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Our History

Rooted in a passion for art and community, Cultivate was founded in February 2022 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 


Cultivating community, we listened.  Six months of market research beforehand was conducted before its launch, with artist and community interviews, and deep listening.  What was observed was a need for art and community: a place for challenging art exhibitions that inspired conversation and compassion, a space for studio-based fine art classes, a center for education and continued artist learning and development. 


Cultivating growth, we called upon people.  We intentionally built the foundation, or the skeleton, of what Cultivate the organization would become.  We only built the bones of the organization so that the community could bring their ideas, their experience, their expertise, and their gifts so that we could build out the rest together.  Intentionally creating this organization with a group of artists, creative-minded individuals, experts in the fields, and, most importantly, a wide range of voices, experiences, and backgrounds, 


Cultivating creativity, we continue to grow. We understand that in order to cultivate, we must continue to evolve.  We recognize that we are an ever-evolving organization.  Responding to new language, new information, new people, new ideas, and supporting as we can.  

Cultivate launched in February 2022, and began partnering with organizations across West Michigan, the state, and the country - East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation was one of its first partners, and grew to include additional local partners like the DAAC, local and regional colleges and universities, and ArtPrize, where we did the educational and family programming.  In this time, we hosted over one hundred art classes and connected with community. 

Cultivate secured its brick-and-mortar gallery and education space in December 2022, and soft opened with an exhibition in January 2023.  This was a great achievement, as we are an artist-run space, we were uplifted and supported by our community - for it was the art classes and events that made it possible to get a building.  We will share our one-year anniversary at the same time that we grand open our gallery, in February 2023. 

Cultivate now has a team of 40+ artists, curators, art advisors, teachers, mentors, and friends developing and working on board.  We have served and supported over 500 artists that are local, regional, and national.  Over 200 students of all ages have created new work that they are proud of, fostering a community where people feel encouraged and safe to explore concepts and materials, and experiment with new ideas. 

We look forward to the growing art community, partnerships, and artist support.  We look forward to many years to come.  

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