Join us for FREE walking tours exploring the arts and culture in Downtown Grand Rapids. The tours take place every Sunday at 1:00 PM and every Monday at 6:00 PM from August 30 through September 28 (10 total events).
All events meet in the middle of Rosa Parks Circle. Look for Caroline Cook in her signature bright yellow clothing. Each walking tour takes approximately 60 minutes.
1) ARCHITECTURE OF DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS
August 30 at 1:00 PM & August 31 at 6:00 PM
We invent cities. We create streets and we construct buildings. Whether the structures are historic, brand new, a combination of both, or a glimpse into our future, they provide a creative portrayal of the collective story of our “place”, our built environment. No one architectural style is more important than another…they are all invaluable pages in our city’s scrapbook. Each building tells a story as we physically move through time. This tour focuses on buildings prior to Urban Renewal in the 1960s.
2) ART DART
September 6 at 1:00 PM & September 7 at 6:00 PM
See why Grand Rapids is hailed as one of America’s most creative cities! We’ll move through the city center in hunt of significant artworks, including the 42-ton Alexander Calder sculpture that symbolizes the city’s innovative spirit. Also on the tour: two art museums and an art & design school. You’ll find the activity both physically and artistically invigorating!
3) GRAND RAPIDS LEGACIES & LEGACIES IN BRONZE
September 13 at 1:00 PM & September 14 at 6:00 PM
The Grand Rapids Community Legends Project was established by local philanthropist and businessman, Peter Secchia and his family, in 2008 with the intent of keeping local history alive. They made a pledge to provide downtown Grand Rapids with a selection of no less than 25 bronze tributes of Grand Rapids’ most notable contributors. 11 years later, there are eleven 7-foot tall bronze sculptures placed throughout the urban core that has been gifted by the Project. In the words of Peter Secchia, “How will you know who you can be if you do not know who you have been?” Discover who, what, and where on this blended tour of statue art and local history.
4) MILES AND MILES OF MURALS
September 20 at 1:00 PM & September 21 at 6:00 PM
Who says art museums must be inside, enclosed with 4 walls, a ceiling and floor? Swirling all about us in Grand Rapids, in each of our city neighborhoods, vibrant, and intriguing artwork is appearing outside on sides of buildings, underneath highway overpasses, on retaining walls, street surfaces and utility boxes. These are murals, street art, wall art, painted by artists that celebrate beauty, or calls to action, and tributes to heroes. The murals transform otherwise unnoticeable, or worse, blighted spaces into a must-see, energizing attractions. Viewing these murals is a study in local history, community activism and sheer expressions of creativity… art all the time!
5) STEEPLE CHASE
September 27 at 1:00 PM & September 28 at 6:00 PM
Learn why Grand Rapids has been called “The City of Churches” on this fascinating tour of religious landmarks. We’ll pass by churches that date back to 1848 and see multiple architectural styles, soaring spires, expertly crafted stone & brickwork, Tiffany windows and more. Along the way, you’ll discover the historical importance and contemporary relevance of faith in Grand Rapids.