Have a Heart GR installation spotlights nonprofits, artists

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Have a Heart GR, an art installation that features large free-standing murals and sculptures, is on display as part of the World of Winter festival in downtown Grand Rapids.

The art installation includes 12 colorful 4-by-6-foot heart-shaped artworks by 14 local artists that are displayed at locations including Monroe Center’s social zones, Rosa Parks Circle and in front of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The installations will be on display until Feb. 28.

A dozen nonprofit organizations, many of which are struggling to find sufficient financial and other support during the coronavirus pandemic, are showcased by the Have a Heart GR pieces.

Viewers can scan QR codes posted at the installations to make financial donations to help support the organizations.

“These beautiful artworks provide everyone an opportunity to support local groups helping make Grand Rapids a better place to live and work,” said Barbara Lash, a Grand Rapids artist and creative consultant who imagined and coordinated the installation. “We want to encourage people to think more deeply about the community around them and how they can get more involved in its growth and equity. And we want to shine a light on the folks bringing their hearts to our city every day — artists and community organizations.

“How can you have a heart for all of our community? Well, one way is to actively participate in helping to grow a city that’s caring, accessible and diverse, and that means supporting organizations you believe in and shopping and dining with local, independent businesses.”

The nonprofits and community organizations participating include:

  • be nice – The West Michigan Mental Health Foundation
  • Black Book Exchange
  • Blandford Nature Center
  • Carol’s Ferals
  • Church of Social Justice
  • The Diatribe
  • Grand Rapids Mutual Aid Network
  • The Grand Rapids Pride Center
  • GR Bicycle Coalition
  • The Hispanic Center of West Michigan
  • Red Project

The mural artists include:

  • Sarah Jean Anderson
  • Eirann Betka-Pope
  • Tyree Broadway
  • Shannon Clauda
  • Sierra Cole
  • Barbara Danger
  • Bux Dhyne
  • Beth Godleski
  • Kenzi Goss
  • Tanya Harris & Alex Hassen
  • Kate Meyer
  • Monica Stegeman
  • Renee Therriault

For more information about the festival’s activities and locations of the art pieces, go to the World of Winter GR website.

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