GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After decades of “pioneering the contemporary arts in the region,” the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts is closings its doors on Friday.

In 1977, the UICA was opened by a group of artists in Grand Rapids, according to its website. It had multiple homes throughout the years, before moving into the building at the intersection of Fulton Street and Division Avenue.

It was forced to downsize during the pandemic and it moved into the Kendall College of Art and Design’s Woodbridge N. Ferris building on Pearl Street near Division Avenue.

Kendall College of Art and Design, Ferris State University and community donors helped to support UICA’s programming and overhead expenses.

In December, Kendall College announced UICA would be closing on March 3. The university said UICA has not been able to overcome the challenges it faced during the pandemic. It has also not been able to maintain enough funding to remain operational or become sustainable.

“Although UICA as an organization may be ending, its innovative spirit and focus on elevating contemporary arts and artists in West Michigan will continue in new ways with KCAD’s leadership role in the next iteration of ArtPrize,” the university said in a press release.

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