We are so grateful to partner with ArtPrize to do their education and family programming. See information below about additional events, community engagement, and activities for all ages!
This page also serves our program for our event.
“Intersection of Art and Storytelling”
A Panel Discussion:
Fountain Street Church
Wednesday, Sept 21 6-8pm
In this panel discussion, we talk with artists, writers, and storytellers to discuss the intersection between art and storytelling. How do artists convey storytelling in their work? What role do stories have in the artists’ process? And can we separate the artist from their story? This is an event in partnership with ArtPrize, Cultivate, and Fountain Street Church.
Seating is not reserved. We do recommend that attendees arrive before 5:45 to ensure that they have a seat. If you have accessibility needs, please email email@example.com and we will do our best to support you.
We are excited to share the moderator and panelists below.
Will Davis, (he/him) also known as Endlesswill, is the former Hillsborough Poet Laureate from 2016-2018 and currently serves on the Hillsborough Arts Council. Will is a passionate leader in the community, promoting poetry as a tool for expression and basketball as a tool for empowerment. He is a father, a teacher, a poet, and a coach who has a relentless desire to empower the children and people he works with in his daily life. It is impossible to leave a conversation with Will Davis without laughing. His smile is infectious and his joy fills a room. Given the adversity he struggled as a child, Will Davis exemplifies what it means to be completed by community. Whether at home, in the classroom, or on the basketball court, you always find Endlesswill working in some way to bring joy, confidence, and passion to the space he occupies.
Selected list of Will's publications:
Danielle C. Wyckoff
Originally from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, Danielle C. Wyckoff (she/her) currently lives and works in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is an artist and an educator, teaching at Kendall College of Art and
Design. Considering the human capacity to love and how we speak about those loves, Wyckoff’s work explores the myriad ways in which we express and understand such. She has exhibited or performed across the United States, in Chile, Denmark, China, and Canada. When possible, she, her husband Nate, and their daughter visit the oceanic Lake Michigan.
Brandy Mayweather (she/her) was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. She specializes in acrylic 3D art with special features added. Brandy fell in love with art at the age of 7 years old. She makes it her mission to provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy art. Brandy was one of many impacted by the pandemic. She had no source of income and was homeless. When provided a clean empty room with no furniture, desperate to have an income, she decided to launch her business PopHerColour in hopes that she could provide for herself and her daughter. She is dedicated every day to making personalized pieces for multiple clients online. She had no idea what positive impact her paintbrush had for many that struggled mentally during those times, and refused to put it down. Brandy hopes to inspire as many people as she can to live outside the box and create a life that makes them happy. Everyone is given a blank canvas; even in the worst circumstances, you can create a beautiful picture.
Brandy's work in ArtPrize:
This piece reflects the art in releasing emotions that’s normally seen as a negative. Crying is often associated with a sense of weakness or vulnerability for adults when it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve experienced crying out of laughter, crying to cleanse myself, or crying out of relief. I hope this piece can show others that it’s ok to release. You’re human.
With this piece, you are allowed to grab a rock from the blue tears and write the last time you’ve cried. Adding a rock collectively encourages others to cry and that they are NOT alone. Stop by and add a rock ❤️ you’re safe here
Mrs. Rebecca Stein (she/her) is the Founder of The Matriculadies.
A skilled writer and editor, Ms. Stein has worked in fundraising, strategy consulting, market research and entrepreneurship. She also had a “second career” as a religion teacher and high school Dean at a private, Episcopal day school. She is a passionate community volunteer in the areas of positive development of women and girls, health care, work readiness, and the arts.
She holds an A.B. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicagoand a M.A. in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Grand Rapids, a founder of the Grand Rapids
Chapter of National Charity League, Inc. and serves on several global non-profit boards. She is a two-term member of the Alumni Board of the University of Chicago, the highest volunteer position at the University. She is involved with the University in a number of other capacities, including serving on the Advisory Board of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (the world's foremost research center on the Ancient Near East), interviewing prospective students with the Alumni Schools Committee, fundraising for her class Reunion Committees, and working directly with the office of Career and Placement Services to hire Metcalf Scholars. Finally, she also interviews prospective students for Harvard College. She was elected in 2020 to a three-year term on the Alumni Advisory Council of Harvard Divinity School.
She has read, literally, thousands of college application essays and resumes in the last 25 years.
Cary Okoro (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker whose work explores themes of nature, memory, trauma and identity. Using a variety of media and techniques, Okoro distorts her compositions, introducing elements of abstraction or disarray. This disruption of traditional modes of image-making and story-telling is intended to question dominant narratives—about beauty and worth, power and belonging, wellness and wholeness—and encourage viewers to consider alternative perspectives. Okoro received her BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and is a member of the Director’s Guild of America (DGA.) Her work has been exhibited and screened internationally, and she is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Illinois Arts Council, The Puffin Foundation and many others. Her work has received numerous awards and is in collections across the United States.
Cary's work for ArtPrize - 'We Reach Across the Same Blue Sky' is a visual meditation on migration, culture and identity. Using images and text from my family’s rural history in Switzerland and Sweden and my husband’s rural roots in Nigeria, this work explores how the journeys of those who came before impact our own, as well as our children’s developing sense of identity. While our ancestors spoke different languages, had different cultural practices and came from separate continents, the title, “We Reach Across the Same Blue Sky,” refers to the underlying connection of human beings to each other and to nature, ultimately the deepest form of belonging.
Working in charcoal and acrylic paint, portraits and landscapes from our family histories are punctuated with handwritten lines of text, photo transparencies and deep blues and greens that flow onto the wall space, echoing the changing landscape of identity. So many families share stories like ours, I hope the viewer sees parts of their own journey reflected in this work.
Showing at the Muse GR ArtPod, 128 Louis St. NW
Claudia Pimentel is the Cultivate Director of Education. She is a Grand Rapids based illustrator, cartoonist & story-maker, specializing in children's book illustration, character design, comics works and various methods of riddle-solving and pancake flipping. At the heart of her role as an educator and instructor is the belief that all students should have access to enriching, comprehensive, and empowering education, facilitated with empathy and confidence by those guiding them. Her love of storytelling shapes her teaching methods and style — her work is a constant love letter to the process of The Narrative and the importance it has on how we communicate with community and with ourselves.
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