Mark Stryker writes on Grand Rapids' ArtPrize, a citywide art competition that awards prize money based on public vote, and has been a boon to artists and the local economy. It is now inspiring other cities to host their own such events.

1 minute read

September 18, 2012, 8:00 AM PDT

By Emily Williams


ArtPrize is a new breed of art competition that's causing quite a stir in cities across the country. In it's fourth year, the Grand Rapids-based competition brings artists and venues together to showcase contemporary works in various locations of the city. It's like an outdoor, city-wide museum. Writes Stryker, "About 1,500 artists from 39 states and 46 countries will be showing work in more than 160 venues -- museums, civic buildings, parks, restaurants, banks and more -- most squeezed into a walkable 3-square-mile core in downtown."

The public can vote for their favorite pieces online, through text message, or by mobile app, and this year the total prize money will reach $560,000. The competition has garnered a great deal of attention since its inception, and its attempt to "spark a broader engagement with art" has proved extremely successful.

After a study was released stating that in 2011, ArtPrize "added $15.4 million to the local economy" and drew "more than 320,000 visitors over 19 days," other cities like Akron, Ohio, realized the potential to boost their own economies. Says Downtown Akron Partnership president Suzie Graham, "We became involved because of the significant economic impact on Grand Rapids and the role the arts can play in revitalizing our downtown."

Sunday, September 16, 2012 in Detroit Free Press

Aerial view of homes on green hillsides in Daly City, California.

Depopulation Patterns Get Weird

A recent ranking of “declining” cities heavily features some of the most expensive cities in the country — including New York City and a half-dozen in the San Francisco Bay Area.

April 10, 2024 - California Planning & Development Report

Close-up of maroon California 'Clean Air Vehicle' carpool lane access sticker on the back bumper of a silver Tesla vehicle.

California EV Owners To Lose Carpool Lane Privilege

A program that began in 1999 to encourage more electric car ownership is set to expire next year without Congressional and state action.

April 2, 2024 - San Francisco Chronicle

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Google street view of grassy lot next to brick church with elevated freeway on other side in Houston, Texas.

Houston Supportive Housing Development Sparks Debate

Critics say a proposed apartment building would negatively impact the neighborhood’s walkability.

April 12 - Houston Chronicle

Closed black wrought iron gate in front of gated residential community with large palm trees along sides of street.

Friday Funny: Gated Community Doubles Down

The Onion skewers suburbia.

April 12 - The Onion

Aerial view of Chicago with river in foreground.

‘Cut the Tape’ Report Takes Aim at Inefficiencies

A set of recommendations from the Chicago mayor’s office calls for streamlining city processes to stimulate more residential and commercial development.

April 12 - Block Club Chicago

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.