ArtPrize kicks off with Laker Marching Band, Dance Company and WGVU Nerd Walk

The Grand Valley State University Laker Marching Band, Dance Company and WGVU Public Media will kick-off ArtPrize and the PBS Arts Fall Festival Wednesday evening, September 23, at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.

Joined by President Thomas J. Haas and Louie the Laker, the newly christened Community Arts Celebration will include opening remarks by ArtPrize officials, music by the Laker Marching Band and a performance by the GVSU Dance Company. Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell will also give a special proclamation. 

Following their Rosa Parks Circle performances, the marching band, dancers and participants in the WGVU/PBS Nerd Walk will proceed in cadence through downtown and across the Blue Pedestrian Bridge to the L.V. Eberhard Center on Grand Valley’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus where the band will perform a second time.

The second annual WGVU/PBS Nerd Walk encourages participants to embrace their own uniqueness by sporting horn-rimmed glasses, magic wands, lightsabers, mystical hammers and capes while marching the streets of Grand Rapids. A new addition to this year’s Nerd Walk is a PBS Bob Ross look-alike contest. The first 500 individuals to register at will receive a free Bob Ross wig. Participants can also register to walk at the WGVU/PBS Arts Fall Festival tent in front of the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM).

The Community Arts Celebration is a partnership among Grand Valley, ArtPrize, GRAM, Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids, LaughFest, PBS Arts, PBS Digital Studios, PBS Arts Fall Festival, GrandCon and Grand Rapids Comic Con.

Below is a full schedule of events:

6:00 p.m. — WGVU/PBS Arts Fall Festival tent check-in

6:25 p.m. — Opening remarks by ArtPrize officials

6:30 p.m. — Laker Marching Band and Dance Company perform

6:45 p.m. — Laker Marching Band, Dance Company and Nerd Walk march to Eberhard Center

6:50 p.m. — Proclamation by Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell

6:55 p.m. — ArtPrize Education Days announcement

7 p.m. — PBS Bob Ross look-alike contest

7:30 p.m. — Concert by the Reely Keely Trio


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