The Division Avenue Arts Collective, or DAAC, is a not-for-profit, all-ages, volunteer run community space located in the heart of Grand Rapids, Michigan's downtown arts district, The Avenue for the Arts. Most commonly known as a music venue, the DAAC also hosts art exhibitions, creative workshops, lectures, a seasonal Sunday Soup, film screenings, and other performances - all entirely programmed by our volunteer run board with the help of our friends and neighbors in the community. We believe that everyone has something to contribute, and we strive to provide an accessible platform available to everyone regardless of age or other circumstance. Along with this, we are deeply committed to remaining non-commercial, independent, and institutionally transparent.
All events are always all-ages, drug, and alcohol free.
The DAAC was founded in October 2003 by a group of concerned citizens that included Emma Heemskerk, Ben Schaafsma, George Wietor, and Jeff Vandenberg among others as an art/music venue run independently of religious, corporate, or financial affiliation. It inherited its space in the Elite Restaurant from SWIM Gallery, which had closed earlier that year.
Officially, the first show occurred on October 25th, 2003—but a week prior the site was used for the second half of the final Halos for Martyrs show after the police shut down the event mid-performance at 10 Weston, another neighborhood venue that had its final show that night. After someone yelled "Let's move it to the DAAC!" the entire mass of people marched the block and a half from 10 Weston to the DAAC, carrying drums and other instruments over their heads.
The logo for Avenue for the Arts was designed by David Schofield in Spring of 2006.
The DAAC is governed by a volunteer board of directors that is entrusted with keeping everything afloat. The board votes on issues of DAAC policy and is, in turn, elected by the DAAC community at our annual membership meeting in October.
Board meetings (open to the public) are held on the 1st & 3rd Monday of every month at 7:30pm. When necessary we hold meetings on off weeks to discuss projects, upcoming shows, booking requests, etc.
Requirements of a DAAC board member:
- Regularly attend board meetings
- Fill Volunteer positions when neccessary
- Pay board dues once a year.
Taking a cue from the very inspirational DIY cultural center MESS HALL (Chicago IL), we have developed a ten point outline of what we, as a collective, believe in.
1.) We insist on neutral platforms for individual and cultural expression.
2.) We reject hierarchical governance.
3.) We encourage collaboration.
4.) We support the transition from a "do-it-yourself" (DIY) attitude to a "do-it-together" (DIT) community.
5.) We strive to be inclusive and to interact with other groups and communities.
6.) We believe that everyone has something to contribute.
7.) We believe that age should not limit participation in cultural production.
8.) We are committed to remaining non-commercial, independent and institutionally transparent.
9.) We strive to create a safe and accessible place that emphasizes mutual respect for all.
10.) We believe that constructive criticism is a foundation of healthy communities.
- Lori Dori
- Bob Eastman
- Cody Gallagher
- Cole Jackowski
- Charity Klein Lytle
- Sam Kubiak
- Kylee Preseau
- Briana Ureña-Ravelo
- Mike Wolf
- Matthew Wroblewski
Former Board members
- Herm Baker (Member at Large)
- Vanessa Bolt
- Reyanne Boyk
- Annamarie Buller
- Fouad Catrib
- Sam Cook-Parrott
- Eric Gallippo
- Marlee Grace
- John Hanson
- Emma Heemskerk
- Joe LaGrand
- Steve Klein
- Jaime Johnson
- Justin Majetich
- Ken Meinke
- Dustin Meyer
- Steve Mayville
- Jill Martindale
- Chris Oposnow
- Ben Schaafsma
- Mike Saunders
- Alison Jones
- Tami Vandenberg
- Joe Kolean
- Brad Robinson
- Kolin Smith
- Adam Schurman
- Dylan Cole
- Jules Schmucker
- Sam Snedeker
- Gary Nye
- Teresa Zbiciak
- Matt Elliott
- Jon Chambers
- Jenn Schaub
- Schlomo Steel
- Victoria Marcetti
- Chad Vickery
- George Wietor
In 2007, the DAAC started its internship program. the first interns were:
- Katie Brine (GVSU), focusing on visual art organization.
- Sarah States (Calvin), focusing on promotion.
- Victoria Marcetti (Kendall), focusing on music organization.
- Tyler Kohn (City High School) completed an internship in 2009.
Internships are now granted based on interest. attend a board meeting to inquire.