For immediate release

New Creative Learning Center Opens at Grand Rapids Art Museum

4,500 square-foot expanded educational space offers increased capacity and new learning and creativity programming for all ages

Grand Rapids, MI, June 2, 2023 — The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) is thrilled to announce the opening of its new Creative Learning Center, a reimagined and expanded education space designed for hands-on creative exploration for guests of all ages. The 4,500 square-foot education center will open to the public on Saturday, June 17, 2023, during a free community celebration. 

The Creative Learning Center brings several brand-new upgrades and enhancements to the arts education facilities at GRAM, including: 

  • A 1,036 square-foot interactive Discovery Gallery open during all museum hours
  • Two new GRAM Studio workshop classrooms
  • A relocated and reimagined entry space accessible from the Museum lobby
  • An expanded orientation area and meeting space for school groups, tours, and group meetings
  • Accessibility and navigation improvements
  • A new volunteer lounge 

The Grand Rapids Art Museum is delighted to share the Creative Learning Center with our community,” commented incoming GRAM Director and CEO Cindy Meyers Foley. Museums bring us joy, creativity, and inspiration, and the new Creative Learning Center will play a key role in fulfilling GRAM’s mission to connect people through art, creativity, and design. This project is one of the initiatives that excited me most about joining GRAM as Director and CEO, and I couldn’t be more excited for our future. I’d like to give a warm thank you to the many generous supporters who have made this new space possible. Your passion for the Museum and for arts education is inspiring, and you truly made this happen.” 

As part of the expansion, the Creative Learning Center entrance and spaces have been relocated to the main level of the Museum, now easily accessible from GRAM’s lobby. By reimagining the footprint and layout of the Museum Education Center, the square footage dedicated to education experiences at GRAM has increased by 50%. Multiple audiences will be able to participate in hands-on programming at the same time, improving the visitor experience and providing guests with a broader range of programming. 

The project addresses significant growth since the Museum’s current building opened in 2007. According to estimates from the American for the Arts, over the past three years, GRAM had an average economic impact of $12.4 million on the greater Grand Rapids area, with every dollar invested in the Museum yielding a nearly $3 return in the community. 

GRAM’s new Creative Learning Center reflects the needs of our vibrant, growing community,” said community philanthropist Kate Pew Wolters. As a proud supporter of this project, and a believer in the power of arts education, I’m thrilled to see the evolution of the Museum since we first cut the opening ribbon of its new building 16 years ago. It was essential that we expand GRAM’s space so that all members of our community can experience the gift and wonder of art.” 

As part of the Creative Learning Center expansion, GRAM will have the capacity to serve three times the number of school groups each year, nearly 10,000 additional students. School groups will save time navigating the previous space and will be able to spend 33% more time with art during their visit. 

Community members are invited to explore the new Creative Learning Center during a free public celebration on Saturday, June 17. The day will include tours of the space, hands-on artmaking and interactive activities, free admission to the galleries, and complimentary refreshments and light snacks.

Related Event
Creative Learning Center Opening Party
Saturday, June 17 | 10 am – 2 pm | Free
10:30 Ribbon Cutting

Join GRAM’s Board of Trustees and incoming Director and CEO Cindy Meyers Foley for the grand opening of the newly imagined Creative Learning Center. Enjoy refreshments and light snacks, artmaking activities, and tours of the Creative Learning Center’s spaces and features. Museum admission will be free all day, and guests are invited to explore the newest exhibitions on view, including Message from Our Planet: Digital Art from the Thoma Collection. RSVP to attend here.

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. Founded in 1910 as the Grand Rapids Art Association, GRAM has grown to include more than 6,500 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, call 616.831.1000 or visit