Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Special Tribute to our Volunteers

Each semester, dozens of college students from our local universities, including Calvin, Aquinas, and Grand Valley, donate their time to help the programs at both the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center. These wonderful young people help with everything from homework help and class set up, to picking up students from our local elementary schools and walking them safely to our facilities.

These students are often looking to fulfill a volunteer requirement for their classes, but we are always delighted that they have chosen to spend that time working with the children of the Grandville Avenue neighborhood. The children who visit our facilities know them by name and are quick to greet them.

Noelle, a volunteer at the Arts Center, said yesterday “I get so attached to the kids. I’m so sad when they won’t be in Ms. Sue’s [Drawing for Kids] class next session.” Though Noelle is studying abroad for the month of January during the upcoming Art Center classes, she looks forward to coming back and volunteering again, and we look forward to the stories and experiences she can share with our students from her time in China.

Thank you, volunteers!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cook Arts Center visits the new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital

On November 4, the Cook Arts Center visited the new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. Earlier this year, a few of the Cook Arts Center pottery students worked with our pottery student manager, Madeline Kaczmarczyk to create three 3D-mosaic fish to display. We hope the pieces bring joy to the children and families who visit the facility!

The fish are located on C-level in the emergency room waiting area. Two are over the drinking fountains and the other is located under a clock.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cook Library Center Student of the Week

The Cook Library Center Student of the week is Vicente!

Vicente comes to the library every day. His study habits are increasingly improving as he finishes his homework, reads a book in English and Spanish, plays a game and then works on his multiplication and typing skills on the computer by playing a game.

We are proud of you Vicente!

Calvin College Service Auction

This November, the students of Calvin College's Boer-Bennink Hall sponsored a service auction for the Cook Library Center. Students bid on services such as having their bathrooms cleaned or dinner made by residents of Boer-Bennink Hall. When certain dollar amounts were reached, students could choose a person to get a pie in the face!

Boer-Bennink Hall students come to the library twice a week and provide homework help and friendship to our students. The proceeds support the after-school programs at the library.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Website Launched!

The new Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities website was launched today!

Check it out for information, the most up-to-date calendar of events, class schedules, and other information about Cook Arts and Cook Library Centers.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter 2011 Schedule

UPDATE: View the schedule online at

The Winter 2011 Schedule is now available at the Cook Arts Center!

All students currently enrolled in a music class will continue with their class, but other students will have the opportunity to register for other art offerings.

In the visual arts, we are going to continue to offer a variety of pottery courses for all ages, as well as drawing for kids, and digital art. However, new this session are classes in 3D mixed media sculpture and card making.

In performance arts, younger dancers can still attend ballet, but we are also offering a creative movement course for the youngest budding dancers, ages 2-4. For our adult dancers, we are offering a Latin dance course that will cover salsa, merengue, and bachata.

Also for adults this session, we are offering a piano class for 16+, after a high demand from many of the parents and other adult visitors to our center.

All classes run from January 10-March 31. Registration forms & complete calendars are available at the front desk of the Cook Arts Center.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Winter Schedule Available Now!

Click Here!

ARCH Comes to the Cook Arts Center

On November 23, 50 students from Kentwood Public School's ARCH after-school program visited the Cook Arts Center. The 1st-5th grade students each participated in 2 of 3 different sessions.

Upstairs in the art studio, Lori Slager had the students expressing their emotions with relief water color paintings.

Meanwile, in the dance studio, Kelly Malinowski led them through a brief hip-hop routine to Lupe Fiasco's "Superstar".

Down in the music room, Nadia Andrus led two groups of budding actors through various theater games, including "Props", where the students had to think of alternate uses for the prop that was given to them.

The ARCH students left at 6pm on Monday with smiles on their faces, laughing and talking.

Thanks to Kentwood Public Schools for letting us bring art to your students!

To see more photos from this event, visit our Flickr Page!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"I am You and You are Me"

On November 11, 2010, the Cook Library Center hosted its monthly Career Day. This month, board member José Rosario was kind enough to stop in and share his story of growing up in New York's Spanish Harlem and his success in education and business.

"I am you and you are me" These were the words José used as he he looked over the room packed with students. Most of the students looked back at him slightly confused, and he smiled as he explained how he had grown up in the Spanish Harlem of New York City, with a single mother and limited resources for education. "What do you think I did to overcome that?"

"Got rich!" "Became a lawyer!" shouted a few students.

José shook his head, "No, I mean when I was your age."

The room was silent for a moment, then he explained. "I did 2 things: I listened to my parent, my mom, and I tried hard in school."

José went on to explain how important education had been in his success as a lawyer and human resource manager for Spartan Stores. He encouraged the kids in the room to continue trying at school and to do their best since reading and learning would help them more than anything else with their future.

