The DAAC Takes Over The Fed Galleries at KCAD To Explore and Celebrate Do-It-Together Culture
Despite the closing of its original home on the Avenue for the Arts in the summer of 2013, the Division Avenue Arts Collective (DAAC) remains deeply committed to its mission of cultivating an inclusive local creative community built on participatory culture. For the last two years, DAAC organizers have continued to help coordinate local concerts, workshops, and art events, all while steadily raising the funds for a new space.
Now, in what will be its most ambitious undertaking since losing its original space, the DAAC is taking over The Fed Galleries at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) from June 17-July 25 for DAAC @ The Fed, a project exploring the history and culture of the DAAC through a series of events, workshops, and public discussions in collaboration with local artist groups. Part exhibition, part collective artist residency by DAAC members, the project will provide a number of different opportunities for audiences to engage with the past, present, and future of the local DIT (do it-together) community that DAAC has been instrumental in helping build.
“We dedicate a portion of our programming each year to spotlighting our local creative community, and this project is an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable impact the DAAC has made on that community over the last twelve years,” said Michele Bosak, curator of exhibitions at KCAD. “With everything we do, we aim to give our audiences experiences that transcend the gallery, so this project is going to be very organic and open. We’re going to let the DAAC make the most of our space, and we’re anticipating a very high level of community engagement.”
Mike Wolf, an exhibitions assistant at KCAD and DAAC board member since 2011, says that DAAC @ The Fed will also help the organization fine-tune its vision for the future.
“The DAAC is still very active around town, and this will be a great way to make people aware of that, but it’s also a chance for us to experiment and figure out what kinds of things could be possible once we do get into a new permanent space.”
DAAC @ The Fed will kick off with an opening reception on June 19 from 7-11pm featuring live music from local artists Jes Kramer and Jimmy Pop, as well as Radiator Hospital, a Philadelphia-based group with Grand Rapids roots, and J Fernandez, an emerging singer-songwriter based in Chicago. There will also be a Band Lottery Drawing in which individual musicians will be randomly sorted into impromptu musical groups. Groups will then have a little over a month to compose up to 15 minutes of original musical material, which they’ll perform live at the Band Lottery Showcase on July 24 from 6-10pm. Those interested in participating are asked to register here by June 17.
Jes Kramer performing at the DAAC's former space on Division Avenue
Saturday, June 20 will feature the 2015 iteration of SASS FEST, an annual celebration of DIT community, co-organized by Have Company, which will include an artists’ market of handmade local goods and a series of workshops.
The year’s Grand Rapids Zine Fest will also be rolled into DAAC @ The Fed, and will close out the project on July 25 from 12-6pm. Started in 2013, Grand Rapids Zine Fest supports and celebrates West Michigan’s self-publishing culture with an event that offers zines for sale, creative workshops, and more.
Other events and activities happening throughout the run of DAAC @ The Fed include:
· A curated collection of artwork from people who have been involved with the DAAC over the years.
· The Zine Library – a collection of Michigan-made zines in collaboration with Bandit Zine and Grand Rapids Zine Fest.
· An on-site recording studio that will be open for use by local musicians. A compilation of the recordings will be produced and released in the aftermath of the project.
· Pop-up musical performances and workshops.
Sass Fest, started in 2011 as a way to help spotlight locally handcrafted goods, will be a part of DAAC @ The Fed
“We can’t wait to re-connect with old DAAC friends and make a ton of new ones along the way,” said Wolf. “We’re going to try out some new things, see what works and what people are interested in, and carry that momentum forward.”
All DAAC @ The Fed events are free and open to all ages. Donations to support the DAAC will be welcomed throughout the project’s run. Stay tuned to the DAAC @ The Fed event page on Facebook for updates on additional programming and scheduling changes
For more information on the DAAC, visit thedaac.org.
For more information on The Fed Galleries at KCAD, visit kcad.edu/galleries.