culturally relevant transformative art design academy for youth from all backgrounds

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Jazz and Jam Sessions at the Park Theatre - Mondays 7-9 pm

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Cost is $60 

For students entering grades 6-12

Are you a musical night owl?  Do you like creating your own melodies and jamming out with other musicians?  In this class, you’ll learn all about the jazz genre and collaborate with other students to create your own take on standard pieces. Instructor Abby Shepard, music major at Central Michigan University, will give you a musician’s perspective on what jazz is and introduce you to the concept of improvisation and jazz theory. Students with all level of jazz experience are welcome; there are aspects everyone can learn from, including history, improvisation, standards, and theory. You will develop relationships with other student musicians in the area and have the opportunity to express yourself through jazz, all while having fun creating music!  Bring your own instrument.  

Session 2:  Monday evenings 7-9 pm.  Jul 23, July 30, and Aug 6


Drop-in workshops at Herrick district library - Mondays 2-4 pm

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Cost: These workshops are free, thanks to our generous supporters and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

For all students entering grades 6-12. 

Come and create with us!  Join CultureWorks on Monday afternoons at Herrick Library (main branch) in the 2nd floor teen room.  These are drop-in classes, so they are free, but we ask that you register here, so we can better plan for the number of students.  You may register for one, several, or all of the weeks.  

June 18:  (with guest artist Bethany Zeeff) Monoprinting with acrylics on glass - Create your own patterns and prints of super detailed micro-dendritic landscapes.

June 25:  (with guest artist Bethany Zeeff) Book Binding -  Hand stitch your own books using basic bookbinding techniques.

July 2:  (Emily Christensen) Hand Lettering/Calligraphy - Use flat and pointed brushes, nibs, and pencils to create your own fonts and letterforms for posters, titles, memes and more.

July 9:  (Emily Christensen) Paper Marbling - Learn the Turkish art of paper marbling by floating acrylic paints on a liquid and patterning them into intricate designs.

July 16:  (TBA) fan art or Fan art?  You choose! - Work with a character from your favorite story and develop them in your own style or story, or work on your own original fantasy characters.


Watercolor on the waterfront - Wednesdays 2-4 pm

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Cost is $20 per week, or whatever you can afford.

For students entering grades 6-12 

We'll gather at a different park on the water each week and explore  watercolor techniques, using brushes, spray bottles, squirt bottles and resist to depict the wild waterfront.  All levels of experience are welcome - we will build on what you already know.  Find us by the picnic table with yellow balloons!

 Wednesday afternoons, 2-4 pm.  June 20, 27,  July 11, 18.  You may register for one, or multiple, or all of the weeks.  Also - come paint with us at Windmill Island on July 14 for the Macatawa Water Festival!

June 20: Tunnel Park

June 27: Howard B. Dunton Park

July 11: Kollen Park

July 14: Window On the Waterfront (time TBA)

July 18: Kirk Park


Downtown Drawing - Tuesdays 2-4 pm

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Cost:  This is a free workshop, thanks to our supporters and the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs

For students entering grades 8-12

We'll be gathering at the corner of College and 8th (by Kilwins) on Tuesday afternoons 2-4 pm, and walking to different locations each week.  Bring your own sketchbook and pencils/pens, or borrow some from us.  This is a drop in style class and it is free, but registration is required, so I can plan for the number of students.  You can register for one, several, or all of the weeks.  

June 19, 26, July 3, 10, 17  

Locations (class will be held regardless of weather, but locations might change):

Window on the Waterfront, Centennial Park, 8th St., Hope College, Holland Museum

We'll practice drawing architectural forms, building strong compositions, sketching from nature and spending time sharing whatever you are currently obsessed with drawing.  Bring your own sketchbook and pencils/pens, or use one of ours.

MAY 30 Day Challenge

The deal:

May 1, 2018 through May 30, draw the corresponding challenge for each day and submit it in one of three ways.  If you complete the challenge, you will be entered to win over $300 worth of art supplies!  Click Here for a printable version.

The details:

Anyone currently in 6th-12th grade (or equivalent) may enter.  You may use any medium (pencil, marker, charcoal, digital...), but all work must be signed or initialed and be your own original work.  By participating, you agree to let your work be posted on our website, FB, and Instagram.  You may submit your work in any of the following ways:

1)    Take a photo of it and post it to instagram and tag @thecultureworks

2)    Email a photo of the work to

3)    Drop off your completed collection of drawings in a self-addressed mailing envelope to the Herrick Public Library, Teen Circulation Desk sometime between May 31 and June 7.  Your artwork will be mailed back to you at the address on your envelope.

the prize:  

Mixed media art package from Dick Blick, valued over $300!

Our thanks to Kevin White of The Illustration League, for the use of this 30-day challenge!