Thank you, José, for helping the Grandville Avenue area kids see how important learning is for their future!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cook Library Center's 2nd Birthday!

We wanted to take this opportunity to send out a big thank you to
all of our donors for great two years at the Cook Library
Center in our new home at 1100 Grandville Avenue SW. Thank you
for your support because it helps us to help our community!

Thank you also to Calvin StreetFest participants from Boer-Benink
Hall. Our Cook Library students recently worked alongside the
Calvin volunteers to help clean our library. We organized books
and cleaned the many windows in our library. Thank you Calvin
volunteers for all your help!

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs
of the Cook Library Center.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities provided a fun paper sculpture art activity on Saturday, October 2 from 2-4pm at GVSU in collaboration with ArtPrize. Artists of all ages were invited to our Sculpture Celebration Station to partake in the fun. Thank you to our great volunteers who helped out that day, Berny, Nancy, and Erick, and GVSU for making this event possible!

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Grupo Tarasco Dances at Rosa Parks

Grupo Tarasco, the dance company of the Cook Arts Center, performed on Thursday, September 30th at Rosa Parks Circle to a packed crowd attending the unveiling of a new sculpture. The six-foot statue will find a new home at Rosa Parks Circle after committee members spent years working and raised over $370,000 to make it happen. We were pleased to have our dance troup be a part of the celebration and recognition of Rosa Parks' life.

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center.

Monday, September 27, 2010

El Loteria at the Cook Arts Center

On Friday, September 24, the Grand Valley State University's Latin
Studies program hosted El Loteria at the Cook Arts
Center. The program started
at 5pm and ran until 7pm with over
30 people in attendance. Before the playing
began, one of
GVSU's professors acted as El Griton whose job it is to call out

he name of the cards. In addition, El Griton also talked about
the history
of El Loteria in Mexico. Several winners emerged
throughout the night and they
were rewarded with prices. In
addition, GVSU provided Mexican food for everyone
to enjoy.

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the
programs of the Cook Arts Center.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happenings at the Cook Library Center...

On September 9, the Career Day speaker at the Cook Library Center was
Amy Brower who is Associate Director of Grandville Avenue Arts &
Humanities (GAAH). She shared her educational experiences which
prepared her for her job with GAAH. The students also played
Pictionary using terms that are skills or requirements in Amy's job.
The students were great listeners and had a great time! Also happening
that week, a group of Aquinas art students had a ball
with our students by making play dough. You can see the fun that was
had by all in the photos above!

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the
Cook Library Center.

Fall Classes Begin at Arts Center

Fall Classes are in full swing at the Cook Arts Center. We are offering 29 classes in our fall class session which runs from September 20 to December 16, 2010. Class options include everything from Kids Drawing to Theatre Games to a Spanish Community Choir which focuses primarily on choral music in Spanish. Currently, we have over 275 students registered for the fall class session. For more information or to register for programs, contact the Cook Arts Center at 742-0692.

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Calvin College Volunteers at the Cook Library Center

On Thursday, September 2, we were lucky enough to have several students
from Calvin
College volunteer at the Cook Library Center as part of Street
Fest 2010. The library
students enjoyed helping the Calvin students
organize the library, including shelving
books and cleaning windows, and
when they were done, everyone enjoyed some ice cream
for a treat. Then
everyone played board games, some soccer, and some of the Calvin

students were brave enough to face off with our students in chess.

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of
the Cook Library Center.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cook Arts Center Teen Girls Group

Our teen girls group has been meeting this month on Wednesday afternoons. On Wednesday, September 1 they completed a special art project by painting square tiles with messages of peace, love, friendship and compassion. The group has been meeting weekly to engage in fun and creative activities together and has also been planning volunteer opportunities they can do as a group within the community.

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gearing up for Fall!

With the start of the school year less than a week away, the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center are gearing up their programs for the fall. Registration is open for daytime and after school classes at the Cook Arts Center. Programs in dance, visual arts, music, fabric arts, clay and theatre are offered for children as young as 2 up to adults. Options include Children's Hula Dance, Latin American Art for Kids, Jewelry, After School Pottery, Children's Sewing, Guitar, Potter's Wheel, Theatre Games, and more. In addition, children in grades 6th-8th can sign up for a digital arts class at the Cook Library Center on Wednesday afternoons. Programs are free for children or adults who live within the boundaries of the Grandville Avenue neighborhood or attend one of the schools within the neighborhood. For more information about programs, please contact the Cook Arts Center at 742-0692.

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Last Summer Reading Club Field Trip

The Cook Library Center's last field trip for the summer included a visit
down to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. This trip was possible thanks
to the the generosity of the Have a Heart Scholarship. Mary Nelson and
Library Director, Sue Garza, enjoyed watching the kids play and have fun!
The Curious George Exhibits were great! The bubbles, creative play, Legos,
and the mirrors were the best!

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the
Library Center.