SiTE:LAB ArtPrize launch + The Rapidian benefit
What: SiTE:LAB’s ArtPrize preview party benefitting The Rapidian, featuring food and beverages by Barfly Ventures, including a specially-brewed SiTE:LAB beer. Plus the opportunity to share your Morton memories in The Rapidian’s Story Fort.
Why: See SiTE:LAB’s 2014 ArtPrize exhibition before anyone else and help further the mission of The Rapidian, your hyperlocal source for news in Grand Rapids written and reported by its citizens.
When: 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Where: The Morton, 72 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids, MI
Ticket Information: Tickets are available in advance for $25, plus a small processing fee. All proceeds benefit The Rapidian. Buy tickets here.
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What do you get when you combine passionate people with a common belief and lots of drive? You get the likes of SiTE:LAB and The Rapidian. One is an all-volunteer, nonprofit arts group that hosts temporary art installations in previously vacant and underutilized downtown buildings. The other is Grand Rapids’ very own hyperlocal source for news written and reported by our own citizens.
In the spirit of collaboration and community, the two groups are coming together for for SiTE:LAB's ArtPrize 2014 exhibition preview on Tuesday, September 23. The exhibition preview will benefit The Rapidian as it celebrates its fifth anniversary. Those who attend the preview night party get a private look at the exhibition and the bonus of contributing to The Rapidian’s mission of building community and civic engagement through citizen journalism in Grand Rapids.
"Thanks to all of the community efforts to help create The Rapidian, we're still strong and continually growing five years later. I'm grateful and honored to be a part of supporting our local citizens by providing this platform for free speech. We've grown a strong support system for citizen journalism in our community, and I look forward to many more anniversaries to come," says Holly Bechiri, managing editor for The Rapidian.
Rapidian citizen journalists write on a variety of topics including arts and entertainment, community safety, local economy, local government, local food and brewery cultures, media and reviews. In 2009, their first year, The Rapidian published 258 citizen-written articles. Five years later, the hyperlocal news source has published over 700 articles and counting in 2014 alone.
Rapidian volunteers will set up a story fort during the preview party where people can share their memories about the Morton, downtown and their experiences as readers of or reporters for The Rapidian. The story fort is part of Story Matters, a story-collecting project from the Rapidian and GRTV.
“Ultimately, our artists and Rapidian writers are both telling important stories,” says SiTE:LAB co-founder and curator Paul Amenta. “We’re excited about the artists we’ve brought together for SiTE:LAB @ The Morton and happy to be able to host this preview evening to celebrate The Rapidian’s anniversary.”
With the common goal of producing another phenomenal ArtPrize show, SiTE:LAB artists and volunteers have been working for months to bring the SiTE:LAB @ the Morton exhibition together. The show covers three floors of the former Morton Hotel, currently under a full-scale renovation by Rockford Construction. SiTE:LAB’s 2014 ArtPrize exhibition is comprised of site-specific installations and time-based art, featuring 13 projects by artists from as far away as Berlin, Germany to as near as Grand Rapids.
“We are fortunate again this year to have such a fantastic group of artists showing work with us during ArtPrize," says Amenta. “With this exhibit, we’re adding an artistic chapter to the Morton’s long history and bringing attention to The Rapidian. As with our previous venues, this is another building that so many people have ties to. The stories that are coming to us and to Rockford about the space are incredible.”
Get your tickets now and come see for yourself what’s so great about the SiTE:LAB @ The Morton exhibition and show your support for The Rapidian on Tuesday, September 23 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
For a complete list of artists showing during SiTE:LAB @ The Morton, click here.
SiTE:LAB creates temporary site-specific art projects aimed at facilitating dynamic collaborations between the art, education, business, and cultural communities of Grand Rapids