UICA breaks ground with music, performers on long-awaited $34M Gallery on Fulton

By: Deborah Johnson Wood

On Wednesday, September 17 the long-awaited groundbreaking for Gallery on Fulton is expected to draw up to 600 people as the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts officially launches construction of the $34 million gateway to Grand Rapids’ arts and entertainment districts.

Stilted Servers, 10-foot-tall stilt walkers from Chicago’s Redmoon Theater, will scatter rose petals as guests enter the site at 2 W. Fulton St. The event is open to the public and features music, cupcakes and guest speakers, including Mayor George Heartwell and spokespersons from the UICA, CWD Real Estate Investments, the Downtown Development Authority and Triangle Associates.

Surrounding the ceremony will be nearly 800 mural panels mounted on the perimeter fence. UICA ArtWorks students created the panels and will install them on September 11, the week prior to the groundbreaking. The art installation begins at 3 p.m. and is open to the public.

“We’re excited about the evolution of the UICA into a more noticeable part of the Grand Rapids downtown community,” says Phil Meade, spokesperson. “We’re getting more studio space in order for our youth programming to grow. We’ll get a better facility for us to highlight our films, youth programs, and expand our visual arts exhibitions.”

A capital campaign to raise some $11 million dollars for the UICA’s portion of the project has garnered about half the amount needed.

A fundraiser benefitting the UICA’s youth programming will follow the groundbreaking ceremony, hosted by Sam and Janene Cummings of CWD Real Estate Investments at their East Grand Rapids home, the Brookby Estate. West Michigan Caterer.com will cater the event, DJ JB Vries will provide music, and Redmoon Theater will perform. Tickets are $50 for UICA members, $100 for non-members. Interested persons can contact the UICA for tickets or more information.

Source: Phil Meade, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

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