ArtPrize 2015: Rapid Rides Will Help More People Participate

ArtPrize returns to Grand Rapids Sept. 23, along with throngs of artists, tourists, and residents descending on the city.

To make getting downtown easier, Grand Rapids resident Russell Lowe plans to use a bus pass provided through the Rapid Rides to ArtPrize program, an initiative supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and The Rapid.

He and his wife and children used the passes last year as a way to enjoy the abundance of art on display.

“We went down there as a family,” Lowe said.

The Rapid Rides program will provide 5,000 free Event Guides and 10,000 ArtPrize Metro Passes to members of the community based on financial need this year. ArtPrize partners with community organizations​ all over West Michigan to distribute the guides and passes based on grant applications.

“Art isn’t just for anyone, it’s for everyone, and we’re thrilled to partner with organizations doing such great work in our community,” said Amelea Pegman, ArtPrize Managing Director. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and The Rapid’s continued support of the Rapid Rides to ArtPrize program helps to ensure that everyone feels welcome at ArtPrize and individual visitor needs are met.”

Lowe said ArtPrize is a “positive thing” for Grand Rapids, exposing countless visitors to the city’s charm. Although Lowe said he and his family didn’t make it to all the exhibits last year, having the bus passes certainly helped the family visit more than they might have without it.

“It really worked well for us,” he said. “It’s a good thing for other families to take advantage of.”

Organizations with passes available include Artists Creating Together, Camp Fire West MI 4C, City Life Church, D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, Degage Ministries, Disability Advocates of Kent County, Dwelling Place, Family Futures, Family Promise of Grand Rapids, Genesis Nonprofit Housing Corporation, Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore, Godfrey Lee Early Childhood Center, Grand Rapids Urban League, Grand Valley State University, Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities, Heartside Ministry, Head Start for Grand Rapids, Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, Kent School Services Network, Kent School Services Network/Campus Elementary School, LINC Community Revitalization, Mel Trotter Ministries, Reach Senior Food Pantry, Roosevelt Park Ministries, Safe Haven Ministries, Sibley Elementary, South End Community Outreach Ministries, Southeast Kelloggsville Elementary, United Church Outreach Ministry, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, and the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Contact the organization of your choice if you’re interested in obtaining a pass for this year’s ArtPrize festivities.

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Photo credit: John VanderHaagen

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