Arts & Culture

ARTS & CULTURE GOAL #1: Foster authentic artistic and cultural expression by diverse neighborhoods and communities, especially those that are historically disadvantaged.

Example grants: Disart – Creates public art events that cultivate & communicate to disabled culture; New City Kids – Music program with academic and arts focus; NIA Centre – Equitable access & exposure to the arts for communities of color; Grandville Avenue Art & Humanities – Youth opportunities to explore their creativity, celebrate their culture, the cultures of others and build community; Diatribe Inc. – Poetry and spoken word workshops for youth from marginalized communities; Ecliptic at Rosa Parks Circle Conservancy – Activated public art space honoring Rosa Parks that serves as a venue for civic engagement activities.

ARTS & CULTURE GOAL #2: Assure affordable and welcoming access by lower-income and diverse individuals to a wide variety of artistic and cultural exhibits and performances through relevant programming and aggressive outreach.

Example grants: Grand Rapids Children’s Museum – Reduced admission rates for economically disadvantaged children and families; Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble Inc. – Offers free ballet performances for families living below  poverty level; Grand Rapids Civic Theatre – Program for individuals with neurological and sensory conditions such as autism; Artist Creating Together, Inc. – Mobile studio that provides access to art, cultural, and educational experiences for disabled individuals.

Stories about the Wege Foundation's Commitment to Arts & Culture

Wege Speaker Series Lecture of April 23 is cancelled.

Dear Wege Speaker friends, COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to present challenges to organizations and communities across the country, and we are all beginning to feel its effects. In accordance with Governor Whitmer’s latest recommendations and our own desire to limited any potential future impact of COVID-19, we are canceling this year’s Wege Speaker … More Wege Speaker Series Lecture of April 23 is cancelled. »

The Mosaic Scholars bring diversity and creativity to the table.

“The Wege Foundation has partnered with the West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology (WMCAT) to help share our grantees’ stories.” Article by Arieal Jackson Photography by Mariah Barrera & Trina Cunningham Cinematography by Erion Adams and Joseph Kunnen Audio Micah Garmon Editing Michael Saunders http://wegespeakerseries.com/MosaicFinal.mp4 The Grand Rapids Symphony … More The Mosaic Scholars bring diversity and creativity to the table. »

When One Good Surprise Leads to Another

The program dedication for the festive gala reopening of the St. Cecilia Music Center reads, Chuck Royce and Peter Wege: two incredible men and lifelong friends who made the MUSIC LIVES HERE campaign possible with a lead gift and the gift of leadership. Before he died in July 2014, Peter … More When One Good Surprise Leads to Another »

CALLING ALL CHILDREN ARTISTS

The Grand Rapids Art Museum is holding its 6th annual children’s art contest sponsored by The Wege Foundation and inspired by the late environmental artist Mark Heckman. Partnering with his writer friend Mark Newman, Heckman created colorful drawings to illustrate their book for children titled Sooper Yooper. Peter M. Wege, … More CALLING ALL CHILDREN ARTISTS »

Grand Rapids Joins Architecture 2030 In Record Time

April 27, 2015, architect Ed Mazria gave the 19th annual Wege Lecture urging Grand Rapids to join Architecture 2030, the program he founded in 2006 to cut carbon emissions from buildings in half by 2030. Noting that 50% of the energy in the U.S. is consumed by buildings and 75% of all greenhouse gases … More Grand Rapids Joins Architecture 2030 In Record Time »

Friendship, Varneau, and LED Lighting

In July 2015, Wealthy Theatre again made history by converting all its lighting to LED making it the first restored theatre in the world to achieve this 90 percent energy-saving status. This LED gift from The Wege Foundation includes a new roof with additional solar panels above the Peter Wege Auditorium and a new … More Friendship, Varneau, and LED Lighting »

The Wonder of Water…”Until it’s gone.” At the GRAM

Edward Burtynsky is an environmental warrior whose artistic weapon is a camera. For over 30 years, the Canadian artist has turned aerial photography—via planes, helicopters, and drones—into a graphic history of what we Homo sapiens are doing to our Earth home. His airborne cameras have photographed quarries, oil drillers, and mines, among other things, documenting … More The Wonder of Water…”Until it’s gone.” At the GRAM »

Wege Talk at Meijer Gardens Will Entertain and Educate

The personal friendship between Peter Wege and Fred Meijer resulted in many good works for West Michigan, including Meijer Gardens as Peter was one of the earliest benefactors. The picture here shows the two friends standing in a field that is now the home of Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. One of Peter’s and … More Wege Talk at Meijer Gardens Will Entertain and Educate »

Peter Wege’s estate gives $1 million gift for Grand Rapids Symphony’s endowment

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk | jkaczmarczyk@mlive.com  GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Philanthropist Peter Wege has bestowed $1 million on the Grand Rapids Symphony. Wege, who underwrote the orchestra’s Grammy Award-nominated album, “Inventions & Alchemy,” plus its accompanying DVD featuring harpist Deborah Henson-Conant, bequeathed the gift from his personal estate. The former chairman of … More Peter Wege’s estate gives $1 million gift for Grand Rapids Symphony’s endowment »

