If you’ve driven through the parking lot of the Reif Center this week, you’ve noticed that construction workers are busy building the foundation. The process begins with laying footings – an important first step that will help support the foundation for our expansion. It’s exciting to see demo work come to a close and start moving in the opposite direction!

In addition, Reif staff and board is looking forward to a Monday meeting with consultant, Tony Wagner, and other artistic partners such as the Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program, the Grand Rapids Players and GRHS music faculty. The purpose of this meeting is to create a strategic plan for our future co-habitation of the renovated facility.

The Itasca Orchestra and Strings program has been around nearly as long as the Reif Center. Even before renovation, we shared office space and they used the venue for rehearsals and lessons. The Grand Rapids Players, a theater troupe who has been presenting locally-mounted productions for over 50 years, were instrumental in getting the Reif Center built in 1981. Initially, it was the place they called home, but they moved out a while later. Now, when the center opens in February, we’ll be operating under one roof again, and there are lots of considerations to be made. How can we collaborate? What’s the best way to share resources? How can we maintain independence? Will we all have the space we need? How will we share space? The list of questions goes on…

Once again, this strategic planning is all about building a strong foundation. We want to realize the Reif Center’s full potential as a hub of creative expression and artistry in this region. Strong, well-organized collaborations will be an essential piece in that mission. We are excited about the road that lies ahead!