NewsMorning News


After Dark brings vendors, organizations and community together to support artists

after dark.jpeg
after dark 1.jpeg
after dark 2.jpeg
after dark 3.jpeg
after dark 4.jpeg
Posted at 6:00 AM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 08:16:29-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mi. — Collaboration, creativity, community. A summer-long event brings people together to support local vendors, makers and artists - all while creating a more vibrant city.

After Dark is a pop-up street party that raises money to support west Michigan artists. But it's also so much more than that - it's a place to gather, eat, drink, shop and explore. And it all starts this weekend.

After Dark brings vendors, organizations and community together to support artists

"It's just a celebration for people to get out into the community and come see what we're doing to help promote local arts,” that’s Executive Director of Lions & Rabbits Center for the Arts, Hannah Berry.

She and her crew will turn this empty lot turn into a season of celebration this week, for their first After Dark on Saturday. She says to expect from 40-100 vendors, and live entertainment, anything from fire blowing to street performers to musicians. Add in some food and drink, and this is certainly a party, but its also family friendly. All ages are welcome!

The reason behind these events, is to raise money to support local artists. The goal this year is $100,000.

"The money goes back to public artists, it goes back to project management. The goal is for them to be able to get to a point where they're they can feel creative freedom, they can do it here they can do it in their home city they can do it somewhere else and then they can help other artists learn how to do it,” Berry said.

After Dark is just about the easiest way to help support those who are making our community more beautiful every day. All the money that's raised through vendor rentals and drink purchases are matched dollar for dollar by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“I think a lot of times people don't know how they can support the arts and even at these it's a $5 drink that becomes a $10 drink, so or a $10 paintbrush so it's really about recycling community dollars into community activation,” Berry said.

As the summer progresses, you will see the lot at 555 Monroe will transform, and everyone who attends can have a hand in it - almost like a paint by number. Each event will let the community get to work on a different section, a gradual makeover of the riverside site. In the end it's all about community -- moving forward while giving back.

“Obviously everyone likes to see people smile, but everybody loves to see a little kid painting. It's really great for us to be able to watch all the different walks of life come and be in one spot,” Berry said.

The first After Dark is this Saturday from 3:00 pm -10:00 pm at 555 Monroe Avenue. The next events are June 11, July 9, August 13, and September 10. Lions & Rabbits is still looking for more vendors and volunteers for future events. If you want more information about the event itself or how to get involved, you can head to