The Heartside District is a city center flourishing with collective and creative soul. Home to the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Grand Rapids Ballet, and Vertigo Music, the Heartside District is undoubtedly the cultural and artistic ganglion of Grand Rapids. As far as local music is concerned, this collaborative energy and artistic ambition materializes on Division Street under the guise of a self-professed haute monde dining establishment.
Therein lies a paradox within the limen of of The Division Avenue Arts Collective (better known as the DAAC). The mentality operating inside this hole-in-the-wall setting could not be less elite. The DAAC describes itself as a "DIT" volunteer-run organization; in other words, a camaraderie collaborating to bring the creative ideas of the West Michigan area into fruition. It could further be described as an art space that acts as a catalyst for cultivating pride and optimism in the Grand Rapids art and music scene.
One only needs to step inside the DAAC to witness the supportive musical network of Grand Rapids. The venue is intimate, enough so that the environment is perfectly fitted for musical immersion. Attendees gather around the stage area to listen and participate during the performances. There are musical acts that require more physical involvement, whether it consists of quirky dancing or some lighthearted, semi-violent moshing. However, there is always someone to dance with if you are not the stand-and-listen-by-the-stage type. In between sets, everyone chats and sometimes donations for recording endeavors circulate.
Of course, the DAAC also exhibits the undeniable talent of passion of the local music scene. Punk, electrofolk, polka, kalamashoegazing, you name it: there is a local band that plays it and plays it well. If whatever "it" is does not have a name that is perfectly acceptable, if not encouraged. The DAAC's recently premiered radio show, DAAC TRAXXX, is particularly telling of variety of the local collective. DAAC TRAXXX broadcasts on the first Friday of every month at midnight (Thursday night) on 88.1FM WYCE. The second episode is currently available in podcast form on the DAAC's website, and features an in-studio performance by the fantastic Jes Kramer.
Whether you are simply interested in knowing more about Grand Rapids' emerging music scene, or you are interested in booking a show, the DAAC's website is a great place to start: