaningful learning experiences including field trips, art projects, tours and more. ArtPrize also supports participating artists through a robust granting program, seeks to mitigate environmental impact, and connect people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to the world of art.

One-Time Gifts

ArtPrize depends on the generosity of individuals who have a passion to bring art to our community. Whether you can commit $10 or $10,000, your gift helps us achieve our mission — to produce citywide contemporary art experiences that encourage critical discourse, celebrate artists, transform urban space and promote cultural understanding.

Gifts of $1,500 or more include recognition on the ArtPrize website. As part of our inner circle, donors at this level receive benefits that include:

  • Invites to exclusive events
  • Regular updates on the latest news
  • Access to the Artist Clubhouse during the ArtPrize competition

Looking for other inside access? Consider a sustaining gift with ArtClub.

Sustaining Gifts

ArtClub members support the arts through monthly, recurring giving. Donors in our ArtClub are committed to creating a thriving, art-centered community that is accessible to everyone.

As a sustaining donor, ArtClub members receive the following benefits:

  • Invites to special behind-the-scenes events
  • Regular updates on the latest news
  • Access to the Artist Clubhouse during the ArtPrize competition

Sustaining Gifts Coming Soon