GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 30, 2023 — The Michigan House of Representatives passed the state’s fiscal 2023-24 budget this week. State Rep. Kristian Grant (D-Grand Rapids) helped bring home investments to Grand Rapids, including a $3.5 million for the Diatribe community space capital investment. The Diatribe, a locally based nonprofit committed to using restorative art to disrupt historical systems of oppression by reimagining education and holistically honoring the community. The funds will help The Diatribe purchase and renovate a 18,341-square-foot building at 2040 Division Ave. S. in the Burton Heights Business District of Grand Rapids.


“This budget also includes $3.5 million for The Diatribe Emory Arts & Culture Hub in the Division corridor,” Grant said. “As a multipurpose facility, The Emory will host after-school creative arts programming, provide affordable housing and retail spaces for artists and entrepreneurs of color, and serve as a community venue for performing arts that will attract local and national artists. While youth, residents and creatives will experience direct benefits, this project will also spur future investment in this corridor that has long lacked support. Kent County commissioners passed on funding this project in the past because it supported programming for people of color and LGBTQ+ communities. I am so happy to include this in the state budget and make a clear statement that spaces like this are important and hate does not prevail. We will build a better Southeast for the community that lives and works here every day. I want to thank our leadership in Lansing, including my partner in representing Southeast Grand Rapids, Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks, for advocating for these funds and making this project possible for my community.”


“Our whole Grand Rapids community benefits when organizations like The Diatribe are able to make their vision come to fruition,” Sen. Majority Leader Winnie Brinks said. “I’m glad to have secured state funding to see The Emory become a reality. By tackling affordable housing, offering much-needed community gathering space, inspiring dynamic creativity, and pursuing environmental sustainability (to name only a few of the goals of The Emory), The Diatribe is doing transformational work. I know we’ll see a huge impact.”


The Emory Arts and Culture Hub is being built in the least-invested business district in all Grand Rapids by the city’s first Black, Brown and Queer fully run organization. The building will serve as the new headquarters for The Diatribe and be a place for people of different ages, backgrounds and interests to come together and celebrate art from youth programming to shows and performances.


“I want everyone to understand that history is being made here! Senator Brinks is the first woman to be named Senate majority leader, and Representative Grant is the first Black woman to be appointed state representative in West Michigan and is FROM our neighborhood. These historic leaders have been pivotal to this project,” said Marcel “Fable” Price, The Diatribe’s chief inspiration architect. “This project is a living example that shows everyday extraordinary people how our local, county and state governments work and the importance of voting and rallying the community around local elections. There were very specific powers that targeted The Diatribe due to the cultural makeup of the organization. This shows people how we can work across sectors to create the Grand Rapids we all know our city can become.”


In addition to receiving the support to take this across the line from Sen. Brinks and Rep. Grant, there has been strong advocacy of The Diatribe by Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Congresswoman Hillary Scholten, state Rep. John Fitzgerald, state Rep. Rachel Hood, state Rep. Carol Glanville, County Commissioner Tony Baker, City Commissioner Jon O’Connor, City Commissioner Drew Robbins, County Commissioner Ivan Diaz, City Commissioner Milinda Ysasi, City Commissioner Nathaniel Moody, City Commissioner Kelsey Perdue, City Commissioner Lisa Knight, County Commissioner Michelle McCloud, County Commissioner Stephen Wooden, County Commissioner Carol Hennesey, County Commissioner Lisa Oliver-King, County Commissioner David LaGrand, and County Commissioner Kris Pachla.