$1 Million Gift to St. Cecilia Music Center

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) – The St. Cecilia Music Center announced Monday they’ve received a $1 million endowment from the Estate of Peter M. Wege. Wege died in June. Last week, the Grand Rapids Ballet also announced they had received $1 million from Wege’s estate. St. Cecilia says they plan to … More $1 Million Gift to St. Cecilia Music Center »

The Wege Mission Carries On

Let there be no doubt that Peter M. Wege’s has legacy bearers who continue to do “all the good” they can.  Two of them said it best themselves. The September issue of Grand Rapids Magazine featured an article about Erin Wilson (pictured left), director of Wealthy Theatre, an historic landmark … More The Wege Mission Carries On »

Three Aladdin’s Three Wishes and the PAC

The noisy chatter of children filling the seats on three sides of the stage quickly turned to hushed attentiveness as six Arabian princesses appeared in gauzy costumes. Circle Theatre’s summer performance of The Mystic Tale of Aladdin had begun. Middle-schoolers, grade-schoolers, and pre-schoolers sat mesmerized by the lush setting in the Sultan’s … More Three Aladdin’s Three Wishes and the PAC »

NEWS FLASH on Improving Children’s Reading Skills: ART

How many people know that studying fine art not only enhances artistic skills, but also raises reading scores? Some 1500 third-graders from the Grand Rapids Public Schools do because it worked for them last year! And this year almost 2,000 8-9 year olds are making new visual and verbal connections … More NEWS FLASH on Improving Children’s Reading Skills: ART »

Looking Back on a Theatre and a Friendship

Wealthy Theatre is honoring its 100th anniversary that began with years of magical entertainment, followed by a time of decay, and now celebrating its renewed stardom. From the day it opened in 1911, Wealthy Theatre was its neighborhood’s main attraction – even claiming its own streetcar stop. Originally named the … More Looking Back on a Theatre and a Friendship »

New GRAM Leader Having Fun Already

Dana Friis-Hansen left his job as Executive Director of the Austin Museum of Art this summer to take over as CEO of the Grand Rapids Art Museum. In an interesting confluence of art museums, GRAM’s new chief executive will be both exhibitor and presenter during this fall’s ArtPrize. Among the … More New GRAM Leader Having Fun Already »

SOOPER YOOPER

The Wege Foundation is honored to support Mark Heckman’s “Sooper Yooper” because Peter Wege believes the problem of exotic invasive species is the single biggest threat to the Great Lakes. Mark Heckman’s remarkable talent and his own love for the Great Lakes makes this book vitally important to the young … More SOOPER YOOPER »

GRAM’S FIRST REPORT CARD

After one year in operation as the world’s first art museum to win a Gold LEED medal from the United States Green Building Council, the Grand Rapids Art Museum has doubled its attendance. The new GRAM welcomed twice as many people to its galleries in one year as the number … More GRAM’S FIRST REPORT CARD »

PETER WEGE RECEIVES HONORARY DOCTORATE FROM THE U OF M

The University of Michigan paid its highest tribute to lifelong East Grand Rapids resident Peter M. Wege by awarding him an honorary degree as a Doctor of Laws. Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University, gave the Honorary Doctorate to Peter M. Wege during the University of Michigan’s winter commencement … More PETER WEGE RECEIVES HONORARY DOCTORATE FROM THE U OF M »

G. R. MAGAZINE NAMES PETER M. WEGE ONE OF CITY’S MOST POWERFUL

The December issue of Grand Rapids Magazine published brief profiles on the 25 people their staff considered the city’s most important. The first person listed was Peter M. Wege. In Peter Wege’s biography titled “Looking Beyond Horizons,” reporter Curt Wozniak gave him credit for making Grand Rapids, Michigan, the greenest … More G. R. MAGAZINE NAMES PETER M. WEGE ONE OF CITY’S MOST POWERFUL »

GRAND RAPIDS PRESS HEADLINE: “BALLET COMPANY’S NEW THEATRE TAKES A BOW”

The September 14, 2007, Grand Rapids Press announced the opening of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company’s new 300-seat Peter Martin Wege Theatre, named for Peter Wege’s father and Steelcase founder. The $6.3 million new theater more than doubled the Grand Rapids Ballet Company’s space bringing it to 40,000 square feet. … More GRAND RAPIDS PRESS HEADLINE: “BALLET COMPANY’S NEW THEATRE TAKES A BOW” »

NEW GRAM MAKES WAVES IN GREEN CONSTRUCTION:

Wege Foundation Actively Fostering LEED-Certified Projects (Grand Rapids Business Journal’s front-page headline August 20, 2007) With a color photograph of the new Grand Rapids Art Museum covering most of the front page, the Business Journal article by Pete Daly begins: GRAND RAPIDS – There is a wave of green construction … More NEW GRAM MAKES WAVES IN GREEN CONSTRUCTION: »

THE THIRD PILLAR: ARTS & CULTURE

The Wege Foundation’s signature gift in the Arts & Culture area of interest is the new Grand Rapids Art Museum. Even before the ribbon was cut in October 2007, GRAM was making national news as the first “green” art museum in the world. The New York Times headlined its article: … More THE THIRD PILLAR: ARTS & CULTURE »