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ArtPrize eyes evening events this year

Highlights include more music, performances, video and film.

March 13, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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ArtPrize leaders reviewed 2014 financial reports and looked ahead to 2015 at its annual breakfast, revealing an emerging curator fellowship, expanded ArtPrize evening programming and increased grants for artists and venues.

The annual report on March 12 reviewed the numbers and newsworthy notes from last year’s event while announcing those new aspects for ArtPrize 2015, scheduled for Sept. 23 to Oct. 11.

“As ArtPrize matures as an organization, we continue to seek out ways to broaden the support we give to venues, artists and educators,” said Christian Gaines, ArtPrize executive director. “New and updated ArtPrize grant programs allow us to support as well as reward the innovators that make ArtPrize a success each year.”

The bottom line for last year listed $3,313,869 in expenses and $4,437,006 in revenue.

Approximately 65 percent of expenditures were attributed to operations and production while another 16 percent ($541,000) went to prize money. The balance of expenses covered artist and venue relations, education, technology and community engagement.

Revenue streams included city, state and federal grants, event registration, merchandise sales, ArtFan and ArtClub memberships, matching grants, corporate sponsorships, foundation grants and in-kind donations. Revenue has steadily increased since 2009, when it was little more than $1 million.

The increase in revenues helped ArtPrize decrease its debt balance by approximately $1 million to below $2 million. The debt was at an all-time high in 2012 when it reached $4 million.

ArtPrize will hand out $720,000 in grants and awards this year.

The second year of Artist Seed Grants will award 25 artists with $2,000 grants to fund ambitious entries.

ArtPrize Pitch Nights will be held in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Durham and New York City, and will see five artists pitch a public art concept to a panel of experts. Each winner will be awarded a $5,000 grant and placement in a prominent venue during ArtPrize.

Last year, ArtPrize drew 13,000 students from across the state to visit to the event. This year, $41,000 will be given to ArtPrize’s institutional partners to help create programming for the artists and students. Field trip costs for school groups also will be funded through a $9,000 transportation grant.

Artist prizes will remain at two grand prizes — public and juried — worth $200,000 each, with eight category awards for $12,500 each. A juried Outstanding Venue Award also will be $12,500.

ArtPrize will support venues through $30,000 in grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 each. Venue registration began last week and runs through April 10. Application forms for the grants are available with registration.

There will also be the Fellowship for Emerging Curators, which will pair an emerging curator with a curator at one of ArtPrize’s institutional venues. The partners for this year’s ArtPrize are Grand Rapids Art Museum, Kendall College of Art and Design, SiTE:LAB and Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts. The fellowships will see $40,000.

Fellows will work with the institutions to curate their exhibits and produce their own exhibit at their venue under the guidance of their institutional curator.

“Curators play an essential role in ArtPrize, placing each artwork within a context that has the power to amplify, extend and deepen the artist’s original intent,” said Kevin Buist, ArtPrize’s exhibitions director. “The ArtPrize Fellowship for Emerging Curators and the venue grants are both intended to highlight and support this essential work.”

Throughout the 19 days of ArtPrize, three types of evening programming will be showcased.

ArtPrize On Screen will present films, videos and interactive works through screenings at various venues and will be curated by Waterfront Film Festival.

ArtPrize on Stage will see live performances at venues, including Rosa Parks Circle, curated by St. Cecilia Music Center.

Critical Discourse will return with a seven-day series of panel discussions and critiques, including a televised show about the finalists.

“Evenings at ArtPrize have been a staple of the ArtPrize experience,” said Todd Herring, creative director. “The city fills with parties and nightlife while art lovers enjoy outdoor art and venues open late. The ArtPrize Tonight Series capitalizes on this energy, highlighting the music, performance, video and film that bring vibrancy to the ArtPrize experience.”

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