The Rapidian

The DAAC, South Division staple, returns to the Market

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

Michael Wolf talks about the DAAC's involvement in the Heartside community and the upcoming Market presented by Avenue for the Arts.
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The Market presented by Avenue for the Arts


This year the event will be held on two separate days, June 8th and July 13th from 12pm-8pm. The Market presented by Avenue for the Arts celebrates local artists and businesses. This street market style event features the work of local artists and artisans, showcasing a wide selection of tasteful and fun handmade goods by some of Grand Rapids' most talented creative doers. The Market is appropriate for all ages, free and open to the public and is one of the best opportunities this summer to find unique gifts and treasures.

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Michael Wolf is a board member at the Division Avenue Arts Collective, the all ages multi purpose event space located off South Division in Grand Rapids Heartside neighborhood. Usually known for hosting art and music shows, the DAAC also strives to be a place that all residents are welcome and able to put on workshops, gallery showings, movie screenings and more. Founded in 2003, the DAAC is committed to an independent ethic and a focus on being volunteer run.

A graduate of GVSU, Michael became involved in the Heartside community through a series of internships with the Avenue for the Arts, The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and the Market. His interest spiked, he started attending the DAAC Sunday Soups, a community meal event that allows for people to propose their ideas to receive grants for their projects, and made his way onto to the board.

Passionate about what the DAAC and other division area projects have to offer, Michael speaks to why art in the Grand Rapids community is important and how the DAAC helps support this idea. He comments on how today's schools are cutting art and music programs shutting kids out of the conversation when it comes to artistry and the individual. The DAAC comes to the rescue, offering an all ages space allowing a safe place for exposure to a world they may not have previously considered could be theirs. He speaks to his own experiences saying “With the DAAC I saw a place where I could have a voice. I got an 'I can do this' feeling. The kids can come here and feel like they could do this too, put on a show or something.” For Michael and the DAAC community is key. “I feel like we need to collaborate, the projects in the community kind of have the same hopes and dreams and we want to bring them together.”

Further highlighting the Heartside community, Michael praises the neighborhood’s start up spirit. “There is money to start something here if you want it and you should just go for it, even if it fails, if you have an idea, this is the place to try and start it. It sounds kind of cheesy," says Michael "But people should just really give the neighborhood a chance.”

One of the upcoming ways The DAAC is helping to boost arts awareness in the community is by participating in the upcoming Market presented by the Avenue for the Arts. This event is an open air market that showcases local vendors, performers and business along South Division for the public to peruse. Michael is an organizer for the table that will be set up outside the DAAC for the June 8th event. He encourages everybody to stop by for some info and merch and see what the DAAC is all about. And, to keep an eye out for upcoming fundraising opportunities to help support the DAAC and the do it yourself attitude. Or if you want to become involved now they offer open board meetings every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month where you can just sit in, book a show or learn about volunteer opportunities. Also to keep up with what’s going on visit, like them on Facebook and follow them on twitter.

In addition to the go for it attitude that the DAAC collaborative and Michael have cultivated, he insists everyone check out the rest of South Division. “Come to a show at the DAAC for five bucks, stop by Miscellany before it closes, check out the new Parliament Boutique, go in Calvin’s 106 Gallery or pick up a used record at Vertigo...”

See a show this weekend at Mexicains Sans Frontieres, buy some art at Heartside Gallery... the list goes on.

There are endless opportunities for all walks of life to discover something amazing and inspiring on the Avenue for the Arts. Anyone can start by checking out the DAAC and tons of the other homegrown Grand Rapids creativity in Heartside. You can start by stopping by the Market presented by Avenue for the Arts on June 8 from 12-8p.m.

Submitted by Claira Freeman

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