In 1940, Grand Rapids Community Foundation made its first grant to a fledgling art school in Grand Rapids. It was followed by subsequent grants of $100 each in 1941 for the Kendall Memorial School and in 1942 for the David Wolcott Kendall School. In the last 71 years, the Community Foundation has supported Kendall College of Art and Design with a variety of grants and today it announced that it is helping fund the expansion of the noted art school to the former Federal building located in downtown Grand Rapids. A grant of $200,000 was approved by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
Additionally, the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market and its manager, the Midtown Neighborhood Association is getting help to improve its infrastructure with a $150,000 grant award. The funds will help improve the existing site, create a building for year-round vending and improve traffic flow in the popular market. One of the City’s original farmers’ market, it has been in operation since 1922, the same year the Community Foundation was founded.
Kent Countyand the City of Grand Rapids are partnering on a study to identify an organizational model and a sustainable funding source(s) for parks throughout Kent County with a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation. There are more than 11,000 acres of parkland and recreational facilities in Kent County, including 25 shared acres of trails. The grant will help the municipalities look at coordination and collaboration of park services. “The study will represent a collaborative analysis of how to re-define the way parks and recreation services are offered in the county. Coordination and potential consolidation of parks and recreation activities will protect the investments that have already been made in the parks,” said Kate Luckert Schmid, program director at the Foundation.