Dan Packard, an Arizona resident for the last 35 years, grew up in the mid-sized, midwestern city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a lover of the arts, Dan heard how an art competition called ArtPrize, was changing the landscape of his home town, and wanted to learn more. Then, when Valley Leadership challenged Dan to develop a large-scale project which creates community, he began conversations with ArtPrize with the hope of bringing an ArtPrize-like event to Arizona.
ArtPrize is the world’s largest international art competition and festival, taking place within an approximately 3-square mile area in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. It has taken place for 3 weeks, every Fall, since 2009. It brings approximately 450,000 people to Grand Rapids from 45 countries, and it has an approximate $35 million impact on the downtown Grand Rapids economy. It has also aided the revitalization of downtown and boosted the careers of many participating artists. Approximately 1,500 artists exhibit their work in over 200 venues. Over $500,000 in cash prizes are awarded to artists, including two $200,000 grand prizes – one of which is awarded by a vote of the general public, and another is awarded by a professional art jury. Cash prizes are also awarded to separate public and juried winners in the following 4 categories: 2D, 3D, installation, and time-based.
After his initial conversations with ArtPrize, Dan established a nonprofit organization that would come to be known as ArtWins Arizona. After years of learning, attendance and collaboration with ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, ArtWins is building momentum towards its launch. Dan’s vision has caught the attention of many organizations and community leaders who are eager to support and participate in the coming ArtWins competition.