2015 Grand Rapids ArtPrize Art & Innovation Adventure Weekend | Thursday, October 1- Sunday, October 4, 2015


Printable Itinerary
Sign Up Today

The Grand Rapids Art Museum, in cooperation with Start Garden, invites you to join a unique weekend cultural adventure, a carefully-curated immersion into the art, design, and creativity of West Michigan. Our lively itinerary will include museums, galleries, and unconventional art installations; meetings with cultural, community, and tech leaders; a firsthand look into making and shipping “things” at a global scale; travel to ground-breaking public spaces and the city’s developing urban waterfront; a spectacular new $22M Japanese Garden, and of course the transformative cultural phenomenon that is ArtPrize.  Although you’re free to opt out of any part of the tour, you likely won’t want to miss any of the following exceptional experiences with singular people:

  • Wednesday, Sept 30th 7 PM: evening reception at StartGarden
  • Thursday, Oct 1st: a full day devoted to West Michigan design, technology, and innovation capped by an entrepreneurial-ecosystem-building Emerge West Michigan “Synchronic” event featuring Austin’s Bijoy Goswami at the ArtPrize 2016 Michigan House 
  • Friday, Oct 2nd 9:30 AM through Sunday, October 4th 2:30 PM:  2.5 days of all things ArtPrize!

In Grand Rapids, creativity is expressed in myriad ways—including design and manufacturing innovation, entrepreneurship and maker movement. New this year, the leaders of Start Garden, an innovative platform to move ideas forward, take you into the guts of a Steelcase manufacturing facility which ships 22,000 units of furniture a month, the recently unveiled million-barrel-a-year Founders Brewing facility, and get to know the industrial design community, which is the nation’s largest per capita. They’ll conclude the day by meeting some of the prominent families and funds birthed from manufacturing that undergird a burgeoning startup community.

We’ll spend time behind the scenes at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, gaining insights from the curator and featured artists about GRAM’s ArtPrize exhibition, Nature/Nurture, as well as learning how this LEED Gold building made history when it opened in 2007. We’ll also visit many other important art and cultural venues such as the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, SITE:LAB, and Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, and its newly-inaugurated Japanese Garden.

Of course, ArtPrize will play the center role in the weekend—a spectacle that fills the city center and beyond. In the sky, on the river, in a park or hanging on the side of a building, our extended walking tour, curated by the GRAM Director, will take us to ArtPrize highlights—and the most controversial—inside the restaurants, warehouses, the convention center, hotels, private clubs, and more. We’ll also get a chance to meet the leaders of this groundbreaking approach, and attend the live announcement of the Public Vote Final Twenty.

Designed both for people who have never visited Grand Rapids as well as for those who live nearby, the Grand Rapids Art and Innovation Weekend will be a wonderful way to meet others driven by a curiosity for art, design, and creativity. On our final evening, be among the first to enjoy an artist and innovator party at the Museum Director’s new 33rd floor condo overlooking the city!

What’s included:

  • A rich, three and a half day itinerary of activities in and around Grand Rapids
  • Group tour transportation
  • One continental breakfast, three lunches, and one brunch
  • Two Cocktail parties

Cost: $600 per person non-members, $500 per person members

To benefit from member pricing, you must be an active member of the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Memberships start at $60. To inquire about becoming a member of the Grand Rapids Art Museum, call 616-831-2912.

We’ve capped the tour at 26 participants, so please sign up soon! Because of the popularity of ArtPrize, hotel rooms are going fast; we recommend you book your stay as soon as possible. A limited number of rooms are blocked for this event. Reserve a room within our event block.

We recommend the additional following hotels:

  • J.W. Marriott Downtown
  • Amway Grand Plaza Hotel


2016 member travel dates and details are coming soon! Is there an exhibition you’re dying to see? Contact to submit your suggestion.

Contact the Membership Office at
or 616.831.2912 or to receive more information for these trips as it becomes available.