ArtPrize announces new visitor pavilion in Rosa Parks Circle


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — ArtPrize announced a new Visitor Pavilion in Rosa Parks Circle for ArtPrize 10.

A rendering unveiled Wednesday showed a temporary roof over Rosa Parks Circle. The pavilion will host a visitors center, daily education programs and multiple events, including five television broadcasts that air live on WOOD TV8:

  • Sept. 24: Juried Shortlist Event
  • Sept. 30: Public Vote Final 20
  • Oct. 1 & 2: Why These Finalists?
  • Oct. 5: ArtPrize Awards

“We are working with the city of Grand Rapids and WOOD TV8 and we are literally blowing the walls off of all ArtPrize events this year,” said Derek Call, ArtPrize director of operations and production.

ArtPrize also announced Wednesday that last year’s annual event brought more people to Grand Rapids and had a greater economic impact than the year prior.

Organizers for the world’s largest art competition said ArtPrize Nine drew more than 522,000 visitors to Grand Rapids. In 2016, that number was closer to 500,000. Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. says pedestrian traffic was up 16 percent year-over-year.

The 2017 visitors came from all 50 states and 47 countries, according to ArtPrize. Forty-one percent of them traveled from more than 30 miles away.

ArtPrize Nine had a $33 million impact on the Grand Rapids economy, according to a survey by Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group. That’s an increase of more than $4 million over the previous year.

“At year 10, our vision is to continue to improve and deepen the ArtPrize experience for our guests, and we are eager to execute new strategies that will result in more repeat visits and an even bigger impact on the city,” Jori Bennett, who was installed as ArtPrize’s new executive director last week, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, ArtPrize is relying even more on corporate sponsorships to keep its books balanced. The organization said about 60 percent of its budget is now coming from corporate sponsors; last year, that figure was about 50 percent. Overall, ArtPrize said, more than 20 corporate sponsors have committed $3.2 million through 2020.

About 24 percent of ArtPrize’s budget comes from grants from national and local foundations. The rest comes from individual donors, merchandise sales and registration fees.

Artist registration for ArtPrize 10 is happening through June 7, after which artists and the 180 registered venues will connect to decide which pieces will be displayed where. ArtPrize gives out two $200,000 grand prizes, one decided by jurors and the other by public vote.

ArtPrize 10 will run Sept. 19 through Oct. 7.

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