The Rapidian

ArtPrize gives official vote of support for sharing economy

ArtPrize strongly supports the Homesharers Creed and we believe that owner-occupied homesharing is good for our economy, our neighborhoods, and philanthropy.
Award-winning work by Beili Liu. Liu stayed in the home of local citizens while she was in Grand Rapids.

Award-winning work by Beili Liu. Liu stayed in the home of local citizens while she was in Grand Rapids. /Courtesy of ArtPrize

Underwriting support from:

Dear Planning Commissioners, 

On behalf of the Artprize organization, | am writing to offer my wholehearted support and endorsement of the homesharing economy in Grand Rapids.

In fact, through the Artprize Artist Hosting program, we've provided thousands of room nights for visiting Artprize artists for the past five years with resounding success. Artprize annually attracts artists from over the world, many of whom risk everything to bring their ideas to Grand Rapids. Each year, ArtPrize helps match out-of-town artists with volunteers offering free temporary housing. Members of our community hosted many previous ArtPrize Public Vote Winners, including Adonna Khare, Ran Ortner, Beili Liu, Mia Tavonatti, Young Kim and others.

From both an economic and social standpoint, this specific type of program is vital to the sustainability of our work. We’re currently in the process of reviewing the features and functionality in developing an "Artists Exchange" tool that would include a robust artist-hosting component at artprize.org, so we've been following the developments around the Airbnb case closely. It is encouraging to see how Airbnb is helping to develop new economies and improve consumer choice and  business competition, and is in the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation for which Grand Rapids is well known. A growing economy of homesharing would be a  sign of good health for our city and builds towards the kind of future we support at ArtPrize.

We strongly support the Homesharers Creed and the resolution to allow a culture of hosting to build in a city we are very proud to call home:

  • We believe owner-occupied homesharing is an important emerging model that should be welcomed and incentivized in Grand Rapids.
  • We believe owner-occupied homesharing is a low risk activity, as evidenced by the 3.5-year spotless track record that exists in Grand Rapids.
  • We believe owner-occupied homesharing is good for our neighborhoods. It introduces new potential employers, employees and homeowners to parts of the city that they might not experience without these additional hospitality choices.
  • We believe owner-occupied homesharing is good for our economy. Four economic impact studies have proven that Airbnb guests stay longer and spend more money in the local community.
  • We believe owner-occupied homesharing is good for tourism and hospitality. It expands more choices by offering more spaces in more places for diverse incomes.
  • We believe owner-occupied homesharing is good for entrepreneurialism. It provides a vehicle for citizens to earn revenue from their assets.
  • We believe owner-occupied homesharing is good for philanthropy. It provides a vehicle for citizens to share revenue earned from their assets.
  • We believe owner-occupied homesharing fills an important gap in the hospitality, rental and homeownership markets, and that over-regulating and criminalizíng owner-occupied homesharing will make us one of the least inclusive and hospitable cities in our nation.

We urge our planning commissioners to uphold the mission of Grand Rapids Planning Department, "We Facilitate Positive Change" and to support innovative policies that will make our city more inclusive and hospitable. We hope you will consider loosening the proposed regulations so the peer-to-peer marketplace and collaborative economy can take root in Grand Rapids.

Thanks very much for your serious and thoughtful consideration of this important matter. 

 

Sincerely, 

Christian Gaines 

Executive Director, ArtPríze

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