Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter Break Camp at the Cook Arts Center

Winter Break Camp was a blast at the Cook Arts Center this week. About 20 children ages 5-13 participated in the various arts and crafts activities that were offered. The camp ran from Monday through Wednesday of this week from 1pm to 3pm. Activities included making gingerbread houses, creating cinnamon dough ornaments, watercolor painting and jewelry-making.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Grupo Tarasco Celebrates 20th Anniversary

On Saturday, December 19 the Cook Arts Center celebrated the 20th anniversary of Grupo Tarasco, the Arts Center's resident dance troupe. Josie Cedillo-Guillen, who founded the group 20 years ago this fall, was honored for her dedication and the impact she has made on countless Latino youth through mentoring and preserving their culture through Mexican folkloric dancing. About 100 people attended the celebration and were treated to a fantastic performance by Grupo Tarasco, including the first ever performance by the Arts Center's beginning folkloric dance students.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Cook Arts Center has teamed with Feld Entertainment and the Van Andel Arena to offer discount community tickets to a variety of events at the Van Andel Arena this winter and spring. Bring this coupon to the Van Andel Arena box office and you can buy up to 4 tickets at $10/piece. Plus, a portion of each pass redeemed will be donated to the Cook Arts Center!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Fun at the Cook Library Center

Last week, a group of students at the Cook Library Center enjoyed a little holiday cheer as they created festive gingerbread houses. Using colorful candies and milk cartons the students saved from Cesar Chavez Elementary, the children constructed some very unique houses.

In addition, students also got in the holiday spirit by creating their very own Polar Express train.
Judging by some of the train track designs, I think we may have a few future architects and engineers
among our library crew!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Look Back at Fall 2009...

Now that the snow is upon us, we are quickly reminded that fall classes at the Cook Arts Center are nearly over. Classes end next week on December 17. It has been a busy 12 weeks packed with a variety of art, dance, clay, music, fabric arts and theatre activities. With over 25 class offerings and 238 students, the Cook Arts Center has been a bustling hub of creative activity this fall! Check out these photos for just a taste of the fun learning and creative expression that has been happening here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cook Arts Center Winter Class Schedule Released

Winter classes at the Cook Arts Center will be starting soon and NOW is the time to register! A variety of classes including Tiny Tots Clay, Wearable Art, Drumming, Hip Hop Aerobics, Sewing, and Handmade Books will be offered during the winter class session which runs from January 11 to April 1. There are options for children as young as 2 years old all the way up to adult classes. Families are also encouraged to come and make art together in two special classes that are open to all ages. In addition, all programs are free for participants who reside or attend school within the Grandville Avenue Neighborhood boundaries. Check out the schedule here for more information about classes and for a special coupon to various family shows at the Van Andel Arena. To register call the Cook Arts Center at 742-0692.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tolly Time at the Cook Library Center

The Cook Library Center had a very special Tolly Time guest this month. Yesterday Hank Meijer stopped by to read the book "Bunny Money" to a small but enthusiastic crowd. The book, with illustrations of fangs that glowed in the dark and cherry syrup that looked like blood, was a huge hit with the little boys in the group. In honor of Hank's visit, the tot alcove was converted into a Meijer store, complete with a Meijer sign, groceries on the shelves, a price check phone, and a cashier's station.

Thank You, State Farm

GAAH received a generous gift from State Farm Insurance this month. The company purchased enough art and program supplies to last the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center the entire school year. Items included 500 pounds of clay and dozen containers of glaze, paints and brushes, markers and crayons, pencils and compasses, a portable dry erase board, and anything else we could think of to meet the needs of the creative and industrious children we serve. Jim Roderique, a State Farm Agency Field Consultant who is on the GAAH Board of Directors, also delivered 72 high-quality backpacks to distribute to our Library patrons. Thank you, State Farm, for making a difference in the Grandville Avenue neighborhood.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day of the Dead

The Mexican holiday Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is a time for family and friends to remember loved ones who have passed away. This past Monday GAAH and the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan teamed up to celebrate Day of the Dead on Grandville Avenue.

After school the children made papel picados (paper cutting) at the Cook Library Center and masks at the Cook Arts Center. The Hispanic Center hosted an evening event that included a performance by Grupo Tarasco and more mask making. Some 50 children painted colorful patterns and designs on their masks, many of which haunted the event the rest of the evening.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkins Galore

Or should that be "Pumpkins Gilmore"? Gene and Tubie Gilmore donated 80 big, beautiful pumpkins from the patch on their farm outside of Ada. The Cook Arts Center's pumpkin-decorating activities took place on Tuesday, and yesterday the Cook Library Center kids decorated theirs. Stickers, yarn, and markers were used to make some unique pumpkin people. The kids were thrilled that they could take their pumpkins home, and we sent along instructions for roasting pumpkin seeds in case any family carving activities take place.

Thank you, Gene and Tubie, for making 80 kids very happy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Dana, Claire, and Janelle did a wonderful thing last school year. Through t-shirt sales to their fellow students at Forest Hills Northern Middle School, these enterprising young ladies raised a whopping $411 to support GAAH's music program at the Cook Arts Center. These funds will be used to purchase half-size violins for some of our pint-size students.

