Up and Down the River by Cathy Johnson and guest writers is published weekly in the Big Rapids Pioneer.
By Roxanne Cullen
2018 has been an amazing year with way too many highlights to mention them all. Over the past months, I have shared with you some of the work of the Board, particularly as it pertains to defining what we do and getting our arms around this multi-faceted organization that means so much to so many different people. Last month I wrote about our collaborations and the partners that we work with throughout the year. I have the opportunity to share with you how we are perceived by one of those collaborators, namely Hope Network.
In November, Artworks was awarded the APEX Award for Outstanding Community Partner. The APEX award recognizes the accomplishments of individuals or organizations in furthering the empowering and achievement of individuals with disabilities and other barriers to community access and employment. Hope Network nominated us for this honor, and I want to share with you some of the kind words they wrote about us in their nomination. They wrote that “Artworks provides support and care for the individuals we serve in order to learn that art is challenging, rewarding, and possibly a life-changing experience. This enhances participation in meaningful productive classes which include pottery, basket weaving, mosaic, floral, and stained glass, to mention a few.” They specifically pointed to the gallery show that we host for the Hope Network artists, writing that this gives the Hope Network artists “a sense of pride in being able to express themselves and be a part of a community.” They commented on the safe and fun atmosphere at Artworks. “Artworks is a warm and welcoming art center for members of the community. The individuals we serve (Hope Network) enjoy being able to participate at Artworks, in order to be part of that community. The staff are compassionate and understanding to the limitations of the individuals we serve.”
Thank you to Hope Network for being a longtime collaborator and for honoring us with this award. The letters supporting our nomination are greatly appreciated and help us to reaffirm our mission “to initiate and support humanities and arts that enrich our lives, nurture our creative effort, and vitalize the community.” In 2019 may we continue the rich traditions we have nurtured to this point, as well as explore new collaborations and ventures as we bring the arts to life.
By Charmaine Lucas The “soul” inspiration for this article is from a book I recently read, Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I’ve taken liberty to take her chapter titled, Allegiance to Gratitude, and turn it into my own Allegiance … Continue reading →
By Roxanne Cullen In our Case Statement we describe Artworks as “a collaborative venue for appreciating and participating in arts and humanities.” At first glance the collaborative venue could be referring to our building at 106 North Michigan and the … Continue reading →
By Olive Mullet Keith Gessen’s novel A Terrible Country set in 2008 Moscow reads like nonfiction. A young man Andrei Kaplan had been born in Moscow but emigrated with his parents, afraid of Putin’s police state, to the States. Andrei’s … Continue reading →
Editor’s note: Barbara Park sent us this article which she “found in a file at the museum. Unfortunately the source is unknown.” It is, however, a “very interesting historical read that exemplifies the importance of the Muskegon River.” It was … Continue reading →
By Roxanne Cullen As we begin our fall season of classes at Artworks, it seems like a good time to think about the teaching and learning that happens at Artworks. I have had the good fortune to take a number … Continue reading →
By Jayna Wekenman On Friday, August 3, 2018, I set out with a group of paddlers representing Big Rapids Area River Safety (BRARS) on a 4-day paddle voyage to promote safer interactions with the Muskegon River. We left Evart, MI … Continue reading →
By Elizabeth Newman and Julia Leis (Editor’s note: this essay was originally published online in the Great Lakes Review as part of the Narrative Map project. It is used with permission). How do you explain a place that lives so … Continue reading →
By Cathy Johnson Yup. It’s that time of year again. Time for Slow Fashion October, a concept which has been discussed here for the last couple of years. October brings a change of season and wardrobe, and the inevitable enticement … Continue reading →
By Cathy Johnson If you haven’t visited the Big Rapids Community Library in a while or if you always take the elevator, have I got a story to tell you. Well, actually the story is on the walls of the … Continue reading →