ArtPrize attendance numbers show that ArtPrize 2011 was another huge success.  If you tried to park in Grand Rapids over the past few weeks, you probably already knew that.

There were no reports of restaurants running out of food at ArtPrize this year like in 2009.  I tried order a burger in 2009.  The restaurant was out of burger.  This was happening all over town.

There were plenty of reports of long lines, smiling kids, and heated ArtPrize debates this year.  All of these are good signs for the future of ArtPrize.

If you build it/paint it/sculpt it/play it they will come. gives us some attendance numbers:

  • GRAM had about 130,000 people before the winner's announcement.
  • As of Friday UICA had already matched their attendance numbers from last year of 120,000.
  • Cathedral Square doubled their numbers from last year, up to 20,000 this year.
  • Women's City Club had over 11,000 visitors.

Attendance at major venues is a good way to gauge ArtPrize success, but it doesn't tell the complete story.  It is possible for attendance to go up at certain venues at the expense of others.  That may have been the case this year, but I feel like there were more people downtown overall this year than last year.

Do you think overall ArtPrize attendance will go up or down next year?