Art for Life

You can help inspire creativity and imagination by supporting dynamic art education programs at GRAM, including school tours, family events, Art Camp scholarships, and outreach to the community.

  A child and her mother work together to make a collage

About Art For Life

Contributions for Art for Life are dedicated to sustaining and growing the vital work of our Learning and Creativity Department. By providing essential support for art education, your gift supports thousands of underserved community members in innovative art education programs to inspire learning in the museum environment and to foster connections across our city.

Additional Information

    Generous individuals, corporations, and foundations have supported the educational programming offered at GRAM. These gifts have enabled the Museum to serve over 11,000 students and youth. GRAM is immensely grateful for Art for Life lead sponsors Bill and Marilyn Crawford, who have generously provided the crucial lead support to launch this exciting new initiative.

    Language Artists: Creature Connections

    This program integrates literacy and the visual arts through a year-long unit of study that promotes academic and cultural achievement among third grade students. GRAM and Grand Rapids Public Schools partnered to create the program, after the district identified a need for greater student engagement with the English language arts curriculum. Language Artists: Creature Connections centers on artworks of animals from the Museum’s permanent collection. Students participate in engaging museum visits, empowering cultural experiences, unique classroom activities, and relevant test preparation. This robust program helps students strengthen their writing skills and foster 21st century skills – critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. Language Artists makes a lasting impact on students, helping them to build a foundation of the literacy skills necessary to reach graduation, and succeed in a global economy. The program situates GRAM as an extension of the classroom, and provides enriching arts and cultural experiences to approximately 2,000 students annually, 75% of whom are of low-income households. Educators receive professional development as part of the program, organized and led by Museum education staff. Grand Rapids Public Schools and eight other districts participate in Language Artists.

    GRAM opens an entirely new, exciting, and educational experience for my students, helping them to understand and relate to our global world,” reflected Jean Mucha of Wyoming Public Schools. Language Artists brings a deeper understanding of how we perceive the world, enabling my students to broaden their thinking by questioning, comparing, and analyzing works of art from GRAM’s collection.”
    Summer Art Camps

    Offered during the summer, these thematic sessions welcome children, ages 4 – 13, to participate in intensive week-long sessions to experience creativity and innovation in a unique and transformative setting. In 2017, 145 children attended camp, including 42 children from low-income households, who received full-tuition scholarships.

    Professional Development for Educators

    Launched in 2010 and developed for educational professionals, GRAM provides valuable learning opportunities for school administrators, teachers, and para­pro­fes­sionals. This program has experienced tremendous growth over the past five years from 96 educators in 2010 – 2011 to 464 educators this past year.

    Donating to the Art for Life Education Fund directly supports school groups and individuals in our community.

    $50 – Covers the cost of program materials for ten Language Artists students.

    $75 – Provides needs-based Summer Art Camp scholarship.

    $150 – Supports the cost of activities for 100 GRAM Studio Drop-in Family Saturdays attendees.

    $250 – Provides access for two classrooms participating in local program that serves students with disabilities.

    $500 – Helps cover the expenses to open the Museum on Mondays to specialized group tours such as Gazing at GRAM, which is offered to those who are living with memory loss.

    Any contribution you make helps GRAM continue to make art education accessible to all children in our community.

    Gifts of $50 and above will be recognized on our website’s Art for Life roster.

    Gifts of $500 and above will be recognized in the Annual Report donor listing and added to the Stewardship Circle which includes invitations to unique donor events throughout the year.

    Gifts of $1,000 and above will be recognized on the Donor Wall located in GRAM’s lobby.

    Gifts of $2,500 and above will be recognized on the Art for Life wall in the Education Center.

Thank you

Art for Life Supporters

  • Wege Foundation
  • MillerKnoll
  • Mary Loupee
  • Amway
  • James and Mary Nelson
  • Bill and Marilyn Crawford
  • Karl and Patricia Betz
  • Peter C. & Emajean Cook Foundation
  • Michigan Arts and Culture Council
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • The Sebastian Foundation Fund of Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • Wolverine Worldwide
  • PNC Foundation
  • DTE Energy Foundation
  • Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC
  • Keller Foundation
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Baldwin Foundation
  • Ken Betz and Pat Brewer
  • Priority Health
  • Reagan Marketing + Design, LLC
  • Jim and Renee Overbeck
  • Tom Merchant
  • Janet and Mark Nisbett
  • The Samuel L. Westerman Foundation
  • Gregory and Rajene Betz
  • Eleanor L. Bryant
  • Scott and Linda LaFontsee
  • Thomas Hegewald
  • Helen Beuker
  • Anonymous (1)

For more information about the Art for Life, please contact the Advancement Office, at or 616.831.2907.