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Kid's Guide to ArtPrize | Arts & Culture

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Kid's Guide to ArtPrize

Grand Rapids is an awesome place to grow up. Now. It used to be boring, or so I’ve been told.

I grew up in Grand Ledge and spent my entire childhood wondering why my parents insisted on raising me in a constant state of geographically inflicted ennui(I learned that word in 8th grade. It was perfect timing.) that could have been completely avoided had we stayed in Detroit, where I was born. We also would have avoided good schools, a lack of traffic, as well as a whole lot of bodily and property safety; but those were not my concern. I wanted Eastern Market, the Ren Cen, the Riverfront, big malls, and Boblo Island.

A few weeks ago my kids and I were walking around downtown (Grand Rapids, not Detroit) and A.P. said, “We’re lucky to have so much big art and sculptures here, Mom”. It’s working.My kids dig where they live. Events like ArtPrize seal the deal for them. The Table and Chairs now reside at the Kroc Center, just a few blocks from our house and we pay visits to Nessie frequently.

I want my kids – and your kids – to get all they can out of ArtPrize this year, so I put together this Kids’ Guide to ArtPrize. Like all truly great productions, it’s a community effort so please leave comments here, on Facebook, or reach out with Twitteror email (bigbinderblog at gmail dot com) with anything you think other BigBinder readers should know about kids and ArtPrize. I’ll add your info and leave this up as a page on top of BigBinder for easy reference.

  1. First, raise your hands if your kids like geocaching. Now keep them in the air if you don’t mind them playing with your phone. Anyone with their hands still up? OK this is for you. Download an app from SVCNCR (I… have no idea, really what that stands for) so you can play their scavenger hunt. Prizes are awesome, and include some kid-friendly fun.
  2. The Grand Rapids Art Museum is free during ArtPrize!! Kids will dig the family programs on Saturday “All Day With The Arts“. Other programs to be held Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26 and Saturday and Sunday October 2 and 3 will be “Mysterious Masks”, September 27 through October 1 there will be a “Seeing Through Drawings” program, and October 4 through October 8 join the GRAM for “Fun With Felt”.
  3. We enjoy a pretty traffic-free life here in Grand Rapids, but big events like ArtPrize change that. Time to Ride the Rapid. Trust me; your kids will love, love, LOVE it. You can get a wrist band for $5 that allows you to ride any bus, any time, during the entire duration fo ArtPrize. There is also an ArtPrize shuttle you can hop on for free with the wristband. Sweet. Wristbands can be purchased at all ArtPrize exhibition centers, The Hub (The Old Federal Building,) LaFonstee Gallery, Ryerson Library and the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. Wristbands will go on sale Sept. 22, the first day of ArtPrize. Several Meijer stores will also be offering free parking; so you can just drive to the store and catch the bus.

My kids aren’t going to do well during fancy receptions or artist’s talks, so we need to stick with kid-friendly events.

Thursday, September 23 from 6-9 PMat the Grand Rapids Public Museum – ArtPrize Street Party. Enjoy free family-friendly activities and music by ’80?s band, Starfarm, on Front Street between the parking ramp and the Museum. Watch a carving of an enormous ice sculpture, kids will be able to create sidewalk chalk art, and Amway will have a tent set up with a bean bag toss to win some sweet Prizepacks .Grab food and drink in the south lawn Hospitality Tent, and tour the Museum’s ArtPrize exhibition.

Friday, September 24 at 4:00 and again at 6:30 PM– Ice Sculpture Demonstration. Grand Valley State University Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Randy Finch and Dereck Maxfield – the Ice Gurus as they wield an array of tools to create a sculpture from a block of ice.

Saturday, September 25 and Sunday September 26 – Peaches B&B, 29 Gay SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. All weekend, there will be artist demos and free BBQ samples at Peaches. Most of our 18 artists will be demonstrating, including snowflake classes, 2 forges, a kiln, a sculptor & lots of painting! Great for families and students. Fun for all ages!

Saturday, September 25 11:00 AM -4:00 PMThe Big Dog Show Adoption Event at the Sixth Street Bridge Park. The Humane Society of Kent County (HSKC) is proud to present the Big Dog Show ArtPrize exhibit by Dale Rogers. This community event includes food, art, adoptable animals, and more! 11:00 am – Dog Parade begins at the Sixth Street Bridge Park. 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Adoption Event at the Sixth Street Bridge Park.

Saturday September 25th, 12:00 – 2:00PM John Ball Zoo Animals at WZZM13 Truck. At the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology Parking Lot (Fulton St.). Visit the WZZM13 News Truck (an official ArtPrize Venue) and meet a variety of John Ball Zoo animals! Families can view the art and meet and greet with the animals.

Sunday, September 26th 1:00 – 3:00 PM Channel your Chalk Chi…or Chuckle while you Chalk. Cathedral Square Center, 360 Division Ave. S. Grand Rapids, MI 49503 . Come show off your artistic side for all to see at Cathedral Square. Children and adults are invited to use provided sidewalk chalk to fill our outdoor promenade with their own colorful art.

Saturday, October 2 and Sunday October 3 – Peaches B&B, 29 Gay SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. All weekend, there will be artist demos and free BBQ samples at Peaches. Most of our 18 artists will be demonstrating, including snowflake classes, 2 forges, a kiln, a sculptor & lots of painting! Great for families and students. Fun for all ages!

Sunday, October 3 12:00 pm – 5:00 PMKid’s ArtFest 2010 Safari in the Park. 22 Sheldon Avenue NE and Veteran’s Park (across the Children’s Museum). A family friendly festival for children to engage, explore and be inspired by a wide range of arts! Free!

Saturday, October 9, 2:00 pm – 7:00 PM. Cultural Bazaar. Refugee Center – Bethany Christian Services, 45 Coldbrook St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Fun for the entire family, featuring artist demonstrations; sale of artwork and fair trade arts and crafts; and musical performances.

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