- Sponsorship -

A stroll through the city means a walk through art

Preschooler Joshua Beckford plays with a toy made of streamer in Ah-Nab-A-Wan Park during Artwalk

Art can become toys and books, make sound and light — even turn into huge murals and sculptures, learned wide-eyed preschoolers during Artwalk, a morning set aside in downtown Grand Rapids just for little ones and their families.

The city stroll, part of Project 1 by ArtPrize, led to the discovery of art in many forms for students from Grand Rapids Public Schools, Headstart, Grand Rapids Community College’s Laboratory Preschool, and Grand Valley State University charter schools.

Multi-sensory stations included crafting, a storybook reading and puppet show, with several art-creating opportunities tied to the event’s large-scale installations along a route through Ah-Nab-Awen Park, over the Blue Bridge, past the Grand Rapids Public Museum and to Rosa Parks Circle. Stations were run by WGVU, Artists Creating Together, PNC Bank, puppeteer Kevin Kammeraad and Friends, Air Zoo, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Frederik Meijer Gardens and West Michigan Jewels of Africa.

Preschooler Charlie Zimmer shines a light on a prism

“We want to serve all ages, and learning starts from birth,” said Becca Guyette, director of learning and engagement for ArtPrize. “It’s really important to find opportunities to work with preschoolers… This gives us an opportunity to connect directly back to the classroom curriculum for the early childhood groups.”

Laura Brokstad played with her preschool daughter, Dylann, at the Air Zoo’s sound and light station. She said it’s nice to see children exposed to arts in the community. “There is definitely a need, and she enjoys it too,” Brokstad said.

Most importantly, the event — like Project 1 itself — was about bringing everyone together for a morning of fun, art-filled learning.

“Project 1 is all about belonging, so we asked the artists to think about what it means to belong in the city,” Guyette said. “Having events like this really brings everyone together to have experiences with the art.”

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.


The changing of guard – as long-time educator and AD welcomes a new one

Godwin Heights Football Coach Brandon Kimble will take over as the district’s athletic director when Robert Hisey, dean of students and athletic director, officially retires Nov. 2...

Whole-child advocates ready to lead, collaborate

SNN gets to know these new elementary principals in this edition of Meet the Principal...

Amid uncertainty, new protocols, there’s laughter, new connections

Junior Olivia Austin reflects on the first day of a very unique school year...

District welcomes new administrators, ready to ‘lead through uncharted waters’

New administrators share their thoughts on starting their posts during a pandemic...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...

Two local districts ask voters to approve funding proposals

The Cedar Springs and Lowell school districts are going to voters Aug. 4 with proposals to improve buildings, grounds and educational technology...

The Class of 2020: learning to roll with it

From 9/11 to the coronavirus, the Class of 2020 saw and experienced tremendous change within their school careers and young lives...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU