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Samaritas engages ArtPrize attendees, Grand Rapids residents in artistic adventure

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Downtown scavenger hunt engages community in constructing an original mural


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About Samaritas

One of the state’s largest faith-based nonprofits, Samaritas has been sending ripples of positive change into Michigan communities since 1934. Samaritas serves people of all ages and backgrounds including providing resettlement services for New Americans, adoption and foster care, and at-home services, and residential communities for seniors and persons with disabilities, through assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care. Affordable living residential communities are also available for independent seniors, families and persons with disabilities.

More than safe harbor in crisis, Samaritas comes through, when others don’t, with a path home. Samaritas connects all people based on their individual circumstances with the families and communities that will empower them to live their fullest life possible. Potential fulfilled, those served then promote the dignity of others, launching into the community an unending ripple effect of transformation.

For information, visit In all of our services we seek to follow the biblical imperative to “Love mercy, act justly, walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8b)



ArtPrize 2018 attendees and local residents alike will leave no stone unturned while searching downtown for the elusive pieces of what will recreate a local artist’s mural.

During an effort hosted by one of Michigan’s largest faith-based nonprofits, Samaritas, attendees of the art festival and local residents are encouraged to look for painted rock puzzle pieces hidden throughout downtown Grand Rapids. The rocks contain pieces of an image created by Grand Rapids artist Erick Picardo with help from Samaritas seniors, foster youth, and refugees; put together, the rocks become an impactful mural, carrying out Samaritas’ theme of “Be the Rock that Starts the Ripple of Transformation.”

Anyone who finds one of the rock pieces can deliver it to New Holland Brewing Company’s Knickerbocker location, and receive a discount on a food or beverage purchase there. The new mural will be constructed by all the individual rocks and displayed in front of the Knickerbocker, mirrored by the original hanging inside.

Samaritas’s mission of connecting communities and empowering individuals drives the spirit of this unique initiative. Samaritas has long aimed to lift up the people and communities it serves in a generative fashion, inspiring the same ripple effect of transformation for generations to come. With teamwork as a guiding principal, Samaritas exemplifies the collaborative action that facilitates such growth.

The rock scavenger hunt takes place from September 19 to October 7. The mural will be complete by the final day of ArtPrize. Samaritas hopes this initiative will engender a spirit of teamwork and engagement within the community.

“At Samaritas we encourage people to ‘be the rock that starts the ripple of transformation,’” says Samaritas Chief Advancement Officer Kelli Dobner. “Even small, individual actions can create great change within communities and lives. In this case, although the original vision for the painting comes from the artist, its final form requires a lot of people to work together to bring the project to life, one rock at a time. We see this as a metaphor for how we seek to impact and empower people and communities across Michigan.”

Erick Picardo’s work tells universal stories while drawing deeply on his Afro-Carribean heritage. An artist and community organizer, his work exhibits internationally.

People can exchange painted stone puzzle pieces at the Knickerbocker New Holland Brewing Company for $2 off of a food or beverage purchase (minimum purchase required). Samaritas will host a rock painting in Rosa Parks Circle on September 29, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The rocks decorated at that event will also be hidden for discovery throughout downtown Grand Rapids.

Applied Imaging printed the puzzle pieces the effort. Birch Tree Bark & Stone and Verhey Carpet donated the stones.


Samaritas Scavenger Hunt during ArtPrize

September 19–October 7, 2018

Turn in painted rock pieces at Knickerbocker New Holland Brewery (417 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504)

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