The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) has been a cornerstone of the West Michigan community since 1977. Its presence has contributed to the region by delivering quality, diverse programming in visual arts, literature, music, performance, dance, and film. This year marks a new era for the UICA, with the opening of a prominent new facilty in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. As part of this move, the UICA has engaged Peopledesign to help focus and re-invigorate the UICA brand in concert with the new building.
"When we began envisioning what UICA would mean to the region, Peopledesign was a natural voice in the conversation," said Jeff Meeuwsen, executive director of UICA. "The firm's established methodology in designing customer experiences was one our team wanted exposure to. Peopledesign is playing a key role in strengthening our positioning and brand story as a whole."
UICA will continue to focus on its core strengths as a venue for emerging artists, ideas, and culture, and continue to broaden its appeal to West Michigan audiences and beyond. UICA is a champion of bringing new experiences to the region, through its role as the institutional partner of ArtPrize and more than three decades of providing an outlet for new ideas that foster creative thinking and innovation.
To symbolize this sharpened focus and commitment, UICA unveiled a new logo on June 1, 2011, online and on the windows of its new space.
"We are proud to help great organizations like UICA gain focus, tell their story, and develop a robust brand experience," said Kevin Budelmann, Peopledesign president and co-author of Brand Identity Essentials. "Exposing West Michigan to new experiences is a way of contributing to a creative innovation engine for the local economy, with wonderful implications for the visibility of the region."
UICA's current facility is Michigan's largest contemporary arts center and a dynamic, multidisciplinary laboratory for the advancement of the art of our time. Through the new facility - opening this summer - UICA hopes to have an even greater impact on attracting and retaining creative, urban-oriented professionals in West Michigan. The new UICA will also advance the region's growing reputation for groundbreaking sustainability initiatives by creating one of the nation's first LEED-certified mixed-use facilities, uniting non-profit, government, retail, and residential components.