In the photo (left to right) are Janelle, Claire, Dana, GAAH Executive Director Marjorie Kuipers, and Dana's mother, Hope (back row). The girls presented the check as well as a donated violin and music just prior to Maria Royce Hesse's harp performance at the Cook Library Center on October 12.

On behalf of all present and future violin students at the Cook Arts Center, I thank Dana, Claire, and Janelle for their tireless efforts in support of GAAH's music program.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Maria Royce Hesse at Cook Library Center

It doesn't happen very often that our young patrons at the Cook Library Center are mesmerized, but Monday, October 12, was an exception. Harpest Maria Royce Hesse gave a performance and demonstration which kept several dozen children and a handful of adults enthralled. She even invited the children to play her harp.

Thank you, Maria, for sharing your beautiful music with the patrons of the Cook Library Center.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Benefit Screening A Resounding Success

Close to 120 people attended our benefit screening of "Fame" at Celebration Cinema North on September 25. This event raised $4,700 to support Grupo Tarasco and the Mexican folkloric dance program at the Cook Arts Center. Grupo Tarasco gave an energetic dance performance in the theater lobby before the movie.

We would like to thank Celebration Cinema North for making this event possible. A number of theater employees went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed both before and during the event, and we are grateful.

Thanks also to our sponsors for their generous support:

Varnum (Gold Sponsor)
State Farm Insurance (Silver Sponsor)
Gene & Tubie Gilmore (Bronze Sponsor)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Benefit Screening Supports GRUPO TARASCO and Mexican Folkloric Dance

Don't miss this opportunity to spend an enjoyable evening at the movies AND support a good cause. On Friday, September 25, Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities presents a benefit screening of the movie FAME at Celebration Cinema North.

The movie begins at 7:30, but if you get there by 7:00 you can catch a performance by Grupo Tarasco in the theater lobby. Grupo Tarasco is a Mexican Folkloric dance troupe composed of fifteen children and youth ages 8 to 18. It was started in 1989 by Josie Guillen who still leads the group. The Cook Arts Center has been home base to Grupo Tarasco since 2001.

Tickets are $20 and include a medium popcorn and soft drink. Proceeds will be used to support Grupo Tarasco and the Mexican Folkloric Dance Program at the Cook Arts Center (formerly the Grandville Avenue Academy for the Arts). Call Marj at 742-0692 to purchase advance tickets.

Thank you very much to our event sponsors:

SILVER LEVEL: State Farm Insurance
bie Gilmore

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Holiday Farm in Ada was the setting of a fabulous field trip enjoyed by our I.M.POSSIBLE girls group on August 24. Tubie Gilmore welcomed the girls with a delicious lunch of grilled hotdogs and salads. Then they piled into the back of a pickup truck for a tour of Tubie and Gene's beautiful, 330-acre farm along the banks of the Grand River. Tubie sent everyone home with bagfuls of fresh corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and flowers. Thank you, Tubie and Gene, for supporting GAAH in this very special way.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cook Arts Center Classes, Fall 2009

It's time to register for fall classes at the Cook Arts Center. Classes begin on September 21 and run through December 17. Call 742-0692 for more information.

Click here to view the class brochure for Fall 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer Arts Camp in Full Swing at the Cook Arts Center

Summer Arts Camp 2009 students, instructors, volunteers, and staff.

Dance class with instructor Laura Armenta (not pictured)

Theater class with instructor Nancy Gallardo (center of photo)

Pottery class with instructor Madeline Kaczmarczyk (not pictured)

Art class with instructor Kim Vandenberg (not pictured)

Music class with instructors Josh Dunigan (2nd from right) and Jen Beahan (right)

Visit the Cook Arts Center, 644 Grandville Avenue SW, between now and August 14 and you'll find the place buzzing with activity. Fifty children ages 8-12 are here all day every day for two weeks learning new dance steps, creating beautiful works of art and pottery, practicing African drumming, and honing their acting skills. Stop on by!

Join us for the Summer Arts Camp Festival at the Wealthy Theatre on Thursday, August 13, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

A big THANK YOU to these camp sponsors:
*Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids
*Cook Charitable Foundation

Thanks also to Pepsi, Taco Boy, The Bob, Macatawa Bank, Kids Food Basket, Grand Rapids Community College, and Grand Rapids Public Schools for providing refreshments.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Notes from the Cook Library Center Interns: Movie Time!

Two of the interns from the Cook Library Center, Erika and Noemi, came up with the idea of having a movie time at the library.

This Wednesday the kids at the library spent part of the afternoon watching a comedy movie. They had to choose from three movies which were Bolt, Ratatouille, and Hotel for Dogs. The most votes were given to Hotel for dogs.

The movie “Hotel for Dogs” is a fun family movie about a group a kids trying to

Rescue Dogs from the streets.

The kids at the library had so much fun watching this movie. Here are the kids

enjoying a fun movie with a little snack.

Notes from the Cook Library Center Interns: Hands on Science!

Our top readers from the Cook Library Center spent two wonderful hours exploring and playing at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

They could see themselves playing different roles like pretending to be farmers, bankers, postal officers, waitresses, and much more!!!

One of the most popular activities was the bubble station where they could make bubbles of all sizes.

The Children’s Museum was definitely a fun and rewarding experience for them.