Update on the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA),Grand Rapids reveals it will be ceasing operations

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An update about the future of the UICA:

Dear UICA members,

I am emailing to share some information regarding the future of the UICA. After thorough consideration, the University has chosen to cease operations of the UICA effective March 3, 2023. UICA’s current exhibitions will remain open through Feb. 11, 2023.

For the past decade, KCAD, Ferris State University, and generous community donors have financially supported the UICA’s programming and overhead expenses. However, the organization has not overcome the obstacles it faced during the pandemic and could not maintain the funding necessary to remain operational or become sustainable.

As the UICA winds down its operations, we have been working diligently to create and expand relationships with area arts organizations that support the contemporary arts to ensure a smooth transition and the continuation of some of its programming. Most notably, the gift store and popular Holiday Artists Market will continue under the guidance of KCAD; the Open Projector Night initiative has found a new home at Wealthy Theatre.

Since its founding more than 40 years ago, the UICA is credited with pioneering the contemporary arts in the region. It has inspired the creation of some wonderful organizations that will carry the torch forward. Although UICA as an organization may end, its innovative spirit and focus on elevating contemporary arts and artists in West Michigan will continue in new ways with KCAD’s leadership role in the next iteration of ArtPrize.

Thank you for your support over the years, and I hope you will stop by to see the UICA’s current exhibitions before they close in early February. If you have any questions about this announcement, please feel free to reach out to kcadpresident@ferris.edu.

Thank you,

Tara McCrackin (She/Her/Hers)
Kendall College of Art and Design
of Ferris State University

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