The Rapidian

ArtPrize Seven turns Grand Rapids into giant music festival

ArtPrize Seven boasts 78 song entries with live performances throughout the city, The Eddy Music Festival, a variety nightly concerts and performances and big name headliners such as The Avett Brothers, Charles Bradley and Joshua Davis.
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ArtPrize Seven Music Highlights

The Avett Brothers and Brett Dennen at The Eddy on October 3

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires at The Eddy on October 10

Joshua Davis Benefit Concert at St. Cecilia Music Center on October 4 at 6:00 p.m.

150+ live busking song entry performances at various locations throughout the city

Church of Monika call for open entries for a 20 minute performance at Rumsey Street Project

/Michelle Newson

Hold onto your hats! ArtPrize is once again gearing up, this year set to run September 23- October 11. This will be ArtPrize’s seventh year bringing art to the public eye in a revolutionary way, and the 1,551 entries for 2015 brings the total number of artistic works exhibited in ArtPrize since its birth in 2009 to over 10,000.

Historically, ArtPrize has focused primarily on visual art. However, ArtPrize Seven has much to offer music lovers as well. Not only will their be live performances of ArtPrize Seven song entries throughout the city, some big names are making their way to Grand Rapids for ArtPrize Seven for concerts and festivals slated to take place during ArtPrize.

The Eddy, advertised as a 10-day music, food and art festival, will run October 2-11 at the intersection of Monroe Ave NW and Trowbridge St NW, and will boast some big names including The Avett Brothers and Brett Dennen for a performance on October 3, and Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires on October 10. October 9-10 are deemed “Artoberfest” and will include four stages, six food trucks, craft beer and a silent disco. The Eddy is being put on by Porterhouse Presents, and tickets can be purchased at

St. Cecilia Music Center, a long-standing pillar of musical excellence in Grand Rapids, is leading the charge for the 78 musical pieces entered into ArtPrize this year by organizing over 150 live “busking” performances for the musical artists. The schedule varies daily but performances will take place on Wednesdays through Sundays for the first two weeks of ArtPrize, hosted at St. Celilia Music Center, the Blue Bridge, the Gillette Bridge/Ford Museum, Monument Square and the Women’s City Club. Check out the ArtPrize events lineup for a detailed schedule of these performances. Listening stations will also be set up within St. Cecilia, and ArtPrize Musician Showcases will take place at the SpeakEZ Lounge Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. and at The Intersection on October 8 at 8:00 p.m.

To further recognize the musical artists, St. Cecilia is independently offering ten $1000 prizes for musical entries in five different genres, half awarded by public vote, the other half by “Critic’s Choice.” Joshua Davis of NBC’s “The Voice” will headline a benefit concert at St. Cecilia Music Center on October 4 at 6:00 p.m.

SiTE:LAB is making a run for their fourth Outstanding Venue Juried Award by organizing the Church of Monika in collaboration with Open Source Gallery, an opportunity for any musician or performer to get their 20 minutes of fame by signing up for a performance slot. The stage is open daily during ArtPrize from 5:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m. at the Rumsey Street Project, and promises to be full of creativity, fun and entertainment.

Many other venues will host performances over the next three weeks including the Grand Rapids Symphony’s shows of Love, Lust & Rock ‘N Roll and Ravel’s Piano Concerto, and the Michigan House’s variety of public and private concerts. ArtPrize Seven is truly incorporating music into the artist equation in a precedent-setting way.

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