guests enjoying drop-in activities

guests enjoying drop-in activities

First Fridays

Every First Friday of the month, the Heartside neighborhood transforms into an active, arts-focused destination. After you explore the galleries, shops, and artists booths along South Division, visit The Galleries at UICA and experience the works on view. Then, head to The Studio to use your inspiration from the works within the 4 floors of galleries to create artwork to take home using supplies provided. Studio activities are led by one of our hosts, are family friendly, and are designed for all ages.

Upcoming First Friday Programs

Photo by  Carbon Stories

Family Days

Throughout the year, UICA encourages families to enjoy an afternoon learning in The Galleries and playing in The Studio. On select Saturdays, after experiencing original works of art through the four floors of galleries, families are invited to visit The Studio to experiment with different forms of art-making.

All activities are guided by UICA staff and volunteers, are free with admission, and designed for all ages. This program is a drop-in format between 1:00 – 4:00 pm on select Saturdays.

The Studio at UICA

The Studio

Drop-in anytime during gallery hours and explore your own creativity with the materials provided in The Studio. This open-source space is the perfect destination for an afternoon or evening of creative fun. Drop by with friends or family or visit independently. The Studio is open during gallery hours.


Group Tours

Enhance your visit to UICA with a docent-led tour. Join an experienced volunteer or staff member on a behind the scenes tour of the galleries and learn more about the works on view. Contact Katherine Williams, Community Programs Coordinator at, or submit an inquiry form below.
Self-Guided Tour Rate: $5.00 per person.
Guided Tours Rate: $8.00 per person.

UICA ArtWorks 2019

A Summer Program for Teens

/ Sculptor / Fashion Designer / Illustrator / Photographer / Art Educator / Graphic Designer / Architect / Painter / Printmaker / Interior Designer /

The ArtWorks summer program is a team internship for students interested in actively pursuing a career in studio arts, design, non-profit arts management, museum studies, art education, or other similar careers. Teams of 10–12 students engage with creative challenges that connect educational and artistic resources and services to local neighborhoods. This program empowers and strengthens the contributions made by young adults to their community by valuing their diverse perspectives, opinions, and creative abilities. 

ArtWorks is programmed by the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, which has been building creative community by fostering new forms of expression, promoting collaboration, and providing genuine experiences with contemporary art for 35+ years. 

Contemporary Conversations

Learn more about West Michigan's creative workforce, neighboring cultural organizations, and about ways to engage with Grand Rapids' art-scene with interviews and guest features highlighting our local and regional community members.