ArtPrize – A Family Affair

By: Renay Schoenmaker
For the third consecutive year, crowds have begun assembling in downtown Grand Rapids for yet another ArtPrize.  Over the period of 19 days, the city will not only become home to 1,582 artists from 42 states and 21 countries, but hundreds of pieces of art as well. There will be as many as 200,000+ visitors arriving, touring and leaving, ultimately making the event possible.

There is a lot to do and see over the 19 days of ArtPrize, and we feel it is important to point out the specific family-friendly happenings to help you plan your walking tour. These events expose children to new art, encourage innovation, while promoting creative thinking.
The Kevin Kammeraad and Friends Puppet Theatre, a popular Grand Rapids family artist, will perform multiple all-age musicals, interactive shows from Wednesday September 21, 2011 to Sunday October 9, 2011 at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Featuring a brand new puppet (of himself!), and his sidekick Ollie Winston (made out of a big copper can), Kevin will be performing in a unique, vintage material, hand-made puppet theatre. This new show will have you laughing, singing, dancing, and more! There will be a total of 114 shows over the 19 days. Daily show times are: 11:30am, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, 4:00pm, 5:30pm, and 7:00pm.

Bring your family down to the Flat Iron Building off of Monroe Center NW and Ottawa Ave to Become an Explorer of Grand Rapids Art and History with an interactive scavenger hunt brought to you by Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge. Taking place Friday, September 30 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 1 from 11:00 a.m. – 8 p.m., the event benefits Kids Food basket and appeals to adult and kids alike.  Tour the city by following the explorer’s map and collecting guide badges to be turned in for a prize. Get your picture taken in the explorer photo booth, decorate bags for sack suppers that will be given to Grand Rapids’ school kids, outfit yourself in the Discovery store and check out the talking photos that are sure to thrill! For more information go to

A Lot party will be held at First United Methodist Church, 207 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. on October 1st. A full day of art will begin at noon with lunch, kid’s art at 12:30 p.m., a band at 4:30 p.m. and karaoke beginning at 6:00 p.m. (perfect for teenagers).

Kids’ ArtFest 2011: A World of Creativity is taking place on Sunday, October 2 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. in the outdoors surrounding the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Admission is free to this outdoor event. Families can get into creative spirit with art stations featuring various art media, while also interacting with performers, musicians and dancers.

On October 2 from 12:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m., Fountain Street Church is presenting Kids Art Activities. Arts & crafts items will be provided while kids will have a chance to create their own version of “Human Rights” themed art.

Throughout the weekends of ArtPrize, the Grand Rapids Art Museum will have an entire studio transformed into a city using green materials. In My Green City, learn how contemporary architects and artists use recycled materials for creating new structures while contributing to the Green City’s bridges, houses, street lamps and landscape. Programs are: September 23, September 30 and October 7 at 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.; September 24, October 1, and October 8 from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., September 25, October 2, and October 9 at 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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