GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While ArtPrize brings artists from all over the world to Grand Rapids to compete in the world’s biggest art competition, it also inspires the future artists already here.

Grand Rapids Public Schools students get the opportunity to explore art and learn about artists through the SmartArt competition, ArtPrize Education Days and class field trips.

“I really believe passionately that arts matter,” said Maggie Malone, the director of fine arts and shared time for GRPS. “The research regarding the value of arts education is very strong, it really teaches life skills, problem solving and it also helps to activate more parts of the brain. And so the value of visual arts education — as well as musical arts and other forms of art — is strongly research based. And it’s really critical for all students, but particularly students in poverty.”