Grounds for Thought will be awarded the Arts and Business Partnership Award from the Americans for the Arts organization on Oct. 3 in New York City. The award is one of nine awards the Americans for the Arts foundation gives out annually to one individual and nine businesses.
Grounds for Thought is a coffee shop, a coffee roastery, a used bookstore, venue for live music and events, and a recording label for artists located in downtown Bowling Green.
“Grounds for Thought opened in October of 1989 with seating for nine people and around 6,000 books,” owner Kelly Wicks said.
The business has since grown into a larger space to occupy more books, seating and space for live events.
Wicks said the size of the shop may have changed but the idea behind Grounds for Thought has remained the same.
“It really has become a platform for creativity, whether that's the stuff we do through the shop or things people in the community come to us for,” Wicks said.
Wicks said that the idea to become a record label came to him once they expanded the shop into a larger space.
“We were sitting there (during a live music performance) and we were thinking, ‘Why don’t we record these? Why don’t we make an album?” Wicks, a self-professed vinyl collector, said.
Grounds for Thought also highlights local artists by displaying their work in the shop. The artists range from students at BGSU or elementary school students’ butterflies in the windows.
The Americans for the Arts organization, the organization awarding Ground for Thought, is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on building recognition and support for the value of the arts and brings awareness to individuals and businesses that are doing so.
“Earlier in the year we heard that we were in the final round – so that was pretty cool. In April, we found out that we were one of the nine recipients. We are by far the smallest company to receive the award,” Wicks said.
“This (the award) is a national call to businesses to talk about how they feel the arts are important and how they have impacted yourself, your business and the community.”