Cultivate’s new Local Artist Holiday Guide helps keep seasonal spending local by providing a comprehensive guide for Western Michigan artists and makers. raise politely

As the holiday season approaches, shoppers are looking for the perfect, one-of-a-kind gift. Cultivate director and founder Mallory Shotwell wants to showcase local artists and businesses that can do just that.

For the first time ever, Cultivate, a non-profit arts and education organization in Grand Rapids, offers a local artist’s holiday guide. In this inaugural issue, he features artists and small businesses in the area within 100 miles of the city as one of his comprehensive lists of manufacturers.

The holiday guide will be available both online and in print, and Cultivate hopes to reach readers between 250,000 and 375,000. Physical copies are available at local businesses such as hotels, artist markets, travel agencies and interior design firms.

Shotwell said he hopes to recreate the childhood feeling of excitedly flipping through toy catalogs and dog-earing the prominent pages. “But it’s for adults who want to buy local art,” she added. “(Just) flip it over (say) and circle ‘Oh, that’s great. I want that,’ but you’re an adult.”

According to Shotwell, more than 115 artists have so far applied (for free) to be featured in the holiday magazine. She said “any” type of artist is encouraged to apply. According to the application, the organization accepted everything from fine art to household items, apparel, and bath and body products such as soaps and lotions.

The artist line-up now includes paintings, stone jewelry, and even local musicians, Grand Rapids area boutiques and art galleries, and maps of all art fairs and markets.

“One thing we’ve really noticed is that we have a lot of options for where to find art events happening around town,” says Shotwell. “There are different ways, but one of the ways we want to connect and support is to give the user one list where he doesn’t have to search five or six different sites. They have one central place for him.”

With this comprehensive guide, Shotwell and the Cultivate team hope to keep holiday shopping local and connect buyers and artists directly.

She said the guide is “for those who want to support their local (arts/business) but don’t know where to start and perhaps feel overwhelmed by the market. Instead of going to Target on demand, it’s easy to do from the comfort of your home in one complete guide.

“Really, I think people often don’t know where to start. It creates a sense of engagement.”

In the magazine, artist information such as shop and artist name, site information linked with the digital version, and work photos are posted.

According to Shotwell, the magazine “will be categorized into stocking stuffers, fine art, apparel, jewelry, and more, making it easy for people to sort through and find what they want from local artists within 100 miles.” I can.”

The publication, which will be published annually, will join Cultivate’s roster of magazines and local guides, including Artist Resources publications, which the organization plans to roll out next year, Shotwell said.

According to Shotwell, artists looking to support themselves in their work often find themselves and their products marketed, managed their funds, and started the business side of successfully reaching their audience. Not sure how to tackle it. Cultivate’s holiday guide will help small business owners, artists and makers in the area connect with people looking for products, among other initiatives the organization has planned. .

“Like any brick-and-mortar store, we (artists) are hard-working, independent business owners,” she said. It can be seen as a career, but there are actually a lot of great businesses out there that put a lot of work into them, whether it’s a plumber or a private practice lawyer, or any other small business. We really value it (we need it) as well.”

From Shotwell’s perspective, taking the time to evaluate and support local creators and artists is also important for the economy.

“It’s really[not only]keeping money in our local economy, it’s keeping money in our local economy. creative We’re keeping the economy, and the economy and these businesses alive,” she said. “And it has an amazing trickle effect, allowing people to not only be empowered within their own little little business, at home, or in the studio where they work, but also to inspire new artists they probably never felt they could.” I’m doing it. Don’t do it.”

The first Cultivate Holiday Local Artist Guide, fully curated by the Cultivate team, will be digital on November 5th and in print on November 12th.

This story appears in the October 31st issue of the Grand Rapids Business Journal. To get articles like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here.

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