How an Art Event Transformed Grand Rapids

ArtPrize, a yearly art festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is attracting unprecedented crowds to this unexpected destination.
October 10, 2011, 5am PDT | Tim Halbur
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J. Bennett Rylah writes that the effect on the local economy has been powerful, and extends out from the creative community:

"As an economic spur, the event is wildly successful. Unprepared for the onslaught of tourists, restaurants literally run out of food. A study conducted by Grand Valley State University estimated an economic impact of $7 million, with some 400,000 visitors. This year, mobile food culture made a hit for what seems like the first time. A line forms outside of What The Truck as the chefs from The Winchester prepare locally sourced tacos for hungry spectators."

"Perhaps most importantly, ArtPrize changes the way outsiders view the city."

Rylah's blog post includes many pictures of art installations around Grand Rapids as part of the festival.

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Published on Sunday, October 9, 2011 in Metropolis Magazine
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