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Holiday Inn Birthday

  Today we celebrate the 66th birthday of Holiday Inn©! As Holiday Inn© hotels continue to develop around the world, today we are taking time to remember how the brand began. Holiday Inn© hotels were created by an entrepreneur named Kemmons Wilson. After traveling on a family vacation to Washington D.C. with his five children, Wilson was disappointed motels did not cater more towards families. The trip inspired Wilson to create a hotel brand which was both comfortable and affordable for traveling families. On August 1st, 1952 IHG opened the first Holiday Inn© hotel located in Memphis, Tennessee. Today Holiday Inn© hotels have evolved to cater towards both business and pleasure travelers. Within a Holiday Inn© hotel, guests will find amenities including fitness facilities, business centers, dining options and meeting space. Guests can also earn and utilize IHG Rewards© towards their stay. With over 1,163 hotels as of March 2018,...
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Gilda’s Laughfest!

Come join us for Gilda’s Laughfest, a community-wide festival of laughter, March 8-18, 2018. This annual festival is put on by the local branch of Gilda’s club, an organization for individuals living with cancer, named after former Saturday Night Live star, Gilda Radner. Now in it’s 7th year, Laughfest offers a variety of hilarious events for the whole family, many of which are completely free! Please visit laughfestgr.org for a complete list of both free and ticketed events. In years past, Laughfest has proudly hosted talented comedians such as Jay Leno, Whoopie Goldberg, Seth Meyers and even Betty White! Among favorites this year is parody song writer, “Weird Al Yankovic”. Shake off the winter weather blues and enjoy a seriously funny night out, right here in downtown Grand Rapids!

Christmas Time In the City

Do you have family and friends coming into town for the holidays? Are you looking for festive things to do? Look no farther than right here in downtown Grand Rapids! The city has many fun holiday traditions to offer. While you’re in town, don’t forget to rent some ice skates and take a spin on the ice rink at Rosa Parks Circle. If being outdoors isn’t quite your style and you are looking for something a little warmer, head to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park and visit the Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibit, showing now through January 7th. For more information on holiday events going on downtown and in the surrounding areas, be sure to stop by the Experience Grand Rapids website for a complete listing. Happy Holidays from the HIGRDT Staff!

Diversity Comes to ArtPrize!

Last, but certainly not least, the Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown would like to introduce you to our final artist for ArtPrize 2017. The artist is…drumroll please… Jerry Berta and his students from Kentwood Public Schools! Jerry and his students are no strangers to ArtPrize and they are back this year with their piece We Are All Different Fish but We All Swim Together. Using ceramics, found materials, and laser cut wood fish from our previously featured artist Corey Carpenter, 500-800 different fish, designed by the students at Kentwood Public Schools, will take the shape of larger fish on a 160ft fence. The project was part of a lesson Mr. Berta taught on diversity and the importance of working together to create a better world though we are all so uniquely different. This piece will be lining our front lawn alongside Pearl Street and will definitely be hard to miss....
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Outdoor ArtPrize Fun!

The Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown is proud to host Corey Carpenter as a first time artist participating in ArtPrize 2017. Corey has done a lot of work with laser cut wood as the owner of Brightmark Studio. His piece, Requiem for a Reef, showcases his incredible talent very well on this mural featuring a coral reef. He will be working in collaboration with another one of our artists to turn our front lawn into a sea of fish. Whether you are driving or walking by, please don’t miss out on this beautiful wood and veneer piece! The competition runs from September 20 – October 8, 2017.

ArtPrize…The Next Generation

One of the coolest things about ArtPrize is that it is a great opportunity to get young people interested in creating something of their own. The students at Kent Career Tech Center used photography, illustration, and graphic design to create their collaborative piece, Object Head Portraits. The piece includes photographs of each student, in their favorite outfit, either taken in their favorite place or photo shopped into an illustrated background of an environment that the artist enjoys. Their faces are covered with photo shopped images of objects that represent them as individuals.  Please come and support these young and talented artists and check out their creative graphic design portraits! The competition runs from September 20 – October 8, 2017.

An ArtPrize Descendant

The Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown is so excited to welcome Jed Freels to his second year as an ArtPrize artist! You may have seen his piece, Life, in front of the Van Andel Arena last year. Continuing with his DNA motif, Jed’s piece this year, entitled Descendants, captures the essence of DNA being passed from generation to generation. This 11ft steel sculpture, depicts a mother holding her new born child, standing on top of a double helix. Reaching up into the strand of DNA are the hands from their descendants who possessed the DNA before them. You certainly will not want to miss this stunning depiction of the complexity and beauty of life. The competition runs from September 20 – October 8, 2017.

ArtPrize Will Soon Be In Bloom

Tying in with the music motif of our first featured artist, Carol Foerch’s Music Blooms are sure to be a wonderful addition to our lobby during ArtPrize 2017. Carol’s piece represents how tone and expression in the language we use is very much like bursts of music. Each flower is created with sheet music and has a beaded center. If you are a lover of music, this is a piece worth stopping in to see! The competition runs from September 20 – October 8, 2017.

ArtPrize lands Ashore!

Remember when we said we wanted to showcase Grand Rapids and the beautiful state of Michigan in our lobby during ArtPrize this year? Meanwhile at the Shore by J.S. Edenburn adds to that motif quite well. Taken on 35mm film, these photographs of Michigan’s beautiful shoreline will make you wish summer wasn’t ending soon. From lighthouses to dune grass, the viewer will experience the true beauty that is Pure Michigan. ArtPrize draws in large crowds from all over the world, many of which, may not have ever experienced the Michigan shoreline. If this piece doesn’t make them want to take a side trip to the lake, we don’t know what will! The competition runs from September 20 – October 8, 2017.

Developing ArtPrize 2017

Many people forget that art isn’t specifically defined as something stationary that we are just meant to look at. ArtPrize has not forgotten this detail and actually includes many time based pieces that depict the performing arts as well. Though Lauren Loria’s piece Dévelopé is only a visual representation of the performing arts, it still captures the beauty and emotion of ballet by freezing the dancers at a specific moment in time. The goal of her piece is to allow viewers to contemplate dance without the constant change that comes with watching a performance. Since dance is an ephemeral art form, important artistic details are often missed so please don’t miss this opportunity to experience dance frozen in time through Lauren’s photographs! The competition runs from September 20 – October 8, 2017.