Michigan House Setting Up Shop for ArtPrize- mLive

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By Shandra Martinez

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — After bringing the Great Lakes State to Texas for SXSW, Michigan House is back home for ArtPrize.

The roving pop-up space will showcase Michigan companies, organizations, artists and entrepreneurs and their stories. This uniquely Michigan experience will be temporarily housed at 40 Pearl St. in the Trust Building in downtown Grand Rapids from Sept. 23-Oct. 11.

If the address sounds familiar, it also belongs to Start Garden, one of many sponsors. Michigan House activities will be on the first floor. The entrance to Michigan House will be at 130 Ottawa Avenue.

The House will serve as an influential voice and a hub of activity highlighting the creativity that exists year-round within the region, says organizer Ted Velie.

“We started a conversation in Austin about the value of creativity in our state, and we learned the power of telling our stories together,” said Velie. “Now we get to continue the conversation. We get to invite some new friends. We get to add more detail to the narrative. We get to show off our own backyard.”

During ArtPrize, Michigan House will play host to concerts, speakers, panel discussions, corporate gatherings, yoga classes, art and photography classes, food and drink tastings, pop up retail, out of town guests and a weekly dance party.

Velie is part of Middle West, the team setting the scene with a curated collection of Michigan-made furniture, art and design. It is a collaboration with Creative Many Michigan, a Detroit-based statewide economic development organization for the arts, culture and creative and design industries.

The Michigan House at ArtPrize will help cultivate and establish resources and networks that support business growth development throughout the state, says Jennifer Goulet Creative Many Michigan CEO.

The project has attracted some well-known West Michigan entities as sponsors, including Michigan Film and Digital Media Office, Brightly, designvox, GR Current, Kendall College of Art and Design, Herman Miller, OST, Mighty in the Midwest, Mutually Human, Wolverine World Wide, Start Garden, CWD Real Estate, Founders and ArtPrize.

Wolverine plans to host its own two-day pop-up shop at Michigan House – 6-9 p.m. Oct 2 and noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 3 – featuring its most popular Sperry shoes. The shop will also offer complimentary tattoos on shoes purchased at the event.

“The Michigan House is a living, breathing experience, like a space capsule of the best things about this place we call home, that can be transported into crowds of people to show the story they’ve missed,” said Paul Moore, Start Garden spokesman.

After its 18-day stay in Grand Rapids, Michigan House is next slated to appear in Detroit for the North American International Auto Show in January.

Find a full list of Michigan House activities during ArtPrize at michiganhouse.org.