The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts builds creative community by fostering new forms of expression, promoting collaboration, and providing genuine experiences with contemporary art.


Through compelling exhibitions, events, community programs, and youth development, we actively challenge both artists and audiences to new levels of dialogue, creative pursuit, reflection, and illumination. UICA initiates conversation in response to visual art, music, film, literature, dance, and performance art featuring regional, national, and international artists.

UICA presents new gallery exhibitions of contemporary artwork from regional, national and international artists throughout the year. UICA also hosts a range of events including docent-led tours, concerts, performance art, short film series, artist receptions, and gallery talks. UICA’s movie theater shows first-run independent cinema, international films, and documentaries six days a week.

UICA is dedicated to:

  1. Contemporary arts as a catalyst for exploration, inspiration, and provocation
  2. Promoting inclusive cultural dialogue and lifelong learning throughout our diverse society
  3. Presenting contemporary art that is artistically excellent, thought provoking, and experimental
  4. Advancing the careers and the creative processes of innovative emerging and mid-career artists
  5. Producing vibrant, sustainable programs that attract, educate, employ, and retain a diverse creative workforce in West Michigan
  6. Partnering with community leaders and neighboring organizations to enhance our urban environment
  7. Protecting freedom of artistic expression because it is essential to a thriving community