In just a few weeks, 400,000 visitors will descend on Grand Rapids to experience all that ArtPrize has to offer. We at The Rapid, along with the ArtPrize team, invite visitors to explore environmentally-friendly ways to get around the event, be it by bus, bike, or on foot.
ArtPrize will once again introduce Wristbands for unlimited rides on both The Rapid and DASH transit system during the 19-day event this fall. Visitors may purchase two Wristbands for five dollars at any of seven Meijer store locations in the greater Grand Rapids area and receive a free Event Guide — the first stop in learning about the event, the prizes, and where to begin — with their purchase. The participating Meijer store locations will also serve as park-and-rides, allowing visitors to avoid the often frenetic bustle of downtown Grand Rapids during ArtPrize in favor of public transportation.
New for 2014, ArtPrize launched Rapid Rides to ArtPrize in partnership with the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. ArtPrize exists to introduce new audiences to contemporary art, igniting conversations around art and engaging all community members equally by reducing socio-economic, cultural, and physical barriers that exist to participation at the ArtPrize event. The Rapid Rides to ArtPrize Wristband grant program will provide 10,000 Wristbands for unlimited free public transportation during ArtPrize 2014 to community members who face income insecurity or language barriers. Each Wristband will come packaged with a 2014 Event Guide.
“Art is for everyone, so ArtPrize is actively working on removing barriers that often prevent people from getting involved,” commented Amelea Pegman, ArtPrize director of community engagement. “The best conversations around art happen when the ArtPrize audience truly reflects the diversity of our community.”
Wristband holders will also be able to ride The Rapid’s recently launched Silver Line. Michigan’s first bus rapid transit service start at a 200-space park-and-ride on 60th Street and Division Avenue, and loop through downtown Grand Rapids and the ArtPrize district, connecting visitors to three square miles of art and conversation more efficiently and quickly than by car. All Silver Line bus stops are fully accessible, with curbs raised flush with the bus floor for barrier-free entry.
“ArtPrize is as much about discovering art as it is about discovering your city, and there’s no better way to do that than with the Silver Line,” noted ArtPrize director of marketing and communications Todd Herring. “In conjunction with the ArtPrize Pathways, the Silver Line provides essentially a light-rail experience in a convenient downtown circulator.”
Taking advantage of downtown Grand Rapids’ bridges, parks, riverside walkway, and sidewalks, ArtPrize Pathways will help visitors to explore more of the event and the city. Each of four unique Pathways will start and stop at a Silver Line station within the ArtPrize district, taking visitors on a tour passing within a block of 90% of ArtPrize Venues. Each Pathway is a starting point, encouraging visitors to stray from the path, venture outside of their comfort zones, explore beyond what is familiar, and reward their curiosity. Each 2.4 miles or less, the ArtPrize Pathways are fully accessible. Visitors can find Pathway maps on the ArtPrize website and in the Event Guide distributed at the HUB, and follow sidewalk stencils calling out each route.
ArtPrize is also offering two free bike valet service for — one at the ArtPrize HUB and another at the Ledyard Building. The bike valets will be monitored during the evening and on weekends so visitors may leave their bikes behind, leisurely explore the ArtPrize event, and return with their valet ticket to claim their bike. You can also utilize bicycle parking at all Silver Line stations and even bring your bike with you if you decide to ride the Silver Line or any other regular fixed-route buses.
ArtPrize 2014 will run from September 24 to October 12, when 1,536 entries at 174 venues will vie for a combination of public vote and juried awards totaling $560,000.
Are you planning on riding the Silver Line to explore ArtPrize?