Get Involved with Art.Downtown.
Anyone interested in participating in Art.Downtown. can now register online as a volunteer, artist, documentor or curator/site. The first Artists as Entrepreneurs workshop will be held Wednesday February 13th at 106 S. Division. For further information about Art.Downtown., join us at the next meeting, Friday the 15th at 5:30 p.m. at Pub 43. Find the Avenue for the Arts online or on Facebook.
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The breadth and depth of Art.Downtown. makes it the most exciting time of year to become involved with the Avenue for the Arts. The largest annual event organized by the Avenue for the Arts, it will feature the work of over 300 local artists. More than 30 venues will participate ranging from the UICA and the Old Public Museum to Gaspard Gallery and Craft House (two new galleries on S.Division). Because there is so much to see and so little time, trolleys will be provided throughout the evening as well as 75 volunteers stationed around town to facilitate exploration of all the sites.
Registration is open now through March 8th for anyone interested in participating as a venue, artist, curator, documenter or volunteer. This event offers a variety of ways to contribute to the thriving art scene in Grand Rapids. Meetings and workshops have been scheduled over the next few weeks so that each participant can get the most out of the experience.
For many individuals, volunteering for Art.Downtown. is an easy gateway into the local art scene and its’ endless possibilities. Alaina Clarke, a local artist, began her involvement with the Avenue for the Arts during Art.Downtown last year. She testifies, “Volunteering for the event was really fun. I enjoyed being a part of it. I had just moved back to Grand Rapids after a two year stint in North Carolina. I volunteered with my roommate and it was a really nice welcome back to the city, getting reacquainted with familiar faces and the local art scene.”
With a BFA in metalsmithing and jewelry, Clarke was thinking about starting her own jewelry design business. Volunteering for the Avenue allowed her to make personal connections with other artists that gave her opportunities to show and sell her work as well as support for the launch of her new business. Clarke further explains the importance of the event, “As artists, we thrive and are inspired when we work together. Art.Downtown. is a culmination of so many artists and it is inspiring to see the support we receive from our community! The Avenue is a way to get involved and inspire our city to embrace the artistic changes that are happening everywhere.”
In addition, involvement with the Avenue for the Arts opened many doors into the nonprofit world for Clarke. After Art.Downtown, she became an intern with Jenn Schaub, organizing the Avenue for the Arts Market. From there, she moved into the Heartside Business Association internship. She ends by saying,“These experiences reinforced my decision to return to Grand Rapids and redefine my career objectives in the nonprofit sector. I want to be as involved in the arts as I can. Being a part of the Avenue makes me want to live in Grand Rapids forever."
Art.Downtown will take place April 12th from 6p.m.- 11p.m. To register, check out avenueforthearts.com/artdowntown. Registration ends March 8th. Attend the next planning meeting on Februrary 15th at 5:30 pm at Pub 43. For more information on The Avenue for the Arts, go to avenueforthearts.com.
Contact [email protected] with additional questions.