Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) is partnering with LaughFest to host a ping-pong tournament and drop-in play at UICA’s newly opened Art Commons during the comedy festival benefiting Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.

The Art Commons, visible from the street and lit by walls of windows, will hold three artist-transformed ping-pong tables during LaughFest. Grand Rapids residents and visitors walking by on Fulton and Commerce streets will see all the action and may just come in to challenge players, or cheer them on from the “sky box” overlooking the action.

Participants can play in the Doubles Tournament on Friday, March 7 from 7 – 11 pm. The Singles Tournament will be on Saturday, March 8, from 10 am – 3 pm. With all of the proceeds going to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, UICA is encouraging people to come up with an office team for some friendly fun, or go it alone to prove your ping-pong prowess. Registration is $20 per single player or doubles team, and can be done in advance on the LaughFest website at http://www.laughfestgr.org/show/uica-ping-pong-tournament/.
Starting on Sunday, March 9, participants can come in for drop-in play at the following times:
Sunday, March 9 from 12 – 6 pm; Tuesday, March 11 from 12 – 9 pm; Wednesday, March 12 from 12 – 9 pm; Thursday, March 13 from 12 – 9 pm; Friday, March 14 from 12 – 9 pm; Saturday, March 15 from 12 – 9 pm.

Tickets for drop-in play are $8, and include free gallery admission at UICA. Opening on March 7 is …mercurial silence…, an exhibition by metalsmith Caroline Gore. Brian Kelly’s always popular photographs will also be on display at UICA during LaughFest.

Artists Katie Williams, Reuben Garcia, and Heather Duffy have been charged with transforming the ping-pong tables into works of art. Their creations will be available after LaughFest to the highest bidder, with the silent auction closing on March 15 at 9 pm.