If you’re a Grand Rapids metropolitan native (like I am), you know that there’s one event the city’s known for, quite possibly within the entire United States: it’s called ArtPrize, that fanatical display reaching miles worth of a radius around the downtown area, from Coit Creative Arts Academy to the Ford Museum and all over sidewalks randomly. Displays of art for all to see, everything from the bizarre to the pristine and elegant, and everything in between.
ArtPrize is a one of a kind. That’s for sure. Here’s the thing, though: I don’t look at it as just a ‘festival’ where people get to see works of art and artists get to compete. It’s so much more than that:
What Community Relies on: Public Spaces for Society to Come Together in Fellowship
I don’t mean to sound all ‘chippery,’ but it’s true. When good people, as we all are in Grand Rapids, Michigan, come together in fellowship — either randomly on the Rapid, or for something as historic as the fireworks display on the bridge during July 4th — ultimately we’re nourishing a community, the fabric and building block of a city to keep the metropolitan heart pumping loud and clear.
This is what fuels a city from the ground up. Can you imagine if the residents of Grand Rapids, Michigan, never really spoke to each other at all or even saw each other on the streets? We’d undoubtedly have a dying city.
Mayoral candidate Rosalynn Bliss obviously sees this just fine with her initiative to promote neighborhoods in Grand Rapids as the true building blocks of our city. Without them, we’d have nothing. Without our people, we’d have no ArtPrize, really!
ArtPrize: a Time Where All of Grand Rapids, MI, Can Come Together
This goes for just about festival on schedule for Grand Rapids, Michigan, too. Truly. Remember then: it’s not just about the piece of art you’re looking at (or voting for). It’s also — and quite possibly more importantly — who you’re with while you look at it.