We feel fortunate to serve an area that is rich with arts and culture. We also understand that celebrating art begins with investing in programs that make it accessible—and enjoyable—in our community. Because of this, we dedicate grants and resources to programs that bring regional and national art and cultural experiences into the community while also supporting the growth of local organizations.
We partner with the West Michigan Symphony in their Link Up program, which provides a free musical curriculum, a recorder instrument, and visits from professional artists to more than 4,000 third through fifth graders in our area. With the chance to participate in a live performance at the Frauenthal Center alongside nationally recognized symphony musicians to showcase their hard work learning to play the recorder.
Similarly, we have supported young musicians and artists through grants to promote Spring Lake’s “Art in the Park,” which included an opportunity for Spring Lake High School students to create pieces for public display. We also granted a program that brought local third graders to the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) for a tour and art-making workshop, with professional development workshops for Grand Haven Area Public Schools art teachers and curricula developed by GRAM to be used to develop future learning.
Beyond our work investing in young artists, we also provide grants and resources to organizations partnering with lifelong artists. For example, our partnership with the Lakeshore Visual Arts Collective (LVAC) is helping the organization provide a platform for artists to thrive, grow, and connect with the community. Back in 2017, we awarded a grant to support the collective’s first-ever all-member show, a project that inspired the community and gave a voice to all artists participating. The grant also gave the collective a step forward to building the legacy of an artwork community that is sustainable and available for all in Northwest Ottawa County. More recently, we partnered with LVAC and the Muskegon Museum of Art to host the Foundational Art Exhibit at the Grand Haven Community Center. As you may have seen, this exhibit of local art was inspired by landscapes and places that have benefited from GHACF grants.
In addition to supporting specific programs and organizations, our foundation has been integral to the community staples you know and love, including everything from the musical fountain to free community concerts. We have had the privilege of supporting the Musical Fountain Committee in its efforts to buy a new sound system so visitors watching the show can better hear the music. We’ve helped fund free concerts such as the summer concert series from local radio station WAWL 103.5 FM and the Courtyard Concerts at Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, both of which provide free music to all in the community. While initiatives like these may seem small, they collectively enrich our community by introducing diverse cultures and talent.
As you can see, we understand that art and culture can be found anywhere, taking many different forms. We are thankful to our partners and donors who’ve helped establish such a vibrant art community in our area over the past 50 years, and we look forward to supporting local talent for years to come.
To learn more about our work in local art and culture, please visit our Arts & Culture grant priority page.