By Inayah Hakeem
“Wait…what’s a Go Pass?”
This is a question on the minds of many inquisitive Grand Rapids Community College students who are oblivious to the many perks in being a student.
The Go Pass, serving as a key to city social life, grants GRCC students admission into public facilities around Downtown Grand Rapids including: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum, John Ball Zoo, and The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA).
Click here for more information on Go Pass Guidelines.
Getting My Go Pass
After visiting the Student Life Office located on the first floor of the Student Center, I received my semester-long golden ticket and decided to take it for a test drive. My first stop was The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA). In this public space, the Go Pass includes free gallery admission and usage of the loft space on the fifth floor. Outside of the Go Pass, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card holders with verification of such are able to be granted gallery admission for one dollar. The facility has many attractions within it. Upon entry you are greeted by picture windows and a modest gift shop featuring items ranging from locally made jam and mugs to earrings and the daily newspaper. After being admitted warmly by the welcome desk you will be given the go to pass through the contemporary world of art.
UICA attendant Allison Groenendyk said she enjoys interacting with a mix of students and people in the art world.
“I like interacting with different people from the community,” she said. “I think our whole mission is making contemporary art accessible for the general public.”
The Lower Level of the UICA is a gentle mix of gallery and movie theater. Concessions and movie tickets are available for purchase but are not included in the Go Pass.
The first floor of the UICA contains The Studio and gallery space. The gallery space will be occupied by “Translating Valence: Redefining black male identity” through May 3. The Studio is a creative space that serves as a drop-in art and craft space for Grand Rapids residents and families.
Fourth and Fifth Floor
The fourth and fifth floors are currently off limits to the public and are pending the exhibit of “A Beautiful Struggle, Black Feminist Futerism.” Along with this in-the-works exhibit, there is The Loft, a quiet relaxed space with a view of the city..
The Go Passes are a GRCC student perk intended to encourage students to explore the city. The passes are funded by fees charged with tuition and available to all GRCC students.