UICA moving to Kendall campus next year

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The Woodbridge Ferris Building, 17 Pearl St. NW, will be the new home of the UICA in spring 2021. Courtesy UICA

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts will relocate to the Woodbridge Ferris Building on the campus of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University in spring 2021.

All in-person UICA programming, which was discontinued due to COVID-19, will not resume until the organization reopens in the Ferris Building, 17 Pearl St. NW.

“The impact of COVID-19 has led us to rethink how we work and provide programming in the future, and I’m confident our re-envisioning of UICA will help it succeed,” said Tara McCrackin, Kendall interim president. “We realize this is an unexpected announcement, but we believe it is a necessary move to ensure UICA continues to be a leading cultural arts destination in Grand Rapids.”

Ferris, Kendall and UICA leadership concluded that UICA’s current location, 2 W. Fulton St., is too large and expensive to maintain. As a result, the Ferris Board of Trustees finalized the decision June 17 to relocate.

“We believe a smaller footprint and associated expenses will allow UICA a more stable foundation going forward,” UICA Executive Director Miranda Krajniak said. “Additionally, for some time now, UICA has been managing Kendall’s student art exhibition spaces, so the move will provide for more efficient operations and present a stronger alignment between Kendall and UICA.”

Now, UICA said it intends to make adjustments to the Ferris Building, which includes activating an outdoor area for the downtown and student community before it opens.

“We look forward to enhancing our partnership with UICA and the arts in West Michigan,” Ferris President David Eisler said. “The UICA plays an important role in the Grand Rapids community, and Ferris State University is pleased to see the relationship strengthened with the Kendall College of Art and Design.”

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