For Immediate Release

Grand Rapids Art Museum and West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology to receive grants from National Endowment for the Arts

GRAM and WMCAT only arts organizations in West Michigan to receive awards

GRAND RAPIDS, MI, June 11, 2019 — National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $25,000 to the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) for their Language Artists: Creature Connections program, and an Art Works grant of $40,000 to the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) for their Teen Arts + Tech Program. Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking, and will award 977 grants in this category.

These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Organizations such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”

The GRAM and WMCAT were the only arts organizations in West Michigan to receive a National Endowment of the Arts grant during this cycle of funding.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum is thrilled to join WMCAT in accepting awards from the National Endowment for the Arts,” commented GRAM Director of Learning and Creativity Christopher Bruce. We’re thankful for this support which helps us serve over 1,300 students from seven school districts through Language Artists, and foster lifelong skills like critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication.”

We are excited to be a part of those awarded through the National Endowment of the Arts,” shared Trudy Ngo-Brown, Director of Creative Programs at WMCAT. Congrats to our friends at the GRAM who were also awarded. Both of our organizations impact students through creative programming that elevates young people’s voices while giving them a platform in the community to create and share.”

GRAM Program Description: Language Artists: Creature Connections
Language Artists: Creature Connections 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 has expanded to include several additional school districts, and among the program’s participating students, the majority come from low-income households.

WMCAT Program Description: Teen Arts + Tech Program
WMCAT’s nationally-recognized Teen Arts + Tech Program engages high school students from Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) in creative, tuition-free after-school experiences from September through May.

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit

About the Grand Rapids Art Museum
Connecting people through art, creativity, and design. Established in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, the art museum is internationally known for its distinguished design and LEED® Gold certified status. Established in 1910 as the Grand Rapids Art Association, GRAM has grown to include more than 5,000 works of art, including American and European 19th and 20th-century painting and sculpture and more than 3,000 works on paper. Embracing the city’s legacy as a leading center of design and manufacturing, GRAM has a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft.

For museum hours and admission fees, visit

About the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology
West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a culture of opportunity for people to create social and economic progress in their lives and community. Through after-school and summer arts and technology programs, WMCAT engages high school students in creativity and civic engagement. WMCAT provides career training in medical coding, medical billing and pharmacy technician fields to under and unemployed adults. WMCAT also has two social enterprise businesses: Ambrose, a commercial screen printing business, and Public Agency, a design thinking consultancy. Learn more at

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