The Rapidian

GoSite coalition partners offer collaborative, community-focused programs

The information sharing space will serve as a central access point, highlighting many of the notable programs already in place throughout the community.
Underwriting support from:

/courtesy Grand Rapids Art Museum

/Courtesy Grand Rapids Art Museum

/Courtesy Grand Rapids Art Museum

The upcoming GoSite, located in the northwest glass enclosed corner of the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), creates an environment that reframes the traditional information center to fully engage an integrated 21st century audience, eliminating barriers between visitors and residents in the conversation and enriching the experience for all.

Creating a welcome and inclusive gathering space in a high profile downtown location, the foundation of the GoSite includes a strong coalition of public, private and nonprofit stakeholders. Initial coalition members include Experience Grand Rapids (Convention and Visitor Bureau), Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. (DGRI), Arena District - representing the restaurant and hospitality sector, Cultural Marketing Group (CMG) – representing over 20 arts & cultural organizations, and the GRAM - representing the location at the center of the city, adjacent to Rosa Parks Circle and Maya Lin’s "Ecliptic."

The GoSite will offer a comfortable, centrally located space that organizes existing information through intuitive, easy-to-navigate access points to databases, programs, services, events, social media and websites, along with hands-on materials. There are many individuals and organizations in the community already hard at work making Grand Rapids a great place to be, and the GoSite can help shine a light across them all.

In fact, some of those organizations with notable programs already in place include the coalition partners listed above. Experience Grand Rapids has a successful history of showcasing the area and will contribute greatly to the information available, and they continue to build on these successes. Introduced this year is the Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program, aimed at increasing tourism by inspiring frontline hospitality employees, volunteers, police officers, community leaders and other area residents to turn every single visitor experience into a positive one.

The CTA program empowers its members by offering a class with take home materials to help familiarize participants with Grand Rapids history, geography, transportation, cultural and ethnic heritage, landmarks, entertainment, dining, outdoor life and more. More than 500 individuals representing hotel staff, cultural attractions, restaurants, taxi services, airport workers and many others have already become Certified Tourism Ambassadors, a nationwide designation and a credential of which they can be very proud. The more we know and embrace what makes our place matter, the more welcoming we are for others to enjoy it with us. For more information on becoming a CTA, contact Lisa Verhil.

Another notable effort by one of the coalition partners is the award-winning CulturePassGR collaborative program, created by the CMG. Now in its fourth year, CulturePassGR is an incentive program offering specials and discounts to over 20 arts and cultural organizations. The CulturePassGR card is provided free of charge as a benefit to members or subscribers of one or more of the participating organizations. The card is also available through “Get Cultured” hotel packages or individually through Experience Grand Rapids.

The program, which received the Arts Destination Marketing Award 2012 from the Destination Marketing Association International and Americans for the Arts, is flexible in offering last minute specials due to its online portal and facebook presence. To learn more about the CulturePassGR program, visit their website.

These are just two highlights of existing opportunities that will be included within the information accessible at the GoSite, helping to bring increased awareness to great programs, events, services and more throughout the community, and showcasing how we all contribute to making place matter in Grand Rapids.

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