GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids art gallery and event space is on a mission to ignite social and economic change.
Lions and Rabbits was founded in 2016, but now they’ve officially launched as a nonprofit.
Hannah Berry, the organization’s executive director, said the team originally wanted Lions and Rabbits to be an event space that sold local artwork, but they started getting more involved with corridor improvement, specifically in the Creston neighborhood.
“If we can impact this corridor by arts and arts education with the people who live and work here, then the people who live and work here would be able to thrive a well,” Berry said.
That work led her to the idea of relaunching as a nonprofit.
“Some of the arts that we’re working in are absolutely, 100% marketing arts, which don’t need to be nonprofit. But other things that we’re doing — we’re working with neighbor residents to do after school programs and stuff like that, so that kind of stuff that if we can be supported in that, then we can do much more work than what we were doing before.”
The goal now, Berry said, is bringing people to Creston so they can experience the impact that Lions and Rabbits and local artists are making.
“There’s so many artists in West Michigan,” she said. “The artist community needs more support. We understand the power, like I said earlier, of arts and experience. So when you bring them together, then you can fundraise, so the more experience that we can bring to the community, the more we can support local artists,” Berry said.
Lions and Rabbits will be hosting a variety of different events in the upcoming future, including a paint by number mural fundraiser and a happy hour, hoping to raise awareness and support. They’ll also be featured in Art Prize 2021.