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ArtPrize in talks for partnerships with Coachella, Burning Man festivals

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — ArtPrize could soon have a partnership with one or two well known festivals out west, according to ArtPrize Creative Director Todd Herring.  Herring says ArtPrize officials have had dialogue with organizers from both Burning Man and Coachella on forming some form of partnership.

Burning Man started in Nevada's desert in the 1980s and is a successful event that includes art and self-expression, and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival started in the California desert in the late 1990s.

"If we're not learning from our peers, we're missing out," Herring said, adding, "We have an objective to always strengthen and expand the network of artists that will ultimately show up in Grand Rapids.  We consider them peers, and we consider them our mentors."

Herring says what that partnership would entail is still being kicked around, but could include a Grand Rapids presence in Nevada and California or a reciprocating presence from those two events in Grand Rapids.

Officials from Burning Man visited Grand Rapids this fall and, according to Herring, they were part of a panel together.

Herring said any formal agreement could be made before ArtPrize hold its annual announcements in March about what's new for the upcoming year.

"From our side, this is one of the most exciting times of the year,  where we're putting those feelers out.  There's nothing written yet, but I'm excited for what these relationships might bear in the future," Herring said.

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    • Jeff B

      It is too late for that, Bob.
      They wouldn’t do it anyway.
      They’d have to give up control over who wins, who the judges are, who gets to enter…all of that would have to be done professionally and independently. That would mean no more quilts, no more Steam Pigs, no more church windows, no more bored welders or scrapyard hobbyists. And very little chance that the urban3d art that would make GR look so progressive would win. The tradeoff that you make when you hold a legitimate art competition is that the only people interested in it are legitimate artists and art lovers, and they don’t give a rat’s butt about the city it is held in.

      GR is not interested in art, they are only interested in being interesting. Which is really sad, because it really isn’t all that interesting a place. Most of us who live here and who have had experience with living in other parts of the world appreciate it for that exact quality.

  • Bo Diddlywinks

    Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel for suckers….”Well, there’s nobody left in the state, nobody left in the art world, Dallas already said no….well, I guess we might as well troll Coachella and Burning Man. Maybe someone in those venues hasn’t heard what a scam/joke ArtPrize is yet!!”

    Give it up, it is dead already. Once word got out that it was all just a PR stunt from the beginning you lost the credibility that even the populist art community held for you. Now you are just embarrassing yourselves and GR.

    Seriously, just let it go. It is over.

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