Art for Life

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.

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.

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Who Supports the Art for Life?
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.
What Activities Does the Art for Life Support?
  • 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: 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.
How You Can Help
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.
Art for Life Benefits
  • 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 to our supporters!

Bill and Marilyn Crawford
James and Mary Nelson
Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation
Herman Miller Cares Foundation
Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation
Mary Ann Sherwood Families and Children Field of Interest
⠀⠀⠀Fund of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation
Gregory and Rajene Betz
Wolverine Worldwide Foundation
Keller Foundation
PNC Bank
Marilyn Titche
Greg and Leah Hooks
Glen Johnson and Tom Merchant
Reagan Marketing + Design, LLC
TEGNA Foundation
The Samuel L. Westerman Foundation
Janet Gatherer Boyles & John Boyles
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
Bodies of Art
The Louis and Helen Padnos Foundation
Kathleen Stewart Ponitz
Till and Bernice Peters
OCM Development LLC
Richard and Elizabeth Barrett
Dr. Robert and Mrs. Suzanne Bowman
Peter & Carol Cordes
Kurt and Janet Dietsch
Patricia H. Flynn
Toby and Jill Gebben
Mary and Daniel George
Max and Janet Gibbs
Tim and Char Hill
Bruce Honholt
Margaret P. Idema
Mary Jean and Michael Keating
Constance Kopchick
Janet Krueger and Bruce Goodman
Daryn and Kira Kuipers
Richard Livingston
Mark and Karin Matusiak
Gerald and Linda Mears
Carl Plantinga and Cynthia Kok
Jeff and Kim Ridings
Douglas Storrs
Ruth Stubbs
Steele and Mary Taylor
Dean J. Toriella
Dr. Ghayas and Joy Uddin
Kathy and Larry Wildt
Brigid Avery
Bruce and Rita Bailey
Ellen Brubaker and John Ross Thompson
Jacqueline Cattani
Victoria Crawford
Maureen and John Darling
Kevin and Cynthia Fitzgerald
Catherine Giguere
Pamela Jansen
Bill and Nella Kennedy
Kandace and Andrew Knapp
Mary Kuhn
Steve and Jessica Kurylowicz
Dick and Noel McGarrity
Jacob and Leona Nyenhuis
Karen Penney and Don VanderHoff
Suzanne Richards
Richard and Esther Ross
Dr. Yvonne and William VanEe
Susan and Steven Vegter
Timothy and Janet Verity
Gail Werner

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