DDA backs new event with funds from scrapped ArtPrize 2020

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While ArtPrize has called off its 2020 competition, Grand Rapids will still have an art-centered celebration this fall.

Wednesday morning, the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority approved shifting $50,000 in funds flagged for ArtPrize to another yet-to-be named event slated for September.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. President and CEO Tim Kelly said Grand Rapids tourism and economic officials have been discussing the possibility since ArtPrize announced it was canceling this year’s competition because of challenges created by COVID-19.

“Obviously we’re not going to be able to recreate or replace (ArtPrize), but there was broad agreement that holding an event of some sort downtown would be of value,” Kelly told the board Wednesday.

DGRI plans to work with the Kent County Health Department to ensure the new event adjusts to changing coronavirus restrictions and protocols.

The event will be locally focused, take place downtown and build on previously planned and ongoing activities.

In a memo to the DDA, Kelly said the aim is to stimulate the economy hampered by the pandemic and “serve as a platform to amplify the important community conversations happening around social justice and equity.”


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