ArtPrize Announces Opening Day Celebration Line-Up for Inaugural Project 1 Exhibition

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PRESS RELEASE — ArtPrize is pleased to announce the Project 1 opening day celebration presented by DTE Foundation happening Sept 7, 2019 at Rosa Parks Circle, Martin Luther King Jr. Park, and Tanglefoot. Headlining performances include BANDALOOPJordan Hamilton, and the U.S. premiere of Drag Syndrome. Local performers, artist panels and community events will be happening simultaneously at each site location. Join ArtPrize and the City of Grand Rapids for a day of free one-of-a-kind experiences.

“We are pulling out all the stops to showcase Project 1 artists’ work alongside phenomenal one-time performances taking place throughout the city. We have collaborated with so many in the community to design the day to be a fun citywide celebration and open house that will be a catalyst for conversation, participation and memory-making.” Jori Bennett, executive director.

Saturday, September 7th — Opening Day Schedule of Events 
Presented by DTE Foundation
Downtown Opening Launch Event  12:00 – 2:00P
Rosa Parks Circle 
135 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Take part in the official launch of Project 1at Rosa Parks Circle at Noon. Headliners BANDALOOP will perform, a pioneer in vertical performance that seamlessly weaves dynamic physicality and intricate choreography to turn the dance floor on its side. 

Local performers and appearances will include the Grand Rapids Ballet, Grand Valley State University Music and Dance Ensemble, Mayor Bliss, ArtPrize officials, SmartArt Winners Announcement, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and much more.

Following the performances, a conversation between Project 1 artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Alice Gray Stites, Chief Curator of 21c Museum Hotels will take the stage at Rosa Parks Circle. Artwork by Project 1 artists will be on view throughout downtown by Heather Hart, Amanda Browder, Olalekan Jeyifous, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, and Eliza Ferdinand’s Grand Rapids Public Schools 4th grade collaborative work, Flexible Fence.
Above: Photo by Atossa Soltani, Below: Krystal Harfert

MLK Park Community Celebration 2:00 – 5:00P
Martin Luther King Jr. Park 
900 Fuller Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Head to the southeast side of town to celebrate the MLK Park community kickoff with a headliner performance from cellist Jordan Hamilton, a sonic landscape of experimental hip-hop, folk, soul and classical music. 

The afternoon’s festivities also include local performances and a conversation with Project 1 artists Heather Hart and Amanda Browder with Nicole Caruth, independent curator and writer. After the discussion, experience a hip-hop set by Lady Ace Boogie.

Other community organizations like Artist Creating Together, the John Ball Zoo, and others will be providing art making and family activities throughout the afternoon. Artwork byProject 1 artists Heather Hart and Amanda Browder will be on display in this location. 

Tanglefoot Opening Night 6:00 – 10:00P
314 Straight Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The day’s launch events conclude with a can’t-miss drag show by London’s Drag Syndrome–the first US performance by the award-winning group–which will use Paul Amenta and Ted Lott’s Project 1installation Critical Infrastructure as stage, catwalk and performance arena. 

The performance is organized by DisArt. Preceding the show, hear Project 1 artists Paul Amenta and Ted Lott and collaborators Chris Smit and Jill Vyn of DisArt in conversation with Dan Cameron, independent curator. DisArt, a local non-profit that works to promote a Disable culture through events and consulting, worked with London-based Culture Device to bring Drag Syndrome to Project 1.

Photos by Kendra Larsen

“Drag Syndrome is a creative and artistic platform for performers with Down syndrome to showcase their talents in contemporary culture settings. It focuses on art and giving audiences great performances. It also shows the diverse talents of artists with Down syndrome. Drag is a wonderful art form, it’s uplifting, entertaining, thought-provoking and fresh. It takes skill to be a great drag queen. Our artists are as good as many other drag queens without the extra chromosome.”
– Daniel Vais, Creative Director of Culture Device

Project 1: Crossed Lines will feature a different program of free events every Saturday in September following opening day with many other exhibitions, community events and performances happening throughout the exhibition in September and October. More details to be released in the upcoming weeks. All ArtPrize official events are free and open to the public. Visit project.artprize.org/events to get the full schedule and details of events.

ABOUT PROJECT 1 BY ARTPRIZE
The ArtPrize organization produces open citywide contemporary art experiences that encourage critical discourse, celebrate artists, transform urban space and promote cultural understanding. Project 1: Crossed Lines is the first in a series of multi-sited public art exhibitions to take place between biennial ArtPrize competitions.

From September 7 – October 27, 2019, the Project 1: Crossed Lines exhibition will occupy multiple outdoor sites in Grand Rapids, Michigan and will feature temporary public artworks by five artists. The seven-week run will be punctuated by a series of events, volunteer opportunities, educational programs and performances.

As of publication date, underwriting partners for Project 1 include DTE Foundation, Herman Miller Cares, Meijer, PNC Bank, X-Rite and Pantone. Major sponsors include Amway, Consumers Energy, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Haworth, ITC—Your Energy Superhighway, LIFEWTR, Switch, West Michigan Honda Dealers and Wolverine Worldwide.

Honda is the Official Vehicle. LIFEWTR is the Official Water. WOOD TV8 is the Official Broadcast Media Partner.

Major supporting foundations include CDV5 Foundation, Peter C. & Emajean Cook Foundation, The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, The Edgar & Elsa Prince Foundation, Efroymson Family Fund and Frey Foundation.

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