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Get involved in the Avenue for the Arts too!

Become a member of the Avenue for the Arts: 

Membership provides you with opportunities to showcase and sell your work and get involved in the arts community.

Help us fund our #artmatters project - We’re raising funds for a multifaceted meeting space, gallery, and Avenue headquarters. With your contribution, you could even receive a limited edition print by this month's interviewee Taylor Greenfield.

 

THE FEED

The Avenue continues to be a place where art is actively appreciated, and self-expression and critique are encouraged, and difficult problems are met with an eagerness for creative solutions.
Artworks Summer Celebration 2013, Artworks Coordinator

/Courtesy of Avenue for the Arts

Artworks Summer Celebration 2013, Artworks Coordinator


Art.Downtown 2012, Participating Artist

Art.Downtown 2012, Participating Artist  /Courtesy of Avenue for the Arts

The Market 2012, Market Coordinator

The Market 2012, Market Coordinator /Courtesy of Avenue for the Arts

Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported

Dedicated involvement takes many forms, and over time our relationship to an organization can shift from deeply personal to ancillary and back again. This month, artist and professor Taylor Cole Greenfield reflects on the impact of getting involved with building community. 

My relationship with the Avenue for the Arts started the way so many of my friendships have begun over the years: we were introduced at Pub 43, started hanging out and ended up pals for life. In fact, my Avenue anniversary is coming up this Art.Downtown. season. Six years filled with many great art shows, of course, but my history with the Avenue for the Arts has given me so much more than just a longer resume.

Despite our rather casual introduction, things with the Avenue got serious quick. As a first year graduate student in Kendall College of Art and Design’s drawing program, I was enthralled (and still am) with the incredible community of people I met through open planning meetings for events. As I moved from Avenue participant to curator, I found an even greater connection with this group of artists as individuals, in addition to my appreciation for their work. When I signed on as the Event Coordinator for the 2012 Art.Downtown., I had no idea what I was in for—but between January and April of that year I had a collection of new friends (many of whom I would later consider family) and a home for my interests. I have been many things during my time with the Avenue: artist, volunteer, curator, documenter and coordinator- each role more fulfilling than the last. Now, as a current Advisory Committee member, I get to witness its growth up close.

These experiences have been a guiding force in my own creative career, cultivating future opportunities and relationships. They also assist me in fostering this kind of growth in others. As an adjunct professor in Kendall’s drawing department, I often draw upon the rich discourse and opportunities Avenue programming provides. Giving my students ways to plug into the arts community here in Grand Rapids is invaluable, and I love showing them more of what it means to be a creative professional. For the past three years, my students and I have participated in Art.Downtown. as part of an ongoing project called “Systems of Seeing.” Encouraging my students to get involved through the simple act of showing artwork allows them to claim a bit of this city as their own, even if it’s just for an evening.

Of course, the Avenue is also a physical place—the South Division business corridor is home to dozens of businesses, non-profits, individuals, and groups, many of whom are equal partners in the vision of the Avenue. I am thrilled to live and work in a city where this level of collaboration takes place, and am inspired by the challenge of a sustainable creative community. The many shows, projects and messes that I’ve been involved with over the last several years along this beloved street are treasured memories. The street may look different- the demise of familiar places, new faces, new murals and all kinds of change- but it is still full of creative energy.

My relationship with the Avenue for the Arts is a reflection of what I love most about Grand Rapids. The Avenue has been and continues to be a place where art is actively appreciated, where self-expression and critique are encouraged, where uncomfortable situations and difficult problems are met with an eagerness for inclusive and creative solutions. This physical place, idea, collective, resource and creative laboratory is the product of deliberate and hard work on the part of so many. I am grateful to be counted among its supporters and friends. 

 

Each month the Avenue for the Arts interviews, investigates or features an artist, maker or volunteer involved with the South Divsion corridor. From residents to visiting artists we focus on the stories of how and why people make, get involved and build community in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. If you want to join in the awesome here are a few ways you can involved:

Become a member of the Avenue for the Arts! Membership provides you with opportunities to showcase and sell your work, and get involved in the arts community. Or may be you’d like to help us fund our #artmatters project - We’re raising funds for a multifaceted meeting space, gallery and Avenue headquarters. With your contribution, you could even receive a limited edition print from Taylor Greenfield.

The Avenue for the Arts is a neighborhood title for the South Division commercial corridor. We are residential, commercial and nonprofit groups working together in a creative community. We are residents in Heartside, and active participants in shaping change in our neighborhood. In 2005, we choose the Avenue for the Arts as a title to represent our commercial corridor and the projects and events that we create. Because the Avenue is powered by volunteers, guest writers create our Rapidian content. Special thanks to Taylor Greenfield, Avenue member and supporter, for her contribution.


AvenuefortheArts

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