culturally relevant transformative art design academy for youth from all backgrounds

CultureWorks on Michigan Radio

Tune into Stateside on Michigan Radio, as they explore the power of art to connect and transform us, through a project initiated by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. One of our student advisors, Kat Dilka was featured on one of the programs, which was aired January 29, 2019. Connect to Michigan Radio here!  And check out a bit of Kat’s story here. We’re so proud of you, Kat - thank you for sharing your story!

#creatingconnectionMI #longhaulpro


Drawing: From Observation to Imagination

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Explore a wide range of drawing techniques that are perfect for young makers, inventors, story tellers, cartoonists, and engineers.  We’ll meet at the Holland Museum, and practice drawing objects from observation in their new Spark!Lab as well as in the main exhibit hall.  We’ll think about the historical purpose and function of objects, and also re-imagine everyday things in creative new ways. We’ll work on basic drawing skills with pencil, charcoal and ink, and look specifically at how natural designs (like those found in seed pods, feathers, & burrs) have influenced inventions, architecture, and characters. Thank you, Holland Museum, for making this class possible!

Grades 5-8

When?  Class will meet Saturday afternoons from 2:00 pm - 4:00, February 16 - April 20, with no class on March 30 or April 6

Where?  We’ll meet at the Holland Museum, 31 W. 10th St. Holland, MI  49423. We’ll start in the Spark!Lab each day, and then work in the lower level education room and the main gallery.

Cost? $160 But we ask only that you pay what you can afford when you register. Transportation will not be available for this studio.


Creative College Visit to KCAD

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Join us for an exploratory visit to Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids.  We'll tour the campus, talk with an admissions counselor, and see what's new in the galleries nearby.  If you are interested in a career in the arts, this is a great place to begin to explore your options! We'll meet at the Treehuis Conference Room at 31 E 8th St (2nd floor above Loker Shoes - enter through the back door and head up the stairs or elevator from there).  We can provide transportation to our meeting place from Holland Public Schools and WO Public Schools; please let us know if you need this when you register.

Grades 8-12

When?  Monday, March 11 3:30-8:30 pm (Meet at the Treehuis at 3:30, we'll head out from there by 3:45)  We will return to the Treehuis at 8:30.  Please plan to pick up your student by the back door of Lokers Shoes at that time.

Cost? $15


Gallery Visit: Sonnenzimmer at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts

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Grades 6-12

Tori Pelz, former ED of CultureWorks, is curating this exhibit of new works by Sonnenzimmer, the Chicago-based print duo of Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi. Known for their fearless experimentation and boundary-busting approach to art-making, Sonnenzimmer describes their work as “finely applied graphics,” pointing out that “the graphic arts predate the siloed genres of fine and applied” art. While blurring boundaries between art and design is common in contemporary art, Sonnenzimmer is unique in that they mess with every medium they touch, and whirl it all together.

Transportation is available from Holland Public and West Ottawa Middle Schools and High Schools; please let us know if you need this when you register.

When? Thursday, March 14 3:30-5:45. We will pick up students after school and head directly to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, spend some time with the art, and have time for discussion, as well.  If you are meeting us there, we plan to arrive by 3:45 or 4:00. 

Cost? Free!

Students are encouraged to register also for a field trip to the closing reception (May 17), which will include live performances, on-site screen printing, and other shenanigans.  Find out more about the exhibit HERE


Mountainfilm Festival - Saugatuck Center for the Arts

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Join CultureWorks for a trip to a special student showing at the 3rd Annual Mountainfilm Festival at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Mountainfilm On Tour uses the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.  Students will view a selection of short films, and a Mountainfilm Presenter will be on-site for some engaging post-screening conversation.  You can find out more about some of the films that will be screened for students HERE, and find the full Mountainfilm Festival schedule of events HERE

Grades 6-12

When? Thursday, March 21 3:30 - 5:30

Cost? Free!

We will be providing transportation from West Ottawa High School and Middle Schools, and Holland High School and Middle School.  If you need transporation to or from the event, please let us know when you register.

The student screening begins at 3:30, so we will pick up students and head directly to the SC4A, and return students to their homes afterward, as needed.



Sonnenzimmer - Closing Reception

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Grades 6-12

Meet the Chicago-based print duo of Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi, and enjoy their closing reception, which will include live performances, on-site screen printing, and other shenanigans. Early in their practice, Sonnenzimmer gained international acclaim for their playful screen-printed posters for experimental bands like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Dearhoof, and Cocorosie. Yet, their broad, genre-defying appeal is evident in clients like Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Newberry library, Human Rights Watch, and Facebook. They’ve lead lectures and workshops at Yale University, California Institute for the Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, Pratt Institute, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and Aalto University in Helsinki.  Find more info about this exhibit, curated by Tori Pelz for the Saugatuck Center for the Arts HERE.

When? Friday, May 17 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Cost? Free!

Limited transportation to and from the exhibit is available; please let us know if you will need this when you register.  If you are meeting us there, we will plan to arrive at 6:30.


Graphic Design 101

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Apply your creative and conceptual skills to inform and persuade a public audience in our Graphic Design 101 class. Designer and Creative Director Kaila Piepkow of Dox Design will collaborate with students to walk them through real life projects including creating a concept all the way to branding a business of their choice. Learn the basics of design software, logo design, typography, color, layout and more. This class will also tour some agencies to see what a day in the life of designer is like. The demand for graphic designers continues to rise from ad agencies to corporations like Herman Miller. Learn in a hands-on environment about this amazing career path and be ahead of the game.

Grades 6-8

Wednesdays, 3:45-5:45 from Jan. 30 - April 17

No Classes the week of Mar 11-15, or the week of April 1-5.


Botanical Illustration

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Spend the cold winter months with Sammie Mikolitis, ducking and diving through lush local greenhouses and hanging out with amazing plants.  Working with different techniques and materials, we’ll spend time observing and drawing botanical wonders in the Holland community, beginning at the Hope College greenhouses and then visiting some local farms in the early spring to catch the beginning stages of seed planting and growth.  We will work with graphite, pen, ink, charcoal and then dabble in color as well. Drawing inspiration from Charles Darwin’s scientific illustrations to Van Gogh’s Garden scenes, this class is perfect for budding illustrators, naturalists, graphic artists and scientists. What a way to enter into the spring months!

Grades 8-12

Tuesdays, 3:45-5:45 from Jan. 29 - April 16

No Class the week of Mar 11-15, or the week of April 1-5.


Advanced Photography Club: Open Studio

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More Photos from Class!

The best way to hone your photography skills is to practice, practice, practice!  This class will provide prompts and challenges to help students develop their photographic eye for composition, light, and more.  We'll study the work of other photographers to inspire creativity and have time for conversations and feedback about our own work.  As an open studio class, we will look at ways we can use photography to engage social issues and work toward greater awareness and advocacy.  Prior photography experience required. Cameras are available if needed, but students are encouraged to bring their own, if they have one.

Grades 8-12
Fridays, 3:45-5:45 from Feb 1 - April 19
No Class on Mar 29, or April 5.  This class will meet on March 15, though our other classes will not meet that week.

We'll meet in the 2nd floor conference room of the Treehuis office space, at 31 E 8th St in downtown Holland.  Enter through the back door of Loker's and take the elevator or the stairs just inside. We will be walking to various locations downtown, so wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the weather!